Games are everywhere these days—your smartphone and tablet, on the web, and even inside messaging apps. For many, loading up new devices with games is priority No. 1 in order to pass the time on mass transit, at the doctor’s office, or on the couch. But there are some games that are a tad addictive.
Sometimes, a silly little phone game turns into hours of non-stop gameplay. Many people try to avoid games like that, but some seek them out. If you’re looking for the most addictive games you can play on your your iPhone or Android phone, we have 20 listed below. Good luck trying to get anything else done!
Alto’s Odyssey (iOS, Android) is a side-scrolling endless runner snowboarding game, where you tap the screen to make jumps and perform tricks. Along your journey you complete goals, earn points, and collect coins that can be used to upgrade your equipment and abilities. But what really makes Alto’s Odyssey stand out is the game’s gorgeous art style and atmosphere.
Angry Birds 2
The Angry Birds franchise has expanded far and wide, to the point where it’s hard to find a game now that doesn’t appeal to mobile gamers. But we like to stick with the classics. Angry Birds 2 (iOS, Android) give you exactly what you want from an Angry Birds game: shooting birds at evil pigs.
Remember the classic arcade game Breakout? While Ballz (iOS, Android) isn’t exactly a clone of the game, it does operate on some of the same principles. You have a selection of blocks to break, and you must use your collection of balls to break them. It’s a fun and mesmerizing time-waster.
Bubble Witch 3 Saga
Candy Crush maker King has more than one popular phone game. The Bubble Witch series has proven to be a real keeper when it comes to shooting and matching puzzle games. The latest installment, Bubble Witch 3 Saga, is available on iOS and Android.
Candy Crush Friends Saga
The latest installment of the popular Candy Crush franchise is Candy Crush Friends Saga (iOS, Android). Now the series’ popular characters play a role in gameplay by offering special abilities that directly affect the gameboard. See how well you can do after reading our tips guide.
Color Road! (iOS, Android) is a simple enough concept, but you’ll see how hard it can get once you’re playing. Control a rolling ball while you collect balls that are the same color and avoid those that are different colors.
Crossy Road (iOS, Android) presents itself as something of an endless version of Frogger, where the player controls a character as they attempt to cross a series of busy streets. The game draws upon popular games and cultural references to create a fun gaming experience with a great pixelated art style.
Flappy Dunk (iOS, Android), a play on the now-defunct Flappy Bird, is a simple game that asks the player to tap the screen in order to keep their ball in the air. You must maneuver the ball through an endless series of hoops in order to accumulate points.
In Gardenscapes (iOS, Android), you help Austin the Butler restore an outdoor garden by playing this matching game. A similar game, called Homescapes (iOS, Android), has you help Austin renovate and design a house.
Geometry Dash is a rhythm-based action platformer, where you simply have to tap the screen to jump at the right moments. Download the app for iOS or Android for $1.99.
A game created by Ellen DeGeneres for her talk show, Heads Up! has become a massively popular mobile game. One player puts the phone on their forehead and the other players give clues about words on the screen. While the Android version of the game is free, the iOS version costs $0.99.
This wildly popular computer game has been ported to several different platforms in recent years. Explore an entirely pixelated world, where you can build anything and everything from the ground up. Protect yourself from attacking monsters in Survival Mode or play in Creative Mode, where you have unlimited resources. The iOS and Android apps cost $6.99.
Fornite is the latest title to capitalize on the battle royale craze. It distinguishes itself with cartoon-style graphics and unique construction mechanics, but the premise is familiar. Your goal is to be the last person, squad, or team left alive in a round. It was already available on PCs and consoles when it launched on iOS in April 2018. It later arrived on Android, but you can’t download it from the Google Play Store (here’s why). Here’s how to get it on your Android device and start playing.
New York Times Crosswords
Are you a dedicated crossword puzzler? Download the New York Times Crossword (iOS, Android) for free, and get playing. You will have access to the paper’s daily puzzles for seven days. After that you will have to subscribe to get unlimited access. Thankfully there are numerous mini puzzles and other puzzle packs to play for free.
Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time
The popular tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies 2 (iOS, Android) pits your collection of plants against an attack horde of zombies. Hold off the invaders to complete each level.
Ridiculous Fishing asks you to hook as many fish as you can before pulling them to the surface and shooting them out of the sky. Master the best methods for fishing in order to earn money to upgrade your equipment and make the process even more ridiculous. The iOS version is $2.99, while the Android game is a few cents cheaper.
Snake VS Block
Guide your snake through obstacles as you add more segments and break new blocks. The appropriately named Snake VS Block is highly addictive, and it’s available for free on iOS and Android.
Temple Run 2
Temple Run is the game that put endless runners on the map for mobile apps. The sequel improves the graphics, and adds new obstacles, achievements, and power ups. The iOS and Android versions of Temple Run 2 are both free.
If you like sliding and matching tiles, Threes! is the game for you. Slide numbered tiles and combine them according to multiples of threes. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the viral game 2048 was based on this original app. Threes! is available for iOS and Android for $5.99, but free versions also exist. If you can put up with some ads, iPhone users can download Threes! Freeplay and Android players can get Threes! Free.
Looking for a fun party game? Draw Something is similar to Pictionary, where one player draws and others have to guess what the word is supposed to be. Draw Something Classic is available for free on iOS and Android; a paid version (iOS, Android) eliminates ads from the app for $2.99. Draw Something Pro for iPad is $4.99.
Words With Friends
Somewhere along the way, Words With Friends became the ultimate social game for those who like words and chatting with their friends. Words With Friends operates just like the Scrabble board game. Download the free Words With Friends 2 app for iOS and Android.