The perfect subway app

I love playing games on my phone when I have a minute or two of downtime. Because I live in the city, this downtime is usually on the subway. I’m constantly searching for better games. And the ideal subway app is an elusive beast.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed that will make or break a subway game:

  • Start fast. No splash screen, no notices to click through. If you think you need a progress meter you’re doing it wrong. Just start already.

  • Quit even faster. I love your game, honest. But I have other things to do.

  • Don’t hijack the sound. Let me play my music in the background. Your lame synth background tracks are fine, but let me listen to my real music.

  • Don’t require sound effects. Feel free to use it, but don’t make it mandatory. I don’t always have headphones, so there’s a good chance I’ll miss your killer sound effects. Make sure your gameplay doesn’t depend on them.

  • Don’t expect more than a couple minutes of my time. Make your game easy to put down and pick up again later.

  • Always save state when quitting. Don’t make me ask. Don’t warn me that I’ll lose my game. Just save it for later. Thanks.

  • Pause liberally, pause automatically. If an incoming message alert pops up, pause. If I pull up the iTunes controller to skip a song, pause. If I lock the screen, pause.

  • If possible, let me play the game with one hand. I usually have to grab a pole with the other.

That’s about it. Don’t expect too much of my time, don’t waste any of the time you get, and you’ll be set. So go make me a better subway app. :)