App developers, like the rest of us come in all shapes and sizes, and the same is true of their apps. Where games are concerned, the variety is huge, from massive games that take weeks to complete, to simple puzzle games that just keep you hooked.
But which have really kept us entertained for hour after hour? Here, we take a look at our Top 5 Addictive Games of the Year for both iOS and Android.
- Monument Valley 2: The original Monument Valley puzzle game was one of the best ever, and the sequel is every bit as good. You have to guide a mother and daughter through a series of mazes full of optical illusions, solving the puzzles to create ways through each maze. The scenes have changed somewhat, with less MC Escher influence and more mood-based backdrops, but it still plays beautifully. Simple to play and awesomely addictive, the only reason MV2 doesn’t score higher is that it is just too short.
- Super Mario Run: It has taken 10 years for Nintendo to go all Mario on the iPhone, but it was worth the wait. Fantastic graphics and classically brilliant, you actually have 3 different games in 1, including a never-ending platform game that just keeps you wanting to do one more level. The free version only has the first few levels, and the paid version costs $9.99. Don’t be downhearted though. As more and more game developers move towards in-app purchases instead of a one-off fee, there’s nothing else to pay for Super Mario Run.
- Battle of Polytopia: Strategy games don’t adapt well to mobile devices. Their complexity and need for huge world designs make them impractical for a small screen. Oh, and they last, like, forever. Battle of Polytopia takes a different tack. You only get 30 moves to amass the highest score you can whilst building your society. Trade or battle neighbouring civilisations to conquer all. The 30 move limit means games never get old, and keep you coming back.
- Schattenspiel: No glitz, no glamor, no flashy graphics to make your phone grind to a halt, just simple serenity. The idea is to recreate a given image by arranging lights and pillars to match the shadow layout. If it sounds boring, it most certainly isn’t. It’s easy or hard, depending on your playing style, and it’s massively addictive.
- Threes!: Ever since we discovered Threes! it has sucked more of our time up than it should have. A sort-of combination of Tetris and math, you need to do simple addition to make progress. As you do one bit of math, tiles move, and it’s a constant battle to keep the game alive. Don’t worry, though, it’s not really about doing sums, it’s about doing the right sums at the right time. Get it wrong, and your world will collapse. It’s addictive beyond belief, and it is truly never ending.
Super Mario Run
Battle of Polytopia
- Monument Valley 2: Yes, it made it into our iOS list, and it makes it into here as well. Best of all, unlike many ports one way of the other, the versions are all but identical. There’s no cutting back from the iOS version here. Every ounce of addictive gameplay and mesmerising graphics is here. Again, the only complaint is that it’s just way too short.
- Love You To Bits: If you ever played Monkey Island, LYTB is quite similar in that you have to solve puzzles by collecting items and using them as you go. The idea is to find all the pieces to rebuild the robot you’re in love with. Yes, you’re a space explorer carrying your dead robot-girlfriend’s head in your hands, but forget about that. It’s addictive and fun, and it just looks glorious.
- Freeways: Freeways is that rare beast in this world of modern gaming, in that it looks like it was designed in 1983. There’s no processor-heavy graphics here, which can be a little disconcerting the first time you fire it up. The idea is to lay freeways to keep your traffic moving and, well, that’s it really. Want to know the best (worst) bit? There’s no Undo. If you mess it up, you start again. And start again, you will. And again, and again, and again…
- Linelights: Different enough to Freeways, but similar enough in its concept, Linelights is unique. Work your way around a network, triggering switches to avoid enemies who will kill you without so much as a “hello”. It starts easy enough, and then develops into one of the most challenging, yet deceptively simple, games we’ve played. It’s so different to anything else that you’ll be mesmerised.
- Square It: If you look up “soothingly addictive” in the dictionary, alongside the picture of chocolate pizza will be a picture of Square It. All you need to do is to move squares around a board until the board is full. The problem is that there are two squares, and if you move one down, the other goes with it. If you’re not careful, you’ll cut off some uncovered squares and have to start again. It’s that simple, but you’ll lose hour after hour to the most devastatingly brilliant and simple game around at the moment.
Love You to Bits