When it comes to games, I’ve been pretty obsessed with Beat Saber and Monster Hunter World recently, but since I can’t take my desktop PC on the plane with me, I downloaded a few new games from the Play Store for my flights this past summer. There were three that I found myself really enjoying, so I thought I’d share them with you.
Each of these games are especially good if your play style tends towards wanting to complete games 100%: each of them has an extensive non-narrative progression system, so you can spend a lot of time fully getting to every element of the game if you so desire. They’re also really good for casual play, too, so regardless of which style you tend to prefer, they’re worth checking out. My favorite types of games tend to be rhythm or puzzle games, which these three are, so if you like that style or want to try something new, take a look at these:
I Love Hue
Of these three phone games, I Love Hue by Zut! has been my favorite and definitely the one that I’ve been spending the most time on. The premise of the game is simple – you have a varying sized grid of different colors, and you have to sort them by hue by dragging to swap tiles. Each level has different color themes, and varying sets of pinned anchor sets that you can’t move. These are designed to help you know where to base some of your moves – it’s a lot more challenging than it seems!
I could see this one giving you a lot to work with to unlock it all!
I love this game because it’s incredibly soothing to me to organize the tiles by color. You’re rated against the average number of moves that it takes people to complete, and it’s just for the satisfaction: you don’t actually gain from beating the average, it’s just a nice compliment (and the game does compliment you when you beat the global average for a puzzle!) Completing puzzles grants you a heart, and the increasing difficulties are unlocked by obtaining a certain number of hearts. You can pick and choose the levels within your available difficulties, so you don’t have to complete all of them to advance, but because I find the game so relaxing, I’ve really enjoyed working on all of them before moving on.
There is a ‘pay to play’ element of the game, but you can still complete puzzles without paying: you get 15 ‘prisms’ per day, and use these prisms to play the different puzzles (usually 3 prisms each). You can unlock the ad-free version of the game by buying a Prism Pack, which is what I did, selecting the $1.99 option. To me, this game has already far surpassed its value and I get to play more, which was perfect for a long haul flight.
The second of the games that I’ve been playing quite a bit of lately, Ketchapp’s Rush, is an infinite runner style game where the level is endless and goals are designed around how far you can get in a single run. In Rush, you control a sphere rolling down a path that is studded with small diamonds and polygonal obstacles that require you to swap between sides of the track. The track is not unsimilar to a roller coaster, and rotates throughout the game play. As you progress in the game, you can unlock different levels, tracks, and ball designs. There is also a mechanic in place to allow you to get randomized reward spheres with differing rarities. If you’re the kind of player who likes to fully complete games, this one could definitely give you a good challenge.
Rush also has a great techno soundtrack, which I find really soothing on planes – so wear headphones! I like infinite runner games because you play against yourself, and Rush has a number of different goals to aim for that increase in difficulty and also switch up objectives. Some of them require a ton of concentration, which I found made me competitive in a solo-play way. It didn’t calm me the way that I Love Hue did, but it’s definitely a fun time sink on the plane to help break up long stretches. It’s also a cool way to observe reaction states – I definitely play worse when I’m tired! Another element to the game that I really enjoy is the data – they keep a really good record of how you play, so you can see a graph of your average score over time.
The last of the three games that I’ve been playing on recent flights is a rhythm game called Beat Stomper by Rocky Hong. Like Rush, Beat Stomper has a cool electronica inspired soundtrack that suits a plane ride ambiance well. In Beat Stomper, you control a small cube – one tap jumps up and the other smashes the box down with the ultimate goal of climbing as many platforms as you can. It’s a lot harder than it sounds! There are power-ups that exist on the platforms, and you have to progress a certain amount in a level before unlocking the next one. As you advance upwards on the platforms, they get smaller. The main goal is to hit the power-ups: they send you up 20 levels instantly, so the key for getting a high score is to aim for as many of these as possible by timing your drops.
Of these three, Beat Stomper is the one that I’ve played the least, but I think that’s at least in part because it was the one I’m the worst at. Unlocking levels requires challenges or metrics to be hit (such as 100 games played, which feels like a grind and too slow for the pace of the game itself). I haven’t figured out if there’s a reward system for breaking your high score, so the balance seems a little bit off for me when I’m playing. That said, it’s still really fun, and you occasionally get a double sized cube that makes hitting those power-ups easier.
Both Beat Stomper and Rush also have options to remove ads, which I recommend – it makes game play so much more enjoyable not to get interrupted, though often times in airplane mode, this doesn’t matter. What I do find is that it makes the games significantly more enjoyable, and I get to help reward the developers and designers who spent the time to make these games in the process. It’s definitely worth the money to me to get this much enjoyment out of these apps: it’s made my recent cross country plane rides an absolute delight and they just flew by!
Let me know if you give any of these a try and what you think! What are your go-to game choices for flights? Share your favorites in the comments!