15 Fun Free Games to Waste Five Minutes

When you’ve been working hard, it’s always great to take a break. Some like to check Facebook, others like to read a real book. I’m a big fan of playing a quick game of some sort. Usually, I play a game on my iPhone. It’s fast, the games load in no time and there are tons and tons of games that are really easy to only play for 5 minutes at a time. Lately, however, I’ve been leaving my phone in a different room or turning it off so I’m not distracted by calls when I need to work. As a result, I decided it was high time I found some games for my Mac that are worthwhile to play for just 5 minutes at a time.

During my search for games, I had a few requirements for each of the games. They had to boot quickly, be entertaining, easy to pick up and to put down, and I wanted free games. I’ve put together a collection of 15 of my favorites (although there were at least 15 more that I thought about including). These games meet all of my requirements, and while they’re not always the most attractive games, they’re free and generally addicting. Read on for a few classics and several games you’ve probably never played.

 

Full Deck Solitaire

Solitaire absolutely deserves a place in this round-up. It’s a classic time-killer to be certain. Full Deck Solitaire always surprises me when I remember that it’s free. It’s a solitaire app that offers classic Klondike solitaire, but also offers 22 other types of solitaire. You can play pyramid, spider, montana and more. The app includes a couple versions of solitaire that are unique to this app.

If you’re struggling, the app is great. It offers a great help section and a 3 level hint system. It has features like auto play which is always helpful. It’s not always the prettiest interface, but it offers enough customization options that it’s not a big deal. It’s perfect for a quick break between work, and probably my default game choice.

 

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: GRL Games Inc.

Full Deck Solitaire

Moonlight Mahjong

I remember watching my Mom playing mahjong all the time when I was younger. Rather than solitaire, mahjong was her go to computer game. After watching the game so frequently, I always played a lot of mahjong. Every computer I’ve had, I’ve made sure to have some sort of mahjong installed. I’ve even got it on my iPad and my phone.

Of course, that means I needed a quality version of mahjong on my new Mac. Moonlight Mahjong is a highly rated and somehow free version of mahjong. It’s 3-dimensional, offering several different gameplay modes. You can compete against the computer in scramble mode, take it up a level in challenge mode, or play a more relaxing game in puzzle or relaxation mode. It’s pretty well designed, and you can easily navigate the camera around with a mouse or a multitouch trackpad.

Price: Free, for a limited time.
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Michael Howard

Moonlight Mahjong

Mine Searcher

Minesweeper is another one of those classic games that most people will know and recognize. It was always installed on my Microsoft computers, and when it wasn’t installed on my Mac I definitely wanted to make that happen. Minesweeper, for those of you who don’t know, is a puzzle/strategy game where you must uncover mines in a minefield without detonating any of them.

Mine search is a fantastic, free minesweeper knock-off. It offers the exact same functionality. You can customize the board to be up to 30×30 with 200 mines. The game was designed specifically for Mac, and offers built-in right click support which is a feature many other versions are lacking. Especially if you have been playing this game for a long time, you’ll appreciate this feature. It’s definitely the best free version out there in my opinion, and is just as good as most of the paid versions of minesweeper.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Thomas Nielson

Mine Searcher

Hearts! Free

My roommate absolutely loves hearts, so when I mentioned that this was the article I was currently writing, she urged me to download Hearts. Hearts! Free didn’t disappoint me. It had been a while since I played Hearts, so I utilized the help and played a few games before I started getting the hang of it again.

Hearts! Free’s biggest downfall, in my opinion, is the lack of different levels for computer opponents. While I struggled at the beginning, once I remembered how to play they were too easy. Playing via the network is definitely the best way to get harder opponents, so I recommend that. The app also offers three variations of Hearts to check out.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Aidan McKenna

Hearts! Free

Standard Snake

Anyone who has been using technology for a while remembers playing Snake in its most basic form, whether it was on an older computer (Windows 95 is my first memory) or on a seemingly ancient black and white cell phone. There are lots of snake knock-offs out there now that offer much more exciting and feature-filled Snake playing experiences, but sometimes it’s good to get back to basics.

Standard Snake offers that opportunity. It’s a fast and simple game. It’s well-designed and offers three levels of speed to play with. My biggest complaint, and this is mostly a nostalgia thing, is that the walls don’t kill you. You can go through walls and come out the other side. Other than that, it’s my top choice for a snake type game, hands down.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Sanjay Madan

Standard Snake

A Monster Ate My Homework

The next two games are physics based puzzler games. In the first, A Monster Ate My Homework, the goal is to exact your revenge on the monsters that ate your homework. You do so by shooting them off of a platform, but you have to manage to keep the homework on the platform as well.

The game offers 80 unique levels that get dramatically harder as the game goes on. It’s set in a 3D environment, so you’re forced to rotate the camera and cause destruction from all angles. It’s a high quality game, and definitely worth picking up if physics based games on up your alley.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Geek Beach

A Monster Ate My Homework

Stripe Physics

Stripe Physics is another good quality physics based puzzler. The objective of this game is to allow a red ball to fall onto a platform by destroying the other objects. The objects are made of various materials, such as wood and have different characteristics. They range from glass to bombs, so it’s up to you to learn how different objects react in order to make it through all of the levels.

It can definitely get frustrating at times, so it’s great to play for five minutes, give up and then pick it back up for another five minutes and beat a level. All in all, it’s a good-looking game that’s great to play for a short period of time.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Smackall Games

Stripe Physics

Stone Flood

If more traditional strategy and puzzle type games are up your alley, these next few games are for you. In Stone Flood, your objective is to flood the board with a single color. You start in the lower left corner and expand the area throughout the game board by changing the colors. It’s a bit hard to explain, so definitely check it out on your own if you want a good puzzler.

