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Skip the grind: 3 fun mobile games that (almost) play themselves

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Look, ma, no hands!
Look, ma, no hands!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I just leveled up while I was driving to pick my kid up from school. I set up a digital battle using my iPhone while sitting in my driveway, hit “Go,” and then just put my iPhone down on my dashboard while I drove to get him.

I’ve been calling these types of games “auto-battlers” for their central feature: letting you skip tedious, grinding gameplay that tends to be a feature of traditional role-playing games. I don’t have time to micromanage my iPhone; chances are neither do most people, which explains the rise of casual gaming over the past five years or so.

Here are three fun mobile games that let you experience more depth than a typical Flappy Bird clone, but still don’t require too much input to enjoy.

Pahelika Secret Legends Will Have You Feeling Smart Before Long [Review]

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Hidden object games don’t usually catch my fancy, to be honest. I’ve never been a big fan of the mechanics, which typically require you to find objects to then reveal other objects, which can then be combined to become actual useful objects. I’ve also never been too taken by the typical romanticized story lines, either.

Pahelika: Secret Legends by Ironcode Gaming
Category: Mac Games
Works With: Mac OS X
Price: $4.99

Big Fish’s new game, developed by India-based IronCode Games, Pahelika Secret Legends has found a way to convince me otherwise,t hough, and I find myself being drawn back to playing it often. There’s a fairly interesting story, and the puzzles are tough enough to provide a challenge without busting a brain.

If you’re like me and have been ambivalent about trying a game like this out, perhaps this is the one to start with.

Apple Pulls First Subscription-Based iOS Game From The App Store [Updated]

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Apple has been embracing subscription-based iOS applications for some time, such as those that offer magazines and newspapers, but the same model did not appear for iOS games until earlier this week, when the Cupertino company approved a title from Big Fish Games that offered gamers the opportunity to pay a monthly fee of $4.99 to access the companies entire catalog through one app.

When the title hit the App Store, it was reported that Apple had begun accepting subscription-based games for iOS, and that the new release from Big Fish could be the first of many games to offer a similar service. However, Apple has quickly put a stop to those dreams after it pulled Big Fish’s title from the App Store.