7 free games to play on your smartphone when you’re stuck at home

These games can be played alone or with friends from afar

Clash of Clans. Courtesy Supercell Oy
Clash of Clans. Courtesy Supercell Oy

Due to various travel restrictions and closures of public attractions, many of us are spending more time at home than ever before. The obvious answer to busting any boredom is to switch on Netflix, but our smartphones also have much to offer in this time – much more than just endlessly scrolling through social media sites, too.

Here are a few games you could download that not only offer a great way to pass some time, but also a bit of exercise for your brain.

The Logo Game

Sure, this game can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when the answer is on the tip of your tongue, but it’s also highly addictive and will certainly test your knowledge of business and pop culture. Basically, you’re shown a logo and have to guess which brand it belongs to. It’s pretty America-centric, but in this age of globalisation most of us are bound to recognise most of them.


The premise for this one is so simple, yet so appealing. You just have to connect the dots of a shape using just one line, without taking your finger off the screen. It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you get to the more complicated figures. Then again, it’s so satisfying when you finally crack the puzzle.


A screenshot of Fishdom. Courtesy Playrix
Fishdom. Courtesy Playrix

The challenges in Fishdom are a bit like Candy Crush in that the aim is to connect gems of the same colours and shapes in order to clear the board or complete a task. But Fishdom is also so much more than that. Each time you beat a level you win coins and vouchers that allow you to buy fish and decorations to furnish variously themed aquariums. It might sound a bit barmy, but you’ll be hooked in no time.

New Words with Friends

Feeling lonely? This multiplayer word game might be your solution. It’s an update to the classic version of the game, which lets players take turns building words in a similar way to Scrabble (although there is no association between the two games). It’s a fun way to socialise without getting in close proximity with anyone, but it’ll also test your brain power and spelling skills. New Words with Friends can be played by 10 people at any time.


Another app that’s much more than just a mind-numbing game is Lumosity, which offers challenges to train your brain, improve your memory and keep you alert. The people behind it tout it as “daily exercise for your mind” and claim the tasks are scientifically validated, too. So there are fun games to play and puzzles to solve, but all rooted in maths or language education, for example.

Clash of Clans

Is strategy more your thing? Then Clash of Clans is all the rage. With more than half a billion downloads, it’s taken the phone-gaming industry by storm and is a good one to play with friends. You join in with players from across the world to build villages, raise clans and compete in Clan Wars. Barbarbians, wizards and the Goblin King all make an appearance.


Duolingo is the largest online language platform in the world Courtesy Sanya Burgess
Duolingo is the largest online language platform in the world. Courtesy Sanya Burgess

This isn’t exactly a game, but it certainly feels like it is. Duolingo allows users to learn a new language by answering questions and pairing phrases, for example. It’s actually quite addictive and very effective – although you’ll need to be practising every day to make what you’ve learned stick. It might help to get on the phone with someone else who speaks the language you’re learning to do some in-real-life training at the same time, without the physical contact.

Updated: March 17, 2020 03:05 PM


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