Mar 30 AT 7:37 PM Clark Wimberly 12 Comments

Staff picks: Free time-wasting games, aGibbets, Mathematiles Demo, Roller Lite, FatBooth

Let me preface today’s game-centric episode of Staff Picks by saying: I know these aren’t the most technically impressive specimens and they won’t be pushing your phone to its absolute dual-core-powered goodness, but that’s OK. More often than not, I find myself playing with silly little games or lightweight time-wasters over the old-school gaming epic. I just don’t have time for that mess.

Saving people being hanged with a bow and arrow, though, or doing some simple math? Bring that on! A quick game of Skeeball? Making my friends fat in a matter of seconds? I’m there. Today we’re focusing on a handful of my favorite light-weight, low-investment games that have lately been taking more of my time than I’d like to admit.

Clark’s Pick
aGibbets

aGibbets probably wins the title for most uncomfortable game on today’s list, because in it you must race to save people being hanged. With your bow and arrow. That’s right, on each level there are a number of guys hanging at various points around the level and you must skillfully (or not so skillfully) shoot them down, to safety.

Aim wrong though, and your arrow will miss the rope and stick into the person you’re trying to save, shortening the timer above the character’s head. Yep, each character has a timer above their head displaying the amount of time they’ve got left to live, as they slowly turn blue hanging there.

Shoot down and save all the people being hanged before all the timers run out to complete the level and score points- just try not to think too hard about what kind of game you are actually playing.

 

Clark’s Pick
Mathematiles

I’ve always had a thing for puzzle games. On top of which, I was named Math Student of the Year back in 8th grade. The fact I would even mention that here should paint a proper picture of my level of absolute nerditude, which I think goes a long way to explain why I like number games so much.

Enter Mathematiles, a game in which you are presented a target number which you must find by combining two tiles (by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing the tiles) from the grid below. As you combine tiles, the colors change and points increase, giving you more points each time you can manage to reuse a tile to find a new target number.

You’re left with your eyes racing around a screen in panic trying to figure out how to find a number like “4″ amongst a screen of numbers like “5, 8, 1, 10, etc.” It’s an extremely simple concept- until you’re playing.

Mathematiles is currently in demo release and includes all levels for free. There is a new version around the corner that plans to add global high scores so you can share your triumphs of the mind with all the other players around you.

 

Clark’s Pick
Roller Lite

Since I’m randomly handing out titles and trying to decide why I’m picking each of today’s games, I’ll go ahead and name Roller Lite as the game I most wish I’d never installed on my phone. And that’s not to knock it, I enjoy and play the game a lot. I just can’t figure out how many finger flicking games one can possibly need on his phone.

Honestly, had it not been from Camel Games (who has an excellent track record), I probably wouldn’t have downloaded it. But now that I have, I’ve found a pretty awesome 3D skeeball game that has some nice arcade scoring and tracks my games on a chart over time. I wasn’t sure how many interesting ways were left to gamify dragging a finger across the screen, but Roller Lite found a way.

And you’ll notice a handful of bad reviews in the Market claiming the touch controls are too difficult or that they feel random. I call that a challenge. But maybe I’m crazy.

 

Clark’s Pick
FatBooth

I’m not sure that this counts as a game. What else would you call it? A utility? A camera? One thing I’m sure we can agree on, though: this is surely a complete waste of time.

FatBooth lets you take a picture (or import one) and automatically adds a bit of stretch (specifically around the chin/neck area) to create a silly and exaggeratedly chubby version of any face. Well, not any face. The detection engine is a bit touchy and needs a well-lit, front-facing head in a portrait photo to work- importing landscape or poorly-lit photos led to errors.

But that’s beside the point. The real win here is you create silly pictures of you and your friends. Or show it to your parents. We showed it to my soon-to-be mother-in-law and she ran through just about every picture in her phone.

The developers say they’re also working on BaldBooth and AgingBooth, both of which I can’t wait to try.

 

In conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my list of time-wasting games. If they waste half as much time for you as they have for me… I really owe you an apology.

In all seriousness though, these lightweight and fun games are one of my favorite things to download in the Market. I play with them while I’m waiting in a line, or when I’m laying in bed but not tired yet. I like having a stable of simple time killers. What are your favorites?

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website nate957

    Where’s Taylor?

    The last two months this website has totally sucked, with very few articles and with the articles always being published after your competitors.

    • http://Website Dalton

      Agreed, I like to check this website out daily from my phone but when you go 3-4 days without new article why bother. Androidandme is better than that I’ve seen it.

