As finals week approaches, everyone needs to find something to do to unwind. It’s not my usual tech angle, but here are some relaxing and in some cases, downright addictive games to play.
Candy Crush is a Bejeweled clone with a sweet twist – almost everything in the game has to do with sugary treats. You play this game by matching 3 or more candies of the same type in a row to make them disappear. Matching more than 3 gives you powered up candies. 4 candies in a row give you striped candies that destroy all candies in a row or column. Five or more candies in a row creates a color bomb – a candy bomb that destroys all candies on the board of a specific color. The game currently has about 350 levels but they’re added 15 at a time in groups of ‘episodes’ so it’s unlikely there’ll be an end to this game any time soon. Available to iPad, Android and PC users (usually on Facebook), the time consuming matching of Candy Crush Saga can be played virtually anywhere.
With over 20 million copies sold across multiple platforms, Mojang created a winner with Minecraft. Unlike Candy Crush Saga, Minecraft is an open world game, meaning it has no actual goal. Minecraft isn’t the prettiest game out there, but it really doesn’t need to be. The game revolves around harvesting, refining and placing blocks while trying not to get shot by skeletons, eaten by zombies or blown up by creepers. Players are limited in what they can do only by their imagination. The roller coaster video below is a great example.
Minecraft is available on IPhone, Android, Xbox 360 and as of February, UK’s Raspberry Pi.
A popular Temple Run clone by Kiloo Games, Subway Surfer is an endless game about a kid with a can of spray paint running away from a security guard and his dog. In this game, you run between 3 sets of track, dodging cones, signal lights, trees, barricades and parked or moving trains while you collect coins and special items to complete challenges and unlock new characters. The game has some interesting power ups like jetpacks, hover boards and super sneakers though they occasionally do more harm than good. The longer you play, the faster you run making the game less about actual difficulty and more about reaction time – still, it’s extremely addictive and a great way to pass a train ride. Subway Surfer is available for any device running Android or iOS.
Rovio’s Angry Birds is one of the most popular mobile games ever to be created. With 4 games in the Angry Birds series (Seasons, Rio, Space and Star Wars), a spinoff (Bad Piggies) a slew of Angry Birds merchandise, and a TV series (Angry Birds Toons), it’s more than an understatement to say the series is popular. Angry Birds is a puzzle game where players launch birds across levels of varying difficulty in an attempt to hit green pigs that have stolen their eggs. Different birds have different abilities – blue birds split into 3 smaller (but weaker) birds and yellow birds speed up when tapped. First released on Apple’s iOS, Angry Birds has since been released for Android, Symbian, Window’s Phone, PC, Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Plants vs. Zombies
“There’s a zombie on the lawn”. No, really. In PopCap’s hit tower defense game, it’s your job to plant a 9 by 5 garden of zombie fighting garden to protect your brains from an interesting array of zombies. Players collect sunlight from random drops or from sunflowers as energy to power plants with different abilities that can range from standard peashooters (the name speaks for itself) to ‘Gloom-shrooms’ (useful mushrooms that shoot bubbles in every direction around them).The strategy of this game is in figuring out which plants are most effective against which types of zombies and in what layout. Certain plants don’t do well on the front lines, but work great as support. Plants vs. zombies is another game it’s easy to get lost in. A game of endless mode can last anywhere between 5 minutes and 5 hours so anyone short on time beware. Plants vs. Zombies is available for almost everything including Nintendo DS, PS Vita, and Blackberry.