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As tech improves and developers get more ambitious, mobile games tend to emphasize engagement with other users. It can be an entertaining experience — except for when you head into the subway or a remote location. 

In these situations, consider a call back to the good ol' days: puzzle games. Many of them don't require Wi-Fi or even a cellular connection, and some you can play with one hand — perfect for anyone keeping their balance by holding onto a steel bar. 

Here are some of the best puzzle games for your commute.

Flow Free

Flow FreeSource: Flow Free/iTunes
Flow Free  Flow Free/iTunes

Kill some time with this simple but addictive puzzle that requires players to connect matching color dots without overlapping paths. 


SudokuSource: Finger Arts/iTunes
Sudoku  Finger Arts/iTunes

A certified classic that no longer requires a pen and newspaper. This Finger Arts version also adds a "smart point system" that values your score based off of varying multipliers. 


2048Source: Ketchapp/iTunes
2048  Ketchapp/iTunes

Remember 2048? You'll be surprised at how fun this minimal numbers game can be. Swipe the tiles to reach the titular number in the least amount of turns for a new high score. It helps if you're good at math.

Bejeweled Blitz

Bejewled BlitzSource: PopCap/iTunes
Bejewled Blitz  PopCap/iTunes

Give your thumb a workout with this invigorating app. Detonate as many gems as you can in 60 seconds, and watch your scores rise. It's visually stimulating and action-packed.

New York Times Crossword

NYTimes CrosswordSource: New York Times/iTunes
NYTimes Crossword  New York Times/iTunes

Perhaps the most famous puzzle of them all — the New York Times crossword — is available in digital form just as it is printed in the daily newspaper. It's a great way to wake up your sleepy brain in the a.m.

Two Dots

Two DotsSource: Playdots/iTunes
Two Dots  Playdots/iTunes

One of the prettiest games around, and not just in the realm of puzzles. Use your two dots — Emily and Jack — and navigate through varying climates by connecting the pair together depending on the level. Beautifully minimalistic with over 900 free levels.

Tetris Blitz

Tetris BlitzSource: EA/iTunes
Tetris Blitz  EA/iTunes

Check out the modern update of this iconic arcade puzzle game. It's essentially the same experience, but with a two-minute timer and collection of power-ups that can be used to increase your odds of making it to the next level.