Corben: 5 games to play before class

USQ blogger CorbenAt USQ, Corben studied a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in creative media and minoring in technical theatre. With a passion for working on a range of multimedia Corben loves everything to do with movies, TV, video games and music.

Have you ever arrived awkwardly early to a lecture or tutorial? For many of us, reaching for our smartphone or tablet and texting friends, browsing social media or playing games is a popular way to kill time.

While some games like Angry Birds, Candy Crush and, notoriously, Flappy Bird can be incredibly addictive, there are other games you can play that are fun and that will keep your mind active while you wait for class to start. You may be cringing through your screen with scepticism, but I’m for real! If you have any pre-class nerves, these games may also serve as a welcome distraction.

1. Monument Valley

The modern argument about whether video games fit into the world of art or not, has never seemed so relevant with Monument Valley. If you’ve ever been intrigued by works of art featuring the endless staircase that goes round and round, but maintains the illusion that it is still heading upwards, this game is for you. Each level of the game presents artwork that uses illusion to create interesting designs. As you navigate pathways, staircases and walls, you must forget the physical constraints of the real world and manipulate the world around you in the app to move forward. For a game that is only $5 (plus $2.50 for added content), it’s worth every cent for the brain-stimulating, enjoyably artistic experience alone.

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Available on Google Play and the iTunes App store for $5.00.

2. Plants vs. Zombies

Arguably one of the best arcade games of all time is the original Plants vs. Zombies. This game consists of a series of lanes where you position plants with a range of different abilities to counter an approaching horde of zombies. The goal: defend your home! Not only is this game incredibly fun and addictive, it also provides an entertaining way for players to strategise. Throughout the game’s many levels, the challenges you face will change and require you to quickly adapt and mix up strategies with fast-paced micro-management. It’s never too late to try out this classic.

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Available on Google Play and the iTunes App store for $1.29.

3. Trainyard Express

As a uni student, it’s important to practice your problem-solving skills. Trainyard Express involves strategically organising a progressively busy train yard. Your goal is to create a route for each coloured train to reach their intended destination. The catch is that each level presents new challenges by adding additional trains that can dangerously intersect with one another and crash. Before class, a game like this could easily have your mind’s metaphorical cogs turning and as it’s available for free, there’s nothing to lose by giving it a go.

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Available on Google Play and the iTunes App store for free.

4. Unblock Me

Thinking ahead while solving a problem is a valuable skill to master. The game’s objective is to move a red block to the exit by moving other blocks out of the way. Sounds easy right? What makes Unblock Me tricky is that not only do you have to move particular blocks out of the way, but you also have to move the blocks blocking them. The difficulty curve is quite steep, but I can almost guarantee your concentration levels will be higher than ever afterwards.

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Available on Google Play and the iTunes App store for free.

5. Lazors

By using movable blocks, your objective is to alter the course of a laser so that it reaches its goal. At first, this game feels quite easy because you’re simply angling the beam a few times, but later levels prove tricky as it seems like there are multiple obvious ways to solve the problem when the correct method is hiding in plain sight. Despite Lazors increasing difficulty, getting on a roll of completing levels is a rewarding experience, and with over 230+ levels, it will be sure to keep your mind ticking over problems for some time.

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Available on Google Play and the iTunes App store for free.

These are my picks for the top 5 games you should try next time you have some spare time before a lecture or tutorial that will not only entertain you but could help prepare your mind for study. So next time you’re awkwardly early for class, you now have awesome options to help you kill time and get your brain into gear for study.

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