We’re more connected now than we ever have been before, and we’re only going to get more connected as we move into the future. According to Intel, at the beginning of 2012 there were approximately 2 billion people connected to the Internet. By 2015, Intel expects the number to be over 3 billion and, by 2020, the company says there will be 4 billion people connected to the Internet using its chips. But who says that being connected means needing to work 24/7? Not me! While it’s great having e-mail access on my phone, letting me keep in touch in case Shelly needs something changed or done when I’m not at my computer, being connected to the internet and app stores at all times means I’m never bored because there’s always new games to try, buy and play.
If you’re looking for that perfect game to kill five minutes before a meeting or for an hour on your train ride home, here are some of my favorite games to have recently hit either the Google Play Store or iOS App Store.
- Temple Run 2 (iOS: Free, not on Android yet) – This one sort of crept up on everyone. Part of my job is keeping up with all the tech news from all the web’s biggest sites, and no one had said anything about this until the day before it came out. It’s totally worth downloading. I mean, first of all, it’s free. And second of all, it’s even better than the first one (which of course you’ve played). There’s more things to do, it looks prettier and it’s more fun. Plus, it gave me something fun to do on Sunday during NFL commercial breaks. See if you can beat my high score (pictured below)!
- Super Hexagon (iOS: $2.99, Android: $0.99) – This game’s been on iOS for a while, but it just hit the Android store last week. It’s on sale for a dollar for a limited time, before it goes back up to its full $2.99 price tag. This is one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever played. It’s also one of the most fun and rewarding. (It was my fifth-favorite game I played last year.) All you have to do is navigate a triangle through other shapes. That’s it. Just be warned that you’ll probably die after three seconds, if you’re even lucky or good enough to last that long. You’ll work your way up to nine or ten seconds, then eventually get to a minute and “beat” the level. You beat it? Great! Congratulations! Now beat the five modes far, far harder than it.
- Hundreds (iOS: $4.99, not on Android yet) – Kotaku already said this was 2013’s Game of the Year. Granted, they did so when the year was only three days old, but still. This game is great. If you’re looking to show off your iPad’s multi-touch abilities, check this out. This is another game that’s deceptively difficult; you’re asked to make circles grow until their combined total hits 100. The first level is one circle with nothing around it. Hold down your finger and beat the level. Sounds easy, right? Not when you have spikes popping your circles, or when the circles are dancing all around. This made the five-hour flight to CES much more tolerable.
- HONORABLE MENTION: The Room (iOS: $1.99, not on Android) – This is only an honorable mention because it came out a long time ago. Well, two months ago. (That’s a long time in the world of tech, right?) But still! It’s amazing. Best experienced by wearing headphones in a dark room, you’re put in front of a chest with no instructions. Your ultimate goal is to get to the heart of the chest, by tinkering with it in any way you can. Not only is this a tough game with more than a few head-scratchers, but it also shows off much of what the iPad can do. New iPad owners: Playing this game will make you even more fully embrace your recent purchase. This was my fourth-favorite game from last year, and made one of my ten nights without power last fall (thanks, Sandy!) enjoyable.
That’s my list. Let me know what your favorite games are in the comments below; I’m always looking for new bite-sized gaming addictions!