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The 15 Most Addictive Apps Of 2014

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Not still playing Candy Crush Saga are you? While you've been grouping lurid sweets into lines, some seriously impressive apps may have passed you by.  

You aren't going to thank us for the following list. From side-scrolling adventures to number crunching time killers, these 15 apps are some of the most addictive experiences yet made for touchscreen devices. They're going to consume your free time, push your bedtime back a few hours and potentially result in arguments in the pub for "mucking about your phone". And you're going to love every single one of them. 


2048

2048

Available on: iOS, Android, Windows

What's the addiction?
Swipe numbers in a grid to reach the magical total of 2048. So: two plus two is four. Swipe down for the eight makes 12. Then left for 64. Then 128 and WHERE THE HELL DID TUESDAY GO? Bonus pointless fact: it was created by 19-year-old programmer Gabriele Cirulli in less than a week.

What's the cure?
There isn't one. Simplistic, satisfying, this is Sudoku for the touchscreen generation - savour of the dull bus journey. The only way you'll escape the clutches of 2048 is for the charms of the game that it cloned...


Threes

Threes!

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
The original number swiping game, Threes! is all about matching numbers. Keep matching identical numbers on a four-by-four grid, in the hope of reaching some unlikely totals. 

What's the cure?
Eventually, your own number-matching skill might hit a natural peak. No matter how many times you try to get the illusive 3072 title, you might just not have the right brain for it. Then you can return to conversations with your family and friends - before remembering why you downloaded Threes! in the first place.


.NOON.

Available on: iOS, Android (though the iOS version is notably superior)

What's the addiction?
Tap the clock when the hand reaches 12 o'clock. Tap the next clock, which is moving at a different speed. And the next. And the next. And say goodbye to the rest of your day.

What's the cure?
A loved one is going to call an intervention after you shouted at them for asking you if you wanted a cup of tea, throwing your timing.


Drummer

Available on: iOS

What's the addiction?
A clean, simple drum machine. With nine possible layers of sound and 14 different drum sounds, this is an elegant waste of your time - or a useful tool for any bedroom musicians. 

What's the cure?
Making friends with a real life drummer. 


Alone

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
A furious side-scrolling shooter/dodger/survival reflex test. Navigate asteroid fields, caves, rocks and comets in the hope of surviving longer than your last run.

What's the cure?
If you can't hack the difficulty (and boy is it difficult), you're probably going to get bored of dying. But once you're hooked, you've had it. 


Monument Valley

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
A captivating puzzle game - very possibly the 'app of the year', depending on what floats your smartboat. Navigating environments relies on you twisting and turning sections of the world, revealing new paths thanks to new perspectives. Visually stunning, you'll find yourself promising to quit after "just one more level". 

What's the cure?
Heartbreakingly short, there's a new set of levels available to download, but keen puzzle players will be disappointed by a lack of challenges. 


FTL: Faster Than Light

Available on: iOS

What's the addiction?
The app version of the immensely popular PC title, FTL sees you build and upgrade spaceships, explore space, build and upgrade spaceships, fight enemies, build and upgrade spaceships and... you get the idea. Worth every penny of the £6.99 price tag.

What's the cure?
It depends - either your battery running out or your eyes giving up on the text-based encounters. 


Hyperlapse

Available for: iOS

What's the addiction?
Instagram gives Apple users the chance to create smooth time-lapse videos at the press of a button. So now you can make video montages of your walk to the coffee shop, before taking a filtered photo of your latte.

What's the cure?
The inevitable realisation that, just like your coffee shots, no one really cares about how arty your road trip was. 


Sunburn!

Available on: iOS

What's the addiction?
A morbid space adventure, you and your crew are drifting aimlessly through space after the destruction of your ship. Having made a pact that no one would die alone, it's up to you to track down your other crew members, tether them together and fall into the nearest star. Cute, brutal and immensely playable.

What's the cure?
You might actually decide you want to play a game where the aim is to save the day, rather than kill everyone?


Hitman Go

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
A beautiful turn-based board game-stroke-puzzler. Guide Agent 47 through a series of increasingly complicated missions by flicking him across gorgeous diorama boards, filled with foe on set patrol routes. Hide behind the pot plant, duck behind the wall, sneak behind the sniper and lose sleep over seemingly simple missions.

What's the cure?
With a limited number of missions, there's not a lot of replay value once you've gained all the achievements. 


Overglide

Overglide

Available on: iOS

What's the addiction?
A Flappy Bird clone with a difference: you can play this game in the Apple notification centre, without having to open any apps at all. That quick check of your messages just became a five minute attempt to beat your high score.

What's the cure?
After the fourth missed call, you'll probably realise that you needed to reply to that text from your other half.


The Room 2

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
Okay, so the sequel to the point-and-click puzzle king came out on iOS in December 2013 - but as the Android version only showed up in February 2014 we're putting it in. A bleak journey sees you tackle boxes, codes, locks and all manner of puzzles as you delve deeper and deeper into the strange world of The Room

What's the cure?
You might well hit some seemingly unsolvable sections in The Room 2, which will kill your enjoyment dead. Once you've realised your mistake, you'll go back to ignoring the rest of the world to work out how to open the next layer of puzzles. 


Unpossible

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
Imagine Jungle Run, but on a twisting pipe, floating about the cloud line of the future, and you've got a pretty good idea of what Unpossible involves. Insanely challenging, obstacles will start flying at infuriating speed. Once you've got the knack of it, you'll feel borderline superhuman.

What's the cure?
You'll only stop playing this game after you've smashed your phone against the wall having been caught out by the same triangular obstacle for the fifth time in a row. 


Manager

Football Manager Handheld 2015

Available on: iOS, Android 

What's the addiction?
The world of Football Manager in the palm of your hand. Manage your favourite club to glory with new features, including a tweaked match engine, scouting agency and more stats than you really ever wanted.

What's the cure?
Real football. Or just a pub. Anything that might cause you to look up from your screen basically. 


Thomas Was Alone

Available on: iOS, Android

What's the addiction?
The BAFTA-winning platformer now lives in your pocket. Explore a series of dark worlds, navigating the usual gaming hazards (spikes, water) with a series of unusual characters (shapes). Narrated by our very own Danny Wallace.

What's the cure?
Eventually finishing all 100 levels.

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