Gam­ing apps to make the hol­i­days more fun

Try these mo­bile games when you’re on hol­i­day – they’ll have you and your loved ones in stitches while you bat­tle it out to be­come the ul­ti­mate win­ner


HEN load­ing up the car for your fam­ily hol­i­day, your bulky but beloved board games fre­quently don’t make the cut – and they’re of­ten the thing you wish you’d brought along for some good old-fash­ioned group fun when you ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion.

The happy news though is plenty of in­cred­i­ble games can be brought along in your pocket! HEADS UP! This game is for those who love see­ing their friends and fam­ily do­ing ridicu­lous things – as long as they don’t mind act­ing like an idiot them­selves.

The game re­quires you to select a cat­e­gory, such as Celebri­ties, Ac­cents, Movies or An­i­mals, then hold the phone up to your head, screen fac­ing out­wards. When the phone tilts, a se­ries of names or words will ap­pear on the screen, which you’ll have to guess from your friends’ clues. The best part – you can set the game to record a video of your friends’ bizarre an­tics as they de­scribe the word. R14* to down­load from the Ap­ple App and Google Play stores EX­PLOD­ING KIT­TENS It was cre­ated by the brains be­hind Xbox and Marvel games, and The Oat­meal car­toon­ist Matthew In­man, so you just know Ex­plod­ing Kit­tens is go­ing to be an epic laugh-a-minute.

The game re­quires be­tween two and five play­ers (who’ll need the game down­loaded on their phones) who select “cards” un­til one of them picks an Ex­plod­ing Kit­ten, at which point they’re elim­i­nated. Un­less they have a Defuse Card, which al­lows them to do just that to the fiery fe­line us­ing things such as laser point­ers, belly rubs and cat­nip sand­wiches.

Other cards of­fer sim­i­larly weird solutions to help play­ers thwart the Ex­plod­ing Kit­ten.

As Pop­u­lar Me­chan­ics beau­ti­fully put it, the game “plays a bit like if Rus­sian roulette was cross­bred with a deeply dis­turb­ing ­ver­sion of Uno”. R26* to down­load from the Ap­ple App and Google Play stores PSYCH! Ellen DeGeneres’ Psych!, de­vised by the peo­ple be­hind Heads Up!, works just as well af­ter din­ner with the kids as it does af­ter a few glasses of wine with a group of good mates.

The game, which all play­ers need to down­load, re­quires you to come up with fake an­swers to real trivia ques­tions to try to trick your friends. Play­ers select one of sev­eral ­cat­e­gories, such as Po­etry, Name That Show and the oh-so-cheeky Adults Only.

You get points if you get the cor­rect an­swer to the wacky ques­tions, but you score big if other play­ers choose your made-up an­swer over the right one. Free to down­load from the Ap­ple App and Google Play stores COUP Play­ers are dealt two cards fea­tur­ing one of five beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated char­ac­ters at the out­set, and the goal is to be the last one left with at least one card a se­cret.

The var­i­ous char­ac­ters come with their own spe­cial traits, such as the abil­ity to “­as­sas­si­nate” your op­po­nent’s char­ac­ters, but you don’t have to re­veal your card in or­der to per­form these tricks – so you can bluff your way to vic­tory and hope your friends don’t call you on it.

Pri­vate games can be set up with friends but users can also play against other play­ers on­line any­where in the world. Free, with in-app pur­chases, from the Ap­ple App and Google Play stores WHO CAN’T DRAW Bro­ken Tele­phone comes to your phone in this sure-to-be side-split­ting game in which the first player is given an item to draw on the screen. They then pass it on to the next player, who has to re-draw what­ever they think the ­ob­ject is, and pass it on again, un­til the last ­player guesses the ob­ject from the fi­nal ­draw­ing.

The best part is the chain of draw­ings which is dis­played at the end, so you can fig­ure out ­ex­actly where things went awry. Free, with in-app pur­chases, from the Ap­ple App and Google Play stores LORDS OF WATERDEEP In this mo­bile turn-based strat­egy game, play­ers as­sume the man­tle of a masked lord who must re­cruit ad­ven­tur­ers to go on quests. Com­pleted quests gain them power and in­flu­ence in the city of Waterdeep, which they can ex­pand by buy­ing build­ings, and ul­ti­mately win by be­com­ing the supreme ruler.

The eight-round game can be played alone against an AI op­po­nent, but it’s great fun when the ri­val “lords” are all in a room to­gether. Free, with in-app pur­chases, from the Ap­ple App and Google Play stores *PRICES COR­RECT AT THE TIME OF GO­ING TO PRINT

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