21 New Games and Fun Apps to Brighten Your Day
There's something for everyone in our top picks of websites and apps that are sure to make you smile.
By Damon Beres from Reader's Digest Magazine | August 2013
If you like cats, try: Cat Bounce (cat-bounce.com)
Head to this site and little kitties will start bouncing across your browser. Toss them around, or pile on more with the “make it rain” button.
If you like Crossword Puzzles, try: Spelltower (spelltower.com)
A cross between a traditional word search and Tetris, SpellTower challenges players to find and eliminate words in a massive stack of letters. Each time letters are cleared, the tower rearranges itself, so the astute can set up major combos. Available on iOS, Android, and Mac.
If you like little-known facts, try: Mental Floss Quizzes (mentalfoss.com/quizzes)
Test your knowledge on a variety of subjects, from serious (“Name All the Vice Presidents in 10 Minutes”) to silly (“Lifetime Movie or Megadeth Song?”).
If you like Sudoku, try: Nuclien (nuclien.com)
Easy to learn, hard to master, this brain-twisting puzzler presents a series of numbers on-screen. If the numbers are surrounded by squares, tap them in ascending order; if circles surround them, tap them in descending order. It seems simple until the game throws both at you simultaneously with a brutal countdown timer. Available on iOS and Android.
If you like fishing, try: Ridiculous Fishing (ridiculousfishing.com)
Cast your line as deep into the ocean as possible while avoiding fish by tilting your phone. Then grab as many fish as you can as you reel the line back up and score points by shooting them out of the sky. Available on iOS.
If you like Etch A Sketch, try: Sketch Swap (sketchswap.com)
This site’s ethos: “Draw 1 to Get 1.” Sketch something on your screen, submit it, and then watch as another person’s drawing appears for you to enjoy.
If you like YouTube and Instagram, try: Viddy (viddy.com)
Take a short video on your smartphone, apply a cool visual effect, and share it immediately without having to upload it to a video service. Available on iOS and Android.
If you like ping-pong, try: TNNS (tnns.rabbx.com)
Players guide a paddle along the bottom of the screen, whacking around a ball while trying to hit specific goal markers or power-ups. Random obstacles and a breakneck pace keep things interesting. Two people can play against each other on one device for instant frivolity with friends. Available on iOS and Android.
Who knew: Eighty years ago, the Loch Ness monster was first “sighted” in Scotland. Go to this page for an enlightening lesson each day.
If you like cars, try: Asphalt 7: Heat (gameloft.com)
Packed with 60 cars, 15 different tracks, online play, and gorgeous graphics, this racing game will satisfy speed aficionados. Great for a quick or an extended session. Available on iOS, Android, and Windows phones.
If you like bright colors, try: Blendoku (blendoku.com)
This puzzle game asks players to arrange blocks of color according to hue—a simple task that becomes compellingly tricky when you have to transition between greens, blues, reds, and more. Available on iOS and Android.
Fun for kids, this variety of colorful Web games has adorable graphics.
Definitely more enjoyable than working retail, Bag It! invites players to strategically arrange groceries in a shopping bag—heavy items on the bottom, light on top. With power-ups and bulky items flying around, things get frantic (and farcical) fast. Available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Nook HD.
If you like pop music, try: Unhear It (unhearit.com)
Can’t get a song out of your head? Go to Unhear It and get hooked up with something new.
If you like sweet messages, try: Llama Font (llamafont.com)
As the site says: “Say it in llama!” Type in a message, and the site converts it to a fun font that features llamas in amusing poses.
If you like arts and crafts, try: thisissand (thisissand.com)
Beach be gone: Drag your mouse around the screen to create colorful sand art right on your desktop.
If you like learning new things, try: Learnist (learni.st) and Coursera (coursera.org)
These great services let you get a free education online. Take courses like the History of Rock from the University of Rochester or Introduction to Public Speaking from the University of Washington.
If you like funny family photos, try: Perfectly Timed Photos (perfectlytimedphotos.com)
This ever-growing collection of snapshots taken at just the right moment is a convenient way to squeeze an extra smile into your day.
If you like connecting the dots, try: Dots (nerdyoctopus.com)
Simple but challenging: Do your best to connect similarly colored dots within a certain time limit. Available on iOS.
If you like sci-fi novels, try: Gemini Rue (wadjeteyegames.com)
A sci-fi adventure in the tradition of Blade Runner and Total Recall, Gemini Rue puts cinematic gameplay—complete with a compelling story—right in the palm of your hand. Available on iOS.
If you like free games, try: RD Games (games.rd.com)
For much more fun stuff—from new takes on mahjongg to a puzzler called "eggz"—visit games.rd.com.