5 Mobile Games to Play on the BTS

5 Mobile Games to Play on the BTS

BTS commuters in Bangkok are often disparaged for spending too much time looking down at their phones. It’s not hard to find pictures of trains full of despondent office workers hunched over their phones, facetiming with loved ones or watching TV shows with their phones carefully balanced in their free hand.

Cellphones offer us the opportunity to be productive with our time, yet most people prefer to distract themselves with passive entertainment and superficial social engagement. Anyone who wants to challenge themselves, or spend time developing practical problem solving skills has a great alternative to Netflix and Line: mobile games.

Here is a list of a few games that will keep you inspired and mentally stimulated on your daily commute.


Hearthstone is a strategic, turn based, collectable card game in which players “summon” minions to attack their opponent. The strategy involved is not unlike a game of chess where you are expected to think several moves in advance and predict what opponents will do based on their playing style and character class.

Even if you have no experience with playing card games (Magic: The Gathering, Yu Gi Oh, and Pokemon are popular examples), the barrier for entry is pretty low. You can expect to play through a few game scenarios before jumping in to real games, kind of like chess puzzles where you have to check opponents in a limited number of moves.

The real dopamine rush (a common theme you will see in this article) in this game comes from opening virtual packs of cards. Once you start to understand the significance of certain cards, you can expect to feel genuine euphoria when you flip over Nechros: The Eternal Dragon which you needed to build the perfect Warrior deck.

Also, no, you don’t need to spend real money to have fun with the game. You will earn gold through casual play that you can trade in for packs of cards.

Expect to spend anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes per battle once you start competing with real players online. These brief, intellectually stimulating encounters provide a great distraction on your BTS journeys.

Old School Runescape

You might remember this medieval, multiplayer online RPG if you grew up playing computer games in the early 2000s.

Runescape has undergone many changes since its inception in 2001. Most notably, this highly addictive computer game is now available on mobile. The simple graphics and mobile optimization mean that this game takes it easy on your battery, despite the fact that the world of Runescape is massive. You can explore dungeons, fight bosses, and level up 21 uniwue skills while collecting rare armor and making friends.

Your skill and ability in the mythical world of Runescape are directly proportional to the time you devote to playing. Completely maxing out your skills can take well over 7000 hours of game time, but your early levels come quickly enough to keep you addicted to the grind.

In many ways, your Runescape persona is a reflection of your real life. If you are an adventurous, goal oriented extrovert, you will find yourself leveling up your combat stats by slaying creatures assigned by colorful NPCs. If you are looking for an even bigger challenge, you can handicap your account by playing as an Ironman who is not allowed to trade with other players. If conflict and confrontation are not for you, spend your time fishing and cooking. The dopamine rush you get when fireworks celebrate your newest level feels just as good, regardless of the skill you’re training.

There is a free version of the game you can play which limits where you can travel and what skills you can train. Pay for a monthly subscription to the game and enjoy dozens of quests, new skills, exciting worlds, and tons of exclusive armor and weaponry that will keep you distracted for literally years. It’s also worth noting that the in game gold currency can be used to maintain your membership.

If you plan to play this game on mobile, certain skills are easier to train than others. Touch screen controls mean that you might struggle in fast paced, player vs player combat, but your time on the BTS is probably long enough to score a few mining or agility levels.

Disney Tsum Tsum

You’ve probably seen these adorable Disney Tsum Tsum characters decorating coffee mugs and tissue boxes, but you probably didn’t know that they’re also involved in a highly addictive mobile arcade game.

In Disney Tsum Tsum, you are given 60 seconds to connect strings of similar Tsums, popping them to earn points in the process. To help you clear even more bubble-like characters, you select a specific Tsum with a power up. Over time, you level up your Tsums so they give you more points. You also earn coins which you can use to buy other Tsums that resemble famous Disney heroes and villains. Fans of the game grind long and hard to accumulate enough coins for a chance to get one of the coveted, rare, seasonal Tsums.

Disney Tsum Tsum teaches you about budgeting and probability as you plan for upcoming Tsum sales. You will calculate risk in your head before you spend 30,000 coins in an effort to get a limited edition Christmas Hercules Tsum. And of course, you will develop excellent hand-eye coordination.

Line Bubble 2

If you’re familiar with the Line messenger app, you’ve seen the trademark bear and rabbit stickers in some of your chats. In this game, Cony and friends embark on a Candy Crush-esque adventure where you shoot bubbles at a cascading wall of color coded bubbles.

This game requires you to use complex geometry formulas to find the best angles as you complete various tasks on each level. This game also focuses on resource management as you might find yourself popping clusters of bubbles based on patterns you see that lie ahead.

The vibrant colors, steady progression, and replayability will make you addicted. There are gameplay mechanics that feature satisfying animations and other game modes which help break up the monotony.

Cookie Run

Finally, this one will make you popular with kids. Cookie Run is a side scrolling arcade game where your favorite Line characters sprint, jump, and slide through various candy themed levels.

This game is particularly popular with younger children because of its simplicity. The controls are simple, and the fast paced gameplay will captivate even the shortest attention span.

Playing Cookie Run will improve your finger dexterity, perhaps improving your texting speed and vicariously speeding up your productivity.

No matter what game you choose to play, remember that it isn’t a waste of time if it means you aren’t worrying about life when you’re playing.