Great games for taking a wee break from your holiday festivities!

The holidays are a perfect time for relaxing and spending some quality time with family and friends — especially the times when our phones are put away.

But the reality is that people are always going to have their phones on them, and maybe sometimes it’s alright to use them for a little escape from the hustle and bustle of the season. On the other hand, there are some games that are great for all ages and can help the whole family kill a bit of time while the turkey finishes cooking in the oven. And you also don’t want anything too involved — we’re looking for more casual pick up and play games here.

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite games for killing time at Christmas.

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks is a fantastic new game for Android that takes everything that you remember and love about Where’s Waldo — the hand-drawn art style, the relaxing and focused fun — and pushes it into the digital age. Here, instead of scanning a page, you’re left to tap around to uncover secrets hidden throughout the scene. You’re given a list of people or items to find in each scene, and it’s up to you to explore every inch of the canvas as you discover all sorts of fun secrets.

There’s a brilliantly layers sound design comprised of human-made sound effects that are charming and remind me of a parent making sounds while reading a book to a kid. This feels like a perfect game for parents with younger kids who are starting to get into mobile games — especially with the holiday season upon us — but it’s also a great break for adults, too.

Download: Hidden Folks ($ 2.99)

Reigns: Her Majesty

Reigns: Her Majesty is the sequel to the award-winning game that combined the easy controls of swiping cards left or right with a compelling and engaging story. You play as the monarch of the land and make decisions that affect four aspects of the kingdom: the church, the people, the army, and the royal wealth. Your goal is to keep all four in balance — if any meter fills to the max or is entirely depleted your reign is over… and a new reign begins!

The sequel plays nearly identically to the first game, except this time you play as the Queen instead of the King, complete with new characters to interact with and multiple branching storylines to discover. This is a great casual game that you can dive into for hours or play in small burst, and an ideal way to kill a bit of time around the holidays.

Download: Reigns: Her Majesty ($ 2.99)

Trivia Crack

Trivia Crack still claims to be the most popular trivia game in the world, although with HQ Trivia coming to Android on Christmas Day that just might be changing.

Nevertheless, Trivia Crack is still a great game to play for any occasion, but especially around Christmas. It’s a head-to-head trivia game where you take turns answering trivia questions You spin the wheel and try and collect a trivia crown for the six different categories — Art, History, Science, Sports, Geography and Entertainment. Its great fun to play alone, or rope in some of your family members and play as a group.

Download: Trivia Crack (Free)


If you prefer a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, maybe you’d rather spend some quiet time at the bottom of a well. While we wouldn’t advise anyone to actually crawling into a well, Downwell is the next best thing.

This is a really simple game that’s easy to pick up but hard to master. There’s no story so to speak — you control this little dude that shoots energy blasts out of his feet as he descends deeper and deeper down a well. You’ll need to dodge or destroy enemies as you collect gems and purchase upgrades in this tough-as-nails game that will have you hooked for hours.

Downwell is one of the best games for Android and it’s definitely a game I keep coming back to whenever I have a bit of time to kill. Very addictive with no ads or in-app purchases to be bothered by.

Download: Downwell ($ 2.99)

Alto’s Adventure

I will always recommend Alto’s Adventure until the sequel is finally released. Whether you’ve played it before or not, Alto’s Adventure is just one of the best games for killing time on Android.

You play as Alto, a snowboarding llama herder on a mission to track down his flock who have wandered down the mountain. You speed down the mountain hitting huge jumps and grinding along

Download: Alto’s Adventure (Free)

Heads Up!

Heads Up! is a really fun local multiplayer trivia game. One player holds a phone or tablet to their head showing a word, and a teammate gives hints as to what the word is (without saying it specifically, of course). A quick flip down of the device brings up a fresh word when guessed right, while a flip-up is a pass. After it’s all done, you can watch a video replay taken from the device’s front-facing camera and share it out to friends. There are six themed packs available out of the gate, and plenty more through in-app purchases of about a buck a pop.

Definitely give Heads Up! a try if you’re looking for a fun game that everyone in the family can play around the holidays.

Download: Heads Up! (Free w/IAPs)

Words With Friends 2

Words With Friends is a classic mobile game, and the sequel takes everything you loved about the original game and made things easier to play for quick games as well as playing by yourself.

So what’s new with Words With Friends 2? Zynga has completely redesigned the look and feel of the game while also adding a bunch of cool new game modes. There’s Solo Challenge which pits you against iconic literary figures controlled by the CPU, from Jane Austen to the master wordsmith himself William Shakespeare. Then there’s Lightning Round which is a team-based mode where it’s a race to get to 750 points. Each member of your team starts with their own board and you swap and add words to each other’s board as fast as you can. Both of these modes seem to address the biggest gripe with the original game — waiting for your friend to finally play a word.

Its a substantial update to a beloved game that’ll likely lead to a whole bunch of Facebook invitations to play from friends and family, and does good work to further differentiate Words With Friends from Scrabble. Play it to kill time waiting for the family to show up for dinner, play cooperatively with your fam, or get your relatives in on the game so you can keep in touch through Words With Friends 2 throughout the year!

Download: Words With Friends 2 (Free)

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