Arts & Culture News

Four Free Game Apps to Distract You...Or Someone You Love/Hate/Like Moderately

Welcome to another edition of Geek-Offs, where you'll find the perfect distractions to help you muddle your way through hump day each week.

If you're anything like us, you take your phone everywhere. Because, let's be honest, it's more than just a phone - it's an entertainer, accountant, baby sitter and social secretary.

Phones keep us appropriately LinkedIn or allow us to fall into the rabbit holes that are addictive apps and games. There's an app for everything, regardless of time, place or company, so here are this week's picks of free game apps to keep you busy at the best (and worst) of times, no matter who you're with.

Hey there. Smarty Pants. Fact: You are smarter than everyone else in the world. Strangers tremble at the idea of your massive cranium, which you can work out every day with Qrank. There are new questions every day, allowing you to stay abreast of current events and brush up on the old classics. In our region, there are four daily quizzes available: general and sports trivia games as well as Texas-centric content from the Texas Tribune and a daily Kirkus Review quiz for the literati. With location-based leaderboards, you can claim the biggest brain prize in town, whether you're at home on the couch or throwing a few back at your favorite watering hole.

This one goes out to the little monsters. Kids are exhausting. They. Never. Stop. Not only that, they're clumsy as hell. Yet, no matter how many times they managed to bump into kitchen tables (which, mind you, haven't moved since the day they were born), they're always able to hold on to an iPhone like it was the last chicken strip on Earth. So when the kids get to be too much to handle, launch Smack That Gugl and hand the phone over for a sanity break. A simple Whac-A-Mole game that has lots of bright colors and cutesy sound effects, there are both normal and kid-friendly modes of this highly addictive game to keep the tykes occupied. For a while.

Keep this app "top of mind" during your next "strategy sesh." A disclaimer: my day gig is at an interactive agency, Blockdot. We have meetings. Lots of meetings. Catchphrases and buzz words go flying a million miles a minute, so leave it to one of the brilliant minds here to come up with Buzzhole, a buzz word bingo game that's perfect for those long brainstorming and optimization meetings. Launch the game at the start of any meeting and it'll be the first time you'll be waiting on the edge of your seat for the bossman to say things like "synergy," "productize" and "paperless office."

Leave them hanging on your every word. Are you all Scrabbled out but still love playing Words with Friends? (There are only so many times you can wonder who keeps opening a Word Helper app.) Well the makers of Words with Friends have put an end to that with their newest offering, Hanging with Friends. Based on the classic pen and paper game Hangman, Hanging with Friends took away the fear of worrying about who's going to get that prime triple letter and replaced it with the pride of stumping your favorite wordsmiths with "snap."

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Jennifer Medina