Top 10 Mobile Games for the Avid Traveler

Top 10 Mobile Games for the Avid Traveler

The idea of travel brings to mind open skies and stretching beaches. Troves of exotic trees and blue water, all abundant with sight-seeing possibilities and happy people enjoying life. But what about the flight there? The wait in the airport or the long bus ride riddled with countless stops along the way. What do you do when you're stuck on layover, waiting in the airport coffee shop for a storm to blow over or in your hotel wondering how to combine your site-seeing with a bit of mobile gaming to spice up your adventure life?

In this article we showcase the best mobile games that enhance a travel experience. The list of ten is populated with a few paid games as well as a few free and most are available on both iOS and Android devices. All are guaranteed to get you through a layover or four.

We chose the games based on the following criteria:

  • Free/Worth the $$
  • Minimal to No ads
  • Excellent Time consumption
  • Travel Oriented
  • Augmented Reality Use
  • Location Based/Utilizes GPS


80 Days ~ $  Available on iOS & Android

A great choose-your-own-adventure game. Well worth the $5 I paid on the Google Play Store. The game has a techno-fantasy feel and is designed to mimic the story-line of the famous Jules Vern book “Around the World in 80 Days”.

With over 150 cities to explore and thousands of routes all strewn across an interactive 3D globe the adventure is almost endless. But watch the clock because as the title states, you only have 80 days to make it around the world.

Choose from an array of travel ready crafts like steamers, express trains, airships, a hover-car, hydrofoil, gyro-copters, camels, horse-back, hot-air balloons and more. Combined with it's great artwork, engaging NPC Dialogue and near endless amounts of game play this one makes for a must have on any travelers list.


Pokemon GO ~ Free iOS & Android 

It is no questions that Pokemon Go has swept the world off its feet and back out into the streets, literally. The game was given a 7/10 by Nintendo Insider, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves despite the many bugs that' have been reported.

It uses augmented reality via your phones forward facing camera and allows you to chase digital Pokemon all over Planet Earth. The idea is priceless and the game is free so getting started with this franchise established hit is super simple.

The game play basically consists of you clicking on a Pokemon, then a Pokeball in an attempt to capture and add it to your Pokedex. There are gyms and locations that you can also activate with a click, but the strategic combat choices are non existent and the only malleable aspect of battle is when you're in a gym and can choose a certain type Pokemon to give you an advantage over others(water type vs fire, etc.).

All in all the Lite approach leaves you with a simulator minus the sim... but keep in mind, it's only been out a week and all games have their initial drawbacks. I would recommend this game for all travelers.


Crossy Road ~ Free iOS & Android

A very addicting mobile game based on a vintage classic. Crossy Road has everything you love & remember about the classic game Frogger and even a bit more.

Each of the 70 characters comes with it's own endless level of traffic dodging madness. There's even a Pac-man character and level! I found it very difficult to stop playing this game. Running to catch my flight because I just wanted to try ONE MORE TIME!!

This game is a great addition to the list. Ideal for killing small and large amounts of time, as well as the occasional chicken.


Fallout Shelter ~ Free iOS & Android

Hands down one of the best mobile games, ever. Nothing about this game screams travel, but it's a proven hit in the time consumption category. Think Fallout Series meets The Sims. You are the overseer of a Vault and are in charge of the constant tasks that arise within.

Life in the Vault is not easy and along the way you lose your dwellers to an array of things including radiation, marauders, old age... but worry not, the wasteland is teaming with survivors that want into your vault and its your choice to put them into the areas you build. Each dweller has a set of skills and you match them to the shelter rooms that are appropriate. Rooms and dwellers each upgrade and dwellers level up individually.

Nothing kills time like testing your skills at underground post-apocalyptic survival coordination... and this is that, at its finest.


Alto's Adventure ~ Free iOS & Android

Visually engaging and highly addictive! Found myself lost in the action instantly with this one.

In this free game you play as Alto, a snow-boarder chasing after an endless lot of fleeing llamas. You'll earn coins and props along the way as you dodge obstacles, pull off back flips for extra loot and shop between runs in the workshop.

The infinite pursuit of many things, including but not limited to a high score, is enhanced by level ups, in game achievements and the overwhelming urge to make it just a bit further down the slope.

 Highly recommend this game to anyone finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands.


Resources Game ~Free  iOS & Android

This is a great game for Ingress refugees looking for a less time constraining augmented reality experience. Far less creepy real-world-challenged stalkers.

Self described as a “...location-based massively-multiplayer economic simulation.”, Resources Game has you out scanning the real world to establish Geocaches of various substance in an attempt to produce, market and sell an array of various 'crafted ' inventory items.

Defending your Headquarters while looting your annoying competition and earning more cash for upgrades makes this game an easy 8/10 for anyone with a need to entertain themselves for a prolonged amount of time.


Turf Wars ~ Free iOS & Android

Turf Wars is a crime game that uses Google Maps to let you lay claim to real-world turf, based on where you are located via GPS location. 

Nearly everything is up-gradable, from the crimes you commit to the weapons you purchase to do so. The game has a very fast paced feel so you feel accomplished within minutes of play time and that really helps establish that key bond between gamer and game. It's GPS based system really gives it a fresh feel but we ran into problems when our 'Gang' encountered another Turf War Kingpin. No names will be tossed around but needless to say, this game becomes extremely one sided towards the top. Losing hard earned turf can be very discouraging and left us lacking the motivation to continue our lives of crime.

Great game concept, but I would love to see an update that balances the odds a bit. 


Monument Valley ~ $ iOS & Android

In this game you play as Ida, a princess that must traverse optically elusive puzzles.

In chapter 2 Ida embarks on what is titled 'A Quest for Forgiveness'. I found myself entrapped within a world of twisting mazes and visually stunning predicaments, all with a simple notion behind it's solution. Every level progressed into another cascade of adventuresome intrigue. Whether it was climbing twisted spires or manipulating levers to change the entire perspective of the level itself, this game had me wanting more and more. I'm still playing to this very day.

An eery music lineup, simple base plot and great visual stimulation have left me more than happy with the $1 purchase.


Ingress ~ Free iOS & Android

Ever since Niantic started focusing on another product previously mentioned, this game has lost its gum-shin... but for those that still enjoy a creepily real life aspect to their gaming experience, this game is where its at.

The people that play Ingress are involved to say the very least. I've been playing this game for two years and the way it gets you out and exploring relevant sites in the real world makes it highly addicting for those who like what it has to offer. And if you like, you are not alone.

I found myself hacking into portals, one of the main features of Ingress, and looking over my shoulder for the owner to show up and start thwarting my efforts. On more than one occasion I had creepy encounters with members of the opposite team.

The basis of the game is that the world around us is not what it appears. An unknown, manipulable form of energy has surfaced and there's two factions fighting for its control. Pick your side, neither really holds more weight... and to be 100% with ya, the game has seriously died off as far as participants go so the experience is a bit watered down as of late.

I would give this game a 10/10 for game concept and original playing experience, but a 4/10 now that the hype has died down and people have lost interest.


Survival ~ Free for Android

Survival is a simple yet very intricate survival game that sets you in a random wilderness and gives you the task of making it home alive after your vehicle wrecks. You collect supplies for fires, food and shelter and fight against the elements in an attempt to keep your stats at a safe level long enough to make it out of the forest.

There's fishing, trapping, hunting & crafting. You smoke your own meats, maintain an inventory and must choose your path out wisely based on distance and surroundings. Build Shelters and find old campsites along the way. Pay attention to your energy and temperature and if you play right.