When I travel there are a few essential things I must have: noise cancelling headphones, a magazine I wouldn’t normally buy and games on my iPhone. I may look like an innocent lady sitting in the airport checking email but I’m actually navigating a skateboard around a lab while avoiding monsters and traps. On airplanes, games are my Xanax–if I’m not absorbed by a game you do not want to be the person hogging my armrest. Here are the iPhone games I find particularly suited for long plane trips; they have the right combination of being distracting without being frustrating. Some of these are a few years old but they are all ones I find myself going back to consistently.
I always like finding new games. Do you have a game you find yourself saving to play on trips? Tell me about it!
1. Blast A Way
An engaging 3-D puzzle game that has you controlling small characters that need to throw colorful balls to blast obstacles out of their path. If you blow up something particularly large the game goes in to a sort of Bullet-time view, which is very satisfying.
Remember that cute little Draw A Stickman flash game? This is from the same people. Each level is large enough to offer lots of exploration and often the answers to the puzzles are hilarious. You will fight dragons, zombies and evil snow elves. There is a free version you can try out.
Where’s My Water is a hugely popular game for a good reason. You use a variety of ways to get water from one place in a level into another so that Swampy the alligator can take a bath. The levels never get too difficult or repetitive and I got a little obsessive about clearing all the levels. Where’s My Perry essentially uses the same game mechanics but you’re acting as a platypus that also happens to be a secret agent. Both have free versions so you can try them out.
Fast levels that have you vanquishing vampires, werewolves and swamp things by manipulating light and shadow. The additions of different types of foes as the game progresses keeps it from feeling repetitive. There is a free version so you can try it out.
You control a spider working his way through the rooms of a mansion, the story you uncover is touching and spooky. The mechanics here are unique, you can leap to surfaces and create webs to catch insects. I find this is one of the more enduringly memorable games for the iPhone.
A puzzle platformer that reminds me a bit of the Chips Challenge of ye olden days, you maneuver a kid on a skateboard around a mad professor’s laboratory that is filled with escaped monsters. New vehicles, tools and creatures are added as the game goes on. The levels are complex enough that I never quite remember how I solved them last time. There is a free version so you can try it out.
7. Piczle Lines
Very similar to the popular game Flow where you fill in corresponding lines of color in a grid, but these puzzles come together to form images. It’s fun to try to guess the image before you finish each level and it resolves into it’s picture. I find this game relaxes my brain in the same way knitting does.