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15 Things To Do When You're Bored Out Of Your Mind

Let’s waste some time, together.

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1. Lifeline (£0.79)

Your mission is to guide an astronaut to safety, after crash landing on a strange planet. But here's the cool bit: You guide them in real time. If you tell them to walk to the crash site, they'll estimate the time ("I think it'll take me a few hours"), and then they'll check in with you when they get there.

These updates come via alerts, so it plays really well on iPhone and Android – but it's basically a dream for the Apple Watch. The game is funny, absorbing, and thrilling – you have to make tough choices, and hope that they're the right ones.

Get it for iOS here and for Android here.

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2. The Room (free)

The Room (and its two subsequent iterations) is all you want from a locked room puzzle. Turn keys, open mysterious boxes, and remember codes as you pass from one room to the next, all in search of the ~fifth element~.

(I've found that it's easier to play on a bigger screen – some clues require very specific tapping, which is hard on a phone screen.)

Get it for iOS here, for Android here, and on Steam here.

3. 80 Days (£3.99)

If you only download one game on this list, make it 80 Days. Guys, it's just so good. I am going to describe it now, and it's not going to sound appealing, but it really is.

80 Days is steampunk-influenced text-based trading adventure following Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world.

It is so funny, and smart and addictive – and bears multiple replays (I have been playing it for over a year now, with different objectives each time).

Get it for iOS here and for Android here.

BTW, if you like this kind of game, I can recommend Inkle's other offerings, such as Down Among the Dead Men and Sorcery!

4. Akinator (free)

Akinator

Akinator is clearly magic, and I won't hear otherwise. It's a web version of 20 Questions, except it never gets it wrong. So far, the only thing I have been able to defeat it with is "Wishbone, from the TV series Wishbone".

Play here.

5. Lumino City (£3.99)

Lumino City is so absurdly charming. It's a puzzle game handmade entirely from paper, card, miniature lights, and motors. You play as Lumi (that's her, on the left in both images), out to solve the mystery of her grandfather's disappearance. The puzzles are challenging but not fiendish.

(BTW Steam fans, you might have played Lume a few years back – Lumino City is the sequel.)

Get it for iOS here and for PC here.

6. Pop the Lock (free)

Pop the Lock

This neat reactions game seems simple, but gets trickier as you go along. Essentially, you have to time your pattern of taps to open the lock on screen. Speaking from experience, this is not a game to play on shaking, stop-start public transport.

Get it for iOS here and Android here.

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7. Shades (£1.49)

Shades

Shades is a really charming puzzle game, not unlike Tetris. It has some lovely design touches and is a really calming experience to play.

Get it for iOS here and Android here.

8. Little Alchemy (free)

Little Alchemy

I've written about Little Alchemy before. Basically, you combine elements to make new ones (so for example, water + water = sea). Here's a sample comment after I featured it: "I just spent like 2 hours on little alchemy wtf."

Get it for iOS here and Android here, or play in your browser here.

9. Seabeard (free)

Seabeard

Seabeard = Minecraft + Farmville + Zelda. There's a bit of backstory, but essentially you're building a village, stone by stone.

If you don't want to pay for buy-ins, then the downside of Seabeard is there's sections of dead time while you wait for things to sell or build. You'll also need an internet connection to play.

Get it for iOS here and Android here.

10. Agent A (£2.29)

Agent A is a nifty puzzle game with a 1960s spy theme (think Modesty Blaise). Some of the sections are challenging, especially if you're as bad at spatial puzzles as I am – but there's no shame in YouTubing a walkthrough. It's a little short, but a second adventure is due to be added.

Get it for iOS here.

11. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (free)

bbc.co.uk

This text-based role-playing game based on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is really hard and really funny.

Even if you're the hoopiest of froods, it's still tricky to even get out of the front door. Nonetheless, it's wickedly funny, and a fitting tribute to the book itself.

Play it here.

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12. The Trace (£2.99)

The Trace is a locked-room murder mystery with a forensic twist. Written by David Varela (who was a writer for Sherlock), the storyline is tight and the clues are clever. Again, the only downside is that it's a little short.

Get it for iOS here and for Android here.

13. Dots (free)

Dots

To play Dots you simply, well, connect the dots. But there are different challenge levels – whether it's time trial or a limited amount of moves. It's surprisingly addictive, and also strangely relaxing.

Get it for iOS here and Android here.

14. Heads Up! (£0.79)

On the off-chance that you haven't downloaded this yet, Heads Up comes to us via Ellen (from The Ellen DeGeneres Show – what other Ellen do you know?). It's "Who Am I" with a smartphone twist – it records your efforts to explain the word too. Still confused? Check out Zac Efron playing it here.

Get it for iOS here and for Android here.

15. Just Dance Now (free)

This nifty app transforms your phone into a dance mat. Just load up the homepage and hold your phone in your hand as a controller. The routines are super fun and energetic, and there's even a versus feature, to challenge your friends.

The downside is that unless you buy in, there's a limited amount of tracks you can dance to. But even those are pretty good.

Get it for iOS here and Android here.

If you know of any amazing games that should be on this list, let us know in the comments!

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