App Weekly: Cosy up this December with these fun, addictive games that are suitable for all ages

There's something in this list for everyone, whether you like match-3s or memory games or just setting up your utopia of a potato-based communist economy.

This December, cosy up and have some fun with these addictive time-killers. There's something in this list for everyone, whether you like match-3s or memory games or just setting up your utopia of a potato-based communist economy. There's even a train set for the child (or childlike) in your family.

Moana Island Life

Moana Island Life

Moana Island Life

This game on the latest Disney princess focuses on building and trade unlike its predecessors (here's looking at you, Frozen Free Fall). Admittedly, it is a step up from the usual movie franchise fare, but not by a whole lot. The mechanics of the game are a lot like that of Farmville. You help Moana farm palm, mango and bamboo on a remote Polynesian island. Where it gets interesting though, are the quests from side characters. Beloved characters from the movie like Maui and Moana's pets make an appearance. The game will be greatly sped up if you spend some money on the starter packs but it might be a better idea to struggle through the sluggish production process and delay gratification. Moana Island Life will satisfy lovers of the movie and in case you are a fan of such games already, you might like this Moana-branded one in your favourite genre. You can also trade with other players and explore a vast world of islands and sunny beaches.

Dragon Hills 2

The first game in this series built upon a solid premise. A princess, bored of being locked in a castle for too long, decides to take the dragon out for a ride and free herself. Dragon Hills 2 builds upon this unconventional fairy tale and gives us a strong, daring female protagonist and great graphics. In Dragon Hills 2, you have control of a mechanic dragon which can dive underground in order to avoid enemies and jump up at times least expected to catch them in its jaws.

Dragon Hills 2 features a range of dragons and landscapes. You might find yourself in a zombie-infested wasteland or the Wild West, complete with old-timey bars and horse carriages. Each level is made more exciting with the presence of boss fights. These bosses take some committed fighting before you can progress to the next level. The game is immensely rewarding because of the ease with which you can pick it up and the variation in enemies and bosses.

Thomas and Friends: Magic Tracks

Never has a cash grab looked so great as Thomas the Train Engine. This game is primarily meant for children who may have bonded with the soulless train engine known as Thomas. The game is a sandbox where your kid (or you) can create your own train set with the wackiest railroad tracks imaginable. In Thomas' world, train engines skid like skateboards and ride 360 degrees in loops. The game has only a few elements, making the construction easy to understand for a young gamer but at the same time provides enough variety to be hugely entertaining. The game has a set of train engines, railroad decorations and other paraphernalia that can be unlocked by collecting gears that show up around the level. The best part of the game is the mode where you can watch the track through the train engine's eyes. There are hot air balloons and the game-board is actually placed in a child's room and can be viewed on a table of your liking through the AR feature on iPhones.

Thomas the Train Engine combines the fun of construction with the ease of a casual game and is the ideal starter pack for sandbox greats like Trackmania and Minecraft.

Adventure Communist

If you did not like Adventure Capitalist, the clicker, because it idealizes exploitation of the masses in a blind race for individual economic gain, Adventure Communist is for you. In Adventure Communist, you can forget that and happily exploit the masses for communal economic gain. The game starts off with potato farming and then rapidly moves to more dangerous enterprises associated with communism. You can build communes, soldiers and bullets. Like all great clicker games which need you to keep returning and playing, you can 'time travel' or reset your progress and start from the very beginning. What makes this clicker fun is its interesting premise, great graphics and the sheer fun of creating empires on your phone. If you want to see whether communism makes economic sense, download Adventure Communist and see for yourself!

Chef's Quest

Chef's Quest is a match 3 game based on cooking. Unlike other games in the genre, Chef's Quest does have a storyline. You play as a chef in Paris where you make almost every food item in your restaurant by matching random vegetables and boiling the hell out of them. Occasionally, you add grease and butter too. Chef's Quest is not based on a timer and instead gives you a limited number of moves to achieve the objectives in any given level. The game is enhanced by the fact that you can get to invest the money you earned into upgrades for your restaurant. The graphics are great and the puzzles can get challenging enough to keep you on your toes in the kitchen. Chef's Quest is casual gaming at its finest.


Mega Museum

If you are a fan of history and have always wanted to build your own museum, you can do so in the virtual realm with Mega Museum. This pixelated game takes you across the world in search of artefacts. It manages to gamify even the tedious process of getting permits before you go all Indiana Jones. The actual exploration takes place in a game of memory. You are presented with a board of tiles that you have to uncover and match. While this may sound boring, remember that Indiana Jones' work isn't all running-from-bullets-and-kissing-beautiful-women. There is also research to be done before he goes searching for crystal skulls. The combination of memory games and museum building will definitely appeal to the highbrow scholars among you.

Flat Pack

Flat Pack is a truly unique platformer by Nitrome, a developer with an impressive portfolio of unconventional games. In Flat Pack, you play a 2D character in a 3D world. The cute protagonist, a creature with floppy ears that help it fly, has to solve puzzles which will use all of your spatial awareness. You need to be acutely aware of where things are in the three-dimensional space and use tactics like flipping gravity, fighting enemies and manipulating space in order to win. Play Flat Pack to be reminded of how cool platformers can be.

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