A favor: What’s your favorite mobile game and why?

by Jeff Hilimire on June 10, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 7.11.08 AM

I’ve recently become very more interested in mobile games and in particular, what games people really are gravitating to these days. I’ve shared this before but my favorite all-time mobile (phone, not tablet) game is Drop7 – iTunes link and Android link. It’s a simple number strategy game that you can play in a few minutes (or if you’re good, maybe up to 10 minutes). I like that it has a friends and worldwide leader board  Somehow it has held my attention for years.

So, what’s YOUR favorite mobile game and why?

Bonus question: How/where do you find out about new mobile games?

  • http://mindgrapes.ryantuttle.com Ryan P. Tuttle

    Picking my favorite game is like picking my favorite kid… I’ll never tell.

    Either way, the game that currently gets the most use on my iPhone is Flick Golf.


    I think we have the free version (I don’t remember paying for it, but maybe).

    It’s very simple, but has more difficult levels. It’s easy enough to use that the 4-year-old can use it, and short enough turns to be passed between 2 kids. It’s still fun for an adult, but really the “skin” is what makes it appealing. We all like golf so we like the app. I think they also make Flick Soccer, Flick Basketball, etc… Those may be fun for others and are (probably) basically the same game, but the golf theme is why we come back.

  • Kirk

    Words With Friends. I’m not sure I have a good answer for why other than I just really enjoy Scrabble in general. I also like that it only requires as much time as you want to put into it at the time.

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    Honestly, I like Words with Friends. I can play at my own pace in awkward five-minute-or-less downtimes when I’m not sure what to do (like waiting for the train, for people to show up to a meeting etc). I don’t have to be fully dedicated to the game for a long period of time to still enjoy it.

  • richardpaulguy

    Oh man, reading everyones’ comments is making me want to add more to my already-probably-too-extensive list, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least add Letterpress for sure!

    There’s also an odd one that many of you probably never even heard of. My father in law introduced it to me, and it’s call Fairway HD for iPad. It’s an interesting spin on Solitaire with a golf theme. It’s got great sound effects, if you love golf.

  • Simeon

    My favorite iOS game is Ridiculous Fishing. A couple of games available on iOS/Android that I enjoy are Plague, Inc. and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks Simeon. What are a few of the reasons you like Ridiculous Fishing, other than the badass name ;) Like, what would be some of the characteristics of that game that keep you playing it?

  • Carla Paschke

    The one game that’s kept me coming back is Yahtzee. It’s simple and quick, so it’s easy to play in 5min of downtime or 15min of downtime. There’s just enough skill that it makes you think, without needing so much attention that you can’t multitask. Plus, there’s a nostalgia factor to it. I also like that playing is not dependent upon another player having played. Downtime is rare for me so when I do decide to play a game, I don’t want to find I’m waiting on someone.  Playing against the computer suits me just fine.  Having said that, I loved the interface of Letterpress. It was the dependency on others to play that caused me to lose interest… And I didn’t love it enough to upgrade. :)

  • Donovan Panone

    Ruzzle. It’s kinda like Boggle where you have 2 minutes to swipe letters to make words on a grid. I like it because it’s fast. I’m an over thinker by nature, so I get paralyzed by Words with Friends sometimes. Ruzzle causes you to go on auto pilot.

    It’s also very competitive. You can challenge random people or friends, and it matches you up based on skill level. There are also great achievement badges and rankings so there is always something to strive for. I hate getting beat, so I’ll always rematch someone which keeps me engaged in the game.

    I found out about it from my daughter. I sometimes will go to the app store and look at the top free games. I can be cheap, so I’ll never search for paid games. I’ll only pay for a game if someone recommends it or it’s super popular. And even then, I’ll usually download the free version first and see what I’m missing out on in the paid. If it’s just about ads, then I’ll likely stick with free (even though I hate ads). But if premium has stuff I want (better levels, etc.) I’ll pay for it.

  • Simeon

    Simple controls, cool graphics, and an encyclopedia of the fish you’ve caught (and those you haven’t) so you know what to build toward. Also, there are lots of ways to upgrade your equipment without having to put real money into it. Some fish only show up if you play at night.

