Addicting Games provides a bundle of twenty second time wasters at just the right price

As releases like GAMEBOX and Capcom Arcade have shown, the notion of bundling a bunch of different games into a single app is nothing new. And yet, a worthwhile collection isn’t all too common. The latest bundle of games to hit the App Store as a single download is Addicting Games, made by the folks behind the web-based Flash gaming portal of the same name.

Addicting Games does its best to recreate that web portal experience by including game-specific achievements, leaderboards, and personalized recommendations – it’s all a nice touch, but ultimately, a collection will live or die by the quality of its games – and what’s on offer here is something of a mixed bag.

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At launch there are 18 different games to choose from – many of which you can find for play on the original Addicting Games site. There’s good variety in the selection, with puzzle games, card games, and twitchy arcade games all represented. In fact some of them, like World Wars, are available as a separate purchase on the App Store – so getting it for free here is a great little bonus.

Free really is the key word here. As a collection, Addicting Games doesn’t ask you for an initial purchase, nor are they hounding you for you to spend your hard-earned cash in-game. The app is completely free, offering you all of this content simply in the hopes that you’ll like it enough to pay for some of the other apps by MTV Networks. And while there are ads for those other games in the menus, they don’t feel the least bit intrusive.

Of course, whether or not you’ll like Addicting Games enough to explore other paid games, like Spongebob: Marbles & Slides or Potty Racers 2, is going to largely depend on which games you check out. The best games in this collection are the ones that are blatant rip offs of existing apps. Feed the Panda, for example, is a clearly their attempt to make Cut the Rope. But despite the lack of originality, the levels here are well designed and the tweaks unique enough that it really does end up being quite a good time. The same can be said for some of the other clones too, like Catopult , their attempt at Angry Birds. The physics in these games can feel a little wonky, but all in all, there’s a good time to be had here.

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The collection also features a few seemingly original experiences that we quite enjoyed, like the basketball physics game Perfect Hoopz 2, or the similarly physics-based puzzler Trajectory. But for every good game, there’s a mediocre, or even downright awful one. High School Cheerleader, for example, is the most vanilla rhythm games you’ll ever experience. And 50 States – a game that tasks you to put all 50 states in their correct places on a map – demands an inhuman level of accuracy. And don’t even get me started on Achoo!.

Still though – for a free collection like this to have any worthwhile games can be a rare occurrence, so it’s nice to see that Addicting Games has more than a few. And with the developer promising to add new games regularly, there’s a chance we may see that number of good games grow exponentially.

Individually I’m not sure I’d consider any single game in this package to be worthy of a 99 cent purchase – but collectively, and as part of a free app? It’s hard to not recommend Addicting Games. So long as they keep bringing the good with the bad, it’s entirely possible that Addicting Games will stay on your phone for a long time.