The 16 best one-hand Android games for fun on the go

One hand occupied? Have a few minutes to kill? These are some great games you can easily play with one hand.

one hand games
Credit: Jason Cross
Don't let a busy hand keep you from getting your game on

Clenching to the bus rail on your way to work, you don't have both hands free to finish that Dead Trigger level you started last night. With a few minutes to spare, and one hand free, you need to find some games you can play with the same hand you're holding your phone with.

Your choices aren't as limited as you might think. You’ll find that most of the titles are designed specifically with the portrait orientation in mind. However, some games are good enough to bend the rules, and you'll see a couple games sprinkled in that are played in landscape mode. 

compulsive
Compulsive

Compulsive is a very easy color-matching game that gets more addictive the more you play. The rules are simple: drag like-colored tiles into groups of four or more to make them disappear. It might sound like a lot of other games, but you’ll just have to play it to see how fun it can be.

As you progress, you’ll unlock new game modes. You’ll first start out in Arcade mode, which is a one-minute long game. After acquiring a few achievments, you’ll unlock the strategy mode that only allows for 30 moves in one round. Two more modes, Zen and Multiplayer, are unlockable later on.

This is a time killing app that you’ll pick up even when you have the time to play a more immersive title.

Compulsive (Free)

triple town
Triple Town

At first glance, Triple Town might not look like anything you’d want to play more than once, but trust me, you won’t want to put it down.

The object of this puzzle game is to make the biggest city you can, but it’s trickier than it sounds. As the name suggests, the object of the game is to match three like objects, be it grass, bushes, trees or houses, to create an upgraded item. Upgrade three bushes into one tree, three trees turn into one house, and so forth. You’re only given a 6x6 grid, so planning is crucial, especially later on in the game.

Wild bears appear on the board, keeping you from building in their squares, and you’ll have to build around them to trap them. Extra objects, like crystals and bots will randomly appear (and can be purchased with your earned coins) to save you when you’re in a tight squeeze.

Triple Town might seem a little confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be playing this game all the time.  

Triple Town (Free)

flapthulhu
Flapthulhu (or any Flappy Bird knock-off)

Although Flappy bird hasn't returned to the Google Play Store just yet, the world isn't in short supply of knock-offs. In fact, some of the variations of the original are better in a handful of ways, even if they retain the exact same mechanics. One such variant is Flapthulhu, which offers up a little extra gameplay, like powerups. 

Flapthulhu lets you unlock different modes as you progress through the game, like fight mode, giving the title another layer of gameplay. 

Sure, it's just another Flappy Bird, but the fact that Flapthulu exists at all is sort of hilarious. If you're looking for something a little lighter, give one of the many Flappy Doge games a try.

Flapthulhu (Free)

chess
Chess

Say what you will about Chess, but it's a great way to kill some time and flex your brain. Chess by AI Factory Limited is one of the best options for Android. Available in free and ad-free versions, this is a chess app that easily rises above the rest. 

If you're new to chess, there's a helpful Tutor mode that you can enable. This mode will give you hints on the placement of your pieces. It's basically training wheels for chess.

It's not that AI Factory Limited's app does a lot more than other chess games, but it's the combination of function and style that makes it the best option, in my opinon, for Android.

Chess (Free, or $1 ad-free)

shoot bubble deluxe
Shoot Bubble Deluxe

Shoot Bubble Deluxe certainly isn't the prettiest game and could benefit from a hefty HD makeover, but it's certainly one of the most solid time killers I've ever come across. 

You already know the rules to this color-matching shooter, as it's no different than any other you've seen. Still, I'll give this one a spot in our list. It's the opposite of Candy Crush: It's not a copy of another game that's glossed over with polish and powerups. It's a simple game that's easy to play, but challenging to beat.  

The game might need some beautification, but it's still highly addicting. 

Fun fact: Peter Parker plays this game in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Shoot Bubble Deluxe (Free)

canabalthd
Canabalt HD ($0.99)

Canabalt HD is one of the few games here that is played in landscape orientation. It makes the list due to the fact that is one of the most simple and addicting games you’ll get your hands on.

The object of the game, like any endless runner, is to see how far you can get. Canabalt has you running on building rooftops, jumping through windows, and avoiding obstacles along the way.

Like all endless-runners, the further your progress, the faster it gets. Luckily, hitting obstacles on the ground will slow you down, which is can be a good or a bad thing. If you're going too slow, you might not make the jump to the next building.

Canabalt HD is accompanied by a great soundtrack that adds to the excitement. This is the only paid app on this list, and it's totally worth it.

Canabalt HD ($1)

temple run 2
Temple Run 2

Temple Run, the endless-runner that's spawned a handful of spinoffs and knockoffs, is addicting and easily playable with one hand. While it does take a bit more focus and concentration than some of the other games in this slideshow, it's still casual enough to make the list. 

Given its popularity, Temple Run or its sequel (pictured) likely needs no introduction. Swipe up, down, left, and right to avoid obstacles while being chased by the 'Evil Demon Monkeys'.  Using your phone's accelerometer, you also need to tilt your phone from side to side to grab coins so you can purchase powerups.

Temple Run 2 is a bit more challenging than its predecessor, though the original is still very playable.

Temple Run 2 (Free)

marvel puzzle quest
Marvel Puzzle Quest

Another color-matching game that falls in line with the likes of Candy Crush and Bejeweled is Marvel Puzzle Quest. However, since this is Marvel we’re talking about, there’s a bit of a twist. 

