Jul 26th, 2016 publishUpdated   Jul 27th, 2016, 8:27 am

Every once in a while, we’ll see a console-quality blockbuster game come to mobile. The idea of these games sound good, but in reality, it sucks playing Madden or Call of Duty on your phone. Simple, arcade-style games are where it’s at. Addictive games are the ones that soar to the top of the charts and rake in the money. These games may seem overly simple, but if you’re not careful you could lose an entire afternoon to a game that requires one finger to play.

In the summer of 2014, we kicked off our Most Addictive Games series. Last year, we continued it with 10 more games. This summer, we’re back with even more games that will gobble up your free time and make your fingers sore. You’ll be playing these games until your battery is screaming at you. Let’s get started.

Alto’s Adventure

alto

Alto’s Adventure is about rescuing runaway llamas by skiing down a snowy slope. The goal is to collect as many llamas as possible and stay on your skis. You’ve probably played “endless runner” games before, but this is an “endless skier.” Tap to jump over rocks and obstacles, or to hop up and grind on rooftops. Get big air and do a flip, but don’t land on your head. Besides being addictive, Alto’s Adventure is also stunningly beautiful.

What makes it addictive? Like all “endless” games, the need to beat your previous score is what makes it so addictive. When you do eventually crash, it’s something that seemed avoidable. So you try again immediately. Alto’s Adventure also has 180 goals to achieve, like “Travel 5,000 m in total.” These goals give you more things to accomplish along the way.

Big Hunter

big hunter android

In “Big Hunter” you have to hunt down mighty mammoths to feed your starving tribe. Each day brings new challenges to the hunt. Hitting the mammoth with a spear requires a combination of power and accuracy. Throwing a spear is basically the same as slinging an Angry Bird. Just pull back and aim. But the mammoth isn’t going to sit there and let you hit him. He’s very mad and charging right at you.

What makes it addictive? You’ve probably played games that seem similar to Big Hunter, and you’ve probably found them to be very addictive. But Big Hunter is not your typical “stick man throws spear” game. It offers a lot of variety and challenges that keep you playing for hours. The beautiful design is the cherry on top.

Burger – The Game

Burger – The Game is a title that’s less about food and more about physics. All you have to do is stack as many burger patties on top of a bun as you can before it topples over. You do this by flinging patties with a skillet. Tap once to drop a patty on the skillet. Tap a second time to fling the patty in the air and (hopefully) squarely on the bun. You can unlock different types of patties, but the gameplay stays the same.

What makes it addictive? Simple games are often the most addictive. Especially simple games that don’t really have an end. As soon as the patty slides off the stack you’re back at it again. Beating your own high score is addictive enough, but this is also a great game for competing against friends.

Dashy Knight

dashy knight

Dashy Knight is the perfect combination of addictive gameplay, simple controls, and nostalgic graphics. You play as an 8-bit knight constantly running across the screen. There are castle towers and archers in your path. To avoid and destroy these obstacles you have two options: jump or dash. Timing is key as one false move could be certain death. Survive as long as possible to get a high score.

What makes it addictive? The knight is running across the screen very quickly, which means you don’t have a lot of time to think. One false move and you’ll faceplant into a tower or be shot by an arrow. This creates a lot of frustrating deaths. Your first instinct is to try again and again and again. Just try not to throw your phone in anger.

Diep.io

diepio

Last year, a game called Agar.io was one of the most popular mobile titles. Diep.io is made by the same people and it has a lot of the same ideas. This game puts you in control of a tank instead of a blob. Destroy enemies and blocks to level up and improve your tanks weapons and abilities. If you play your cards right you could find yourself atop the leaderboard.

What makes it addictive? Diep.io is a different type of addictive. A single game can last several hours if you know what you’re doing. It’s not a game that you play over and over in quick succession. The game requires constant attention and alertness. It’s very easy to lose track of time while playing this game. You have been warned.

