It’s safe to say that mobile gaming has changed the demographics of who we consider to be a gamer. While AAA titles for most gaming platforms are still full of brutal combat and complex mechanics, more and more mobile developers are catering for more mature players who’d prefer to take it easy rather than decapitating zombies or slaughtering bloody hellhounds.
That’s why here at mobilegames.com we’ve decided to put together a list of fun and easy-to-play mobile games fit for parents. So, if you’re a mum or auntie or you’re looking for a game fit for one, leave God of War and Doom for the kiddos, and explore our list of the best mobile games for mums!
What better game could there be to get the ball rolling on this list than this. Roll the Ball is a modern take on the classic gridlock slide puzzle. Players must rearrange the blocks until a maze-like tunnel forms a clear path for a ball to roll down.
While simple in its design, it can be wildly frustrating and yet deeply satisfying upon completion (much like changing twins’ nappies simultaneously or trying to get a teenager to leave their bedroom on a bad zit-day). The game has all the trappings of motherhood without the unpleasant smells and temper tantrums.
While mobile games have balanced out the genders of those who game, girl gamers are still neglected in popular media showcasing the early days of gaming. The truth is that there were plenty of women caught up in the earliest gaming crazes and so naturally there are plenty of mums who love to get their nostalgia fix from retro gaming today.
As we’ve highlighted in our Best Mobile Pixel Art Games article and our Best Mobile Arcade Games list, there are plenty of old school games to choose between. Few are as iconic as Tetris though – a game with one of the most fascinating production histories of all time. While there are many, many clones out there, an official Tetris game can be downloaded which even features an in-built nightly gameshow for real cash.
Whether or not you can claim Candy Crush is a Tetris clone really depends upon where your loyalties lie. The candy-matching game series has developed into nothing short of an Empire – or perhaps a Kingdom – thanks to developer King’s constant flow of updates, new games, and dopamine release inducing animations.
There are dozens of Candy Crush titles available, and we’d be lying if we claimed we’d reviewed them all to find the best one. I suspect if we did, we’d never be quite the same again; part of us might get lost in an endless candy-filled madness. Then again, an endless candy-filled madness sounds quite a lot like motherhood, so if anyone’s going to give it a try…
While Tetris may be retro, jigsaw puzzles have been around since the 18th century – taking old school gaming back to its cardboard roots. There is something deeply therapeutic about jigsaw puzzles – they give us a task that doesn’t take up too much of our focus while allowing us to think about other things.
The biggest two problems are that they take up too much space in the living room and cause a lot of mess when the kids inevitably knock them over. There is a plethora of jigsaw puzzle apps available on iOS and Android. Jigsaw Puzzles Epic is one of the most well-made of them and features free premium puzzles, HD images, 11 puzzle difficulties going up to 625 pieces, and the novel addition of being able to turn one of your phone’s family photos into a playable puzzle. That way, you can relive those vacation arguments about whether your dad was too old for a third jug of sangria in Marbella over and over and over again.
Talking of messes, most modern families have experienced at least one argument over the game of Monopoly that saw a family member (usually the dad) flip the board over in a fit of rage. If your family is anything like mine, then those arguments would resurface months later after someone (usually Dad again) would step on a little green hotel or little metallic battleship.
By playing against AI or strangers, Mum can have a chance to play a less competitive match that she finally gets to see through to the end. And hey, even if she is playing against family members online, at least she can finally know that there really wasn’t any cheating. Assuming your family doesn’t have quite the levels of Monopoly-induced trauma as my own, the Monopoly app really is a great mobile game for parents looking for familiar gaming territory.
Chances are that even if your mum is not a mobile gamer, she’s probably still heard of Fruit Ninja. Whether or not she knows it’s a game as opposed to an incident in a supermarket likely depends on whether she tends to get her news from the papers or Facebook.
Even in 2021, the expectations on family units still tend to put the pressure on the mother to do more cooking and grocery shopping. If you’re mum does this begrudgingly then what better way for her to let off some steam that slicing and hacking that fruit and veg into oblivion. While the later levels of fruit ninja might give your mum flashbacks to the stress levels of balancing a job while raising two kids, most of the levels remain a pleasant combination of relaxation and excitement.
Normally when we comprise a best-in-genre style list like this we base our research on reviews, both in-house and exterior, as well as ratings, downloads, and other technical metrics. Finding out the best mobile games for mothers naturally required a different approach. So, our research criteria for this piece consisted of asking all our mums what games they and their friends were playing and examining the colourful, family-friendly games that made a storm about five years ago.
Based on that criteria, Puzzly Words was always going to be on this list seeing as one of our writers who shall remain anonymous described his mum as being “totally addicted” to it. Puzzly Words combines the gameplay of Scrabble, Bananagrams, and Boggle. Players compete against one another to create the highest scoring three words that they can find in an assortment of 18 letters each with their own Scrabble-style numerical values. It has all the benefits of brain training apps consolidated into one excellent puzzling gameplay mode.
And to all the zombie-decapitating, hellhound-slaughtering kickass mums we’ve offended with these outdated stereotypes, we can only apologise. Can we still have a Steamdeck for Christmas, please?
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