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Ask The Readers: Best Mobile Games for Killing Holiday Downtime?

Around this time of year quite a few people are spending a bit of time waiting: waiting for flights to arrive, watching the time clock before the holiday, riding shotgun to Grandma’s house. This week we want to hear all about your favorite mobile games and how they help pass the time.

It used to be that you had to strategically and preemptively plan if you wanted readily available entertainment during those down times in holiday travel and festivities. In 1985–to pick an arbitrary but nostalgic year–if you wanted to play a game of Scrabble in an airport lounge you’d better have brought the whole game along with you in your carry-on as well as someone to play with. These days you can just tap your smartphone screen, browse the app store, download a new game in a matter of moments, and play with people around the globe–it’s downright magic.

This week we want to hear all about that mobile magic and what games–big or small, trivial or complicated–that make those flight delays and length car rides more enjoyable. Sound off in the comments with your favorite mobile game.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/21/11

Comments (27)

  1. Andreas

    We had to create a range of our own mobile games – to come up with a “favorite” one for our daughter.

    Here is the line-up:
    - Preschool Christmas Kitty (iOS and Android)
    - Preschool EduPlay (iOS)
    - Preschool Patterns & More (iOS)

    http://www.katzapps.com

  2. TheFu

    Great Little War Game – the best $0.10 I’ve spent on a game.

  3. Kynan

    Battleheart (Android) great little action RPG that is fantastic for those brief moments, or longer stints where you are stuck waiting and have no computer. Helped me through the 4 days we were in hospital during my wifes extended labour where I could do nothing but wait!

  4. Marlon

    Great Little War Game for $.10 was an awesom deal I jumped on as well.

    But it absolutely swallows your battery whole. I can only play it while the phones charging

  5. brodiemac

    Scrabble

  6. Marlon

    The problem with scrabble is that u have to wait until the other decides to play. They should have an option to set time limits.

  7. Huskrfan

    Beyond YNTH! Amazing!

  8. infmom

    Marple. It’s an adaptation of one of my favorite PC games, Sherlock.

  9. Mike_NJ

    Game Dev Story, which runs $2.50 but I think I picked up free via Amazon’s daily app deal
    Angry Birds/Rio/Seasons
    Tetris
    Pinball
    Mahjongg
    Apparatus
    BlowUp
    Fruit Ninja

    Haven’t really tried any “action” games yet, but then I’ve only had my phone two months.

  10. feletoch

    KungFu
    Earth and Legend
    Battleheart
    Zombieville
    Glow Hockey 2
    Light Racer 3D

    only the first 4 is RPG but those games are highly addictive.

  11. Kareem

    @ least for iPad :

    Battleheart
    Sword & Sworcery
    Dead Space
    DrawRace2
    Words with Friends
    Puerto Rico

  12. Black Knight Rebel

    Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP, downloadable via the PSN
    It’s on sale for $22.49 and comes with 22 bonus missions. This game normally sells for $40
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii-cN4c_Pm0

    Hey, just because you said “mobile” doesn’t mean I have to offer up dinky phone games. I’m a guy that likes MEAT in his portable gaming. Best of all my suggestion won’t drain your communication device ^_^

  13. blackknightrebel

    Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP, downloadable via the PSN
    It’s on sale for $22.49 and comes with 22 bonus missions. This game normally sells for $40
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii-cN4c_Pm0

    Hey, just because you said “mobile” doesn’t mean I have to offer up dinky phone games. I’m a guy that likes MEAT in his portable gaming. Best of all my suggestion won’t drain your communication device ^_^

  14. J2435432

    Lexulous Lite – like Words with Friends, but can play on the Blackberry

  15. Burt

    Block puzzle. off shoot from tetris and less frustrating.

  16. Will

    Temple Run – incredibly addictive
    Amazing Breaker
    PigglyChristmas – my 5 year old LOVES this one. GREAT for a long car ride.

  17. Roshnal

    My games according to preference:
    1) Angry Birds Rio/Seasons (Obviously)
    2) Minesweeper
    3) Sudoku
    4) Sims Medieval (Got this free on a deal)

    BTW, I do all these on my iPod but Angry Birds on my PSP also.

  18. mobilegames

    1. Bejewled 2
    2. jelly defense
    3. Dots & Boxes
    4. Bonsai Blast
    5. UNO!

  19. FPS Guy

    Gameloft’s Modern Combat 3 is a must have if you’re an FPS fan. However if you’re running an older device stick with Modern Comdat 2 because it runs smoother.

  20. Bobro

    OnLive… for those who dont know this is full spec games like Batman Arkham City and Saits row etc… now streamed (with fast enough internet) to Android and iOS devices, some games have onscreen controls like batman Lego (that last week was free when downloading the app (this week it is Defence grid gold)) are a bit poo, but i will be getting my universal controller to connect to my Galaxy tab when stuck at the inlaws, or i just play my onlive on PC at work…

    Awesome service if you not heard about it go check it out (still slightly overwhelmed by playing Arkham City at 720p res on my tablet with perfect performance!!!)

  21. Bobro

    if onlive doesnt count then Frontline Commando is my top lot for the week… or zombie gunship on iphone.

  22. chris

    Gun and glory free(I picked it up on BB App World) is an awesome tower defense type game that runs very smooth and is a challenge, but not impossibly hard. Just wish it had more levels, but for free I can’t really complain. Also Hangman Free is a great time killer and Best Kids Jokes and Riddles(both free on BB App World also) to entertain the kids when they get antsy.

  23. Jaco

    I play ps1 games on my android phone. Sucks battery life though

  24. TGONEIL

    Simon Tatham brain puzzle pack. Brilliant collection of games! Each game has an incredible variety of variations that can be configured.

  25. George

    MEMNEON – I’m surprsed no-one has mentioned this game – Stephen Fry loved it and gave it the thumbs up. It’s only 59p at the Appstore so good value. An ideal travel game for all ages. My grandson thinks it’s great!

  26. chumley

    Jewels Link
    We like it and so do the grandkids.
    Totally additive

  27. Gulshan

    Android:
    Cut the Rope
    Spirit HD

    iPhone:
    Cut the Rope
    Trainyard
    iBlast Moki

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