      • http://www.devolute.net Ian P

        Yup. It seems to be more about ‘Here is a press release from a US carrier’ rather than the previous ‘Wow, check out this cool thing you can do with these phones’.

  • http://Website aantoine87

    i have to agree with nate957 you all have been slacking too much

  • http://Website ibethat

    Dont listen to these douche bags. Keep up the good work guys. You guys cover topics others don’t. I’m sure this sites work is better than these two idiot’s.

  • http://Website Dennis

    I agree with the guys up top. The past few weeks have been abysmal on this site. They release news way after their competitor blogs. I find myself visiting Androinica and Android Police more and more often for my Android news fix. This site used to so much interesting news with about 5 or 6 articles fresh everyday. Now it’s just…..I don’t even know what to call it. :/

  • http://Website Soni

    Agreed with not having enough articles.
    Careful guys, a lot of reader don’t even bother posting to you as we do, they simply leave and find an other place to look for news…

  • http://Website the rock

    i come here less now and i don’t mean to be rude but it’s like you guys can’t be bothered any more.
    Taylor made such a big deal about the atrix and the 1st OTA got released but no mention here.

    anyway, fix up guys.

    • http://xda? Paul ur mama sat on a 360 and an Iphone popped out!

      you guys at the top and those who agree… like GIGANTIC PORNO COCK!! thats my opinion! AndroidAndMe isn’t in a race… they bring BIG news! and lately were all just waiting for all glamor to catch up to the hype! i for one might have squirted a lil at the htc sense on tab but we wanna SEE it LIVE.

  • http://Website nate957

    Seriously?

    I can’t believe that not even one employee from this website has at least tried to give us an excuse as to why they have been so slow the last 2 months.

    This website is going down the drain extremely quickly.

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

      Perhaps, it’s because you chose a staff game picks post to lash out?

      If you’re so concerned, why not get in touch with Taylor or Clark, and offer some stories of your own. They have always been fairly open to guest bloggers, or new writers coming on board.

      I’m sure you’ll down-vote my reply, that’s OK, I don’t mind. If it makes you feel better, by all means. I’m just offering a solution to your perceived problem with the site.

  1. nate957Guest 4 years ago

    Where’s Taylor?

    The last two months this website has totally sucked, with very few articles and with the articles always being published after your competitors.

    • DaltonGuest 4 years ago

      Agreed, I like to check this website out daily from my phone but when you go 3-4 days without new article why bother. Androidandme is better than that I’ve seen it.

      • Ian PGuest 4 years ago

        Yup. It seems to be more about ‘Here is a press release from a US carrier’ rather than the previous ‘Wow, check out this cool thing you can do with these phones’.

  2. aantoine87Guest 4 years ago

    i have to agree with nate957 you all have been slacking too much

  3. ibethatGuest 4 years ago

    Dont listen to these douche bags. Keep up the good work guys. You guys cover topics others don’t. I’m sure this sites work is better than these two idiot’s.

  4. DennisGuest 4 years ago

    I agree with the guys up top. The past few weeks have been abysmal on this site. They release news way after their competitor blogs. I find myself visiting Androinica and Android Police more and more often for my Android news fix. This site used to so much interesting news with about 5 or 6 articles fresh everyday. Now it’s just…..I don’t even know what to call it. :/

  5. SoniGuest 4 years ago

    Agreed with not having enough articles.
    Careful guys, a lot of reader don’t even bother posting to you as we do, they simply leave and find an other place to look for news…

  6. the rockGuest 4 years ago

    i come here less now and i don’t mean to be rude but it’s like you guys can’t be bothered any more.
    Taylor made such a big deal about the atrix and the 1st OTA got released but no mention here.

    anyway, fix up guys.

    • Paul ur mama sat on a 360 and an Iphone popped out!Guest 4 years ago

      you guys at the top and those who agree… like GIGANTIC PORNO COCK!! thats my opinion! AndroidAndMe isn’t in a race… they bring BIG news! and lately were all just waiting for all glamor to catch up to the hype! i for one might have squirted a lil at the htc sense on tab but we wanna SEE it LIVE.

  7. nate957Guest 4 years ago

    Seriously?

    I can’t believe that not even one employee from this website has at least tried to give us an excuse as to why they have been so slow the last 2 months.

    This website is going down the drain extremely quickly.

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 4 years ago

      Perhaps, it’s because you chose a staff game picks post to lash out?

      If you’re so concerned, why not get in touch with Taylor or Clark, and offer some stories of your own. They have always been fairly open to guest bloggers, or new writers coming on board.

      I’m sure you’ll down-vote my reply, that’s OK, I don’t mind. If it makes you feel better, by all means. I’m just offering a solution to your perceived problem with the site.