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Free mobile games for Android and iOS

Mobile gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow year over year. In fact, mobile games have recently surpassed both PC and console games in popularity. Mobile apps aren't just playable on-the-go -- they're also more affordable and often free. Even better, most are ready to play on the phone or tablet you already have, without the need for expensive consoles or additional accessories. But with so many new game releases, how can you tell the difference between a good time-waster and a plain ol' waste of time? Here are the factors you should consider when selecting your next game.


Mobile game FAQs

  • How much does it cost?
    Paid games might deter some players from downloading a game, but they tend to offer the full experience with one upfront payment. If a game's model is freemium or free-to-play, then users will most likely will be asked to pay for power-ups, weapons, coins, or additional levels.
  • Is it challenging?
    Players like to be challenged, but there are a variety of players with different skill sets. A good game tailors its difficulty to the gamer without being too easy.
  • Where's the story?
    A strong story -- even something as simple as rescuing a princess in a castle in Super Mario Run (Android, iOS) -- keeps players engaged while playing. Monument Valley (Android, iOS), Framed (Android, iOS), and The Room Three (Android, iOS) are also rich storywise. But if the story is too complicated or nonexistent, you'll lose the audience. If the game is based around fighting other players, however, then the narrative may not be as important.
  • Are the graphics cool?
    If you're spending a lot of time playing, then you want something nice to look at. You also need to be able to clearly see what you're doing -- especially on small-screen devices.That's why crisp, visually appealing graphics go a long way in games, such as Pokemon Go (Android, iOS). Unless the game -- think Super Mario Run -- is aiming for nostalgia, of course, in which case you'll appreciate more retro-looking graphics.
  • What genre is it?
    Some players prefer one genre over another that fits their style of play. If you're a first-person shooter aficionado, then you may not be into a match 3 game.
  • Are there regular updates?
    If you are able to beat a game pretty quickly, then what's the point of playing it anymore? That's why successful games add updates and new levels to keep things interesting.
  • Can you play offline?
    If a game needs Wi-Fi or data connectivity to play, it might not be best suited for plane rides or remote traveling when reception may be an issue. That said, games that requires data usually offer more online features such as the ability to play against other human gamers.

Hottest mobile games

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run brings Nintendo's classic Super Mario Bros. video game to your mobile device.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

In Monument Valley, you guide silent princess Ida through unique monuments to uncover their mysteries.

Framed

Framed

Framed is a noir puzzler in which you rearrange comic panels to keep your crooked character out of deadly peril.

The Room Three

The Room Three

The Room Three tasks you with solving a series of puzzles created by an enigmatic figure.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is a fun augmented-reality game that gets you out of the house to hunt for Pokemon in the real world.

Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.