Subway Surfers (iOS, Android): This runner style of game (much like Temple Run) has you playing the role of a subway graffiti artist, who is being chased by an inspector through an array of subway tracks, tunnels and bridges. As the player, you can switch lanes, jump, duck and dodge barriers, and jump on top of trains that are barreling toward you. Special power-ups give you things like jetpacks, super sneakers or coin-collecting magnets. Coins can be used to purchase power-up upgrades, additional characters (including limited edition players) or special hoverboards, which should remind you of Back to the Future 2. Game updates bring new characters and boards to unlock, which drive you to continue playing. Daily challenges, special-event days (like Mystery Monday or Wild Wednesday) and score-multiplier-mission objectives help keep you addicted long after another subway splats you. Perfect game for killing time in a waiting room, commuter bus or other short-term period.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance (Facebook game): Trying to describe the details of a Facebook game can be difficult, especially when the game has several playing options and ways to accumulate more energy or power-ups, etc. In the end you realize you're just clicking things to unlock other things, but at least with this game you have a bunch of super-heroes to unlock. In this game, you are an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and you fight other bad guys with the Avengers. While you start with only a few heroes, you can eventually unlock (or pay to unlock) other heroes. Well-written stories will keep any Marvel fan engaged, even through some of the monotony of clicking to receive enough money to buy another power-up or hero.
Disney Hidden Worlds (Facebook, iOS): Hidden picture games are very popular on Facebook, in which players look at a drawing and try to locate objects within said picture (just like Highlights for Children magazine!). In this case, you get to play different scenes from Disney movies, including Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. My 8-year-old daughter loves the game, and it's addicting enough to come back each day for a 10-to-15-minute playing session in order to try to unlock the next scene or movie.
Adventure Time: Ski Safari (iOS): For my Adventure Time-obsessed son, this was one of his favorite games, in which you take the character of Finn and try to escape an oncoming avalanche. Much like Temple Run and Subway Surfers, this runner-style of game features an eventual loss (either you mess up or the avalanche catches up to you the longer you last), but this one is a two-dimensional side-scrolling version instead of 3D. Voices and characters from the Cartoon Network show make this enjoyable as well, although it's not as addicting as some other mobile games.
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