While the color-matching portion is the bulk of the game, there’s a bit more to it for the Marvel fans. With a RPG style leveling system in play, your characters will get stronger, allowing you unlock more powerups as you progress.

You’ll choose a team of Marvel characters and power them up by collecting "comic covers", earned by succeeding in the game or purchased in packs. Your trio of heroes combine their powers to fight enemies and create nasty, devastating special attacks. The battle is right above the puzzle, and every combination of three or more color matches will result in a hit on your opponent.

If you’re looking for a simple puzzle game that has a little more action than the rest, Marvel Puzzle Quest isn’t to be missed.

Marvel Puzzle Quest (Free)

solitaire
Solitaire

While solitaire may sound like a boring game to some, it really is the perfect time killer. It's easy enough to play and you can always pick back up from where you left off without worrying about timing or points lost. 

MobilityWare's offering will be at the top of the list if you search for solitare in the Google Play Store. It's as simple and straight-forward as any other Solitaire app out there, but offers up a wealth of settings to tweak the game as you see fit.

The only drawback I can see with this is app is that there is no paid version, so you'll be stuck with ads whether you like them or not. Luckily, there are many solitaire apps out there that should get you where you need to go if MobilityWare's doesn't do it for you. 

Solitaire (Free) 

cut the rope 2
Cut the Rope 2

Another game series that doesn't need an introduction, Cut the Rope, and all of its variants, are incredibly easy and fun to play.

You play as the little monster, Om Nom, that desperately needs your help filling his belly with candy. As the name suggests, you’ll swipe your finger across small ropes to help the candy fall into Om Nom’s mouth, but you’ll also be popping balloons and relying on physics to steer the reward to your monster.

With nearly 10 different versions of Cut the Rope to choose from, Om Nom is going to grow on your quickly. Plus, you’ll be a master rope-cutter.

Cut the Rope 2 (Free)

tetris blitz
Tetris Blitz

Putting a spin on classic games isn’t anything out of the ordinary, and that’s exactly what you’ll find with Tetris Blitz by Electronic Arts. Blitz is a fast-paced version of the game we all know and love, but comes with enough tweaks here and there to set it apart.

Once you’ve cleared enough lines in time, your "Frenzy bar" will fill up, allowing for double the points. You'll get to buy powerups like magnet, time shift, and laser to blast away the block in ways you never thought possible.

Just in case you want to go ‘old school’, EA also has the classic Tetris available.

Tetris Blitz (Free)

can knockdown 3
Can Knockdown 3

Can Knockdown has been around for years, and is one of the best time killers out there. You sole mission is to do one simple task: Knock down cans with baseballs. 

Can Knockdown is painfully simple to play, but hard to put down. Your primary goal is to flick the baseballs to knock down cans by using the fewest balls possible.

As the game progresses, you’ll be able to knock down green cans for extra balls and red cans to cause an explosion. These bonus cans come in handy later on in the game, as the levels can get very hard and the set of stacked cans more and more elaborate.

If Can Knockdown isn't up to snuff for you, give Paper Toss a try.

Can Knockdown 3 (Free)

quizup
QuizUp

QuizUp, if you're not familiar with it, is a great time killer that pits you against users across the world in a quiz match. With over 15 categories to choose from, each of which offers several sub-categories, you won't find yourself in short supply of subjects to get your quiz on. 

Each match consists of 6 rounds and one bonus round that will give you double the points if answered correctly.

It's not just about getting the right answers, though, as speed is also a factor in QuizUp. 

You have 10 seconds to answer each question, and with every second that passes before you answer, the maximum possible points you can earn for a correct answer gets lower. With a maximum of 20 points per question, if you wait two seconds before answering correctly, you'll only recieve 18 points.

QuizUp is a game of speed and smarts. Given how short each match is, it's a great time killer when you have a few minutes to spare. 

QuizUp (Free)

badland
Badland

Another landscape game in this list, Badland is an essential title that you’ll end up playing even in your spare time. The side-scroller is packed to the gills with great graphics, along with a soundtrack that immerses you into a fairy tale world gone wrong.

You control one of the forest dwellers in Badland, navigating through a silhouetted foreground, with the rich and vibrant forest served up as the backdrop. You’ll avoid obstacles and nab powerups like grow, shrink, and multiply to get through the level. Speed is a factor, though; if you slow down too much, you'll have to restart the level.

Navigating through Badland is as easy as holding your finger down on the screen and releasing it to fall down.

Badland (Free)

candy crush saga
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush Saga is more than likely already installed on your phone. This incredibly simple and playful color-matching game has taken the world by storm. 

Candy Crush Saga is a classic game with a sweet, modern twist, full of candy powerups to help you through tough spots.

Don't let its cutesy design fool you, though. Once you've gotten a few dozen levels under your belt, the game can get very hard, especially if you have no powerups or a desire to purchase them. It's not at all uncommon to hear that someone has spent weeks on one Candy Crush level.

Candy Crush Saga (Free)

dots
Dots: A Game About Connecting

Dots: A Game About Connecting is probably the simplest game on this list. In my opinion, It’s also the most addictive. 

The main objective is to get rid of dots by matching them with dots of the same color within 60 seconds. Instead of moving dots around like Candy Crush, the grid of dots remain stagnant and you draw a line to connect them. You can connect as little as two to make them disappear, but the longer the connection, the more points you’ll receive.

Points are stored in your Dot bank, and you’ll use them to purchase power-ups.

I only played two rounds of Dots before knowing that it would be a permanant staple in my app drawer.

Dots: A Game About Connecting (Free)