Mobile phones have developed into far more than mere communication devices. Now they are mobile entertainment centres, instant news feeds and handheld encyclopaedias, connecting everyone to each other and a global information network at the touch of a button or a screen. Part of the entertainment service they offer is to allow users to play games, either by themselves or remotely against other people. Mobile games have become hugely popular because of their flexibility. People are continually finding that they have less time in the evenings and at weekends for relaxation, but mobile games allow them to get some downtime during the day, for example on the train to work or during their lunch break.
As such, the market for mobile games and apps has grown exponentially over the last decade, and there are now so many games to choose from that it’s hard to know where to start. Modern and new games compete for popularity with old favourites reimagined. One of the genres which is emerging as a favourite amongst players is card games. These usually take less time to play than other games, making them ideal for squeezing into tight time slots. And things have greatly evolved from the classic deck of cards, with character-based action card games filling a new niche in the market. Here we take a look at some new favourites that should have you reaching for the install button.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection
Starting off with a retro favourite: if you grew up playing on your PC when you were supposed to be revising, then you’ll recognise all the names in the collection. Klondike, Tri-peaks, Spider Solitaire, Freecell and Pyramids are all different types of solitaire games that you play by yourself, with the aim of achieving a certain score or clearing the draw pile. Microsoft has added achievements, daily challenges and weekly rankings in order to appeal to the younger generation, and updated the graphics from their pixelated originals, but the gameplay remains the same. If you want something addictive to kill time throughout the day, one game at a time, then this is for you. It also works without needing an internet connection, so it won’t drain your data.
However, if you’ve got more of a competitive streak, then an online poker app like this one from 888 Poker might be more your cup of tea. The idea behind the app is that players meet around virtual tables and play each other at games of poker including Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha variants. There are lengthy tournaments for those with the time to engage, but plenty of drop in and drop out cash games also run throughout the day. You will need to stump up some cash to play, but the app itself is free to download and 888 Poker offer some great sign-up bonuses which will increase the value of your deposit. You can play in your browser or download the app to make it easier to keep track of your account. Playing online poker is a great way to learn some new skills and unwind at the end of a long workday.
If you like the idea of playing against others but don’t know enough about poker, there are plenty of card-based combat games out there. One of the best is Hearthstone, a World of Warcraft-based game which brings all the favourite characters into play, giving you a deck of cards to play within a head-to-head battle. The cards include fighters to unleash on your opponent, as well as spells and armour which will help buff your attacking and defensive abilities. The rules are incredibly easy to pick up and the game takes you through a very accessible tutorial to teach you everything you need to know. Extra cards are available for purchase through the Hearthstone store, so you can increase your stock and build better decks. But you can also get them for free by spending your in-game winnings, a delightful feature for people who don’t want to spend too much on mobile gaming.
There are so many different games available for mobile that it’s impossible to touch on them all in one article. A quick internet search will bring up dozens of best card game lists, and your phone’s app store will have its own tables of popularity as well. These also include popular games like Cluedo and Exploding Kittens, which started life in the analogue arena and have now been adapted into digital versions. Before downloading any game, make sure you know the upfront/in-game costs involved, and check that it is from a reputable developer or purchased through the official store. And most importantly, have fun!