Handheld games for the bus commute
July 12, 2013 7:38 AM   Subscribe

I ran out of games to amuse me on my commute. Can you help me find some iOS games according to my special snowflake requirements for my iPod touch? I'm looking for games I can play holding the iPod in one hand in portrait mode, no internet required, and that won't be disrupted by a bumpy bus ride. Thanks!!

Here is a list of games I already have:

Games that meet the requirements that I'm tired of playing:
Monorail (beat it)
Tiny Tower
Pocket Planes
Pocket Frogs
Happy Street

Games I like but that I can't play on the bus with one hand in portrait mode:
Draw Something
Fruit Ninja
Temple Run, Temple Run 2
Jetpack Joyride
Rescue Rush
I Love Katamari
Angry Birds, all flavors

Elements of games that I don't like:
Extended narrative explanations (like in Mystery Room)
Shutting off my music (like in Mystery Room)
Required in-game purchases to continue playing (Tiny Tower and Happy Street both addicted me into paying, ugh)
"Assembling items from components" (like Fast Food Tycoon)

Are there more of my perfect game out there? Please tell me there are!
posted by bleep to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Scurvy Scallywags is my current favorite. Match-three game with lots of humor and charm. Has in-app purchases but they're totally unessential.
posted by jbickers at 7:49 AM on July 12, 2013

How do you feel about match-3 games? Gem Spinner is an oldie but goodie for me (haven't tried Gem Spinner II, but it exists too).

How about word games? My one-handed portrait-mode favorites include Wurdle and Moxie. Jambalaya's pretty good too, but more susceptible to bumps.

Another category you might go for are games like MotionX Poker Quest and Sword and Poker (I and II), which use poker arrangements in new settings (dice and a card matrix, respectively). These both have a story line, but it's minimal.
posted by underthehat at 7:53 AM on July 12, 2013

posted by shothotbot at 7:54 AM on July 12, 2013

DragonVale, Ticket To Ride (some bump issues with one or two wrong plays, but not completely destructive), and Dots.
posted by tilde at 8:06 AM on July 12, 2013

10000000: Fight monsters in a sort of match-3/RPG mix.

Ridiculous Fishing: Goofy arcade game. Step 1: Tilt to avoid fish as long as possible. Step 2: Tilt to pick up as many fish as possible. Step 3: SHOOT AS MANY FISH AS POSSIBLE. (May be disrupted by a bumpy bus ride.)

Lost Cities: Simple card/strategy game. Has pretty good AI opponents for single-player mode.
posted by whitecedar at 8:06 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I bought an iThing for the first time mainly in order to play Mew Mew Tower. You are "assembling items from components", though (a tower, from cats).
posted by seemoreglass at 8:13 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I really like the Scrabble game on my iPhone. It works one-handed and if you're a word person, it's really, really fun.

I'm also WAY into Ruzzle now.

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:18 AM on July 12, 2013

Spelltower is a fun word game that fits your reqs
posted by atomicstone at 8:20 AM on July 12, 2013

Cut the Rope?
posted by rmd1023 at 8:27 AM on July 12, 2013

posted by General Malaise at 8:29 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by blob at 8:37 AM on July 12, 2013

If you like word games the best (so far) version of Boggle/Scramble I found that is both free and works offline is WS Free
posted by Salamandrous at 8:45 AM on July 12, 2013

I am continuously surprised at how much fun I find the simple game of Strategery.
posted by freezer cake at 8:59 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Clearly missing from your list is Triple Town, which would be perfect (and is both addicting and non-money-demanding -- I think there's a one-time unlock option). Other possibilities that I keep coming back to are Dungeon Raid or various kinds of word-based games like Textropolis or 7 Words, etc., that don't have a nimbleness component.
posted by acm at 9:05 AM on July 12, 2013

Word games are great for this, and my favourites are:
SpellTower, Muddled, Quordy, QatQi, and Word Welder.

Also try Drop 7 (sort of number-based tetris).
posted by Joh at 9:21 AM on July 12, 2013

Do you like puzzles? If so, Quell, Quell Reflect, and Quell Memento will all work. (The game displays in landscape, but I often solve the puzzles while holding the phone upright. There's no time constraints, so you won't ever mess up the game because you have to stop playing during a sudden bus jerk.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:23 AM on July 12, 2013

Dots doesn't work all that well one-handed. (I only play it on the bus if I can get a seat.)
posted by madcaptenor at 10:14 AM on July 12, 2013

I play Doodle Jump. I only play Doodle Jump. Doodle Jump is the best.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:21 AM on July 12, 2013

posted by MadamM at 10:33 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

I keep going back to Marple, a fine logic-puzzle game similar to an old RealArcade game, Inspector Parker.
posted by hanov3r at 11:00 AM on July 12, 2013

Puzzle & Dragons is huge. It's an orb-matcher, with Pokemon-like team management. You want to restart until you get a good rare monster, though.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 11:15 AM on July 12, 2013

I think all of these fit your criteria: Chocolate Fix, Helsing's Fire, Box Flow, Shikaku Madness, Conceptis Slitherlink, Conceptis Hashi, Qvoid.
posted by Lexica at 4:01 PM on July 12, 2013

Canabalt? It only has one control. The link has a flash version, if you want to try it out first.

(I have the Android version, so I don't know whether it interferes with your music on iPhone.)
posted by suetanvil at 4:07 PM on July 12, 2013

Try SLAY. Start off with the staggered difficulty and switch to select-a-difficulty and do everyone on VERY HARD. This will take you several weeks at least. But the great thing is you can start and stop a game at anytime and it is still challenging and a good time passer.
posted by emjay at 6:58 PM on July 12, 2013

Hi guys, I just wanted to say thanks so much for these great suggestions. I'll be coming back to this list for a long time. Right now Strategery is rocking my world. (I also enjoyed Mew Mew Tower and Scallywags but they both shut off my music. And I'm apparently awful at word games.)
posted by bleep at 5:51 AM on August 1, 2013

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