Try Participate Learning — Better teaching through digital resources.

Five Android games if you only have five minutes

by Marty Gabel

Some games on Android have steep learning curves, while others require extensive time commitment. This is especially when they feature the acronyms “RPG” or “MMO” in the title.

But not everyone has the time to sit around playing a game for hours on end on their Android tablet or smartphone. Here’s a quick look at five games that are perfect for playing in short bursts, like when you’re standing in line, or just wanting to unwind on your lunch break.

WordFeud ($3.11)

Before Zynga’s Words With Friends hit the Android Market, WordFeud was king of the Scrabble-based games (and for many, it still is). A cross-platform title, you can play others whether they’re sporting iPhones or Androids. So when playing WordFeud you’ll never be short of competition, especially with an estimated 3 million players out there. The ability to have 30 games going on at one time (so you don’t have to wait to make a move if your buddies aren’t online) means it’s the perfect game if you only have a few minutes to spare here and there. Not yet convinced? Try the free version first.

Abduction! (Free)

Yep, there’s a zillion jumping games in the Android Market featuring zombies, ninjas, pandas, and all manner of flora and fauna. Even Abduction itself has spawned a sequel and the more extensive World Attack version. But, the original free game is still worth trying first to see if you like it, and offers plenty of fun, quick, casual gameplay. In Abduction, you’re a little cute cow who needs to climb higher and higher so she can get abducted by a UFO. Simple tilt controls, plenty of fun power-ups, and ever-increasing difficulty make this game great to dip into when you only have a few minutes.

Speedx 3D ($1.46)

Another great game of the ‘play until you die’ variety, Speedx 3D was an early entrant in the Android gaming market and one that continues to get updated and improved by a very thoughtful developer. You pilot a craft of sorts using tilt controls and must fly as far as you can avoiding obstacles and picking up power-ups through ever-changing colorful tunnels. It’s a simply dynamic that works effectively, as some cool beats play in the background to push you further on your quest. Once again, a full, free version is available to try out first.

Paper Toss (Free)

It’s pretty well known and it probably gets dull for some people quite quickly, but Paper Toss is almost the archetype of the casual “I only have five minutes to play” type of game. Throw crumpled up pieces of paper into a wastepaper basket while taking into consideration the fan on either the left- or right-hand side that blows annoying gusts to put you off your game. According to the developer’s notes, Paper Toss has been installed more than 35 million times. If that’s not a sure sign of a popular, casual game, I don’t know what is.

Glow Hockey (Free)

Glow Hockey is a little different to the titles above. It’s not been out as long or probably established as large a following, but it’s still a great ‘pick up and play’ title. One reason it works is its simplicity -- if you’ve ever seen other Air Hockey games, you’ll know exactly what to expect from this game. With its colorful neon graphics, adjustable difficulty levels (from easy to insane) and some fun physics, Glow Hockey is a perfect way to spend a few minutes, and with 5-10 million installs already, I’m guessing other Android owners out there agree.

Download the free Appolicious Android app for more great recommendations