ByAlex Ziebart, writer at

Predicting a pre-teen's tastes can be difficult. Their personal maturity level falls across a wide spectrum, ranging from a child-like innocence to being well in their teens. Some are still steeped in childhood cartoons while others already think they're too cool for that stuff (even though they'll enjoy them again later in life). With that in mind, we've handpicked a small selection of mobile games anyone in this age range might enjoy.

1. 'Scribblenauts Remix'

  • Platform: iOS, Android, and Amazon
  • Price: $0.99

Scribblenauts was one of the original mobile hit games, beloved by people young and old. Scribblenauts Remix includes the best levels of previous Scribblenauts titles as well as a host of new ones. In Scribblenauts, players are presented with a puzzle and must use their creativity to solve it by typing in names of objects. If the word exists in the Scribblenauts' internal dictionary, which includes thousands of words, that object will appear in the level.

While Scribblenauts does include some violence (depending on your child's approach to the puzzles), it's not much worse than what you might see in their favorite cartoons.

2. 'Thomas Was Alone'

  • Platform: iOS, Android, and Amazon
  • Price: $4.99

If you're okay with your pre-teen hearing some mild language (on par with broadcast television), you can't go wrong with the critically-acclaimed Thomas Was Alone. In fact, you'll likely enjoy it yourself, too. With its simple square and rectangle-shaped characters, Thomas Was Alone doesn't look like much, but it's a hit beloved by all ages. This narrative puzzle platformer and its story of friendship will make you care about those simple squares as if they were living, breathing people.

3. 'Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds'

  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Price: $2.99

Adventures of Poco Eco is an atmospheric exploration game with a great soundtrack. The game's 12 levels are full of simple puzzles which players must solve to return music itself to the titular character's tribe. It isn't the longest mobile game around nor does it have much longevity -- it isn't the sort of mobile game you're going to play over and over again -- but it's a beautiful experience that can be enjoyed by all ages. If you (or your child) is someone who gets stuck on puzzles easily, Poco Eco has a fairy companion who will provide hints should you need them.

4. 'Inventioneers'

  • Platform: iOS, Android, and Amazon
  • Price: $2.99

Inventioneers is a game which gives players a variety of moving parts which they must arrange to solve a puzzle. Each level offers increasing difficulty with a greater number of parts. In essence, it's a Rube Goldberg machine generator. While many similar games exist, Inventioneers is one of the most polished on the market for a pre-teen.

The first world's levels are all free-to-play, so you can give the game a try before paying for it.

If you have any other apps your pre-teen enjoys, please share them below!


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