Any parent who has had to endure constant whines of “Are we there yet?” from their precious darlings in the backseat knows the value of on-the-road entertainment during a family road trip.
And today, in addition to tried-and-true analog classics (the “Alphabet Game,” “Count the Cows,” etc. etc.), mobile tech mercifully provides hours of amusement for the whole family during long trips in the car. Below, we’ve outlined a few mobile games that will keep the kids (and mum and dad) entertained during the more monotonous stretches of the journey.
This handy app includes instructions for a variety of go-to games like iSpy, 21 Questions, and the ABC game, giving some of the world’s most classic road games a 21st-century twist. The games have been designed for all ages (and yes, that includes moody teenagers). The app also features a gas calculator, timers, and easy scorekeeping tools. Dad jokes not included.
For the little ones, this app is a virtual activity center on the go. From coloring activities to sing along songs (including classics like the game’s namesake) to memory games, this app’s mini-games provide colorful, interactive, and educational fun that’s perfect for passing a few hours in the car.
Encourage kids to embrace their creative side with this inventive storytelling app. The game consists of nine dice and 54 images that prompt players to create the most imaginative tale they can dream up to go along with the pictures on the screen. The app is available in a variety of languages, and user reviews tout its easy-to-use functionality. Family members can take turns to discover who is the most spellbinding storyteller of them all.
4. World Atlas
This is more of an educational tool than a “game” per se, but the World Atlas app includes a fun quiz mode that will keep you guessing at fun bits of trivia from different corners of the globe. It’s a fun way to teach the family about various destinations along your road trip’s route, as well as an engaging and educational way to pass the time.
5. Trivia Crack
Speaking of quizzes, Trivia Crack is perhaps the most noteworthy quiz and trivia game on the mobile market today, and it’s an ideal companion for the road. Adjustable for different levels, this game tests your knowledge of topics like art, science, pop culture/entertainment, geography, history, and sports. Family members can team up or fight for the coveted crown as individuals. Pro tip: You may want to ensure that overly competitive family members are contained by seat belts.
6. Mad Libs
The [insert adjective] game gets a [insert adjective] makeover for [insert year]. Test your knowledge of basic grammar (just be glad there are no blanks for “gerunds”) while competing against your family to see who can create the silliest, most outlandish story. It’s an upgraded classic that’s guaranteed to induce giggles.
7. Sing! Karaoke by Smule
This app, which aims to “connect the world through music,” is one of the top-rated karaoke apps around — and the best part is that you don’t need anything more than a smartphone to start crooning in front of a captive audience (i.e. your family, trapped in the car).
This addictive app is as fun as it is chaotic. It’s rare to find a multiplayer, multidevice game that works flawlessly on mobile, but Spaceteam does the job remarkably well. Intended for two to eight players, the game pits teams against each another with a series of time-sensitive instructions for saving a distressed spaceship. Collaboration is key, and families will have a blast figuring out how to decipher the “technobabble” instructions.
9. Heads Up!
A digital twist on the classroom classic, this game provides hours of fun as family members take turns guessing the word on their screen based on other players’ clues. It’s a party game that easily translates to a great game for the backseat, as it’s simple, collaborative, and fun for all ages.
10. Virtual Fidget Spinner
Fidgeters, rejoice: There’s no need to dish out £10 for one of the cheap, plastic versions of these popular gadgets. This app will provide kids (and, let’s be honest, adults) with even the shortest of attention spans with hours of entertainment. A bonus: The digital versions are guaranteed not to break after five minutes.