Small Quickie Games for Android
February 14, 2013 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some quick games I can play on my android phone, for when I'm waiting five minutes or dozing off at night. Ideally these will be more like puzzle or card games rather than action games (and even more ideally, free, but I'll pay a couple bucks for something great). Examples of games I've liked and disliked inside.

I like to play a couple of rounds of a quiet game when I get in bed, while I settle down. I also do this when I wake up with insomnia in the night (it helps distract me from thinking "OMG I'm awake and I should be asleep aaaaaaaaaaah!" which makes me more wakeful, so having a quick, calm game to distract me helps me get sleepy again). So I'm not looking for anything that involves high-speed action or lots of motion. A single level or game should take no more than 5-10 minutes, and quitting in the middle of the game should either save where I left off, or be so low-stakes that it doesn't matter if I have start over.

The best game has been a game called "Nemo Picross" which was a picross/nonogram game with a couple thousand puzzles of increasing complexity and a good implementation, but I have literally finished the game. I've also enjoyed "Condado," a card game based on "San Juan" (so the game description says, anyway). Various implementations of "Untangle Me" are pretty good although once you know the mechanic there's no real "solving" involved. Various implementations of "Flow" or "Pipes" have been pretty good. "Reiner Knizia's Labyrinth" was great but the file is so huge I had to remove it from my phone. Thinking of flash games, "Dicewars" is painfully addictive and similar games would be good. If anyone remembers "Maganic Wars" from some years ago (a card battle game online), that was great fun.

I like time management games a lot, but they'd have to be pretty mellow for me to play as a bedtime game. I like roguelikes but it'd have to be very stripped-down and simple for a bedtime game. I do not like button-mashers and I hate platformers as I incessantly fall off things and die.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Computers & Internet (31 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Dungeon Raid is a pretty fun little puzzle game with light rpg elements.
posted by ODiV at 7:19 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I use my phone primarily as a games device so I've tried quite a number of them. When I'm waiting to go to sleep I like to restock my Tiny Tower and play Clouds and Sheep. The latter, in particular, is quite soothing while still being interesting and cute. I also like Jelly Defence (which is a tower defence game) and Brave Smart but the later levels can be too involving/annoying for right at bedtime.
posted by shelleycat at 7:33 AM on February 14, 2013

I like to play Unblock Me in situations like that. There is a free version. You move blocks around to clear a path for the object block. Simple, but weirdly fun and satisfying it.
posted by quince at 7:38 AM on February 14, 2013

You might try the Zen Bound games. Hard to describe but it's basically a rope wrapping puzzle. Very relaxed atmosphere.
posted by selfnoise at 7:43 AM on February 14, 2013

Best answer: I like the (for pay) logic puzzles Sherlock and Honeycomb Hotel (I mostly play Honeycomb Hotel because I like the graphics better -- also there are graphics options for both games). I'd probably like the other games on that site, but those are the two I bought. I got the expanded (pricier) versions of both, because I like them so much, but there are free versions to try out. Here they are on Google Play.

I also like Tiny Words and 7 Little Words, Puzzles with Matches, and Quell (for pay, and beautiful; it has a free demo version). I liked this so much, I also got the follow-up Quell Reflect.

Do you like Jeopardy style games? My husband and I are addicted to It's a Game, which we play against the "AI."

I have other games, but these are the ones I play the most. I was kind of crazy about one Sokoban game, but can't recommend it because every now and then it would hang up, and when that happened I lost all my progress... which with Sokoban and millions of levels is just hopeless. Reflections is a game I adore and would love to get on my tablet, but so far haven't found. I tried one sorta similar that was nowhere near as good. I mention it just in case anyone knows about an android version of the original.
posted by taz at 7:55 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I enjoy The Heist. Four different unblock me - or connect me puzzles. Music is a little annoying, so I mute it.
posted by what's her name at 8:00 AM on February 14, 2013

For quick mindless games, try the Bubble Blast series. The developer makes several games of the same premise with different themes if you play through all the levels on the original.
posted by trivia genius at 8:02 AM on February 14, 2013

I like the Free Cell/Spiderette card games. I'm also all about Scrabble. .99 has provided me with untold joy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:06 AM on February 14, 2013

Solitaire has always been my go-to time waster on my Galaxy S3.
posted by Telpethoron at 8:12 AM on February 14, 2013

If you like sudoku, the best interface app I've found is Enjoy Sudoku. There's a free version that is limited to the "game of the day" per difficulty level per day - the unlimited version has been well worth it. It includes hints in the form of teaching you how to play and identify available patterns.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:48 AM on February 14, 2013

I like Space Bubbles.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:28 AM on February 14, 2013

Best answer: Here are some of the ones I've really liked, with simple interfaces, and being beautiful and fun:

Seconding the beauty of Quell Reflect.
Play with sticky trouble in World of Goo.
Puzzle away with grablox.
More Flow-like challenge with Meso-American coolness in infeCCt free.
Best on a tablet but still mesmerizing and beautiful Osmos Demo
Adorable pebble universe.
Find peace puzzling out how to make the perfect cut in Blade Master.

and for bedtime, this might be overreaching, but instead of a game, try meditation?
posted by canine epigram at 9:29 AM on February 14, 2013

posted by jeather at 9:33 AM on February 14, 2013

Go to youtube and look for 'coollosertech' he reviews about 10 games and 10 apps a week, with videos, concise descriptions, and links...he's been doing it for a while now, so there's quite a few videos to look at...
Have you tried Little Things Forever or Osmos?
Jetpack Joyride is also super fun...a bit more action packed, but the controls are insanely simple...also, much 8bit cuteness and scientists
posted by sexyrobot at 9:44 AM on February 14, 2013

I play Backgammon for this kind of time kill. (Be aware that playing backgammon against a computer will make you better at backgammon and also incredibly ruthless, so your friends will likely not want to play backgammon with you anymore.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:07 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Enjoy Sudoku, which was 99c (or whatever) well spent.

