Gaming on smartphones has grown explosively over the past few years. These pocket sized-computers are capable of delivering intense graphics, more than enough to keep you busy when waiting in line at the supermarket. The kind of game that best suits time-killing scenarios are the ones that offer simple gameplay that can be turned off and then put away quickly.
One of the best examples for this king of pick-up-and-play gaming is Temple Run. You navigate through a maze by rapidly swiping your finger across the screen. Each time you play the game is fun and exciting, and allows you to put the phone away without hesitation if you need to. As great a Temple Run is, there are other games like it that are worth playing.
We’ve put together five games like Temple Run that will keep you busy and entertained.
Temple Run: Brave
This one is fairly obvious, so we’ll get it out of the way first. Disney and Imangi made a custom version of Temple Run to celebrate the release of the movie Brave. Instead of playing the tomb raider who is running around being chased by monkeys, you play Merida being chased by the massive bear from the movie Brave. Instead of just replacing the graphics and keeping everything the same, however, Imangi made a whole new game with entirely different mechanics.
One of the big points of the Merida character in Brave is her love of archery, and this is demonstrated in the game with sprints where you must shoot targets as well as navigate the maze. It’s not a requirement that you hit the targets, but there are huge multiplier benefits for being able to hit all of the targets in a single run. I found the added challenge in Temple Run: Brave along with the overall theming from the movie to really give the game a whole new feel.
It’s free for iOS and Android, so there’s no reason not to pick it up.
As impressive as it would be to have a mobile device offer the mind-blowing and intense experience that Mirror’s Edge offered on the PS3, that’s not what I am about to tell you. The iOS exclusive Mirror’s Edge features the same main character and the same concept of crazy acrobatics feats and skillful non-violent takedowns, but in an intuitive 2D sidescroller. Much of the game is sment is constant motion, just like the original game, and your swipe on your screen to cause slides, jumps, and fantastic disarm and knock out maneuvers.
Mirror’s Edge is broken out into small levels that make it easy for you to put the phone or tablet away when you need to, but the continuous story of the game makes sure you keep coming back to it.
You can get the game for the iPhone or the iPad for $9.99, making it a little pricey but still a great add-on for any existing fans of the original game.
It’s a little easier to hide the fact that you are playing a game when you are swiping back and forth on a screen, but sometimes it is just plain entertaining to use the accelerometer in your phone to control something. Falling Fred is a physics game where you guide your character through a series of gruesome obstacles in a shaft that leads straight by tilting your phone. The longer Fred or one of his friends are alive, the faster the game gets. Eventually your character dies, and you can record the manner in which you met your end and share it online with your friends.
Falling Fred, like Running Fred before it, are hardly what I would call child safe. there’s a fair bit of badly animated blood and gore that is just enough for a little shock value added into what is already a really engaging game. Each fall is pretty short, making it the perfect time killer.
Falling Fred is free for both iOS and Android, and each version offers unique content that is not available on the other platform.