It’s no longer exciting to see console-quality games on a mobile device. We’re at a point now where phones are powerful enough to handle high-definition graphics and intense gameplay with ease. Still, mobile gaming is dominated by simple arcade-style games. They may only require a few taps here and there, but their addictive nature is nothing to scoff at.
Last summer we wrote about the 10 Most Addictive Android Games. In that list we had many classic Android games that had been around for a while. This summer we’re back with even more, but this time we’re focusing on newer games. You’ll be playing these games until your battery is screaming at you. Be sure to read our previous list for even more addictive games. Let’s go!
Atomas is a puzzle game with a scientific twist. Your job is to create valuable elements such as gold, platinum, and silver by combining atoms. It might sound complicated, but the game is actually very simple. All you have to do is combine atoms with the same numbers, but the trick to doing well is to create symmetric patterns so you can combine multiple atoms at once. [Review]
What makes it addictive? Atomas is a lot like a game called Threes. There’s no timers or pressure to “beat the game.” Your own high score is motivation enough to keep you playing over and over again. Every time you finish a game your immediate next thought is “I can do better than that.” [Download]
Bing Bong is like a super simplified version of Frogger. You control a single dot that constantly moves back and forth across a “road” of moving objects. Every time your dot makes it to one side of the road you get a point. The only way you can avoid the obstacles is to slow down your dot. You can’t move sideways or stop completely. It’s fast-moving fun. [Review]
What makes it addictive? There’s no time to stop and think, but since the game is all about timing you really need to think. This makes for quick decisions that aren’t always the best, and the game goes so quick that you’ll immediately start playing again after it’s over. [Download]
If Bing Bong is a simplified version of Frogger, Crossy Road is a beefed-up version. The goal is to get as far as possible without being killed. You have to cross busy roads, rivers filled with logs and lily pads, railways, and more. Unlike Bing Bong, you can move forward, left, right, and back, but if you take too long to move you’ll be abducted by an eagle.
What makes it addictive? Crossy Road is one of those games that feels a lot easier than it really is. Every time you die it feels like you just made a mistake. So you’ll play over and over again because “I can easily beat that score.” Another thing that makes it addictive is the unlockable characters. You’ll want to collect them all. [Download]
The goal of Current Flow is to supply energy to light bulbs by creating a complete circuit. To do this, you tap on tiles to rotate conduit pipes. Once the pipes create a complete circuit between the power source and the light bulb it will light up. It’s reminiscent of an old game called Pipe Dream, but the pipes are already in their final location, you just have to find the right orientation. [Review]
What makes it addictive? Like a lot of puzzle games this one sucks you in by starting off very easy. You can speed through the first 5 levels with ease, but gradually it gets more difficult. Eventually, you won’t be able to finish a level in one attempt, and that is where the addiction starts. “Just one more try” turns into your entire afternoon. [Download]
Some games are hard. Some games are easy. Freaking Math is a rare game that somehow can be easy and hard at the same time. The premise of this game is so simple it can be described in one sentence. You have 2 seconds to choose if a math equation is right or wrong. That’s it. The equation is always simple addition, and the goal is to get as many correct in a row as you can. [Review]
What makes it addictive? This game is so easy, but yet so infuriatingly difficult. It’s that 2-second timer that makes the game addictive. If you take away the timer this becomes a brush-up on elementary school math, but with the timer you’ll do things like “1+1=3.” And then you get mad and play again. [Download]
The phenomenon that was Flappy Bird may not be available anymore, but you can still play the slightly less addictive follow-up. In Swing Copters you control a little dude in a propellor cap. The goal is to fly as high as you can without hitting the obstacles. All you have to do is tap to change directions, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
What makes it addictive? Flappy Bird was a massive success because it took a super simple concept and just cranked the difficulty up to 11. Everyone saw how easy it looked and had to try it for themselves. Swing Copters is the exact same idea. It looks very easy to play, but you quickly find out it’s not. [Download]
Tadpole Tap is all about trying to get your tadpole to reach the sky. The only way to get there is with your tongue. You can latch on to seaweed and lilypads to climb your way up, but certain types can’t hold your weight for long. You’ll also want to eat flies as your climbing, but don’t stay in one place for too long or rising tide will get you.
What makes it addictive? There’s a lot to process while you’re playing this seemingly simple games. You have to play close attention to the things you latch onto, and watch for flies and power-ups to snag. Playing the game is pretty addictive by itself, but the ability to improve your tadpole and buy power-ups makes it even better. [Download]
In Timberman you play as a burly lumberjack (or Jill) at the bottom of a massively tall tree. The goal is to chop down as much of the tree as possible while avoiding branches and keeping your energy bar filled. Simply tap the left or right side of the tree to chop. That’s all there is to it. [Review]
What makes it addictive? Timberman would be an addictive game on its own, but the energy bar at the top of the screen is what takes it to the next level. There’s no time to contemplate your next chop. It’s really about how fast you can chop without losing control. The only thing that will make you take a break is finger fatigue. [Download]
Two Dots is easily the most complex game on this list. At the core it’s about connecting strings of dots. It’s a simple concept, but there is much more involved. Sometimes the dots are frozen in ice, sometimes there is fire that burns the dots, sometimes you have to get anchors to the bottom of the grid. It starts easy and gradually adds more tactics into the game.
What makes it addictive? Many things. Connecting dots to clear a grid is an addictive concept on its own. Throw in the extra obstacles and power-ups and you’ve got something even better. There’s also an energy system that only allows you to fail a certain amount of times before you have to wait to play. This makes every move that much more important. [Download]
Like so many other addictive games, the premise of ULTRAFLOW is simple in theory: get your ball to the goal. In order to do that you need to bounce your ball off of walls, but it doesn’t stop there. You’re only allowed a certain amount of bounces, and there are tons of obstacles making it more difficult. [Review]
What makes it addictive? You can try again and again in rapid succession. Once you realize the ball isn’t going to reach the goal in the alloted bounces you can double-tap to try again. You don’t even have to wait for the current turn to be over. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to not have to wait for an obviously failed attempt, but it also means you’ll be playing for hours. [Download]
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.
- Angry Birds
- Candy Crush Saga
- Cut the Rope
- Doodle Jump
- Fruit Ninja
- Plants vs. Zombies
- Super Hexagon
- Temple Run
- 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?