Over the years, mobile gaming has become a phenomenon, rivaling in magnitude with its console and PC-based counterparts. We even have mobile versions of Fortnite and PUBG now, games that require lots of processing power to run. But when you just want a quick game to play in the grocery line or even on the toilet, try these simple, quick games that you can play right on your lock screen.
All of the games listed below live inside your Today View as widgets, which can be accessed either in the pull-down Notification Center or from the right-swipe action on the lock screen or your first home screen page. This means you can launch and start playing the games almost immediately without even unlocking your iPhone.
- Don't Miss: The 11 Best Free Word Games for iPhone & Android
Since these games live as widgets, they're all pretty simple puzzle and arcade-style ones, games you won't feel bad about closing when you're back to real-life duties like paying for food. One game's origins even dates back to the '60s when you could only play it on mainframe computers, but that doesn't make it any less addicting. Another app listed below has a total of three games you can play.
If you're unfamiliar with adding widgets to your Today View, it's fairly simple. Some of these games will let you 3D Touch on their icon on the home screen to select "Add Widget," while the others will make you select "Edit" at the bottom of the Today View screen to add them to approved widgets list. For more information, check out our full guide on adding widgets linked below.
Snake is the perfect pick-up-and-play game, where you are a two-dimensional snake trying to eat and get larger. If you eat yourself or hit a wall, you lose. You're given a virtual D-pad to control your little buddy, so it's no Nokia experience, but it's still a great game to play at the drop of a hat. You can even tweak some settings like grid size and colors. However, "Quickgets Snake" is not free and will run you $0.99.
Another oldie but goodie. First introduced in the '60s, Minesweeper has been ported over to nearly platform, rising to prominence when Microsoft added it as one of its main games in Windows starting in 1992 and lasting all the way until Windows 8 came out (though you can still download it from the Microsoft Store).
The game involves you locating mines on a grid by tapping. You're given hints as to where they're located, so make sure to mark the mines once you find them with a tap-and-hold. You win by tapping every non-mine space in the grid, and you can double-tap any space to reveal all un-flagged squares at once. This variation gives you a bunch of options such as difficulties levels and custom grids.
This is a port of the infinite runner game that you can play in Google Chrome. While not officially sanctioned by Google, Steve gets major points for both being able to play inside a widget and while still online (you can only play the Chrome game while offline). Simply tap anywhere on the widget to jump Steve across all the cacti in the desert, and see how far you get.
It's Flappy Bird! Even though the game's best days were in 2014, clones still pop up all the time since its creator pulled it from the App Store). This widget is no different. It's effectively the same addictive and frustrating game, where you squeeze through pipes by tapping the screen to have the bird flap its wings.
You can also switch the widget game to Piggie Jump via the "Gameboard - Widget Game for Swaggie bird, and Piggie jump" application, which has you jumping a little piggy up a series of rungs without missing one. You can also unlock a Ball Jumper game by rating the app, give you a total of three games in one app!
Another infinite runner, Bale Ball is a game in which you control a ball that has to survive as long as possible. Navigate obstacles by jumping over spikes and try to stay alive. While similar in concept to Steve, I find this game a little more challenging, albeit a little less charming aesthetically. There's also a pro version available for $0.99 that gives you double-jump abilities.
Probably the most graphically polished game of the bunch, Overglide puts you in the shoes of a paper airplane trying to glide around obstacles. By tapping and holding, the airplane glides upwards, and by not tapping, it naturally falls towards the ground. Overglide will also run you $0.99 to play.