Looking for something to do while waiting in line at the grocery store, because you can’t think of anyone or anything you would like to text? Or do you want to keep your kids busy so they don’t climb onto the conveyor belt? Here are some of the best free games you can download to your devices.
Cut the rope: In this game your goal is to feed the candy to the Nom Noms by cutting the ropes the candy is attached to in strategic ways, and if you’re a super star, you get the stars before getting the candy to the Nom Noms.
There are tons of versions of this game. Yes, as with most free games there are in app ads, but I like the good graphics, the characters are fun, and it teaches problem solving. I love watching the kids’ reasoning in motion as they try different solutions to win each level. Guess what, I’m an adult and I reach a point where this game challenges me too. That’s another thing I like about the app, it works for most ages (the really young probably won’t appreciate it) and developmental levels.
Temple Run: So, the premise of the game isn’t very inspiring—thief steals priceless relic from sacred temple and must run from the avenging temple guardian—but it really is a fun game. There are tons of different versions, most of them free. There isn’t so much a problem with in app advertising as them giving you the opportunity to buy upgrades.
This one is fast paced–I had a really hard time taking a screenshot before the guy runs into a tree, or through a fire pit–and I can’t really come up with any way that it might be construed as educational, but it is really fun. It does help increase your reflexes though. When the kids are learning to play, there are going to be some frustrations, but overall this is still one of the ones they like the most. It’s got good graphics, especially for a fast paced mobile app.
Candy Crush Saga: Same idea as tic-tac-toe except with candy and lots more than 9 squares.In each round the Candy King gives you a different challenge, like to get a certain amount of points within a certain number of moves, or to line up four candies in a row instead of three. I find that I have more fun with this than my preschooler, who just swipes at the screen until he gets a match. For some reason, this is still one of his favorite games.
On a side note, if you play this game, please don’t pester all your Facebook friends with invites to this game. It gets really old, really fast.
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD: An RPG (Role Play Game) with varied quests, including space combat and trading, throughout the galaxy. Amazing graphics in hi def—really takes advantage of my phone’s beautiful screen—and fun quests. This one really is quality, but it is a very large file. So, if you are worried about the space on your phone’s hard drive, try something less graphic intensive. Also, this game has some mild language, so probably not for the preschooler or younger crowd.
Dots: This one is really simple, simple enough for small children to understand the basics, but fun enough to be addictive to adults. Connect the dots that are the same color. You get extra points for making longer lines and making enclosures. It can be an easy mindless game, or if you get into it you can deploy all your strategy skills too.
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I’m a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I’ve also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.