We live in a busy world, one where the luxury of using both your hands to beat the last boss may not always be immediately available. Today we’re showcasing some great games that you can play while you’re busy holding a baby or just trying to stand in the subway without falling over.

So pull out that phone, strap on your gaming glove, and get ready for the challenge of a lifetime, because these are our favorite titles that you only need one hand to conquer.

Let’s Go Rocket

Out of all the options we have listed here, Let’s Go Rocket is one of the newest, and most enticing games that you can play from start to finish using only one mitt at a time.

Let’s Go Rocket enters itself into the category of what’s known as “endless” games; titles which procedurally generate levels which go on for as long as you can stay alive, racking up a score all along the way.

Though Let’s Go may not be entirely unique in its concept, it’s the pure essence of its execution that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. Gorgeous visuals and a luscious soundtrack keep you going when the infinite road upward gets long, and entice you to earn everything from regular achievements that you can post to friends to entirely new skins which dramatically shift the entire aesthetic of the game itself with a single click. Let’s Go Rocket is 100% free, and you can find it on the iTunes App Store today.

If you’re looking for something a little more classic in the genre, Doodle Jump is still one of the best examples of how a simple concept, combined with a little inventive art, can elevate a passing fancy into an all-encompassing obsession.

Temple Run/Sonic Dash

Temple Run is the perfect example of the many (many) “runner” titles that have come to dominate the charts as the power of iPhones and the simplicity of their gaming style has met in the middle and found a home in your pocket.

The idea and implementation couldn’t be easier. Collect gold coins, jump when there’s an obstacle, and duck when an enemy tries to attack. Every dodge and weave is commanded through a select set of swipes that control your character, something that’s easily achievable with just your right or left thumb alone.

An honorable mention in this category also goes to Sonic Dash, which takes everyone’s favorite hyperactive hedgehog on a nostalgic journey through the same type of twists, turns, and loops that made him famous just over 20 years ago.

Our only gripe with Dash is that although it is free upfront, many of the bonuses and core mechanics are on a “pay to win” basis, meaning that you probably won’t make it through the whole game without at least dropping a couple bucks on extra lives or power ups from level one to the final boss.

Temple Run 1, 2, and Oz, can be found here, here, and here, while you can get your daily dose of Sonic Dash at the link here.

Two Dots

Imagine if Bejeweled were designed for an art major’s final project, and that’s what you get with two dots. Simple on the surface, hair-pullingly frustrating at the higher levels, Two Dots is a puzzler game that asks you to swipe between two (or more) dots in order to clear off your board.

Though that might sound like a cakewalk from the outset, the punishing level design, obstacles, and scant power-ups make every session a test of wills between you and your last life.

Our only complaint is that much like other F2P titles on this list, once you run out of five lives you’ll have to wait an hour for them all to recharge, or choose to pay $0.99 for an automatic refill.

If you’ve already played Two Dots to death, you can always check out other similar puzzle titles like Threes!, TripleTown, or the original version, Dots. For another type of puzzle experience, the award-winning Monument Valley has beautiful puzzles that remind you of an M. C. Escher painting.

Fearless Fantasy

Just because you’re only playing a game with one hand doesn’t mean you can’t get the same amount of depth, strategy, and content-rich worlds you’d usually expect from a AAA role-playing game that you’d find on a console or PC.

Fearless Fantasy is an intricately complex, yet deceptively easy game which drops you into the boots of a ‘fearless’ adventurer, equipped with all the abilities, armor, and magical spells you’ll need to make your way through its many labyrinthian dungeons.

The game was originally released on PC through the Steam platform as a satire of the many tropes and traditions that have plagued the RPG genre over the past several decades. Even so, the move proved a hit, and many felt that the gesture-based combat system was a perfect fit for the mobile genre.

Well, they were right. Fast-paced action and a seamless integration of items give you everything you could possibly want from a title like this, despite its constant tongue-in-cheek references which could almost make you feel bad for playing it if you weren’t already having so much fun in the first place.

If you still aren’t convinced, check out this off-the-wall trailer which takes you into the wacky, wonderful world of all that Fearless Fantasy has to offer. Fearless Fantasy is available on the iTunes Store for $3.99 today.

Flappy Bird

And what list of this sort would be complete without mentioning the one, the only — the Flappy Bird.

On its surface, Flappy Bird is just about as rudimentary as it gets. Touch the screen, the bird flies up, let go, he dips down. Keep a balance between these two flight controls as you navigate between a series of Mario-esque pipes and see how many you can make it through before the bird meets his untimely doom.

The skill required comes in the unforgiving physics, which require a deft hand and your utmost attention if you plan on ranking anywhere near the top of the weekly, monthly, and seasonal leaderboards.

The game was so feverishly popular, it almost caused a riot when its creator decided the fame of its meteoric rise wasn’t worth the fortune that came with it, and promptly pulled the title from the iTunes App Store. Ever since, a barrage copycats have flooded in, but none have been able to come close to matching the addictively simple recipe that made the original such a massive success.

If you were lucky enough to snag Flappy Bird while it was still live, rejoice, you are cut from a dwindling cloth. If not, you can still revel in the joy of tap-happy gaming through its almost-identical imitators like Flappy’s Back, “Splashy Fish”, and Flappy Wings, all free of charge.

Yeah, you might be holding a bag of groceries, writing a check at the bank, or buying a new car, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some of the best and most exhilarating gaming experience the App Store has to offer.

Image Credits: Pixabay, iTunes App Store 1, 2, 3, Flickr/BagoGames

Profile Photo for Chris Stobing Chris Stobing
Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in PCMag and Digital Trends, and he's served as Managing Editor of Gadget Review.  
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