We’re more connected now than we ever have been before, and we’re only going to get more connected as we move into the future. According to Intel, at the beginning of 2012 there were approximately 2 billion people connected to the Internet. By 2015, Intel expects the number to be over 3 billion and, by 2020, the company says there will be 4 billion people connected to the Internet using its chips.
But who says that being connected means needing to work 24/7? Not me! While it’s great having e-mail access on my phone, letting me keep in touch in case Shelly needs something changed or done when I’m not at my computer, being connected to the internet and app stores at all times means I’m never bored because there’s always new games to try, buy and play.
If you’re looking for that perfect game to kill five minutes before a meeting or for an hour on your train ride home, here are some of my favorite games to have recently hit the iOS App Store.
- Temple Run 2 (iOS: Free) – This one sort of crept up on everyone. Part of my job is keeping up with all the tech news from all the web’s biggest sites, and no one had said anything about this until the day before it came out. It’s totally worth downloading. I mean, first of all, it’s free. And second of all, it’s even better than the first one (which of course you’ve played). There’s more things to do, it looks prettier and it’s more fun. Plus, it gave me something fun to do on Sunday during NFL commercial breaks. See if you can beat my high score (pictured below)!
- Super Hexagon (iOS: $2.99) – This game’s been on iOS for a while, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. This is one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever played, and if you don’t play as many games as I do, it could be the most difficult one you’ll ever play. It’s also one of the most fun and rewarding. (It was my fifth-favorite game I played last year.) All you have to do is navigate a triangle through other shapes. That’s it. Just be warned that you’ll probably die after three seconds, if you’re even lucky or good enough to last that long. You’ll work your way up to nine or ten seconds, then eventually get to a minute and “beat” the level. You beat it? Great! Congratulations! Now beat the five modes far, far harder than it.
- Hundreds (iOS: $4.99) – Kotaku already said this was 2013’s Game of the Year. Granted, they did so when the year was only three days old, but still. This game is great. If you’re looking to show off your iPad’s multi-touch abilities, check this out. This is another game that’s deceptively difficult; you’re asked to make circles grow until their combined total hits 100. The first level is one circle with nothing around it. Hold down your finger and beat the level. Sounds easy, right? Not when you have spikes popping your circles, or when the circles are dancing all around. This made the five-hour flight to CES much more tolerable.
- The Room (iOS: $1.99) – This game is unlike the others on the list because it’s not meant to be played in bite-sized chunks. You’ll get the most out of this by sitting down one night, wearing headphones in a dark room. This game is amazing. You’re put in front of a chest with no instructions. Your ultimate goal is to get to the heart of the chest, by tinkering with it in any way you can. Not only is this a tough game with more than a few head-scratchers, but it also shows off much of what the iPad can do. New iPad owners: Playing this game will make you even more fully embrace your recent purchase. This was my fourth-favorite game from last year, and made one of my ten nights without power last fall (thanks, Sandy!) enjoyable.
- Polymer (iOS: $2.99) – This game is my most recent obsession. I put it down a few weeks ago, but still come back from time to time because it’s so much fun. It’s similar to a lot of other puzzle games, in a sense; there are four different modes that let you enjoy the game in whichever mode you enjoy. You’re given a board that’s a jumbled up mess of shape parts. The goal is to create shapes (or polymers) by sliding rows or columns around to re-arrange the parts and make as big of a shape as you can. Those four different modes I mentioned all make you play the same basic game, but with different end goals. The basic mode is a timed mode (either 2, 5 or 10 minutes) where you try to get as many points as you possibly can. There’s a “One Polymer” mode where you have as long as you need to create the biggest and highest-scoring shape you can. Bomb mode kicks things up a notch by adding in shapes with timers that tick down and must be cleared before they explode… otherwise, game over. Finally, Endless mode lets you play casually, just enjoying the shapes and not worrying about timers of any kind.
That’s my list. Let me know what your favorite games are in the comments below; I’m always looking for new bite-sized gaming addictions!