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Remember when phones only had snake on a tiny, grainy screen? Back then phones were only used for communication, calling and maybe texting people. The smart phone industry has changed all of that; now phones are more than communication devices, they are integral parts of our lives.
Smart phones act as our daily secretaries, alerting us to events and daily tasks, keeping notes for us, storing music, taking pictures, keeping track of contacts, and much, much more. With all of the different kinds of smart phones out there – like the Apple iPhone and Google Android – almost everyone has one or wants one.
Smart phones don’t only record and maintain our lives, they also provide us with the essential service of entertainment. Whether one is waiting in a doctor’s office, traveling, bored waiting for someone, looking for something to do in between the slew of commercials, or really just bored for any reason, smart phones can help.
Most of the best smart phone games out there fall into two categories: destruction or classic. The destruction games are almost the opposite of most of the popular Facebook games like CityVille and FarmVille that rely on the user to build and care for something. The classic games are those that have been around since simple games were first introduced to phones and the internet that everyone loves and has played at some point. In both cases, phone games have to be simple and easy to return to, since most people will be playing these games while waiting for something that will eventually interrupt their game.
The number one smart phone game is – not surprisingly – Angry Birds. According to the Guardian, Angry Birds saw over 200 million downloads in 2011. This destructive and classic game has had more than a billion downloads since its creation and has led to several spin-offs including Angry Birds: Seasons, Angry Birds: Rio, and Angry Birds: Space.
The original game made the player use some of his or her physics skills while shooting angry birds at the fortresses of green pigs. The narrative behind the game is that these green pigs have stolen the birds’ eggs and the birds are trying to get them back. The game gets progressively harder, and with 270 levels, can become very difficult.
On a related note, last year The Guardian’s Game Blog listed Bird Zapper as one of the best phone games of 2011. In this game the player matches colored birds to then electrify those birds and get them off the phone wire – supposedly the plot of a vengeful squirrel. Apparently smart phone users have some kind of fascination with killing or harming those of the avian species.
The second place winner in best phone games is one of the newest, Fruit Ninja. According to Joystiq there have been over 20 million downloads across all platforms. There are several different modes to play Fruit Ninja in, but all of them share the same concept where fruits fly up and the player is supposed to destroy them by swiping his or her finger across the screen. If the player destroys a lot of fruit he can get bonuses, but the player also has to avoid fruit bombs.
In the Classic mode the fruit begins to fly a little faster and has more obstacles over time, so there are different difficulty levels. However, if a player prefers to zone out and play a simple game he can play in Zen mode that lets the fruit fly for a certain amount of time but at a fairly constant rate. It is a simple, mindless game that is extremely addicting.
In third place is the latest sensation since Words With Friends, Draw Something. Draw Something is a digital version of another classic game, Pictionary, but now the players get to use their own fingers as the paintbrush/pencil. The game became an overnight sensation that supplanted Words With Friends as the most popular game in 2012. The Telegraph reported that only about a month after its release in February of 2012 the game was averaging about 3,000 drawings a second by players of the game.
In fourth place on the list of best phone games is Words With Friends. A digital spin off the classic game of Scrabble, Words With Friends has quickly become one of the most popular phone and Facebook games. The game is played virtually with a friend as the players go back and forth placing words on the board.
There is also a chat function, a little pointless on a phone (that part was more made for Facebook), that allows players to leave messages for each other when the other player returns. One of the greatest parts of Words With Friends is that anyone can play whenever they want, meaning the players can think for as long as necessary.
One of the best features of Words With Friends and Draw Something is that the difficulty level varies depending on who the user is playing and the luck of the ‘draw’ whether the ‘draw’ is letter tiles or what he or she is assigned to draw.
In fifth place for best smart phone games is the long-lasting Tap-Tap Revenge. Although not necessarily one of the most downloaded games, it is definitely one of the most addicting and fun. In Tap-Tap Revenge, now in its fourth version, the player listens to a song and taps a pattern at just the right time; essentially the game is Dance-Dance Revolution for fingers.
For even more of the best smart phone games see ‘Even More of the Best Smart Phone Games of 2012.’