The 12 Best Smartwatch Games of 2021

Wear OS games to keep you amused all year

Mobile games have come a long way since the days of the Tiger Electronics wristwatch. A few years ago, watches with games seemed like a novelty, but developers are now taking smartwatch games seriously. We looked at the best games for Wear OS (formerly called Android Wear) and selected our 12 favorites for 2021 based on graphics, engagement, and overall fun.

Fun games are also available for the Apple Watch.

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Best Space Arcade Game for Wear OS: Space War

Space War promotional image superimposed on an Android Wear watch
What We Like
  • Impressive graphics on a small screen.

  • Addictive gameplay.

  • Excellent controls.

What We Don't Like
  • As fun as Space War is, it's no Galaga Legions DX for PS4.

You're in a spaceship, and your mission is to destroy hostile aliens. Space War plays like many of the classic vertical-scrolling space shooters that dominated arcades in the 1980s. Motion controls allow you to steer your ship through 12 levels by moving your wrist. Out of the million or so space-related games, ​Space War is among the cream of the crop for Wear OS.

Space War is free to download with optional in-app purchases.

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Best for Boosting Logic Skills: Infinity Loop

Infinity Loop puzzle game for Wear OS smartwatches
What We Like
  • Fun for all ages.

  • It's great for relieving stress and anxiety.

  • Works well on the small watch face.

  • The music is calming.

What We Don't Like
  • The game is free to download, but once you get past level 100, you have to pay to keep playing.

More than 10 million users have played Infinity Loop, making it the most downloaded title for Wear OS. This brilliantly simple puzzle game challenges your brain without being frustrating. It was designed to help people relax as they wait at the bus stop or the doctor's office. There's no timer on the levels, so you can never lose, and you can stop or resume playing without losing your progress.

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Best Text-Based Adventure: Lifeline 2: Bloodline

Lifeline 2 Bloodline images
What We Like
  • Lifeline series stories are suspenseful and engaging.

  • Lots of replay value, since the choices you make determine how the story plays out.

  • No in-app purchases and no ads.

What We Don't Like
  • No graphics, which could be a gaming dealbreaker for some.

Lifeline 2: Bloodline is a follow-up to the popular text RPG developed by 3 Minute Games. In this choose-your-own-adventure game, you guide a woman named Arika on a quest to avenge her family. You tell her where to go or what to do, and she reports back when she encounters a problem or needs further guidance. The game is in a narrative style, and the gameplay is almost like texting back-and-forth with someone.

Lifeline 2: Bloodline costs 99 cents to download, with no ads or in-app purchases. If you enjoy Lifeline 2, try the other games in the series such as Lifeline: Silent Night and Lifeline: Whiteout.

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Best 3D Wear OS Game: Wear Droid

Wear Droid on the Google Play store
What We Like
  • A huge variety of challenges and unlockables.

  • The gameplay is fresh and rewarding.

  • The 3D graphics look great.

What We Don't Like
  • Due to the small screen, Wear Droid isn't quite as refined as its source material.

  • You'll need to play it sideways on a Moto 360.

Wear Droid has 3D graphics that look exceptionally impressive on a smartwatch screen. Based on a similar game called Perfect Droid, Wear Droid has players testing robots under the direction of a mad professor. It's essentially a collection of mini-games, but the real fun comes from unlocking new robots as you progress.

There are no in-game purchases, so you get the whole game for 99 cents.

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Best Flappy Bird-Style Wear OS Game: Bugdroid Land

Bugdroid game for Wear OS smartwatches
What We Like
  • Easy to play on the wrist.

  • Simple tap functionality.

  • Nice graphics and gameplay.

  • Various difficulty levels to experiment with.

What We Don't Like
  • The game is free, but you'll see a lot of ads.

Bugdroid Land doesn't hide that it's a knock-off of Flappy Bird featuring all of your favorite Android mascots. Instead of piloting Faby through Super Mario-style sewage pipes, you guide Bugdroid through an obstacle course of giant cats, lollipops, and ​Oreo cookies.

