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9 Challenging Handheld Games To Help Bust Your Boredom

In this day and age, button-mashing is a mobile experience
by Aeus Reyes | Nov 14, 2017
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The ASEAN-fueled long weekend is upon us! For many, it means long drives, plane rides, and lazy hours without your HDTV and beloved game console. But that doesn’t mean you have to endure these long days without satisfying your gaming itch. Handheld games have gone a long way from Tetris and this list will help get you through the vacation, wherever you may be.

PS Vita

Persona 4 GoldenThe Persona series is definitely part of the conversation when you talk about the best JRPGs. While Persona 5 is already available on consoles, it’s Persona 4 that you can play on the Playstation Vita. In this game, you take on the mundane life of a high school student, studying for exams, participating in school orgs, and trying to make friends. That is until you get sucked into a TV trying to solve a series of mysterious murders and disappearances happening in your small town.

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Gravity RushWhile this game’s gravity-defying mechanics become unwieldy at times, Gravity Rush more than makes up for it with an interesting protagonist and a wonderful overall story. At the heart of this game is the story of Kat, who finds a magic cat, and gains powers to fight evil forces invading her town. Trust us, it’s better than it sounds and will surely be one of the best experiences you’ll have on a handheld device.

Uncharted: Golden AbyssSet some time before the events of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Golden Abyss takes the adventures of Nathan Drake to the world of handheld gaming. While it’s not at par with its console brothers, this game is no slouch. It has all the things you’d expect from an Uncharted game with the added bonus of being playable anytime, anywhere.


Nintendo Switch

Stardew ValleyRemember when you used to play Farmville? Stardew Valley is cut from the same cloth—a laidback farming experience where you are tasked to tend your fields to earn in-game money and expand your property. Aside from farming, there’s a little exploration added to the mix and you can even interact with in-game NPCs. Just be warned that this game will probably eat up more hours than you intended to spend.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildIs this the best Zelda game ever? Maybe. But wherever you rank it among the series’ numerous iterations, Breath of the Wild will certainly be on multiple Game of the Year lists at the end of 2017. This is really a console game, but with the Nintendo Switch, transforms into a full open-world experience that you can play at your own convenience.

Super Mario OdysseyAfter decades of giving us good Mario games, Nintendo has done it again with the launch of Super Mario Odyssey. It’s definitely better to play this title on a big TV to really get the full visual experience it has to offer. With that being said, this game still plays perfectly fine on the Switch’s small screen. Even if the tropes are all the same (spoiler alert: Bowser kidnaps someone again), Super Mario Odyssey manages to redefine a game that has been around for decades and makes sure that the platforming legend lives on.

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Mobile Phone / Tablet

Hearthstone – If you're a pro at card games like Magic The Gathering, then Hearthstone is probably a game you’ll love. It’s more accessible than Magic and the ability to play with real people from across the region makes it a lot more fun. While you can pay for new cards and quests, the free base download is already more than enough for the casual gamer. The only downside of this game is that you need an internet connection to play.

Hitman Go – Hitman Go shares the same idea as all the other games in the series while being completely different. It’s basically the board game version of Hitman, and while it means a departure the gameplay you’d expect, it doesn’t make Hitman Go a bad game. If anything, it forces you to think more and really consider your steps, making this one of the more strategically-deep games in the series.

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LimboOriginally released in 2010, Limbo is a side-scrolling piece of art that puts you in the shoes of an unnamed boy trying to find his sister. There are giant spiders, mind-controlling maggots, and all sorts of traps and puzzles that you must overcome in this journey. Nothing is explained and the ending does not help to clear anything up, but it’s this uncertainty that provides the game its charm.


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