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Android phones and iPhones are great for staying connected to your friends and family, but let’s be honest here: They’re also pretty sweet for playing games. What you may not know is many games will use your data connection in order to play them, and can even do things like update themselves in the background over your data connection without you being aware of it.

Luckily, there are plenty of great games you can play locally on your TextNow phone, to while away the hours off wifi without dipping into your data plan! Here’s some of our faves:

Minecraft: Pocket Edition (Android $6.99 / iOS $9.99)

Minecraft

If you’ve heard of any game on this list, it’s probably Minecraft. A genuine gaming phenomenon, Minecraft’s addictive sandbox gameplay allows characters to build elaborate structures out of simple blocks during the day while avoiding monsters at night, a combination that has made Minecraft the #2 selling video game of all time. (If you’re curious, Tetris is still #1.) Minecraft can be played multiplayer, with people building stuff all within the same game world, but you can just stick with the Pocket Edition and play solo, creating the pixellated castles, mansions and Gothic cathedrals of your dreams.

Crossy Road (Free on Android/iOS; has in-app purchases)

Crossy Road

Crossy Road is a perfect example of how to do an arcade-style game for mobile. It’s basically a riff on the old Frogger arcade game, updated with a hipper art style and tighter gameplay. It’s the kind of game you pick up to play for a few minutes and suddenly realize an afternoon has gone by. I would say it’s a great game for killing time waiting for the bus, but last time I tried it I missed like three buses in a row, so be warned.

Pixel Dungeon (free on Android/iOS)

Pixel Dungeon

 

There are a lot of free games on Android and iOS, and good ones too (like Crossy Road above), but many “free” games have in-app purchases that can improve the gameplay. Pixel Dungeon, on the other hand, is completely free — and not only free, but it’s an open-source game that anybody can help develop. The game itself is a “rogue-like”, with randomly generated dungeons and a super high difficulty level — but for the hardcore gamers out there, a free pocket-sized role-playing game is a rare treat.

PewPew (free on Android)

PewPew

Like Pixel Dungeon, this one’s totally free. Unlike Pixel Dungeon, PewPew’s (great name, right?) action-crazed gameplay harkens back to the golden age of arcade games like Asteroids and Tempest. It’s a frantic, fast-paced shooter with great vector-style graphics addictive gameplay — perfect for little bite-sized gaming sessions when you’re on the go. Anything that brings back a strong nostalgia for tossing quarters into machines at my local arcade is OK with me.

Plague, Inc. (free on Android / iOS $0.99)

Plague, Inc.

A different take on the strategy genre, in Plague, Inc. the player is trying to unleash a virus that will destroy all humankind. Basically you’re the ultimate bad guy, trying to get around the defences thrown against you by scientists desperate to stop you. Super fun, challenging enough to give old strategy gamers a run for their money, and wrapped up in a terrific art style.

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