The sad truth of the busy gaming man is that you seldom get to sit in front of the giant TV and sound system you worked so hard to buy and install in your house. You are usually stuck playing on your phone for short bursts when the opportunities arise. Below are my top 5 games on my iphone. I will also indicate the ones that require an internet connection to play, personally my job is a dead zone for phones so only a few games work on breaks or in the bathroom (we all play games on the throne right?).
Marvel Puzzle Quest (Internet Connection required)
The catharsis that comes from the match 3 games like this or Bejeweled or Candy Crush is known, but this one pairs very nicely with trying to build up certain colors to unleash an attack by some of your favorite Marvel characters that you then get to upgrade in an RPG type fashion. It has a mix of story based adventures, daily play rewards, and PVP action with all of those contributing to your goal of expanding your roster and powering them up. Like many games it is built with many micro transactions, but you are totally able to play the game without them if you are patient and you make concessions on the number of heroes you intend to collect. If you are willing to pay some money you can open up your roster size and progress a little more quickly through the game. I grew up in the era of paying for things you enjoy, and I think this game has earned the 20 bucks I spent on it so I can have all the characters I want. But I recommend not spending money on anything else in the game, you can earn everything else they have for sale quickly enough.
Star Realms (Internet only required for PVP)
This is a purchased game, I think it was 4-5 bucks. It is a deck building game which many gamers should be familiar with already. I enjoyed the challenge of the story mode, and I am afraid of the challenge of the story mode on hard. I find that my battles against the AI are pretty varied and that I don’t always win so the game is pretty balanced. They released 1 expansion set that I also purchased that changes up some of the dynamics and you can turn those options on or off if you wish. This is my go-to bathroom game at work. A single battle against the AI is just about the exact amount of time I require, and if I win I can walk back proud. This game is also available in a card set to play with friends, but the game does make counting off the health and such a bit easier for you.
Hearthstone (Internet connection required)
This deck building game more akin to Magic the Gathering has gotten pretty popular and has transactions built in to progress but I think the term “Micro-Transaction” wouldn’t apply here. This game is free yet expensive. Unlocking any kind of single player mode is 25 dollars and there are two stories available now for purchase. Or you can go by chapter for 7 dollars each. You can also buy packs of 5 cards of which at least 1 will be uncommon (Emphasis on ONE). I find this game somewhat maddening and unbalanced but that might well be because I suck and never played Magic so I am unskilled in the format. I am getting better, and I do get a strong sense of glee when I am victorious. But after playing a game like Marvel Puzzle quest where everything helps further your goals, this game feels pretty empty until you spend money to do more. I enjoy single player versions of most games so this game takes serious hits for me making their single player so cost prohibitive. I have yet to fall in love with the game to make it worthy of such an investment at this time. For fan's of other games from Blizzard (Warcraft, Diablo) there are some other bonuses like I unlocked an exclusive mount in WoW.
Heads Up (Internet Required to download more categories)
This is a party game, made popular by Ellen DeGeneres, where you place the phone on your forehead and get people to give you clues to guess the thing shown. There is even a category for video games. This game is great even with just 2 people to pop into a dying conversation or kick the energy up a few notches. Sadly, this game is useless all alone. The game has new categories for 1 dollar each, I find I can get people to give me a dollar to play a category they want and increase my collection of options when playing. The funniest feature is that it records the people in front of you, so if they have to act out something you can watch the playback with hilarious results.
Ticket to Ride (Internet required for PVP)
Another game adapted from a popular board game, this has you battling against either people or AI to create railroad systems that connect specific cities together or stretch over vast areas of the country. This was my go to bathroom game until recently, but I this game is still a challenge even against the AI which doesn’t play as cut-throat as your friends might. This game costs a few bucks and you can pay for more maps than the Northern America one that comes standard for a change of scenery and game dynamics. Once you play a few times you will start to see what things you need to jump on early and what strategies tend to pay off more consistently like almost always aiming to cross the country for some big point bonuses.