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The best multiplayer games to play on a single smartphone

Today’s smartphones offer an extra advantage that many people let go unnoticed. With a five or six inch display, it is already possible to have fun with multiplayer games using only a single smartphone. Yes, you read that right, there are multiplayer games developed to play on a single screen, and they’re sensational! I’ve created a short list here with the best of them.

Fruit Ninja (Free)

If you’ve been using Android for a few years now, you’ll probably know about Fruit Ninja, one of the first mobile games to be successful around the world. What few people know is that it has a multiplayer mode that you can play on a single screen. So, along with your opponent, you can use a single smartphone to cut all that fruit.

There are two modes of play, Classic Attack and Zen Duel. In the first mode you play as you normally would, cutting fruit in half with your sword and losing if you miss three fruits. In the second mode, you have to cut as many fruits as possible in two minutes.

Glow Hockey 2 (Free)

Air hockey is another well-known game. The version for smartphones isn’t very famous, but you’re certainly already familiar with this fun game that’s often played at arcades and malls. It’s a great game, where a table humming with air lets you send hockey pucks flying, with the objective of hitting the puck into the opponent’s goal.

The idea in Glow Hockey is the same, only you’re using a smartphone screen. You and your opponent hold the device with one hand and block each other’s shots with the other. It may sound silly, but in one minute you’ll be absorbed by the competition. It’s great for playing with friends or with kids.

Badland (Free)

Badland is a beautiful game that won several awards in 2013 and 2014, and although it’s best known for its single player mode, it also has multiplayer modes for up to four players where you can play either with or against each other. The most important goal is to survive a deadly scenario, similar to Super Meat Boy.

In multiplayer mode, each player has their own portion of the screen dedicated to their character. The goal is to reach the end of the individual stages. In the competitive mode, you can lead friends to their death, which will lead to plenty of laughs and quarrels. It’s totally free, although it has some extras that can be purchased. This is definitely worth it if you’re a group of a few friends looking to have some fun.

Bounden ($2.99)

This is one of the most unique and beautiful games on this list. It will make you dance. Yes, this game shows that with some creativity, you can take your smartphone to levels you couldn’t imagine. As you play, you and your partner hold the smartphone and press a button on the screen.

From there, you just have to do what the game says. There are commands to spin, rotate, and perform dances, always with the goal of doing everything in sync. It is one of the most original games that exists for smartphones, and will generate many laughs. Just be careful not to drop the phone on the floor!

Omicron ($0.99)

Omicron has more of an abstract vibe. It’s almost a board game, has a geometric look, and no characters. The path to victory requires some dexterity. This is a game to play with a good friend, if you want to see him or her get angry once you win.

It’s also designed for a single player, but it’s just as fun with the competitive mode on the single screen. Different-colored cubes appear together on the screen and your mission is tap on them so that they’ll disappear, always tapping the color that is called for on the edges of the screen.

Micro Battles 1, 2 and 3 (Free)

Utilizing a very retro 8-bit style, Micro Battles is a very cute game full of quick matches for two players. Made exclusively to be played by two people, it’s made up of competitive microgames. In the free version, one of the four micro games can be played per day.

You can pay an additional $1.99 if you want access to all four at once. But there is a way to play more than one per day, you just need to download the other two editions of the game, which works in the scheme. That’s, in total, 12 fast and distracting microgames. They have different themes, such as outer space, the old west, airplanes, soccer, vikings, and more.

Duel Otters (Free)

This game follows the same premise of the mini games from Micro Battles, just with a slightly different (although more competitive) theme. Each player holds the smartphone on one side, and the other uses their fingers to play. It has games like the ones on this list such as hockey, but there are other more competitive ones like hot potatoes.

There are 11 mini games, nine of them are free, plus another one that’s unlocked if you like the company on Facebook. There’s also one last one that’s unlocked with an extra in-app payment. Although it looks cute, it gets super competitive and provides enough tension. It’s very good for distracting children or passing the time, as you can also play against the computer.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes ($14.99)

This one has a bit of a higher price, but I thought I needed to include it in this article. In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, players use the same smartphone to play, but don't use the device at the same time. You also need another device (either a smartphone, tablet or computer) to access the manual used in the game.

Extremely fun and full of tension, in this game, one person takes care of the artifact, the bomb that needs to be defused, and the other is left with the manual telling the other person how to deal with the riddles. If you don’t solve the riddles in time, the bomb will explode and everyone loses. It’s a frantic game you’ll either love or hate. Oh, and you need a VR device, but if you don’t have one, you can also play the PC version.

Are there any other multiplayer games you like playing with friends?

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