Beat the Winter Blahs With These Fantastic and Free Digital Games


The latest digital games for your smartphone and tablet offer a great alternative to scrolling through social media. Photo: Luke Chan/Getty Images

Don’t let the winter blahs get you down.

Instead, entertain yourself – and keep your brain sharp at the same time – with the help of fun games you can play on your smartphone or tablet.

Not only is there a huge selection of downloads to choose from at the App Store (for iPhone and iPad) and Google Play (for Android devices), but they’re easy to pick up yet difficult to put down. Use your fingertip to tap and swipe on your touchscreen, whether you’re relaxing on the couch or in line at the supermarket.

Some of these mobile games also let you chat with others online, during or between rounds of play.

Best of all, many of these games are free to play – including the half-dozen featured here.

Be aware some (but not all) contain advertisements, and many allow you to pay for additional content, which of course is optional.


Words With Friends 2


Billed as “the world’s most popular social mobile word game,” Zynga’s Scrabble-like Words WithFriends 2 has you spell words from your T-I-L-E-S on a large board, in order to rack up the most points against a competitor.

While you can play against the game itself, it’s more fun to challenge a friend somewhere else in the world (or even a stranger you’re matched with) and take turns against your opponents at your own pace. That is, you can place your tiles on the virtual board and go about your day, and you’ll be notified on your phone or tablet when it’s your turn again. Words With Friends 2 also supports simultaneous matches, so you can have a few games going at once.

Photo: © Zynga Inc./2024 Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.


Chat while playing via the in-game messaging feature, take on several kinds of mini games, unlock new tile designs, use hints and other power-ups, and compete for top spot on a leaderboard.

Similarly, Scopely’s Scrabble Go is an officially-licensed digital version of the authentic Scrabble board game, along with several solo and multiplayer game modes to keep wordsmiths engaged. The game includes several tournaments and leagues, as well as bonus games, boosts, tile designs, and an integrated dictionary.


Picture Cross Color


If you’ve never played a “Picross” game before – also referred to as “Nonograms” – they’re both relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

In SuperSonic Software/’s Picture Cross Color, you’re presented with a blank grid, but along the margins are clues as to which blocks are a certain colour. Through deduction and process of elimination, you’ll figure out how many blocks need to be “painted” with your fingertip.

Photo: ©


If correct, you’ll solve the puzzle and be rewarded with a picture. Complete several pictures to unlock a much bigger canvas, which then turns into an animated scene.

A “World Tour” mode features popular destinations to virtually visit from around the planet.


Puzzle Page


If you like games like crossword puzzles, word searches, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, Codeword, and the above-mentioned Picture Cross Color, one freebie called Puzzle Page has it all in one place.

As the name suggests, AppyNation’s Puzzle Page is not unlike a page of games in a newspaper, with a variety of puzzles to play that day (and a fresh batch the following day). But at any time, go back to the in-game calendar and play a previous day’s collection. You can even filter by puzzle type.

Along with several number, word and picture games, there are daily challenges, unlockable “achievement” trophies and rewards.

Photo: © AppyNation 2024/ ©


The Silent Age


If you prefer a more story-driven adventure, The Silent Age challenges you to save the world by traveling through time.

You start off as a janitor in the early 1970s. While mopping the floors of a building you stumble upon a mysterious man who warns you of a catastrophic event before he hands you a time travel device, and then dies.

By visiting the past, present and future, you’re tasked with collecting items that can be used at the right time and place. For example, you’ll need to pour poison on a plant so that it won’t grow and block a passageway 40 years from now. 

Developed by Danish company House on Fire, the first episode is free to play and should take you a couple of hours to tap through, and you’ll have the option to pay $7 to continue playing on to the next episode.

The hand-drawn animation, moody sound effects and music are all top-notch (headphones recommended), and it all adds nicely to the game’s chilling atmosphere.

Photo: © House On Fire LLC


Royal Match


If you like Candy Crush, you’ll love Royal Match.

Published by Dream Games, this is a “Match 3” puzzler with a gameplay mechanic that should be familiar to Candy Crush (or Bejeweled) fans, as you must swap to match at least three of the same items on a board, which causes them to disappear. Your goal is to break adjacent obstacles, unleash power-ups, and unlock new levels as you help the hapless King Robert rebuild his castle (and surrounding areas) to its former glory.

The levels get increasingly difficult, just as new obstacles and objects are added as you progress.

While free, there are no ads to sit through, which is refreshing. 

There are bonus levels, mini-games, timed tournaments, and you can see how you fare against others via the global leaderboard.

Photo: © 2024 – Dream Games


Monopoly Go!


A fun take on the iconic Monopoly board game is Scopely’s Monopoly Go!, in partnership with Hasbro, which breathes new life into the 1935 classic.

Fusing classic dice rolling and property building with a more “social” spin, the new game has players travel to world-class cities to build fortunes, and lets you compete against a global fanbase of Monopoly players, against a backdrop of high-resolution visuals, sleek animation and sound effects. 

As with the board game, play as the Racecar, Top Hat, or Battleship, collect properties, build houses and hotels, pull chance cards, and even get sent to jail.

Monopoly Go! features more than 100 new boards, daily tournaments, collectible stickers, and playable mini games to earn rewards.

Photo: © 2024 Scopely Inc.


Still want more?

Other fun and free recommendations include Bingo Blitz, Match Factory, June’s Journey, FarmVille 3, and Solitaire Grand Harvest (iOS and Android).