Life is full of five-minute gaps. Maybe you’re waiting in line for a cup of coffee or you’re 10 minutes early for an appointment. Your first instinct is to open Facebook or Instagram, or to start reading the news. But that’s actually all rather dull.
There’s a better, more productive way to spend those five minutes.
In this article we recommend the best mobile games to play when you have five minutes to spare.
If you’ve got five minutes to spare and you want to do something to use your mind instead of numbing it, Threes! is the game for you. It involves sliding numbered tiles around a four-by-four grid to combine additions or multiples of, you guessed it, threes. The quirky yet refreshing background score just makes the game more enjoyable.
The game ends when there’s no empty space left on the grid to slide around. The game should take between 3 to 7 minutes to finish up and that’s the beauty of it!
Threes! requires quick thinking and agility of the mind to make speedy moves so that you can score maximum points.
Desert Golfing is a golf game like none other. You’re playing golf in the desert, with sand dunes and the ever-shining sun beating down on you. The game just keeps going, level after level.
In theory, every level is quite simple. You’ve got a hole at one end, your golf ball at the other and you can swipe to take aim. The aim of the game? Get the golf ball into the hole in the fewest shots possible. You know, like real golf.
After each target is accomplished, a new course is generated, and the game continues. New courses will keep on generating. Desert Golfing is an endless game. And no, you can’t reset a level, or go back a couple of moves.
The graphics are simple, and so is the gameplay. But it’s a satisfying and soothing experience.
Download: Desert Golfing for Android | iOS ($1.99)
3. Alto’s Adventure
Alto’s Adventure takes the snowboarding games we’ve all played for years and adds a whole lot of beauty to them. It is hands down one of the best looking games on the iPhone. And the gameplay isn’t too shabby either.
Alto is an endless sprinter/snowboarder, who is always ready to march his way along the snow-clad mountains in search of his escaped llamas.
The game is all about running through the obstacles and jumping off heights to collect coins to unlock levels, characters, and snowboards. It’s a simple game but it keeps you focused and interested without paying much attention to the controls.
Download: Alto’s Adventure for Android (Free) | iOS ($4.99)
In Pokemon GO, players have to keep discovering new places in the real world, in order to play it. That’s the only way to advance in the game.
The Augmented Reality mode uses the camera and gyroscope to show a real-life image of a Pokémon on your screen. Throw a Poké Ball towards it to catch it!
You can play this game with your friends easily and trade Pokémon with them too. And there’s a lot more to Pokémon GO, including gyms, arenas, and Pokemon fights. Next time you’re waiting someplace for a couple of minutes, fire up Pokémon GO and walk around a bit. Who knows, you might just capture a rare Pokémon.
Another one of your favorite childhood memories, Super Mario is now on your smartphone. This new version of Mario has the touch of the old Mario combined and the new technologies of the smartphone.
All you need to do to control Mario is tap or swipe on the screen as he keeps moving forward. Time your taps just right to pull off high jumps, mid-air spins, and wall jumps to collect coins and achieve the goal.
On the surface, it might seem like a clone of an endless runner like Subway Surfers, but Super Mario Run is much more than that. Once you pay to unlock the complete game, you get access to four new modes. You can complete the campaign mode, or you can even create your own kingdom!
Download: Super Mario Run for Android | iOS (Free)
It’s a very simple game that only involves matching and switching colors. But it is doubly addictive, as every new level brings on a new obstacle to overcome with an increased level of difficulty.
Take part in challenges to earn boosters and level up. Plus there are new surprises unveiled if you achieve your targets. There’s a store full of special candies, color bombs, and other addictive boosters to help overcome those arduous levels.
Download: Candy Crush Saga for Android | iOS (Free)
7. Crossy Road
Crossy Road is an arcade game inspired by the classic Frogger. It is sweet, simple and invites the player to guide a cute animal along the hustle-bustle of the city street that involves obstacles like cars, truck, buses, streams, and more.
All you have to do is tap on the screen to make your animal jump ahead or swipe your finger sideways to change directions.
Dots is all about connecting the dots vertically, horizontally or in the shape of a square to win more points.
There are different game modes to suit all types of players. There is a Time mode, in which the player has to connect all the dots in a given time to get more points. In the Moves mode, it’s all about strategy and making calculated moves. In the Endless Mode, you can relax and take as much time as you need.
Asphalt 9 is of the best racing games available on a smartphone. And Asphalt 9: Legends takes the arcade part of it to a whole new level. So much so that acceleration in the game is automatic. All you have to do is to make the decisions of which lane to take, when to use a booster, when to drift, and when you crash into an opponent to throw him off the road.
This new version has a world of its own with new supercars from Porsche, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Ferrari and more. The graphics are amazing and it has a multiplayer option too, so you and your friends can totally beat up the competition.
Download: Asphalt 9: Legends for Android | iOS (Free)
You can say that Subway Surfers is where the endless runner genre started. And it’s still just as much fun to play. In Subway Surfers, you’re Jake and you need to escape a rowdy police officer through the subway tracks. You need to dodge obstacles and trains while collecting as many coins as possible.
To help you out, the game provides you with power boosts and power-ups like hoverboard surfing and paint powered jetpacks. With the coins, you can unlock new costumes, characters or buy extra jetpacks and hoverboards.
Now that you’ve got your quick fix, how about something that keeps you entertained for hours on end? If you’re heading out on a long road trip or flight and have a couple of hours to kill, check out our list of the best free mobile games for long journeys.