There are thousands of games to play on your iPhone or Android smartphone – from simple puzzles to fast-paced 3D adventures and shoot-’em-ups. So how do you pick one to download?
The best mobile games aren’t demanding. You want something you can turn on to while away a few minutes when waiting for a bus, train or dentist’s appointment, with simple gameplay and enough appeal to have you coming back for more.
Some mobile games are completely free, while many follow the freemium model. This means the game is free to download and play, but as some point you may want to make optional in-game purchases using your credit card to unlock levels, gain more lives and time or buy virtual goods.
Related: Saga Magazine Games & Puzzles
Here are three exciting games you can play on your smartphone...
Candy Crush Saga
iOS, Android and Windows
Easy to play and even easier to get addicted to, Candy Crush Saga is a hugely popular casual game for mobile phone players. Gameplay is simple; just match three or more candies – or sweets – of the same colour by swiping them with your thumb to swap their position. When matched, the sweets burst and you win points – the aim is to gain as many points as possible to achieve one, two or three stars.
Candy Crush Saga is free to play, but once your lives or moves are used up, you’ll have to pay to carry on playing immediately, which means your credit card could take a serious bashing. The good news is you don’t have to pay – simply wait a few hours, and your lives will be refilled for free and you can continue playing.
Sea Hero Quest
iOS and Android
Help in the fight against dementia with a new game that provides scientific data every time it is played. Created by Alzheimer’s UK, UCL, the University of East Anglia, Glitchers game developers and Deutsche Telekom, the multi-level adventure game is designed to help scientists develop new diagnostic tests for dementia.
Players take the role of a sea explorer’s son travelling the world in search of the lost pieces of his father’s ocean journal. They journey to different places around the world, battling sea monsters on the way. The routes the player takes – generated as heat maps – will give researchers valuable insight into how people explore 3D environments. The data gathered will show the normal range of directional skills among the majority of people, so scientists can develop a new way to detect when somebody’s spatial navigation skills are failing.
Related: A new approach to Alzheimer's disease
Clash of Clans
iOS and Android
Clash of Clans is a multiplayer combat strategy game in which you build a village to fend off raiders, form a clan, raise an army and battle other players to earn gold and elixir – and ultimately become the most powerful clan of all.
An addictive mixture of strategic planning and competitive fast-paced combat, the game appeals to all ages thanks to its cartoon-style characters – from mustachioed barbarians to fire-throwing wizards. However, the live chat function means parents should ensure the clan their children are in is appropriate for their age.
Like Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans is free to download and play but you may find it hard to resist the in-game purchases to buy extra quantities of green Gems – the main currency within the game.