It never hurts to have some great games in your back pocket, and in this case we mean literally. Console video games, PC titles, and gaming websites are all great to have access too, but when you just want something simple with which to pass the time, it can be best to turn to the mobile category. To that end, here are our top 10 mobile games for passing time.
1. Drop7: It’s actually hard to describe this Zynga arcade game exactly without visuals, or just trying it out. But basically, you’re dropping numbered discs into columns on a 7×7 grid, trying to match the amount of the numbers to the number of discs in order to eliminate them. Part Connect-4, part Bejeweled, and with a little dose of a mathematical version of Tetris, it’s actually simple once you try it, and a great one-handed mobile game to play when bored.
2. Flick Kick Football: This has to be one of the most charming “time wasters” in the mobile market. It’s actually a sort of early version of the larger PikPok game Flick Kick Football Legends, which brings a nice dose of fun and strategy that can be more engaging over the long term. This first game however, also by PikPok, is simple: you’re kicking a soccer ball, via a swipe of the finger, at a goal, sometimes wide open, sometimes guarded by defenders. You need only curve the ball to get it in, and the game goes until you lose all of your “lives” (which is to say misses). It’s simple, relatively passive, yet completely addictive.
3. Soda Dungeon: Developed by the ever-reliable Armor Games, Soda Dungeon is slightly more involved than most of the titles here, but no less appropriate for the category. It’s an RPG, but a sort of tongue-in-cheek one, using beautifully vintage pixellated graphics and challenging you to upgrade your soda shop in order to gain new party members and powers with which to raid the nearby dungeon and conquer deadly bosses.
4. .io Games: This is a whole little genre of games, first made popular online but now rampant in mobile gaming. The general idea in all of these games is to gather territory at the expense of other players. In .io games, you start of small and/or weak, at which point you’re easily consumed or defeated by enemies. However, with every little bit of progress you make, you become harder to defeat and more formidable among others. This is somewhat vague because each .io game is slightly different, but check out paper.io 2 for an easy example.
5. Dots: This game – which is even produced by a company called Playdots, Inc. – simply presents you with grids of colorful dots, and asks that you draw lines connecting dots of the same color. That’s pretty much all there is to it, making it very straightforward, yet almost meditative in its capacity to help you relax and “zone out” when bored.
6. Blackjack: Certain types of blackjack have actually gotten quite sophisticated. A piece about games people wouldn’t expect would make it on mobile specifically points to “live casino games” and newer versions of blackjacks that involve feeds of real live dealers. This is great for casino enthusiasts, but you can also download any of a number of fairly simple blackjack games that are excellent for passing time with. Few games of any kind are quite as simple and engaging at the same time, and this is certainly the case when playing on mobile as well.
7. Smashy Road: Wanted: Imagine the tamest possible version of Grand Theft Auto, and that’s more or less what you get with Smashy Road: Wanted. Built with minimalist graphics, the game basically puts you in a neighborhood in which your only job is to drive around and create havoc and collateral damage in order to raise your score. Just try not to get cornered by the police, or crash completely. You can definitely get sucked into this game and wind up playing for hours at a time, but it’s also nice for a few minutes’ break now and then.
8. Bitnoid: It’s miraculous that this game wasn’t made long before it was. It’s actually brand new, and is more or less a modern (and beautiful) take on brick-busting games. You can play easily with one hand, and simply guide your paddle along the base of the screen, avoiding obstacles and bouncing a ball upward to smash bricks and gain points. These types of games are always great time wasters, though in this case there’s also a pleasant, hypnotic quality to the experience.
9. Ridiculous Fishing: Last year it was written that five years after its initial release, Ridiculous Fishing was still the best mobile game available. This sounds extreme, but it’s actually hard to argue with. This lighthearted fishing arcade is simply a joy to play, and even casting your line once or twice at a time can be a satisfying gaming experience. The objective is to guide your hook as deep into the ocean as you can. However, when you run out of line or if you hook something by mistake, it starts coming back up – at which point you switch from avoiding obstacles on the way down to trying to catch everything you can on the way up.
10. Plants vs. Zombies: This is another game you can get sucked into, but it’s also another one that’s been around for years and hasn’t really fallen down the ranks of the best mobile games. Basically a twist on the “tower defense” genre, it drives you to use defensive-minded plants on a grid to stop zombies from attacking your house. It takes only a few minutes to play a level, so it’s easy to work through this game in quick bursts, just when you need to take some time off.