Niantic’s location-based spinoff of the beloved Nintendo monster-snagging series. Was downloaded more than 500 million times during its first two months of release. As such, we’d bet that if you haven’t already played Pokémon Go, you’ve at least heard of it. And if you still haven’t played, you should give it a shot. It’s one of the top free phone experiences of 2016. Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS to send you around the neighborhood to capture the cute little buggers. And collect items from nearby hotspots. And fight for Pokémon supremacy in digital gyms all over the place. It has been significantly improved since release. So if your initial hype wore off before summer’s end, now is a great time to jump back in.

Pokémon Go

                Pokémon Go (Free)

Alto’s Adventure

                          Looking for a winter journey that’s warmer than most? Alto’s Adventure is undoubtedly up to the task. It’s a side-scrolling, endless snowboarding game that’s a fair bit like Ski Safari. Instead of being silly cartoonish, it’s calm, beautiful, and clearly built with a love of heart precision. And it’s free on Android, unlike the earlier iOS version. As you glide down the slopes, you’ll jump to dodge jagged rocks, do backflips to earn points. Also try to maintain momentum to evade pursuers. Meanwhile, the time of day weather gradually shifts in a remarkably gorgeous fashion. The ultra-catchy music helps propel you along. The premise might be familiar, but incredible uncommon detail makes Alto’s Adventure feel distinct.


Best known for building endless innovative experiences like Smash Hit and Does Not Commute, Mediocre applies that mentality to pinball in and out. Indeed, this freebie scraps the confined areas of traditional pinball tables. And gives you an ongoing game world to flip the ball through. With each new site giving way to something else on the horizon. Each new area you unlock has a fresh theme, albeit still very neon Tron-esque. With pulsing beats to match and unseen obstacles to maneuver around. Yet it’s still grounded in the classic game of two paddles and a ball. You can play as much as you’d like for free. Or pay a couple of bucks to unlock checkpoints between worlds. Much like in the studio’s other games.



Solitaire is a classic single-player game that makes perfect sense for a phone. But all those stacks of cards can look mighty crowded on a screen. On the other hand, Sage Solitaire keeps things simple; it’s like a one-player version of poker. Using the on-screen cards challenges you to make classic hands of pairs, whole house, straight flush, etc. There’s one significant rule, however; you must use cards from at least two different rows. While you can trash a couple cards at a time to see what’s beneath. You’ll quickly run out of options if you don’t make smart strategic moves. Sage Solitaire is a great solo spin on familiar card games. The core game is free, with some bonus modes available for purchase.

Sage Solitaire

                            Sage Solitaire (Free)

Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari                        

Here, your goal is to ride on the backs of various bucking, sprinting, and flying animals. All to notch the farthest distance possible before crashing or falling off. You can leap freely between animals to utilize new abilities or satisfy objectives. Still, you’ll need to time the jumps perfectly to keep up your run. So, by taming new animals, you’ll build up a weird floating zoo.

Super Stickman Golf 3                          

                    Super Stickman Golf 3 (Free)

Asphalt Xtreme

Gameloft’s Asphalt 8; Airborne is still the best free Android game for speedy racing thrills. Now Asphalt Xtreme is here to satisfy similar urges away from blacktop cities. Xtreme is the first series entry to focus on off-road antics. You’ll find 35 different rides, including monster trucks, mud buggies. And rally cars to whip around the ice, dirt, mud, and more. Continuing the trend of the last game, Asphalt Xtreme is a super-slick experience, delivering sharp 3D graphics and steady performance. Plus, the campaign mode has endless events and challenges to take on. And once you’ve learned the ropes, you can hop online for live eight-player battles. Some freemium systems are annoying, but they don’t kill the glossy fun here. Asphalt Xtreme (Free)

Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes


                        Collectible card game based on a cartoonish tower defense strategy game? Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes seemed like the least graceful or noticeable spinoffs. But spend a little time on the battlefield, and these deck-based duels are clever. You’ll build up your best deck from an array of cards on either side, as is typical for the genre. But the combat has some interesting twists. The lane-based action recalls the core Plants vs. Zombies games. While the Zombies side has added “Tricks” that they can play to gain the upper hand. And how resource points gradually build up can affect how you build your deck. Spending money on card packs can bring quick advantages. But you can still have a lot of fun without paying any cash. Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes (Free)

Peter Panic

                      Peter Panic is a strange, silly little game; we mean that in the best way possible. Adult Swim’s game spotlights a young man who finds his small-town theatre closed under mysterious circumstances. Given his tendency to sing show tunes during every interaction, that’s not good news. His goal? Recruit help by working odd jobs around town. At its core, Panic takes cues from Nintendo’s last series. You’ll blitz through rapid-fire runs of quick-hit microgames, sorting papers, filling boxes with packing peanuts, and other speedy tasks. But everything around takes the form of a stage musical, with weird new allies singing their stories at every opportunity. It’s a delight. You can play free or pay $3 to unlock checkpoints.