I want to love Tiny Tower, but have fallen really, really hard for Lil Kingdom, which is, yes, basically a Tiny Tower ripoff, but so unbelievably adorable and surprisingly pretty. Everyone in my life (partner, child, best friend, sister) is obsessed with it.

Greedy Spiders is an enjoyable puzzle game with many levels and a sequel. Pudding Monsters is fun, too, if kinda short.

In the same vein as Flow Free (and the sequel, Flow Free: Bridges) and Trainyard is Pigment. All four of them are good--you know, if you're the kind of person who likes this thing, this is the kind of thing you'll like.

That said, the best going-to-bed game is Triple Town. You have to link things up in threes to build a city. Three grasses make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees make a house... It took me a few minutes to figure out how to play it, but I've been hooked for about two years now, and it's my default five-minutes-to-kill game, as well as my default falling-asleep game. It's free to play, but there's a turn limit if you're playing free--I think that I ran into the turn limit my first day, when I played for about three hours straight. *cough* Possibly I have a casual gaming problem.
posted by MeghanC at 11:17 AM on February 14, 2013

I like word-based games.

Currently, my favorites are Wordshaker (like boggle for 1), and Jumbline 2, which resembles the Every Word game you can get for e-ink Kindles.
posted by timepiece at 11:36 AM on February 14, 2013

Bubble Pop
posted by zinon at 12:47 PM on February 14, 2013

Best answer: Seconding MeghanC and Triple Town. I have fallen in love with it, and I use it in the exact same when falling asleep/awake in the middle of the night way that you're looking for. I have the paid version, and love playing the Boom Town option -- you have two minutes to build the biggest and best town you can.
posted by alynnk at 12:51 PM on February 14, 2013

Best answer: When I had an Android phone, Coloroid was a great zone-out game. And free.
posted by pyjammy at 1:52 PM on February 14, 2013

Oh the Where's My Water/Where's My Perry/Where's My Seasonally Appropriate Free Version games are also a lot of fun.
posted by jeather at 2:50 PM on February 14, 2013

Flood-it! and (as recommended above) Triple Town.
posted by matlock expressway at 3:52 PM on February 14, 2013

If you're open to more picross, Crossme and Crossme Color are my favorites. I am such a fan I sprang for the paid versions and I'm a cheapo when it comes to mobile games.
posted by camyram at 4:27 PM on February 14, 2013

I like Stupid Zombies. It's similar to Angry birds, but uses a gun and zombies instead of a slingshot against pigs. I feel like it's educational, since there is physics involved with trying to get the ricochet just right to splatter the zombie behind a wall.
posted by CathyG at 5:32 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I got Crossme and Crossme Color as free app of the day from Amazon and liked them, I finished both up them up to a couple months ago, although there have been some puzzles added since then.

Angry Birds. Cut the Rope (there are a couple of "tap at the right time" things here, but it's mostly about the planning). Greedy Spiders. Spectrum Puzzles if you're OK with put the image together type puzzles. Shape Safari.

Refraction was awesome for me (I'm a dork) and would be perfect for you.

All of these were FAOTD at one point.
posted by anaelith at 5:46 PM on February 14, 2013

Best answer: When I first got my smartphone, I found Blast Monkeys. It only had a few worlds then, but has greatly expanded the number of levels since. I highly suggest it.

Recently, however, I have found Pixel Dungeon. It is a roguelike, which you mentioned you like, and it is stripped down just enough to make it quick and easy to get into while still being engaging. I've been enjoying it quite a bit over the last few days, despite many, many deaths. I understand the author has plans to add stuff in the future, such as classes and achievements.

You mentioned the San Juan game, so might I also suggest Androminion, an implementation of the Dominion card game. It's single-player in that all other players are AI-based, but it is not a bad way to learn the card game itself, and I have killed many a break playing it. I must admit, though, it's not as visually nice as the other two I recommend, focusing mainly on the gameplay itself.
posted by mysterpigg at 1:18 PM on February 15, 2013

I love doodle jump. It's absolutely perfect for when I'm standing in a queue.
posted by inbetweener at 4:00 PM on February 15, 2013

Ah, I found the app version of the "Reflections" laser game I like.
posted by taz at 8:38 AM on February 16, 2013

These are all in the play store:

Drop 7
Super Hexagon
Jelly Defense
Contre Nous
posted by dobbs at 7:27 PM on February 16, 2013

Response by poster: Just coming back and marking some of the ones I'm now playing regularly. Triple Town is CRAZY addictive. Pixel Dungeon is awesome, although definitely the ongoing balancing is helpful. I'd like it better if it had a difficulty setting because getting endeadenated constantly on level two is annoying. Androminion was a little too hard to understand if you don't already play Dominion. (Angry Birds and Doodle Jump both make me want to STAB ALL THE THINGS so it's a no on those.)

Flow is right up my alley but I have had to give it up because my 3-year-old is WAY BETTER AT IT THAN ME and sits there going, "Mommy, you are very bad at this," when I play and it's become too demoralizing. (He's not FASTER than me, but only because of fine motor development. He can see the solution as soon as he looks it at. He's like some kind of Flow savant.)

When I use up the fun of these ones I will come back again for more. Thanks again, guys!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:14 PM on April 7, 2013

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