What are some good, non-battery-draining iPhone/iPod Touch games?
January 8, 2013 9:15 PM   Subscribe

I'll be on three flights in the next 11 days, and although I'd like to sleep through every flight, I doubt that'll happen. I have an iPhone 4 and a 3rd-gen iPod Touch at my disposal, so I'd like to throw some new, non-battery-killing games on them before I go.

However, many popular games are graphics-intensive and battery-draining, and I'd like to keep my phone going as long as possible. Things I have and like and probably are least likely to kill my phone: Flood-It, Flow Free, Unblock Me.

iPhone 4 is running the latest iOS, poor old iPod Touch is running the best it can get, 4.2.1, which doesn't support many newer games.

I love word games, but most of the ones I try have moving animations and such. Totally down for any word games that fit my criteria, though. Puzzle ans strategy ames are great too. Oh, and anything else that isn't a game but might stimulate my mind (that isn't a video) is also welcome!

I would love free apps, but will reluctantly spend a few bucks to defeat boredom.
posted by rachaelfaith to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Carcassone? I play on iPod touch fourth hen, not noticing drain on battery
posted by chapps at 9:37 PM on January 8, 2013

Not a game, not free, and takes up a ton of storage - but Wikipedia Offline is good for hours & hours of reading and shouldn't take much battery at all, since you are just reading text.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:44 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Keeping the screen on is what uses most of the power.
posted by jrockway at 11:38 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

You may not need to worry about draining your battery. A lot of airplanes do have a means of charging your phone. I've been on planes with 110v outlets (Virgin America) and others with USB sockets. SeatGuru may have what's available on your flights.
posted by ShooBoo at 12:32 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Word welder isn't free but it's a pretty good word game that isn't too flashy. I can't say I've ever paid too much attention to its battery use, though. Spelltower is another good (but not free) word game.

I always keep going back to sol free solitaire for mindless time-occupying. I could play Yukon solitaire for ages (I probably have already).
posted by that girl at 1:39 AM on January 9, 2013

I can tell you what game NOT to get, even though it's pretty good: flight control saps battery like there is no tomorrow.
posted by titanium_geek at 2:41 AM on January 9, 2013

dim your screen as much as you can. I've been surprised at how much battery life this has saved me.
posted by raccoon409 at 4:33 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

My favourite puzzle game is Blockwick which is low battery use. There is also now a sequel to Flow Free - Flow Free Bridges. Neither are free though.
posted by ninebelow at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2013

Best answer: I love Hundreds and have not noticed it to be a battery pig. I would follow raccoon409's suggestion though and dim your screen as much as you can.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2013

FWIW, here's a 5000MAH external backup battery for iphones from monoprice.com for less than $30 - might be a good investment, for not much cash.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:52 AM on January 9, 2013

Best answer: I had a long spell with Flood-it, so, fwiw, here's my personal list of high-engagement, low-energy games, all of which have (to varying degrees) withstood the test of time:

- Edge
- Monospace
- Chromixa
- Ancient Frog
- Zen Bound
- Spider (Bryce Manor)
- ASYNC Corp
- Mystical Colors
- Flowerz

perhaps slightly more power-hungry (tho' it's hard to tell):
- Eliss
- Osmos

Another favourite was Tipoli, but I gather it's now defunct.
posted by progosk at 7:19 AM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I second the idea of a small USB battery. Most are powerful enough to charge an iphone 2-3 times.

A few that I like:

Super Hexagon
Tiny Wings
posted by kdern at 7:32 AM on January 9, 2013

Trainyards and fill-a-pix? Train yards does have some animation, but it's mostly a statics puzzle solving game. Quite clever and challenging, haven't noticed it draining the battery much. And fill-a-pix is a logic puzzle, no animation, also good to zone out on.
posted by Diablevert at 7:33 AM on January 9, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. I already have my battery pretty well-adjusted, in terms of screen brightness and manually closing apps that aren't being used. I'm definitely used to a low screen brightness and vigilantly turning off apps running in the background, so that should help out.

No power ports on my flights, but I do have a gadget that acts as an extra battery if I drain mine.

I'll be checking these all out tonight and installing in advance. Thank you!
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:17 AM on January 9, 2013

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