App Love: Games

I have been patiently awaiting the release of the new iPhone (y'all, we all know it's coming. Phone companies are hocking iPhone 5s like they're going out of style, which, I guess, they kind of are), especially after Apple released the video showing the new iOS system, which looks cleaner, more powerful, and easier to use. I have had my iPhone 4 since July of 2011 (yep, upgraded RIGHT before the 4s came out; not making that mistake again) and have loved it, but my home button is wearing out and I'm ready for some new features (hello Siri). This burning desire for a new phone is increased exponentially by the fact that I've been relying on my phone a whole lot this summer while I've been babysitting, which involves periods of extreme activity and extreme boredom. Enter, phone games. I can't get pre-occupied or involved enough to really do much productive, but I can do something to keep my brain from rotting out of my skull.

I don't demand too much from my iPhone games. I want games that are cheap (preferably free), do not require in-app purchases (seriously, why are there so many games that want you to buy lives or powerups or whatever with your real and very precious money?!), work my brain muscles a little bit, are easy enough to pick up and/or provide play instructions, and are relatively quick to play. Here is my list of favorite iPhone games (as of this summer).

Bejeweled // $.99: I know people be into this Candy Crush game, and I respect it. I have it on my phone, but you only get so many tries in a day with Candy Crush or you have to buy more lives, which does not meet my no in-app purchases criteria. Bejeweled is easy to pick up, fun, addictive (seriously, for a while I was playing this game 10x a day), and you can pause and come back to a game later on with little difficulty if that's what you need to do.

Tetris // $.99: Tetris Blitz was an Editor's Choice pick and it sucked. It was kind of fun, but in order to be a high scorer (which, funny enough, is the ENTIRE POINT of the game), you have to make in-app purchases for powerups, which caused me to promptly delete that app from my phone. Tetris, on the other hand, has the classic mode and newer modes, keeping you entertained in various ways.

Ruzzle // Free: This game has the basic format of Boggle, but with slightly different scoring. The thing that elevates this game above other word games that I briefly enjoyed like Wordfeud and Letterpress is that you don't have to wait as long for your opponent. You can quickly start games with friends and strangers, it's a timed game so you know exactly how long one round will take you, and people are good about getting to their rounds in a timely manner. I think you get timed out with an automatic resign at like 72 hours or something. Other games I just got so tired of waiting for the other person to their freakin turn.

Temple Run 2 // Free: The first Temple Run was okay, but nothing to get excited about. For some reason I could never get that far in it, and upgrades were harder to find. Temple Run 2 gives you goals to work toward with coin prizes when you reach them, various character to buy with game coins, powerups to increase, etc. You will hate the tunnel and then get over it.

Spider Solitaire // Free: There was a time in college when my roommate and I would play Spider Solitaire several times a night on our computers in our dorm room. It's just a fun game to play and figure out; start at one suite, and as you get better move up to harder levels.

Sodoku // Free: If you are hardcore into Sodoku, you may not like this app. If you are a beginner or don't want to wreck your brain, you probably will. This app differs from paper Sodoku books by highlighting numbers for you (click on a 1, for example, and it will show you all of the 1's on the board), giving you a hints option, and automatically removing notations when they are obsolete, essentially speeding up the game. You get scored on how quickly you complete the puzzle, which may be a downside for some people and was for me at the beginning, but now I see it as a welcome challenge. You can turn off some of the options that make the game easier though, so if you like the numbers puzzle and don't want to tote a book around, give this app a try.

There are other games I have liked, but these have been my go-to's lately. What games do you like to play on your phone?

Yours Truly, Jen

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