There comes a time (actually, many times) in everyone’s life… A time where you’re stuck with nothing to do, and all you have on your person is your keys, wallet, and your mobile. Maybe you’re in a waiting room. Maybe you’re waiting for your partner to finish their shift. Perhaps you’re on the toilet, and simply cannot be bothered to move. My friends. In these moments, there is one undeniable remedy, and it’s not Youtube to mp3 converters. It’s mobile games.
Infamous for their incredibly addicting and intuitive gameplay, mobile games have taken over the lives of millions. From flipping candies to catching Pokemon, mobile games have become part of the video game bible, albeit an arguably insignificant and controversial chapter. Regardless, if you don’t own a console and are looking to kill time, we can’t recommend these 10 games enough.
For any card game nerds out there, look no further than MTG Arena. (Magic: The Gathering). Considering the constricted medium of a mobile, this game is absolutely mammoth in scope. You can draft, play a wide array of formats, open packs, enter competitions, and last but not least, collect them all. This leads us nicely into game two.
Do you remember the cultural reset that occurred in this game’s opening week? Everywhere I turned, there were motley crews of individuals, huddled around Pokestops, heads buried in their phones, waiting to capture those beloved, rare pokemon. There’s a reason Pokemon is the largest franchise in the world – it’s unbelievably addicting. While Pokemon Go has largely dropped off in popularity, its gameplay is consistently rewarding, though catching all the pokemon is certainly an arduous grind. Just remember. Don’t Pokemon Go and drive, seriously.
The real genius of mobile game design is in its simplicity. With Subway Surfers, your character moves forward independently – you just have to steer them out of danger. Simple gameplay, endless entertainment. As you run through the colourful cityscapes and suburbia you’ll encounter a truckload of coins, powerups and other nonsense destined to keep your eyes hooked on the screen for hours and hours to come. The core design of Subway Surfers definitely rips off Temple Run, however, they improve upon it. Also, copying game design is already an incurable epidemic in the mobile game universe – it’s unavoidable.
You had to see this one coming. What’s truly surprising about Candy Crush is just how wide its demographic has become. I’ve seen 7-year-olds match those candies, but I’ve also seen elderly people get their Candy Crush on while dinners are in the oven. Essentially a brighter, more updated version of Bejeweled, Candy Crush took the world by storm with its brilliantly simple, yet strategic game design. With every new mechanic comes a new set of challenges, keeping the game exciting and challenging at every corner.
Why did the chicken cross the road? We still don’t know. But, we do know that Crossy Road took this joke and made it one of the most competitive mobile games of 2014. Controlling a chicken in 4 directions, your task as a player is to take it past as many highways as possible before getting hit by a vehicle. What I found intriguing about the gameplay was how it balanced risk vs reward. In the interest of a speedy run, you could often zoom across the highways without getting hit. However, if you got too greedy, you’d be squashed soon enough. It’s not real life, so who said you had to look both ways? Not us.
Minecraft (Pocket Edition)
The undisputed most successful video game in the world is Minecraft. With its sandbox, open-world design, blend of creativity (building), mathematics (Redstone), adventure (biomes), and combat (boss battles), Minecraft filled the needs of just about every type of gamer out there. Though Minecraft is best played on a computer or full-screen console, the pocket edition for mobile still provides users that cubic escapism they’ve come to know and love. The true unique selling point of Minecraft is in its level of freedom. There’s no tutorial telling you what to do. Like the world itself, your options are limitless. If you’ve got an addictive personality, be sure to put a time limit on your Minecraft sessions, trust me.
Plants vs Zombies (1 & 2)
Who would have ever thought up a game where you protect your property from a zombie invasion by planting vegetation as your fierce line of defence? George Fan, that’s who. When Plants vs Zombies hit the mobile app store 10 years ago, it quickly became lauded as one of the most creative and rewarding games on the market. Still to this day, few games feel more adequately suited to the small screen while still containing room for complex strategies and multiple variations of gameplay.
This is possibly the most famous mobile game of all time. In a game essentially based on angles, a user took their sling shooting ability to the test by firing angry birds into greedy piggies. It sounds stupid, but the results speak for themselves. With over 50 million downloads, many people have taken themselves to the endearing animations and joyously unhinged gameplay experience. What made Angry Birds addicting (at least to me), was its attention to perfectionists/completionists. Ask yourself, was a level really complete if you didn’t get three stars.
Mimicking the office-desk musings we entertain ourselves with, Paper Toss developers made a mini-game out of the mundane affair. How many times can you consequently swish and flick that abandoned piece of paper into the bin? Your fingers and the strength of a desk fan are the only obstacles.
Simpsons Tapped Out
The Simpson’s is arguably the most iconic sitcom of all time. Combine that popularity with the tried-and-true ‘come back every hour to collect your goods’ aspect of Farmville, and you’ve got a recipe for a mobile game so addictive it should probably be illegal.
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