Most mobile games have moved to an online-only format, meaning you need to be connected to the Internet in order to get any kind of multiplayer action going. This is great when you're at home on Wi-Fi, but when you're out and about, slow and inconsistent data speeds can cause serious lag. Or worse yet, you may be nearing your monthly data cap!
Even though most developers prefer to have their multiplayer mode set to online-play only, some still keep the option open for Bluetooth or local network play. To help keep you and your friends entertained, we threw together a list of our 10 favorite offline multiplayer games.
Most of these games can create game lobbies through Bluetooth or be used on a single device, but for those that still require you to be on the same network, you can always create a personal hotspot. While the games do not consume any data, the connected devices may have background sync processes active, so keep an eye on your data usage.
We've covered DUAL! before, but since it's such a great offline game, we had to include it in this roundup. With DUAL, you'll be able to turn two Android or iOS devices into bullet-shooting, retro-style spaceships. The app can connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, so don't worry about having any connectivity issues.
BADLAND is a side-scrolling survival game that allows you and up to 3 friends to control a character in an effort to guide them through a trap-infested forest. The multiplayer mode only requires one device, so don't worry about setting up a hotspot or turning on Bluetooth.
You'll only need one device for Micro Battles, since it may be one of the simplest games on the market. The game runs like Mario Party, pitting you and a friend against each other in head-to-head mini games that only require you to press one button. More mini games are unlocked as you play, so don't worry about getting bored too quickly.
Heres another one-device game that is just as simple as Micro Battles, but requires a lot more focus. Reactor is a two-player game that gives you and your opponent a task, then sees which one of you can complete it the fastest. These vary from tapping the screen when you see a color flash to figuring out which number is a prime.
Pocket Tanks is another one-device game that reminded me of my early days on the Internet. It's a classic one-on-one game that pits you and a friend against each other to see who has the best aim to destroy their opponent. There is also a $4.99 in-app-purchase that will unlock additional weapon packs if you get tired of the free options.
Curve Wars has been by far the most challenging game for me in the entire roundup. The point is for every player to move their line left or right to try to avoid touching another player's line or the edge border. Think Snake, but with moving obstacles and no "food."
In Chain Reaction, you'll need to hand off one device to up to 8 players as you try to flood the game board with your specific color. You'll need to place colored dots across the board, and once you stack 4 dots of the same color in one cube, it will explode and change the color of all the surrounding dots to your color.
If you've ever played Bomberman, you're probably already familiar with the mechanics of BombSquad. The game comes with co-op, free-for-all, and team-based mini games that range from capture the flag to death match. In each game, you control a character that can pull bombs out of thin air and throw them at opponents. You should also keep an eye out for item drops throughout the level to help boost your destructive power.
Each one of these games can keep you busy for hours, but Spaceteam does so in a way that will make you hate yourself for subjecting you and your friends to its chaos. You are part of a crew trying to successfully complete an intergalactic flight, but instead of your instructions being given directly, they are given to one of your teammates. Right when you start the game, each of you will be forced to immediately start yelling your orders and listening for instructions that could be intended for your control layout. Trust me, you are not going to want to play this game in a place where you need to keep your voice down.
Last up, we have Air Glow Hockey, which turns your Android into a portable air hockey table for you and a friend. Since there is little going on, you will only need one device to play this game. But just like real air hockey, things can get competitive in a hurry.
Hopefully with these games in your pocket, you and your friends will never have to worry about resorting to playing I Spy to pass the time. If you know of any more games worth checking out, drop me a comment below.