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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Super Mario Run/App Store
# smartphone
These are the easiest smartphone games to play with one hand
Or if you want to hold a cup of tea or coffee while you play. Your choice really.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a smartphone game to pass the time, it’s very easy to find one.

If you’re looking for a game to play one-handed while you use the other to drink tea, coffee or hold onto something, it’s a little bit harder but there’s still a large collection of free and premium games for you to try out.

(The criteria for this list is that all game featured here use portrait mode. Certain games like Alto’s Adventure and Rayman Fiesta Run may have equally simplistic controls but were excluded as they require you to play in landscape mode).

You Must Build A Boat
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €2.99

Matching blocks is the simple core to what is a compelling and fun game. Fight monsters, gather resources and upgrade your equipment, boat and crew, later levels can be hectic but it’s never punishing. A rare puzzle game that is fun to play for both short and long periods.

EightyEightGames / YouTube

For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

A simple game, TwoDots’ gives you a limited number of moves and challenges to complete, all of them involve connecting similar-coloured dots.

The freemium nature may annoy some as you have a limited number of lives and the randomly generated levels can make or break certain challenges but underneath it all, it’s still an addictive experience.

Dots / YouTube

Tap Titans II
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

The premise of Tap Titans – a game where you defeat enemies by tapping as fast as you can – sounds more like a game of attrition than fun, but it manages to be compulsive. The presentation is rather polished and seeing the damage and gold numbers get larger and larger compels you to keep going.

Game Hive / YouTube

For: iOS, Android
Cost: €2.99

The best games are easy to understand yet hard to master and Threes! has that in spades. A sliding block game where you combine factors of three, the goal is to create as large a number as possible but with limited spaces and new cards being added, it gets tricky, but you always feel encouraged to try again.

Also, the art style and music are top-notch.

Asher Vollmer / YouTube

Super Mario Run
For: iOS (Android coming soon)
Cost: Free (€9.99 for full game)

Mario’s debut may have split people down the middle. Some feel it captures the feel of a traditional Mario game while others feel the high price and constant need for an internet connection are more examples of Nintendo not understanding mobile. Whatever your opinions, Super Mario Run is definitely worth trying out.

The free version only allows the first three levels, but the coin challenges – where you collect pink, purple or black coins dotted throughout the level – will keep you busy.

Nintendo Mobile / YouTube


Solitaire Collection
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Some things will never change. Day will turn into night and Solitaire will always be available to play. If you’ve played any version before, be it on Windows 95 or elsewhere, you know what to expect here. And you know what, that’s part of its charm.

Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 12.08.35 Microsoft Solitaire Collection / App Store Microsoft Solitaire Collection / App Store / App Store

Monument Valley
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €1.99 (iOS), €2.99 (Android)

Guide a silent princess through locations that would be at home in an art gallery. The isometric style isn’t there for show either as rotating levels and moving objects helps you progress.

This is a game that’s more about the journey rather than the destination and if you still haven’t played it yet, you’re missing out.

millsustwo / YouTube

Crossy Road
For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

It’s hard to put together any list of smartphone games without mentioning Crossy Road. Simple mechanics, quick taps and swipes, and lovely pixel graphics make it a delight to play and the perfect way to kill some time.

Yodo1Games / YouTube

Read: What is bringing classical and video game music together? This Irish woman >

Read: You know you can play thousands of classic games online, right? >

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