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The 8 best games for your new iPhone, iPad, or Android phone

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Fun on the run

Photo by Stefan Etienne / The Verge

Does it matter whether you got an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone for the holidays? Not if you want to play games. The great thing about smartphones and tablets is that, no matter what device you get, there’s going to be some great games for it. So if you were lucky enough to unwrap a new portable and are looking for ways to waste some time, here are a few great options.

We here at The Verge have rounded up our favorite and most-used apps, games, and utilities. Look for our app picks for iPhones, Android phones, PCs, and Macs; our favorite games for PCs, iOS and Android, and our top choices for the PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.

Reigns: Game of Thrones

Reigns: Game of Thrones

The Reigns series has always been a fascinating way of seeing what it would be like to make all of the tough decisions that a monarch has to make. Its latest spinoff takes that concept and puts it in the always brutal world of Game of Thrones. Sitting on the Iron Throne definitely isn’t easy.

Alto’s Odyssey

Image credit: Alto’s Odyssey

The serene snowboarding adventure Alto’s Adventure now has a sequel, and it’s far from a dramatic departure. Alto’s Odyssey switches the setting to a gorgeous desert landscape, and introduces new features like wall-riding and bouncy hot air balloons. But the core action remains as soothing to play as ever.

Brawl Stars

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Supercell, the company behind mobile blockbusters Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, has tried its hand at competitive shooters with Brawl Stars. The game is bright and cartoony, but also incredibly deep, with a huge range of characters to utilize, each with their own particular skills.



The world’s most popular game also happens to be a great fit for your phone. Sure, touchscreen controls can’t match a mouse and keyboard for precision headshots, but if you want to complete all of those battle pass challenges, having the game on your phone is a huge help.

Gone Home

Gone Home
Gone Home

Five years ago Gone Home helped popularize a new kind of game, utilizing the perspective of a first-person shooter, but offering a more narrative-focused, violence-free experience. It tells the tale of a young woman who returns home from college, only to find the sprawling house completely empty. What follows is a tense, wonderful mystery — one that now fits in your pocket.


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Florence lasts less than two hours, but it manages to do a lot in that time. It’s a short story that uses interactivity to make you really feel what it’s like to be young and in love. It’s cute, charming, and playful, but ends on a powerful and emotional note.

Civilization VI

Civilization 6

The latest Civilization might be the biggest game you can play on a phone. It doesn’t water down the turn-based strategy fans have come to know and love, but somehow squeezes it all onto a tiny screen. It’s not the best way to play Civilization VI, but it works well enough, and it’s a godsend if you ever find yourself with hours to kill.

Pocket Run Pool

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Designer Zach Gage has a knack for reinventing classic games like chess and solitaire, and now he’s done the same for pool. Pocket Run Pool turns the pub staple into a single-player experience. There’s a new set of rules and a constantly changing table, which ensure your quest for a high score will be ongoing.

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