A lot of us use our Android phones for important things. Serious bizness and stuff. We need to stay in touch with our people, keep up with our calendar, listen to our boss deflate our spirit and destroy our dreams over Slack and other things that aren't nearly as fun as we want them to be. It's a necessary evil, and part of being an adult and having a job.
But there is always time to squeeze in a little fun when nobody is looking. (Don't look, Phil.) And there are plenty of games that you can play for just a few minutes at a time to get that fun injection. Whether you want a relaxing way to power through a bathroom break, or pass the time while your significant other is shopping for things you can't be bothered to care about (there's a reason they put benches in the mall), here are five great little apps that will help you pass the time.
1. Triple Town
Triple Town is a match three game with a twist. You combine grass to create bushes, combine bushes to make trees, and keep going to build a city. The bigger your city, the bigger your score. Along the way you have rocks to block your progress and angry bears who want to get in the way and keep you from making your matches.
Triple Town is a turn-based game, and after a while you'll need to wait to get more turns. If you hate that as much as I do, a one-time purchase of $3.99 unlocks unlimited turns.
2048 is a slider puzzle, where your goal is to keep enough space open to have just one more turn. You do this by matching numbers. Combine a pair of twos to make a four. Combine a pair of fours to make an eight. Keep going until you can't slide anything anywhere and you hang your head knowing that three moves ago you done goofed.
2048 has leaderboards and achievements through Google Play Games so you can see how you match up to your friends. Be warned — some people are awesome-crazy-f'ing good at 2048. I am not one of them, but it's still a load of fun.
3. Little Alchemy
A great take on an old web favorite, Little Alchemy is yet another matching game with a twist. You combine the four basic elements — earth, air, fire and water — into different elements, like mud or lava. Keep combining elements and you'll create things like dinosaurs and ufos. Yeah, dinosaurs and ufos make every game better.
The game is done well and makes it easy to keep track of what you've unlocked. That's important in this type of game. Little Alchemy is also free as free can be — no purchases for anything and no ads.
4. Cut the Rope 2
Another old favorite that stands up to the test of time. Om Nom is hungry (protip — he's always hungry) and you need to feed him delicious candy. You do it by cutting ropes, popping balloons, toppling boards and navigating all sorts of other obstacles to move the candy to Om Nom so he can Nom on it.
There are ads and in-app purchases, but you can play the whole way through without paying a penny if you like.
5. Flow Free
Flow free is a simple puzzle game, that will suck you in and get you hooked.
You connect matching colored dots with pipes. You'll need to connect every pair, and cover the entire board with pipes to get things flowing. the problem is that the pipes can't touch each other. There are a ton of levels as well as a time-trial mode for folks who need a bit more excitement.
Things start pretty easy, but as you move through the stages that changes and some levels are really tough. It's free (though you can buy hints and color themes via in-app purchases), so give it a try.
See ya' next week with more cool junk. If you run across any cool junk that you think we should share, hit me via email.