Remember the days where flying was a unique thing in which people got dressed up in suits and dresses for the occasion? I don’t either. Now, everyday travel has become more a chore than a pleasure. We’re constantly trying to find ways to entertain ourselves without playing “punch buggy” (kudos if you got that Simpsons reference).
Whether it’s music, films, games or a good book, there are many ways to pass the time in the car, train, bus or plane. Today we’ll be covering great games to play on the go. There will be a myriad of platforms covered, so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy. I will be breaking it down by system, which should save you time while reading if you don’t have that particular device.
The app stores for Android, Apple and Windows are full of great games to play on the go. Whether it’s the bus to work or the plane home, they’ve got you covered. Don’t get me wrong, given the market, there are a lot of games in there that are just terrible. The ones I’ve selected are decent and generally don’t require an internet connection to play, and are also gentle to your battery life.
Any game by Kairosoft
I’ve liked this dev since day one of the European app release of Game Dev Story. If you don’t know of their games, they are all management sims, ranging from managing a cruise liner, shopping center, F1 team and also more in-depth exploration based games.
These are great games to play on the go for a few reasons: One, they are easy on the battery life, and two, once you’ve paid your money for the app, there are no in app purchases. That being said, more recently, they’ve jumped on the bandwagon and have games with ads in them. Just stick to their early stuff and you’re in for a treat.
New Star Soccer
New Star Soccer is another one of the great games to play on the go that you may already be aware of, as it’s been around for a while. However, the game has also gone through a vast update lately, which was for the better in my opinion.
This is a simple RPG where you run your life as a footballing prodigy and rise to the ranks of Messi and Ronaldo. Matches are played out with you dragging your finger backwards for power, and moving left or right for aim for passing and shooting.
Outside of the match, you’ve got the managing of relationships, training, and also the buying of property. It’s decent on the battery life and simple to learn. The greatest benefit of this game is that it’s easy to pick up and put down again.
Football Manager series
Recently released was the 2017 incantation of the popular football management sim. The game is starting to be released on Windows, OS X and now phones. This is obviously one for the football fan that thinks they can do better than the man in the dugout.
The 2017 version has retained what you know and love about the game and runs well on most devices. It can be a tiny bit taxing on the battery, but not enough to drain it fully. I’ve managed to get through half a season before it was time to think about charging (seems like a small amount, but let’s be honest, the majority of that time is spent sorting the team out tactically, and in the transfer market). For fans of sports, this is certainly one of the great games to play on the go.
Sorcery is now on its 4th incarnation of the storybook series. I might show my age with this, but the game is basically like the RPG books you used to love. Think single player dungeons and dragons.
These games are beautifully written, include beautiful graphics, and are easy on the battery life. They’re currently about £4 per app on Google Play, but seriously worth it for the RPG fan out there.
A Story of a Band
This is an older game. The last update the app had was in 2014, but that doesn’t mean that it’s terrible. It’s far from it, actually. This is a simple game that has you managing a band and getting them to the heavy heights of the Hall of Fame. It’s an easy game to learn and it’s also gentle on the battery life, making this one of the great games to play on the go.
Steam has become one of the biggest PC gaming platforms of all time. The support they give to the gaming community is unparalleled. The extremely good deals you can get help, of course. This list obviously depends on your portable rig. I’ve used an Acer V5 laptop, as well as a Surface Pro 4.
Turmoil is a fantastic little indie game. You’re running an oil company and have to buy land, then make the most profit you can. You can upgrade your rigs, horses, drills and storage. It’s quite simple to learn and is also easy on the battery life.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
I think nearly everyone has played a RollerCoaster Tycoon game at some point. Chris Sawyer really knows what he’s doing when it comes to these games. This is a game for hours of entertainment and little loss to battery life. Although you’ll build a roller coaster that ends in disaster at some point, this is immensely fun and one of the great games to play on the go.
Papers, Please is another indie gem. You’re the border guard of a country that may as well be Russia. This is easy to learn, has simple controls, and doesn’t massacre your battery life. It also works well on Windows touchscreen devices.
Okay, by now you’ll have guessed I have a soft spot for indie devs. Another gem, and another game where it’s ideal if you think you can do better than the occupant of Number 10 Downing Street or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
You’re the top dog in the government and have to balance public opinion as well as the budget. It’s another game that’s easy on the battery life and extremely fun to play, making it one of the great games to play on the go.
If you happen to have a Windows tablet and no Bluetooth keyboard, this isn’t the game for you. The title should suggest what you’re placed as. It’s essentially a text-based game which puts you at the keyboard of a hacker. The game does have a bit of a learning curve, but it’s engrossing once you’ve got the hang of it.
Those two are the main platforms I’m covering. I know there are handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS and the PS Vita, which is still alive. However, the games on those devices aren’t as dependent on the game-to-battery life ratio. Of course, the Nintendo Switch is also promising for gaming on the go. Personally, I’m looking forward to the new Zelda game, even more so if I can do that on the move.
A tip I will provide, but one you may already know. When you’re on the plane, turn your devices onto flight mode. This will improve the battery, especially on laptop devices. Another trick is controlling the screen brightness as well, which is easier if you’re travelling through the night.
Are there any games you’ve played on trips and feel should be on the list? Comment below or discuss more at twitter @steelcitygam3r!