We’ve all been there. Tapping away at a mobile screen and suddenly wondering, “Why am I playing this?” Most likely, it’s because we’re addicted to the just-one-more-go nature of mobile gaming, where two minutes turn to 30 before we know it.

GamesBeat reached out to a cross-section of game industry figures to find out exactly what scratches their mobile gaming itch. They’ve been kind enough to confess their habits and guilty pleasures below.

Before we start, though, I should probably confess my own current obsession. It’s Candy Crush Saga. I swipe away at it, getting more and more frustrated with the increasingly ridiculous levels, with my kids in the background laughing at me. I’m currently at level 158, I’ve not spent a cent on the game, and I’m not enjoying it in the slightest. But I can’t stop playing.

Cliff Bleszinski –
“In a pool and not really giving a crap right now.”
Former design director at Epic Games (Gears of War series)


“I’m hooked on 2048. Threes is a better game, but there’s something just so silly and mesmerizing about slamming those simple numbered blocks together.”


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Cliff Bleszinski can't get enough of smashing those 2048 tiles together. Possibly in the pool.

Above: 2048: Perfect for playing in the pool.

Image Credit: Dan Crawley

A version of 2048 from Ketchapp is available for iOS. The most popular version on Android is from Estoty Entertainment Lab. The original, web-based iteration of 2048 was created by Gabriele Cirulli and was itself based on the game 1024. Confusing, isn’t it?

Mike Roush –
Co-founder of Gaijin Games (Bit.Trip series)

Can Knockdown and Skee-Ball

“After stripping away Flappy Bird, all my amazing indie games, [and] then the games that would make me seem like an asshole for playing — Zynga, King games, etc. … I landed on a few games that have been on my iDevices for years. Can Knockdown and Skee-Ball.

“These are my guilty pleasures. They don’t necessarily take thought or talent to have a great time. However, if you apply yourself, they are amazing experiences. I guess I shouldn’t feel guilty, though. These games are about having fun, and fun I have had.”

Old-school arcade action is the order of the day for Mike Roush.

Above: Old-school arcade action is the order of the day for Mike Roush.

Image Credit: Dan Crawley

Can Knockdown by Infinite Dreams is available for Android and iOS devices.
Skee-Ball is no longer listed on the App Store, but you could try Skee-Ball Arcade instead (iOS and Android).

Corrinne Yu –
Animation and graphics programmer at Naughty Dog (The Last of Us)

Shredder Chess

“I read many books on the Kindle app. On my phone, I read more often than I play.

When I do play, Shredder Chess makes a wicked good artificial adversary.”

Since 1996, Shredder has won seventeen titles as World Computer Chess Champion. A worthy opponent, indeed.

Above: Since 1996, Shredder has won 17 titles as World Computer Chess Champion. A worthy opponent, indeed.

Image Credit: Dan Crawley

Shredder Chess by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen is available for Android and iOS devices.

Jenova Chen –
Co-founder of Thatgamecompany (Journey, Flower)

Candy Crush Saga and Hearthstone

“I play Candy Crash on airplanes a lot since it doesn’t require online all the time. But I have been a lifelong Blizzard fan. I’ve been playing Hearthstone almost every other day. And it’s on iPad now.

I sorta stopped on Candy Crash now once I hit a wall where I have to pay. But before that, I mainly play it when I’m trapped somewhere that I can’t concentrate and need a mere distraction. Places like airplanes, the bus, bathrooms, and when I’m waiting to get connected to another online game.”

Jenova Chen plays a lot of Hearthstone.

Above: Jenova Chen plays a lot of Hearthstone.

Image Credit: Dan Crawley

Candy Crush Saga by King is available for Android and iOS devices.
Hearthstone (Blizzard Entertainment) is only available on iPad and PC for now although iPhone and Android versions are in production.

Kyle Gabler –
Co-founder of 2D Boy (Little Inferno, World of Goo)


“I’ve played Radiant by Hexage on a tablet from beginning to end over a dozen times. It’s a slow-paced, sparse, repetitive, and ugly space shooter that shuts down my whirring brain like nothing else. The dialogue is stupid and hilarious. The laser weapon is super overpowered. Watcha’ doin’ there, captain? ‘Just flying straight above the steady stream of stars, sir.’”

Kyle Gabler has played Radiant through over a dozen times.

Above: Kyle Gabler has played Radiant over a dozen times.

Image Credit: Dan Crawley

Radiant is available for Android and iOS devices.