As the Sun returns and millions of Indians prepare to turn into sweat-fountains, thoughts head towards holidays. Which means flights. Which means not being bored on flights.
Fortunately, even if you’re packed like sardines into a budget carrier, apps and games can keep you occupied. The tiny snag: some (most) will suck your smartphone’s battery dry.
Fear not! Stuff is here to help: this list unearths apps and games we reckon are entertaining, quick to get into, and have enough longevity to last you for a flight. More importantly, they’ll leave you with enough juice to call a cab on reaching your destination.
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build
A little monster has no friends in this former app of the week, so decides to make some from snow. However, snowman building is a precise art, requiring three balls of specific sizes, and the snow is packed into tiny fenced-off areas of land.
So: a drag-based Soko-Ban-style puzzler, more or less, but with gorgeous graphics, and plenty of devious challenges. Fortunately, you have access to several at once, rather than remaining frozen when stuck.
Battery munch: less than five per cent per hour.
The most famous comics app of them all, now owned by Amazon, naturally needs some setting up before you fly. But load some comics on to your phone and you’ll be entertained by everything from the superhero spandex brigade to more thoughtful indie fare.
Do avoid excitedly yelling BIF!, POW! and WHAM! during the entire flight, though, or you might be arrested on landing – or at the very least hated by everyone in your immediate vicinity.
Battery munch: almost nothing – a couple of per cent per hour. Then again, comics are essentially just images.
This one’s something of a mobile classic, with you ushering a trundling cube to each isometric level’s exit.
As you progress, the game reveals more surprises, and you’ll need strong reactions, a good memory, and a beady eye on the mini-map to emerge victorious with the best times and ratings. If you like it, sequel Edge Extended for Android and iOS is also superb.
Battery munch: a smidge more than ten per cent per hour.
Another app of the week, Euclidean Lands combines the turn-based puzzling of Hitman GO with a minimal aesthetic that echoes Monument Valley, and wraps the lot around a Rubik’s Cube.
Even the early levels are brain-bending as you figure out how to position your hero to off his opponents with a pointy stick. Late on, you’ll probably be spending more time staring at the screen whimpering than interacting. Par for the course for the very best puzzlers.
Battery munch: despite all the 3D shenanigans, about 12 per cent per hour.
Buy Euclidean Lands for iOS (₹300)
We wanted something arcade-y in this list, just for a change of pace, but advanced 3D games were right out, due to battery concerns. Enter, then, Brandon Williamson’s superb mash-up of a dozen classic arcade games.
Your little square is dumped in procedurally generated arenas, tasked with eating flowers, staying alive, grabbing a key, and making for the exit. With every maze full of demented denizens seemingly hell-bent on the destruction of everything around them, the ‘staying alive’ bit can be tricky in this endlessly repayable mobile classic.
Battery munch: just more than ten per cent per hour.