Top 10 mobile games for your commute

We run down the best games to take with you on your way to work, whether you’ve got an iPhone, a BlackBerry or a five year-old Nokia phone.

Travelling into work can be worse than actually being there, even after considering the deadlines, tetchy co-workers and those simultaneously boring and terrifying worries about the recession.

From years of observation, the most popular ways to avoid being affected by the depressing environs of a cramped and crowded public transport service are sticking your nose in a book or plugging your MP3 player into a nice pair of sound isolating earphones.

Gaming can be an even better route out of commuting hell, though. Independent research undertaken by East Carolina University last year demonstrated that casual games can reduce stress, anger, depression and fatigue significantly within a matter of minutes. Who hasn't felt those symptoms when wedged between a rotund businessman and someone jabbering away on their phone?

Dr. Russoniello, one of the scientists heading up the research went even further, saying: "I believe there is a wide range of therapeutic applications of casual games in mood-related disorders such as depression and in stress-related disorders including diabetes and cardiovascular disease." A bold statement, indeed.

Perfect distraction

We talked to Popcap, one of the kings of casual gaming, who managed to squeeze three games into our Top 10, to see their views on gaming on the way to work.

Cathy Orr said that mobile games are a perfect distraction for commuters. "It was once a case on the tube that you would see a sea of books or people puzzling away at Sudoku in that day's Metro," she said. "Increasingly now, you see commuters tapping away on their phones - and as they're so far underground, it's safe to assume that the majority are not texting."

However, it's too often that we see commuters playing uninspiring built-in games on trains and buses when there's far richer fare out there. With people's commutes ranging from minutes to hours, our list of the best games to take with you on your way all excel in the way you can play them for five minutes or 40 - and they remain fun.

Plus, we're looking at games available for devices not made specifically for gaming - not a Nintendo DS exclusive or Sony PSP product in sight.

If you think delving into the world of mobile games is all too frivolous to be worth a thought, consider the Popcap survey of almost 3,000 American white collar workers, which found out that 35 per cent of chief executives, chief financial officers and other senior executives play casual games, while at work no less - far more than their lower-paid colleagues.

Food for thought? Who knows, perhaps playing casual games marks the path to a pay rise. Then again... maybe keep the gaming to the commute, not work.

Head to the next page for the start of our top ten mobile games.

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