  • greghorowitz

    I wouldn’t say they’re my *favorite* games, because I don’t think they’re all that amazing, but I do have to say that Zynga definitely had some sharp psychological insights when they designed the various “Friends” games (I mostly play Words and Scramble). I’ve been playing “stupid” games for years now, and it seems like the goal was always to make them as addictive as possible. The problem was that a) such addiction inevitably leads to burnout, and b) wasting hours at a time on a stupid game was kind of like scarfing down a huge order of fast food – momentary high followed by regret. And it’s not a great long-term strategy to make your users feel bad about themselves.

    Zynga’s insight (and I’m judging this more on the result, since I have no idea how much of this was planned) was that putting brakes on how frequently you can play can actually prolong the experience. The two main ways they do it are through the use of coins and the social aspect. The coins limit how many games you can play in one sitting (unless you pay for more, which is probably their more important goal). The social aspect makes it more fun to play, but also limits the addictiveness. There have definitely been times I was reluctant to send a friend a game request because it was too late, or in the middle of the work day, and I was conscious of how it might come across. Of course, at the same time they limit your play short-term, the social
    aspects prolong your play long-term, since you have someone to play against. Like
    I said, I don’t know exactly what their thinking was when they designed these
    games. But I strongly suspect they have some brilliant psychologists on staff.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Appreciate the insight!

  • Dennis Dube

    Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride. Both Euro games that are well done for iOS.

  • Greg Vilines

    Plants vs. Zombies was a great one for me. Has a great progression, in that you get more and more interesting capabilities over time. And for all those gaming completists, you can go back and try to get every achievement. Very replayable and can scale from beginners to advanced players. Great one!

    Infinity Blade is a stellar achievement in graphics, level and world design, and replayability.

    And Words with Friends and Letterpress are great social games. And I can play them with my mom.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks GV. Those are all terrific games. So the big question is, how much (honestly) have you spent on those since you’ve had them?

  • Greg Vilines

    Hm. Plants vs. Zombies…maybe 10 – 12 hours total? There’s a lot of random couch and toilet time over the course of a week…oops, I’ve shared too much.

    Infinity Blade was one where I played ’til I beat it, then didn’t pick it up again.

    Words with Friends is one where I’ll go in surges depending on who is asking to play. Since it’s one my hyper-competitive mom loves, I usually have a game going with her. And I’ll randomly get a game with other friends.

  • http://chewbacabra.tumblr.com/ R Ehrig

    My favorite is Kingdom Rush and I also like Triple Town as well. I’ve probably spent around 100 on different games/apps. To be honest, I mostly just go with the lists provided by Play or iTunes (most popular, staff pics) With so many titles it’s hard to find something you think will be good. I look at the reviews as well and try to use that as a barometer. I don’t mind paying for a game, even to try it, but usually don’t spend more than a 1.99. That seems to be my “doesn’t matter” or “basically the same as free” amount of money.

    Another GREAT place I find out about games from is a website called Drippler Gadgets. You plug all your gadgets in and they send you updates about each one to your email (accessories, apps, firmware stuff.) I think they come about once a week. It doesn’t do just apps and games, but they are concise with what they send to you and so when they do talk about apps it doesn’t seem like they are advertising for them, if that makes sense. They probably are, but they are wording it well.

    I totally agree with the “few minutes” themed game styles. If I can’t complete a level or a task in under a carpool line, I will rarely every play it.

    Congrats on your new place! I hadn’t used discuss in so long it fell under an older than I currently use string of password sets and I finally reset it. Love the blog.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks man, seems we share the same gaming preferences. And I’m just checking out Drippler, that’s a terrific find!

  • Billy Mike

    I love puzzle games basically, so every game that will keep me busy and curious will do :)
    AND- I recently found this awesome site http://www.gameonproject.com/?f=se where you can find new mobile games based on your taste, you can search by category but you can also get recommendations based on other people who like the games you do. Worth checking in my opinion :)

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