This game offers 150 levels with time and movement goals for you to achieve. If you’ve beat all of the levels or are just looking for some practice, there’s a custom arcade style option where you can choose from up to 9 colors and 6 board sizes to create your own games. It’s addictive and lots of fun.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Andreas Katzian

Stone Flood

Arcs

If you’ve ever played those sliding tile puzzle games where you had to slide the pieces into the open space until you created a picture, than you’ll kind of understand Arcs. Rather than being in a square or rectangle, however, the game is comprised of rotating circles and sliding arcs. There are 40 puzzles to solve that get very hard very quickly. It’s super challenging but also incredibly fun. If your brain still needs a workout even on your breaks, this is the game for you.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Pomegranate Software

Arcs

Doodle Hangman Free

Hangman fans will love this game. Doodle Hangman gives you standard hangman play for one or two players, but with a very fun and animated experience. Even when I was in the middle of losing, I couldn’t help but giggle at the ridiculous animations that the game had. There are 11 categories of words to choose from as well as a random mode that pulls from all categories.

My biggest frustration is that there seemed to be a very large number of words that I’d never even heard of. Luckily, there’s a dictionary that comes with the game for looking up those challenging words. They offer a paid version with more categories and animations, but at least for the time-being the free version is more than significant.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: EnsenaSoft

Doodle Hangman Free

Basketmania

Sports games are generally not a great way to pass just a short period of time. The games often take too long to load and actually playing a full game takes far longer than five minutes. Basketmania is a fantastic and free exception. It’s a simple yet addictive basketball game. Just you, a hoop and a ball. You can play three different modes: straight shots, time limit and training.

Your goal is to always achieve the highest score possible, and games only last a few minutes at most, unless you’re playing training mode. It’s physically realistic and fairly well-designed. It can get a bit boring after a while, but you’ll find yourself going back to it at least after a few days. They offer an all-star version with a bit more variety in looks and playing, but in general the free version captures all of the essence and features of the game.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: NO2 Web and Mobile Applications

Basketmania

Gutterball – Golden Pin Bowling Free

Bowling games are another of the few free sports games that can truly be played in just a few minutes. Playing a game of bowling doesn’t take more than five minutes of your time, and Gutterball – Golden Pin Bowling offers a great free bowling experience. It’s physically realistic with a great playing style and tons of features.

While the controls can take a bit of time to master at first, particularly the spinning, they’re fairly intuitive and training mode in your first game is of assistance. When you first start the game, you’re given one bowling alley and ball, but you have the option to unlock more with “golden pins,” the in-game currency. The commentators provided with the game are always hilarious, giving it a fun twist. It’s a generally fun game and between the items to unlock and the 40 in-game achievements, I’m always going back to it.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Skunk Studios

Gutterball - Golden Pin Bowling Free

Action Potato

Of all the games on here, this is probably the one you’re most likely to scoff at but I urge you to give it a chance. This is the first of three simple action games that are far more addicting than you would believe at first glance.

In Action Potato, you’re presented with three stockpots. The game works by clicking on the various stockpots to make them jump up and catch potatoes. If you catch a rotten potato, you lose a stockpot, but you can always catch a heart to make up for it. It’s so simple, but I dare you to only play one game. Before you realize it, your five minutes will have rushed by with you trying to top your score.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Sunflat Software

Action Potato

Pig Rush

Pig Rush is the second of the simple but addicting action games. In this game, you help a pig to escape from a farm. It’s another one button control platformer game. You have to jump to avoid ravines and fire, and utilize moving platforms. You can collect powerups to protect you from fire and help you to fly. Your points also allow you to unlock themes and compete on the leader boards. Overall it’s fun, simple, cute and hard to put down.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Reign Design

Pig Rush

Angry Hills

I’ll conclude this article with my final choice of addicting and yet simple games. In Angry Hills you control a worm who just wants to fly. Unfortunately, since he’s lacking in wings, he has to use the hills to propel himself up in the air. You only need to use one button, clicking on it when he’s going downhill and releasing it to fly. It’s very similar to Tiny Wings for mobile devices.

The free version offers several levels to race on and compete to collect stars for the best times. It also offers an arcade mode where you see how far you can go and collect as many points as you can on up to 24 unique islands. The paid version offers a few additional levels, but the free version offers enough levels and the arcade mode so it’s not really necessary to upgrade. It’s insanely addicting and incredibly hard to put down, not to mention fun and pleasant to look at. It’s an all-around great game to play for five minutes.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: NER Brothers

Angry Hills

How Do You Kill 5 Minutes?

I’ve introduced you to 15 great, free time-wasters. It’s nice to have games like this around, to take some time to decompress and relax for at least a few minutes. There are a variety of games in this article, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find at least a few that suit your likes and desires.

That being said, I’m curious to know what you play if you only have a few minutes. Is it one of these games or do you have your own personal favorites? What games do you think are worth paying for if you’re only ever going to play for a few minutes at a time? Let me know in the comments below.


  • http://www.thesodashop.us Bill Goodman

    That don’t look like a worm. It looks like a flying turd.

    • Heather Weaver

      Haha I try to avoid thinking about that when playing …

  • http://www.curapractic.com/ Philipp Schilling

    I love playing “Kill Monty” for just a few minutes to reset my brain after having completed a task and before switching to a totally different one. It’s rather gory but fun to play.

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