Popular games for mobile devices


There has been an increase of smartphone and tablet games being readily available at the touch of a screen for little to no entry fee. The days of Nintendo and Sony being the only competitors in the handheld market are long gone.

A quick browse of Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store can be overwhelming. Here is a quick list of the some of the highest downloaded games, or apps, for the longest amount of time for one’s inner gamer or for someone who just wants to waste some time.

It’s impossible to talk about mobile games without bringing up the Angry Birds franchise. Since its launch in 2009 the series has spawned five games and the spin-off Bad Piggies. With a crossover with the Star Wars franchise, a large toy line and even a Finnish cartoon show, Angry Birds has cemented itself as the most successful mobile game of all time. Play to get perfect scores on their deceptively simple stages, and it is almost guaranteed that Angry Birds will offer a substantial time-sink. You can find its various games on almost any digital store under the sun.

Although it released for iOS a year after it came out on PC, Plants vs. Zombies is another wildly popular game, especially on mobile devices. Plants vs. Zombies places you in control of a cadre of plants to hold off a horde of comically designed zombies. The game that helped popularize tower defense has been released on almost every platform, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

Developed by Zynga, Words with Friends offers an online, competitive version of the board game Scrabble. You can compete with friends in up to twenty games at once and play on your own time. One person can take their turn and notifications will alert their opponent that it’s their turn to play. If you enjoy Scrabble but don’t find the opportunity to play a board game with your friends often, Words with Friends can be a new source for friendly competition. Words with Friends is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and the Kindle and Nook.

Temple Run is a series of endless running games, which are platformers that task the player with advancing as far as they can in an infinitely generating world. Testing yourself to keep advancing as far as you can will likely keep you going for hours as you try to do just a little better each time. A sequel, Temple Run 2, achieved approximately fifty million downloads in 13 days, besting the record previously set by Angry Birds. Both games are free, though crossovers with Disney movies “Brave” and “Oz the Great and Powerful” will cost you 99 cents. The games are available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

If you want a bit more action and adventure from your mobile game, Infinity Blade might be more up your alley. The role playing game is developed in part by Epic Games, the studio responsible for the Unreal and Gears of War series. The game benefits from Unreal Engine 3, which is also used for console and PC video game releases. As a result, the game looks almost as good as if it were playing on your TV. While pricier than most mobile games, Infinity Blade and its sequel, Infinity Blade II, are available on iOS.

While not exclusive to mobile devices, the indie juggernaut Minecraft also has an iOS version. It is focused on the survival aspect of the game. It’s not as robust as the PC version, but the ability to mine blocks and build structures while on the go might be a worthwhile trade-off for many.

So, the next time you’re sitting in a waiting room or pretending to study, keep these games in mind to aid in boredom or perpetuate procrastination.