Peter Odum

Idletime: The (Mobile) Games We Play

Many of us at Punchcut have iphones or comparable devices, and we’re using them to keep ourselves entertained in downtime. The economy being what it is, we’ve also realized that downloadable games for our devices can be pretty cheap (or free) entertainment. But we still don’t like to spend money or time on apps only to be disappointed. Keeping this in mind, we’ve surveyed our office to find the games that people are actually playing, and that they feel are worth the investment, whatever that may be. Most of these are for iphone, but I’ve included a few games for other devices further down the list.

The games we’re playing this week (iPhone):

I’m into a turn-based, multi-player conquest game called Uniwar ($.99). It’s a sci-fi genre game of conquest that plays out on a hex grid with multiple races and unit types. Multi-player gaming makes single player gaming seem low-fi.

I’ve also been playing a genre called ‘tower defense’. They tend to play like a cross between a puzzle and a strategy game. Try TapDefense (free) to see if you like the genre, then buy Fieldrunners ($2.99).

Trism ($2.99), an addictive puzzle game I play to and from work on the Muni.
The Creeps (Free trial version - $1.99 full version also available)- Super cute tower defense game, with great monster art
Zombieville USA (Free trial, full version is $1.99)- Senseless killing of zombies by a guy in a trucker hat.  Great for taking out frustrations!

I play Tris on the iPhone. It’s Tetris and I’m addicted, play it almost every day. My high score is 46700 if you’re interested.
Ed. Note: Tris was removed from the Apple store due to a legal conflict with the Tetris folks.
Gareth adds: if you’re like me and are addicted to Tetris, you need to check out Flood-it! (FREE) for the iPhone, it’s free and it’s dangerous…

I’ve got lots of games, but this week, I’m playing…
Chess with Friends (FREE)- awesome! Free, simple, turn-based for asynchronous play
Rolando Lite
(FREE) - really fun accelerometer game. Great, simple character design, really great music by a known DJ (Free version linked above, paid version ($4.99) also available)
Dr. Awesome ($0.99)- Really clever. Pulls names out of your Address Book and integrates them into play. Very fun!

Crossword Light (FREE)
LightBike Free
(Both pretty great for free games)
Word Scramble (FREE) - simple Boggle-like word game

Zombie Attack lite (FREE)– fun free game, maybe not too repeatable
Aurora Feint II (FREE trial of $2.99 puzzle rpg) - good puzzle game with swords and sorcery storyline
I’m also a huge fan of Fieldrunners ($2.99), mentioned by Joe above.

Lux Touch (Risk-like strategy game)
iShoot lite (FREE)
inFact (U.S. Geography quiz) (full version - $2.99, and world version - $2.99, also available)

Touch hockey (FREE) (full version $1.99)
Moonlight Mahjong Lite (3d Mahjong. I play twice a day, every day) (full version $4.99)
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D ($5.99) (Amazing game. but I don’t play it often enough)

crazy tanks lite (FREE, full version also available $0.99) 3D tank game steered with accelerometer, pretty brilliant.
iDracula Lite (FREE, full version also available, $0.99)
slotz (single- and multiplayer slot racing game $4.99)

It’s interesting to note a lack of variety and choices here - iphone appears to be at least an order of magnitude richer in terms of games available (a cause of concern for makers of portable game devices, at least according to some recent speculation).

Jewel Quest on Sony Ericsson W810i.  It’s pretty lame and I’ve beat it a bunch of times, but my phone is rubbish for games. Also most games on phone are rubbish (compared to PSP, DS, i.e. proper gaming devices).

Bejeweled on Samsung Instinct. Fun without requiring too much attention.

Backgammon on G1. But I haven’t found any games I really like for G1 yet.

Ed. Note: For G1, we’re also hearing decent buzz about:
Coloroid (similar to the addictive Flood-it! for iphone)
Bonsai Blast
and Bubble Bash

One Response to “Idletime: The (Mobile) Games We Play”

  1. [...] couple of weeks ago we presented a selection of our favorite games around the office. After another informal survey of the office, we are now proud to present a [...]

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