The Best Mobile Games For Your Hectic Commute

Mobile gaming has never been better. There have been unrivaled advances in graphics, multiplayer madness on games like Fortnite, and genuine AAA titles on handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch. But of course, that’s an entirely moot point if you’re crammed into two square feet of space on your commute, with barely enough room to sneeze, let alone play an expansive open-world game on your mobile.

Wired UK

This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.

Whether you’re holding on to a handrail on public transport, cradling an infant, or simply carrying a bag, you may find yourself in situations when you have some time to kill but only have one hand free. This is our selection of the best smartphone games you can play one-handed—we’ve also highlighted which ones don’t need an active data connection so you can play them on the Tube.


Dragon Quest VIII

four character looking at blue floating water drops

Courtesy of Square Enix

If you’re after something a bit meatier to get to one-handed grips with, this port of a console game might fit the bill. The long running Dragon Quest series is typical fantasy RPG fare, but the developers did make one inspired decision when porting it to smartphones: All the action takes place in portrait mode, so you can play with one hand. It’s pricey, but will keep you occupied for weeks.

$19.99 on iOS and $19.99 on Android

No data connection required

Score! Hero

Get ready for the greatest sporting saga since Coolen Rooney’s undercover detective work. You start out as an unsigned 16-year-old, and over the course of dozens of seasons slowly work your way through some of Europe’s biggest clubs, and star on the international stage. The gameplay couldn’t be simpler: You draw a line on the screen to make passes and shots, in a series of preset scenarios that are just the right level of frustrating to keep you interested. New seasons are released regularly; if you’ve played all the way to the end, your star is currently in the 35th year of an increasingly implausible career.

Free on iOS and Android, with optional add-ons

No data connection required for main game mode


Simple but almost dangerously addictive, 2048 started out as a browser game before spawning a number of app imitators. You simply slide tiles—all multiples of two—together to add them, so a pair of twos become fours, two fours become eight and so on, with the eventual goal of reaching 2048. There are numerous app versions that add points scoring and the ability to play against others, or even for real money, but simpler is best.


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