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If our list of activities to entertain your kids in the car didn’t work for your little ones, you might want to resort to handing over your smartphone or tablet. Here we suggest ten of the best games for children.
1. Angry Birds
No list of mobile games would be complete without the wonderful Angry Birds. Pigs have stolen these birds’ eggs, so they launch themselves at pig defences from an oversized catapult. All that’s needed is a simple dragging-motion, making this game great for younger kids as well as older ones.
Very easy to learn, lots of free versions to play.
The latest game, Angry Birds Go, is massive and will eat up your storage space.
- Android – free – download Angry Birds from Play Store
- iOS – free – download Angry Birds from App Store
- BlackBerry – £0.75 – download Angry Birds from Blackberry World
- Windows Phone – £0.79 – download Angry Birds from Windows Phone store
2. Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Based on one of last year’s biggest films, this fun game was downloaded 100m times in its first three months. The game is classed as an ‘endless runner’ meaning that your character is always moving, and has to avoid obstacles. In this one, based on one of Despicable Me’s Minion characters, you must dodge baddies, leap obstacles and collect bananas.
Simple controls and familiar characters make it fun and easy to play.
Later levels get difficult, and it’s very, very easy for little ones to click and buy extra lives if your security settings aren’t up to scratch.
- Android – free – download Despicable Me: Minion Rush from Play Store
- iOS – free – download Despicable Me: Minion Rush from App Store
- BlackBerry – free – download Despicable Me: Minion Rush from Blackberry World
- Windows Phone – free – download Despicable Me: Minion Rush from Windows Phone store
3. 10monkeys Multiplication
One of the best things about mobile gaming, is that educational apps can be disguised as games. This app stars, yes, 10 monkeys who are trapped, and need children to help them escape by working out sums using their times table.
A bright, fun way to help your children learn multiplication.
Too difficult for some children.
- Android – free – download 10monkeys Multiplication from Play Store
- iOS – £1.49 – download 10monkeys Multiplication from App Store
4. Toy Story: Smash It!
Like a 3D Angry Birds, in Smash It! you play as Buzz Lightyear and destroy building block towers using balls and other items, with the hope of causing those little green aliens from Toy Story to fall onto the floor.
Good, clean, fun with familiar characters.
If you opt for the free version, be aware that it only offers a handful of levels, so upgrading is likely if your little ones like it.
- Android – free – download Toy Story: Smash It! FREE from Play Store
- iOS – £1.49 – download Toy Story: Smash It! from App Store
- Windows Phone – £1.49 – download Toy Story: Smash It from Windows Phone store
5. CBeebies Playtime
This game is as long-lasting, varied and educational as a day in front of the CBeebies TV channel. Nearly all of your children’s favourite characters are included – many with more than one game – and the quality of each is phenomenal.
It really makes the most of your phone’s abilities, with games asking kids to tilt, shake and shout into the device.
It asks kids to shout into the device. Also, if you don’t have a particularly nippy processor, your phone may stutter at times.
- Android – free – download CBeebies Playtime from Play Store
- iOS – free – download CBeebies Playtime from App Store
- Windows Phone – free – download CBeebies Playtime from Windows Phone store
6. Color & Draw for kids
This app offers a simple colouring book, drawing pad, alphabet tracer and ‘photo decorator’. No frills at all, but there are in-app purchases that offer things like more colours, templates and brushes.
It’s incredibly easy to use, and the fingerpaint function is suitable for even very small children.
The design isn’t the best out there and some kids might think it looks cheap.
- Android – £0.62 – download Color & Draw for kids from Play Store
- iOS – £0.69 – download Color & Draw for kids from App Store
7. Where’s My Mickey?
A physics-based game from Disney, where the player has to help Mickey Mouse collect water. It’s wonderfully creative with great graphics.
If there’s a more enjoyable (or better-looking) way to learn about physics, I haven’t seen it.
The free version of the game only has a handful of levels. However, there is a full, paid-for version.
- Android – free – download Where’s My Mickey? from Play Store
- iOS – free – download Where’s My Mickey? from App Store
- Windows Phone – £1.49 – download Where’s My Mickey? from Windows Phone store
8. Cars 2 Read and Race
This is one of Disney’s storybook apps, and is centred on the Cars 2 movie. This app is part story and part racing game, stitching the two together seamlessly.
An elegant combination of storybook and game, and being able to customise the cars before you drive them is a nice touch,
This quite expensive. Although, it’s still cheaper than the horrible kid’s magazines in the supermarket and they’ll get more fun out of this.
- Android – £3.04 – download Cars 2 Read and Race from Play Store
- iOS – £2.49 – download Cars 2 Read and Race from App Store
9. Cut The Rope
Friendly monster Om Nom stars in a handful of games now, but the original is still the best. Players use gestures to cut ropes and guide sweet’s into Om Nom’s mouth in this fun, inventive game.
There’s a gentle learning curve, which encourages problem-solving skills
The full version of the game is only free on Android. It costs to get the game on other operating systems.
- Android – free – download Cut The Rope from Play Store
- iOS – £1.99 – download Cut The Rope from App Store
- BlackBerry – £1.50 – download Cut The Rope from Blackberry World
- Windows Phone – £0.79 – download Cut The Rope from Windows Phone store
Kids get to look after their own little pet alien. With a responsibility to feed, clean and play with their creature, Pou is essentially a mobile Tamagotchi.
This is a long-lasting game that teaches children responsibility.
This free-to-play game makes its money from in-app purchases, so make sure your youngsters can’t buy items (clothing, new colours) without your permission.