WHY YES. YES, YOU DO.
I like strategy and puzzle games like Candy Crush or Bookworm, but John likes action picks that require quick reflexes, like the now infamous Flappy Bird. So between the two of us, I think I've got a good variety of games for you!
(All links lead to the iOS versions, but unless noted everything is also available for Android.)
Swap colorful candies around to make matches of 3 or more. It's basically Bejeweled, but unbelievably addicting with fun graphics and sound effects. (And yes, I am so, so addicted.)
This is a free game, and I'm proof that you CAN get 3 stars on every level at least through level 118 without giving the Candy overlords any money. You only get 5 lives at a time, though, which is good, since otherwise some of us might neglect more important things in life, like eating or showering. ;)
(And if you run out of lives and still need your fix, switch over to Jewel Mania. Play your cards right, and you can alternate between the two while your lives regenerate. [Yep, that's the voice of experience talking.] ;))
UPDATE: Apparently King, the maker of Candy Crush, is a thieving bully. Just an FYI, before you decide to spend any money with them. (That story broke just as I posted this. Gah, what timing!)
Clumsy Ninja: (only available for iOS - sorry!)
The game is free, but with built-in timers that make you wait between training sessions - or pay with tokens to speed things along. (And the tokens cost real money, of course.) I'm not too far in, but I can see how the training might get a little boring/repetitive. Still, the first hour in this game is pure magic, and well worth a download.
Blendoku is as beautiful as it is addicting: just place the colored squares in order to blend one color into the next. It starts out incredibly simple, but then ramps up the complexity as you progress.
My friend Renee turned me on to this one, and I'm kind of terrible at it. It's a strategy game: place three bushes next to each other on the map to form a tree, then three trees to form a house, and so on.
Then the ninja bears jump in to mess you up. :) Even though I'm not very good, I like the graphics and animation, and the gameplay is easy, even if the strategy is not. Again, a free download, so give it a try and see if you're any better at it than I am.
Plants vs Zombies, 1 & 2:
Plant your defenses and hold off the zombie invasion. This game requires complete concentration and focus, and feels more like a console game than a quick two-minute-round-in-the-bathroom kind of game. It's also thoroughly addicting, so be prepared to lose a few hours in your first go. The fast pace and timed nature can also get your adrenaline going, so I've learned the hard way that this is NOT the game to play before trying to get to sleep.
The first installment stole my heart (and brains?), while PvZ 2 brings more variety and new plants to the mix. It's a little more complex, with ratings to meet and a maze-like gameboard to navigate between levels, which starts to feel a bit much, but at its heart it's still the same amazing game.
Both games are free, with in-game options to purchase upgrades and other cool toys.
For more classics puzzle games you can't beat BookWorm (find words in a jumble of letters), Word Warp (make as many words from 8 letters as possible), Sudoku (I've tried 4 or 5, and that's the best version I've found), and my all-time favorite and trusty standby for years, Solitaire City. (Solitaire City has every solitaire variation you can think of, decent graphics, and fun sound effects to play with. It's the one game I always come back to, and is well worth the $2 for the ad-free version.)
IT'S NOT EASY. >.<
So John gets even more obsessive about his phone games than I do, and last week he exuberantly exclaimed that this is the best iPhone game of all time. I cannot even begin to tell you how much he loves it. Because of this game, we finally watched Despicable Me 2. However, I have to tell you: I am so, so bad at it. I can't even get past the first level. BUT - I keep trying. Because it's fun, and the sound effects are endlessly entertaining.
Minion Rush is free, but like most games these days has options to purchase tokens for upgrades in-game. (And you should have seen the look I gave John when I discovered he'd purchased $20 in tokens. TWENTY DOLLARS. I'll be watching to see if he needs an intervention anytime soon.)
Sadly Flappy Bird is no longer available (John's high score is 48, in a game where most people like me can't get past 3) but here's a less frustrating bird he loves even more:
Tiny Wings (iOS only, as far as I can tell):
This is a simple game that's all about timing, and John played it obsessively until he discovered Minion Rush a few months ago. The sound effects are surprisingly pretty; I love the music, and the little bird noises are fun, too.
And finally, no phone game list is complete without Angry Birds, although both John and I have found that the game (and its various incarnations, like Star Wars) gets too hard too fast, which makes it less fun. Even so, everyone should play it at least once, and the beginning levels are always a real hoot. (Oh yes I did!)
One final note: Sometimes there's nothing better for coming down off a panic attack - or even for staving one off - than a thoroughly engrossing phone game. Just something to keep in mind for you supportive friends/family/SOs out there.
Ok, guys, your turn! Tell me your favorite phone games in the comments - and please, no iPad games, since that'll just make me sad I don't have one. ;)