Photo: Robert Scoble via Flickr
Who says business travel has to be all work, no play?Smartphones make efficient mobile offices, but they can do much more than manage documents, crunch numbers, and e-mail.
From speed racing to sports to strategy, there are hundreds of smartphone game applications designed to keep you entertained when you’re between destinations.
Here our some of our favourite smartphone strategy games, which we’ve picked specifically to keep your brain busy when you are not.
The pilot's cabin might be restricted, but you can take full command of your own airfield in Firemint's Flight Control, available on iPhone and iPod Touch, BlackBerry, and Android. The game is simple: use your finger to drag planes across the screen and land them safely onto the correct runway. There are several different airfields to manage and different plane types to land. The only objective -- don't crash!
Labyrinth 2 by Illusion Labs takes the traditional wooden toy maze and makes it even more mind-boggling. Cannons, bumpers, magnets, merry-go-rounds, and lasers elevate the game to a new level, creating an infininate numbers of twists, turns, and obstacles that promise to keep your braincells buzzing for the duration of the trip.
Impress business colleagues with your wordsmith skills by playing Bookwork from PopCap Games. The popular word-puzzle allows players to move and link tiles to build words. Feed 'Lex' after you complete each level.
Whiteboards are common office appliances that can be useful outside of work, too. Sadun's Whiteboard is a straightforward application that lets you doodle, scribble down ideas, or draw in different colours without the mess (and toxic stench) of permament whiteboard markers.
Scrabble, by Electronic Arts, is available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Kindle. The classic word-based game is a terrific brain exercise and a favourite with book lovers and spelling aficionados.
Drop 7, which has been described as 'Tetris meets Soduko,' is the ultimate mind-bender. Essentially, the game works by dropping numbered discs into the grid. Whenever the number on a disc matches the number of discs in a row or column, it disappears. It's not advanced calculus, but at the very least it will keep you scratching your head until you get back to doing real work.
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor for iPhone requires players to piece together clues, secrets, and observations to solve a manor mystery. The user appears as a virtual spider whose primary goal is to survive by spinning webs and eating bugs.
Chess is a Thinker's Game. There are many variations on the Web, but Shredder Chess is one of the strongest applications out there. Some impressive features include an auto adjust of the computer's playing strength after a game, a coaching option, options for board and piece designs, and several playing styles.
The Big Bad Sudoku Book by Bad Weasel digitizes one of the most popular number puzzles, making it easy to edit and erase numbers and marks. There are five difficulty levels -- easy, medium, hard, expert, and insane. You can also share puzzles by e-mail, text message, or by posting it on Facebook.