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There are many ways to kill time on your commute, but my personal favourite is playing a quick iPhone game.
I also play music or a podcast, but there’s something about having productive-feeling fun on my way to and from work that makes the time fly by.
I’ve been playing iPhone games since the App Store launched (they were rough), but these are the games, both new and old, that I come back to on my subway rides.
All prices are in Australian dollars.
Despite its -- pardon the pun -- minimalist art style, Minimise is a puzzle game that challenges you to clear all the tiles on a board by smashing similarly-coloured tiles into one another.
The difficulty curve is gentle, but somewhere around level 30 you start to realise that aimlessly swiping the screen isn't going to get you anywhere.
Despite completing all of the levels that have been released so far, I still keep Minimise on my front screen. I'm just waiting for the next update.
Though it's only been out for a couple years, in App Store time Threes! can be considered 'an oldie, but a goodie.'
Another puzzle-like game, the object is to combine similarly numbered cards together to get a higher numbered card. Each card is a multiple of 3, and before you know it this happy-go-lucky game becomes completely engrossing.
I'll never forget the first time I managed to combine two 128 cards to form a 256. Magic.
The first two games I've mentioned are challenging, but passive.
RunGunJumpGun isn't mellow; it's a manic endless-runner that has you, you guessed it, running, jumping, and gunning.
Jumping is handled by tapping the left side of the screen, while tapping the right side of the screen fires your gun.
The 2D-art style is beautiful, and while you can probably get through each stage after a handful of runs, try grabbing all of the sporadically-placed orbs in each stage.
It took me a while, but in terms of sheer replay value, this might be the best game on this list.
Before it became a multimedia franchise, Plants Vs. Zombies was a breakout iPhone game.
It still is, and while its sequels are full of microtransactions, you can still pick up the original game -- in full -- for less than a dollar.
Plants Vs. Zombies pits you, the plants, against a hoard of zombies trying to invade a house. There are handful of different 'worlds' with a few different levels in those worlds.
Each world has unique challenges, so at the moment when you think you've mastered this game, a curve ball comes your way.
If there is such a thing as 'the ultimate mobile game,' there's a strong case to be made that it's Tetris.
From its smash-hit success on the original GameBoy in 1989, to versions ported on any portable (and home) game console worth its salt, Tetris is a mainstay game that should rarely (if ever) leave your phone.
This version has a few different modes, but I typically stick to the standard, generic Tetris that I've been playing since childhood. There's something about breaking bricks that makes my commute fly by.
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