With the boom of smartphones, you’re never far away from a new time-consuming game. With so many different options to download, it can often be hard choosing the next handheld game to get sucked into. We’re here to help, showing the latest, the greatest, and the games that aren’t worth the space on your phone.

Last Time: Miitomo

What We’re Playing

Clash Royale (iOS/Android)

It’s happened. It’s finally happened. We have gotten addicted to a mobile game for the first time in a long, long time. Addictive hardly sums up Supercell’s brilliant little time suck of a game. It’s hard to put down, sure, but it’s also expertly made and knows what it is. And while it could, it doesn’t rip players off too much with timers and pay-to-play nonsense. Instead, Clash Royale is just a fantastic, fun, bright game that you can play for three minutes or, more likely, hours on end.

The game is rather simple. It’s easy to learn but takes awhile to master. You battle against other players in real time, using a variety of cards that you earn and upgrade via in-game experience and attainable treasure chests. You have a whole variety of cards, from archers to goblins to giants to fireballs. Together, these characters create your army and you throw them into battle to strike your enemies down. While that’s a rather simple set-up, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You must time yourself, find a rhythm, and plot a course to victory. Sure, you can just throw all your soldiers out as quickly as possible but then you could be left completely vulnerable and open for a deadly strike. There’s nothing worse than being left empty-handed while your enemy comes after you with all they’ve got.

At first glance, it seems like there’s not much to do in Clash Royale. Many might think they’ll grow bored after a few plays. But, surprisingly, there’s plenty to do. You can upgrade your characters, join a clan and donate cards, and you can even watch other people play. Or you can just grind and grind away, slowly adding to your bank and gaining experience. Yes, there are timers so you can’t do it all at once but the timers are rather short, mostly just a few hours long. The best course of action for Clash Royale is to play for about a half hour, open your treasure chests and then wait a few hours before you fire up the app again. Rinse, wash, repeat. It’s actually a load of fun.

The graphics, the music, the character design – Supercell knows what they’re doing here. They’ve created a game that stays within the confines of the genre but does it so expertly that you keep coming back again and again.

Will you get sick of Clash Royale? Sure, it’s likely that after while it won’t have the same draw it does in the first days and weeks. That being said, Supercell has created a communal, exciting, expertly made game that’s far, far better than expected.

A Game From the Vault

You Must Build A Boat (iOS/Android)

From the makers of the truly fantastic 10000000 comes You Must Build A Boat. Like their previous game, the latest from EightyEight Games is a perfect blend of endless runner and match-three gameplay that keeps you going, going, going and always wanting more. You play an anonymous little digital hero who will upgrade his boat by playing challenging match-three levels. In each level, you’re pushing yourself forward against enemies, matching tiles to knock them down and proceed. There are tiles that will kill your enemies, tiles that will give you a better weapon, tiles that’ll give you a shield and tiles that’ll unlock chests containing hidden treasures.

After you lose (and you’ll lose. A lot) you return to your slowly expanding ship to add new rooms and abilities. You’ll get knocked down a lot but will be incrementally improving your ship and character. Next time you go into battle, you’ll be ready to fight even harder and battle even further.

It’s the type of game you can easily get sucked into. Before you know it, you’ll be playing You Must Build A Boat for hours.

Brandon Marcus
A pop culture lover from birth, Brandon has previously written for VeryAware.com, NerdBastards.com and CHUD.com. He was complained extensively about inconsequential things on all those sites. Brandon resides in the Pacific Northwest but his heart belongs to Gotham City.