Previous versions of this game have been included as Easter Eggs on Android devices since 2014.

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Best Use of Motion-Based Controls: Tilt

Tilt on the Google Play store for Wear OS
What We Like
  • It's a good balance of fun and frustration to keep you playing.

  • Showcases the potential of motion controls and augmented reality.

What We Don't Like
  • It drains battery life.

Tilt is by far the most innovative motion-controlled Wear OS game around. Based on the classic wooden maze toys that task players with guiding a metal ball through a labyrinth, this augmented reality game requires the use of both your smartphone and your smartwatch. Looking at your watch through your phone's camera allows you to see the game board​, and tilting your wrist navigates the ball.

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Best Puzzle Game: 2048 for Android Wear

2048 Puzzle game for Wear OS
What We Like
  • A great time-waster that doesn't tax the brain.

  • It works well on a small watch face.

  • The graphics and animation look good.

  • Enter a leaderboard to compare your results with other players.

What We Don't Like
  • It might leave you wanting something a little more in-depth.

2048 for Android Wear is a free, simple puzzle game that tasks you with connecting similar tiles to form new tiles until you get to the 2048 tile. It's relaxing and a great time-waster that at least stretches the brain a bit, though after you've conquered the initial quest, you may long for more challenging levels.

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Best for Your Nurturing Side: PetQuest Virtual Pet

PetQuest Wear OS smartwatch game
What We Like
  • It's free to download with no ads or in-app purchases.

  • The simple graphics are easy on the battery.

  • It's a nice way to revisit the digital pet craze of the 1990s.

What We Don't Like
  • Pets can't be shared across devices.

If you miss the digital pet craze of the 1990s, PetQuest Virtual Pet is for you. Choose from a virtual dog, cat, or reptile, and raise your pet while teaching it new skills and talents. New activities are unlocked as your digital buddy grows smarter. The game's emotional feedback system will have you quite attached to your pixel pal.

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Best Test-Your-Luck Game for Wear OS: Roll the Dice

Roll the Dice game for Wear OS
What We Like
  • It's addictive and maddening.

  • The simple and user-friendly interface.

  • It works well on a watch.

What We Don't Like
  • A leaderboard would be a nice addition.

If you're up for testing your luck, check out Roll the Dice, a simple, user-friendly dice game that doesn't tax the brain or require a skill. Use the app to play any game that requires dice, or tap the screen to test your luck or compete with a friend.

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Best Old School Time Killer: Tic Tac Toe Play

Tic Tac Toe for Wear OS smartwatches
What We Like
  • It's simple, easy, and fun.

  • Works great on the limited watch space.

  • It's a great way to entertain the kids.

What We Don't Like
  • Tic Tac Toe isn't the most exciting game.

Tic Tac Toe is as classic as it comes, and this simple Wear OS version makes it even more portable and easy to play. Choose single mode if you're killing time by yourself, or opt for the battle mode to take on a challenger.

The game is free to download and use.

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Best for Maze Fans: Wear Maze

Wear Maze Wear OS smartwatch game.
What We Like
  • Uses tilt functionality to move through the maze.

  • Levels grow increasingly challenging.

  • It's simple, fun, and works great on a watch.

What We Don't Like
  • More levels would be nice.

Wear Maze is a surprisingly challenging and fun game that puts a smartwatch twist on the maze genre. Instead of using your finger to drag your way through the mazes, you tilt your wrist and move using your watch's accelerometer. There are 25 levels in this free game, each more challenging than the last, so you're sure to get immersed.

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Best Bubble Game: Bubble Shooter

Bubble Shooter Wear OS game for smartwatches
What We Like
  • Has nice animations and effects.

  • It includes hundreds of levels.

  • The beautiful underwater and distortion effects.

What We Don't Like
  • The gameplay drains the battery.

Bubbles are a somewhat unlikely but ubiquitous game genre, and Bubble Shooter for Wear OS brings bubble-popping satisfaction to your wrist. This game is simple, fun, and beautifully animated with nice graphics. With hundreds of levels that grow more challenging, count on hours of idle fun.

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