  • DOWNLOAD: Diep.io
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes

Dots & Co

dots co

Dots & Co is another dots-based game from the people who made Dots and Two Dots. The gameplay in Dots & Co is largely the same as previous Dots games, which means it’s just as addictive. The game slowly introduces more concepts as you play. One of the new features in Dots & Co is “Companions.” These characters have special powers that can help you solve levels. The variety of levels and different environments keep things fresh.

What makes it addictive? Dots games have become some of the best in the puzzle category. Dots & Co takes a simple concept, connecting dots, and builds an immersive and complex game around it. The relaxing music and chill vibes will hook you in for hours. The only escape is when you eventually run out of Energy, but the game lets you buy more. Your wallet might start to hurt if you get addicted.

  • DOWNLOAD: Dots & Co
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes

iTrousers

itrousers

iTrousers is definitely the silliest game on this list. It’s a little like the game QWOP, but you don’t control the thighs and calves independently. Instead, you program each leg like you’re building a robot, adjusting things like foot angle and step force. These presets are then used to navigate the trousers, step by step, through obstacles. The goal is to walk as far as possible.

What makes it addictive? Walking is easy…right? Not in this game. It seems like a simple concept. Just tap the screen to take a step. But you’ll quickly learn there is more skill involved. Finding the perfect programming preset is the key to walking far. You’ll get sucked into the constant tweaking that will get your trousers past the next checkpoint. Just one more step!

  • DOWNLOAD: iTrousers
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes

Mekorama

mekorama screens

Mekorama is easiest described as a mix between Monument Valley and Minecraft. It has the 3D puzzles of Monument Valley, but with the design and creation tools of Minecraft. You can move the camera around to change your perspective, which is necessary to solve the puzzles. The goal is to get your tiny robot to the portal, but to do so you’ll be tasked with finding your way through multiple obstacles.

What makes it addictive? Mekorama is a puzzle game that will put your problem-solving skills to the test. All you have to do is get from point A to point B, but of course, it’s never that easy. A lot of times you’ll see the correct path as you die, which makes you quickly try again. The ability to build and share your own levels is another layer on top of an already very addictive cake.

  • DOWNLOAD: Mekorama
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes

Pac-Man 256

PAC-MAN 256 Android endless runner

What do you get when you mix Crossy Road (one of last year’s addictive games) and Pac-Man? A super addictive hybrid called Pac-Man 256. Imagine taking a classic Pac-Man level and stretching it out to infinity. That’s exactly what this game is about. The goal is to navigate through a Pac-Man level that never ends. Get as far as you can without running into ghosts or being caught by the lurking glitch.

What makes it addictive? Pac-Man is one of the original addictive arcade games. Pac-Man 256 just cranks it up to 11. All the same classic features are here (cherries, power pellets, ghosts), but a few new features have been added (lasers!). If you like Pac-Man and you had fun with Crossy Road, this is a great game that will suck you in for hours.

Swing

swing

Ketchapp has a huge library of addictive games in the Play Store. The one that I’ve found to be the most unique and addictive is called Swing. As the name implies, the goal is to swing from platform to platform on a rope. The catch is you decide the length of the rope. The further you back up from the edge, the longer the rope becomes. Only the perfect length will get you safely to the platform.

What makes it addictive? Swing is the same type of addictive that we saw with the Flappy Bird phenomenon. It seems very simple, but there’s actually a lot of precision involved. Sometimes you have to land on a platform that’s narrower than your character. If the rope is a tiny bit off you’ll miss. That’s what keeps you playing over and over again.

  • DOWNLOAD: Swing
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: No

Honorable Mention

When you hear “addictive games” there are certain titles that come to mind. These titles are so popular that many have broken into the mainstream. You can find their characters on t-shirts and the toy isle. Since you’ve probably already played these games we didn’t include them in the main list, but they are worth a play for old times sake.

  1. Angry Birds
  2. Candy Crush Saga
  3. Cut the Rope
  4. Doodle Jump
  5. Fruit Ninja
  6. Pokémon GO
  7. Plants vs. Zombies
  8. Super Hexagon
  9. Temple Run
  10. Words With Friends

Of course, there are tons of other games that can be called “addictive.” What are your favorites? How long have you played an addictive game?

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