Video games are no longer the quirky vocation of a small minority of hobbyists: thanks to the advent of mobile gaming, everyone is a gamer these days, and there are no shortage of apps and diversions to delight yourself with, no matter your taste. Everyone likes to chill out with a new mobile game now and again, but if you’ve ever taken a quick look through any app store, you’ve no doubt been overwhelmed by the sheer number of games on the front page vying for your time and pocket change. So what are some of the best games for giving your thumbs a workout while you pass the time during the pandemic? Here are our choices for the 5 best casual mobile games you can download for free right now.
1. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
A turn-based combat game that takes place in everyone’s favorite far, far away galaxy, Galaxy of Heroes is a robust RPG that has very simple mechanics to learn but involves huge levels of nuance and depth once you master the basics. There are tons of fun activities to complete in-game every day, and a massive amount of ways to tailor your favorite characters to your own unique playstyle thanks to the unique “mod” system. And while there are still microtransactions, you can build a fantastic team of Jedis, Stormtroopers and more without spending a dime.
2. Bubble Shooter
Sometimes the simpler a game is, the easier it is to find yourself getting sucked into it all day long. Bubble Shooter uses an easy to understand color system that lends itself to racking up combos with ease, making it perfect for long waits at the doctor’s office or as a relaxing way to unwind before going to bed. If you haven’t played a game like this since the advent of browser games in the early 2000s, Bubble Shooter is a great way to remember what got you addicted to this type of game in the first place.
3. Alto’s Odyssey
As the follow up to the much loved Alto’s Adventure, Alto’s Odyssey takes many of the things players loved about the original game—the tight controls, gameplay that alternates between thrilling and peaceful, great music and charming aesthetics—and brings you a lot more of the same in a far more polished package. The levels are procedurally generated, which means there’s something different to play each time you boot it up, and the adaptable learning curve means that players of all skill levels can enjoy it. If the battery of awards and nominations the game has received from the gaming press don’t make it clear, sometimes it’s best to not mess too much with a great thing!
4. PUBG Mobile
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG for short, was the battle royale sensation that paved the way for games like Fortnite, and its intricate gameplay translates with surprising ease to a mobile setting. It’s totally possible to go toe-to-toe with other gamers playing the game on their PC just by swiping and tapping until you’re the last one standing, and some gamers have even finagled ways to get the game running in VR! No two games ever end up playing exactly the same way, which means the coveted “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner” is never too far from your grasp.
5. Pokémon GO
While it may not be the ubiquitous sensation it was when the game came out a few years ago, Pokemon GO still has a very active player base and a constant stream of content updates that makes catching ‘em all more fun and engaging than ever. This is a fantastic game for families to play together and a reliably safe way to get out in your neighborhood during the Covid-19 pandemic. And with its emphasis on exploring your surroundings in your search for the next coveted creature to add to your Pokedex, it also has the side effect of being a great way to burn calories!
These are some of our favorite free to play mobile games, but we know there’s a wide world of free games for casual players and connoisseurs alike. What are some of the best ones you’ve played, and what do you think about this list of our personal favorites? Sound off in the comments below and join the conversation!
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