Our Favorite 5 Minute Time Killer Games

Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

Commercial breaks, the waiting room or riding the Subway are all things that consume time but are too short to do anything really productive. A little gaming is a good way to burn a few minutes while easing a bit of stress in the process. Smartphones are capable of epic quests and immersive gameplay, but also have a great deal of choice when it comes to quick and simple games. Remember the next time you have a free moment in the day, you might want to pick-up and play.

iOS

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X-Baseball
The first thing you'll notice about X-Baseball is the charming 8-bit visuals and retro audio effects. Your objective is simple: hit the baseballs without getting struck out, otherwise it's game over. Occasionally you'll get the opportunity to hit bananas thrown from the crowd to remove a strike against you. Go long enough and you'll be able to challenge XLarge's mascot gorilla, who is one tough cookie. Free

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Tiny Wings
Not to be confused with that other bird game, Tiny Wings has different gameplay based on the one button principle, where tapping and holding the screen is all you need to play. You control a rotund bird with unfortunately sized wings whose only means of flying is by gaining momentum when sliding down steep hills. Touching the screen shifts her downwards; time it right on the downslope to get the best air and keep the game alive. $1

Android

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Left: Unblock Me Free - Right: SongPop Free

Unblock Me
My fiancée fell victim to this addictive puzzle game back when she got her first smartphone. We have memories of trying to solve especially difficult levels together, trying to unblock that darn red piece. The name of the game is to maneuver the red block off the board by sliding obtrusive pieces lengthwise out of the way. We particularly loved the relaxation mode when we weren't in the mood for something too difficult. Free
Also available for iOS

SongPop Free
Sure you love music, but how well do you know it? Challenge your friends to music trivia and guess songs from a wide variety of categories such as today's hits, classic rock, modern rap and many more. Earn coins with each win to purchase more elaborate playlists, which give you an advantage over your opponents. SongPop is best played in small bursts, since each turn takes no more than a minute or two to play. Free (Ad-free version: $2)
Also available for iOS

Windows Phone 7

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Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
This rehash of the classic staple of gaming is fast, furious and somehow makes a great game even greater. Pac-Man CE DX expands upon the popular gameplay by partitioning the left and right side into separate mazes. Eat all the dots on one side and collect the fruit that appears on the adjacent side to fill the maze back up. Multiple control options are available for every type of smartphone gamer. $7
Also available for iOS ($5) and Android ($4)

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Tap Shot
Remember those old arcade games with the plastic guns? Tap Shot plays similarly, with finger tapping replicating pulling the trigger for some lighthearted target practice. Watch carefully as targets pop up, but watch out for the blue targets, which have innocent bystanders attached. The game is easy on the eyes and an excellent refresher course for your reflex skills. $1

(Images: 1. Jason Rodway, all others: as credited above. App in cover picture is Hot Springs Story)