Do you rotate through a few favorite games for a while, then get the itch for something new? That’s how we do it around here, too. We thought we’d share some of our current favorite free games, just in case you’re on the hunt for your next favorite game. Most of these have in-app purchases, but you can have a lot of fun (and kill a lot of time) for no money down with these 15 apps:
1. Robot Unicorn Attack 2
This started several years ago as a game on the Adult Swim website. It’s one of those that makes no sense: Why is it fun to jump and dash as a robot unicorn? We have no idea, but we can’t stop playing. The music will get old after a while, but it’s worth a listen initially, adding to the campy feeling.
2. Asphalt 8 Airborne
As the 8th installment in the GameLoft series, Asphalt 8 has worked out the kinks of previously released racing games. With scenarios from Tokyo to Barcelona to London, Asphalt 8 provides an impressive 180 races total, with variations on classic racing such as Knockdown, which awards you points for opponents’ crashes.
3. Bejeweled Blitz
Another Bejeweled game! This one started on Facebook, and you can still connect to your Facebook account to compete with friends. If you’re new to Bejeweled, you’ll catch on fast. You match three or more gems in a row to collapse the rows and collect boosters and prizes.
4. Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Modeled after the Call of Duty series conceived for game consoles and PCs, Modern Combat 5 is GameLoft’s mobile first-person shooter. The game puts you in the boots of an elite super soldier tasked with taking out various terrorist bad guys before a final showdown with their Bond villain-like leader. What’s not to love?
This puzzle game takes a moment to figure out but will hook you in quickly. Similar to Tetris, discs fall from the top, and you place them on the grid. Use their numbers to match the right disc to the right column if possible. If the board fills up before you explode your discs, you lose!
6. Real Racing 3
It ain’t called “Real” for nothing. Using real-world cars and tracks, EA has captured the experience of car racing as it must surely be. Find out what it’s really like to hit a curve too fast or come up too close on an opponent’s car, or learn firsthand the frustration that comes with making necessary repairs in real time.
7. Dungeon Hunter 5
Retaining the “hack n’ slash” aesthetics of previous Dungeon Hunter installments, Dungeon Hunter 5 tracks your progress as a medieval bounty hunter, slicing up monsters and other assorted nasties with a variety of customized weapons, while you pick up loot along the way.
8. Crossy Road
Let’s face it, sometimes you just want a simple game to kill the time between subway stops or commercial breaks. Crossy Road fits that bill nicely. Modeled after the classic ‘80s game Frogger, it calls on you to help a chicken cross a busy street. And with its smooth, simple controls and charmingly retro look, you get a quick hit of fun no matter where you are.
9. Marvel Mighty Heroes
(iOS and Android)
Select a team of three Marvel heroes (like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow, to name just a few) and take their specialized skills into multiplayer battles against classic Marvel villains like the Kree. This game’s a bit short on storyline, but the graphics are sweet, the controls are easy, and the action is quick, with battles rarely lasting more than one minute.
10. World of Tanks Blitz
Choose from a selection of tanks from around the world and enter richly textured battlefields, where you’re pressed to take out opposing tanks while securing checkpoints. While World of Tanks Blitz is a team-based Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) dedicated to fierce tank combat, it can get pretty cat-and-mouse.
11. Ball Jump
Courtesy of Ketchapp, Ball Jump has you roll a ball down a constantly shifting path of rocks. Steer the ball, tap to jump it, and try and stay on the path. The concept is elegant in its simplicity, but the rhythm of the game is surprisingly quick, requiring an impeccable sense of timing to succeed.
12. Plants vs. Zombies 2
Grow plants to defend yourself against the swarms of zombies out to get you. Many of the classic plants from the original Plants vs. Zombies game are back and ready for action, but the sequel takes you on various trips through time and space, so that you’re practicing botany and warding off the undead in ancient Egypt and the Wild West, among other places.
13. Oddwings Escape
(iOS and Android)
This “endless flyer” from Small Giant Games has you guiding a Frankenstein hummingbird through various levels, avoiding obstacles, collecting needed items, and so forth. Each level is a quick 30 seconds or less, though within this rather limited framework exists a seemingly endless array of fun variations.
14. Test Chamber
Don’t be fooled by the innocent little bubble people that populate Test Chamber’s universe—this is one puzzle game that could keep you puzzled for days on end. Players must find a way to forge a path through a monochromatic world of blocks to find the exit. This can be as simple as moving a block out of the way, but ratchets, portals, and more start popping up soon enough, making escape a highly challenging proposition.
15. One More Dash
One More Dash is the ultimate game for those who have got—or think they’ve got—a strong sense of timing. Play as a circle making its way up the screen of your smartphone or tablet by hopping across other, larger circles with a tap on the screen. Problem is, these larger circles are guarded by rotating walls and spikes that threaten to end your humble little journey.