Bottle Flip 2k16 and 5 more iOS games that celebrate the mundane

Here's to the boring, the banal, and the brain-numbing

Bottle Flip 2k16 and 5 more iOS games that celebrate the mundane
| Bottle Flip 2k16

I'm sat here playing Bottle Flip 2k16, the free iOS game that recently charged up to the top of the App Store charts, and I'm wondering what all the fuss is about.

It's more of an office toy than a game, really, and it involves - you guessed it - flipping a bottle. Right here in 2016.

There's absolutely no spin to it, beyond the movement of that bottle as you attempt to land it right-side-up on consecutive tries. But can I put it down? Well, yes, actually.

But I played about ten rounds more than I intended to before I did. Despite its incredibly mundane subject matter, Bottle Flip 2k16 clearly has something to it that's making a lot of people play it.

Which got me to thinking about all those mobile games out there that have, at their core, a fundamentally mundane concept, but which manage to make a memorable experience out of it. Here are five that sprung to mind, but I'm sure there are hundreds more. Do share your own suggestions in the comments below.


I'm going to take a big stab in the dark here and state that topiary probably isn't among the top ten favourite hobbies for the vast majority of PG's readership. Or for humanity, for that matter.

Yet that's pretty much the core principle of Prune. The idea is to nurture your little seedling into a plant, guiding its growth towards the life-giving light. Somehow, though, it's one of the most absorbing, universally appealing, and downright beautiful games on the App Store.

Bitcoin Billionaire

Remember all those classic games about investment? No? That's because there aren't any. It's a fundamentally serious, dry, grown-up topic - and thus not at all suitable material for a video game.

Bitcoin Billionaire is all about investment. What's more, you have to mindlessly tap the screen in order to accrue the funds to invest. And yet it's unputdownably brilliant. What gives?

Papers, Please

As daily grind jobs go, I can't imagine many that would be more dull than sitting at an airport checking people's passports. Papers, Please puts you in the shoes of just such a worker, and it doesn't shirk away from the repetitive menial tasks involved in the job. In fact, it revels in them.

What marks the game out as brilliant is the sinister and tragic narrative that gradually emerges from your daily interactions, and the crushing moral choices you're forced to make. Boring? Not on your nelly.


Here's a great idea for a mobile game: two friends write letters to each other. What's that? I'm fired?

Blackbar presents you with just such an unpromising set-up, but then crafts a memorable and thought-provoking word game out of it. You see, those letters are being censored by a fictional authoritarian regime, and it's up to you to decipher the blacked-out words using your linguistic, logic, and memory skills.

Zen Bound 2

Wow, this feature got pretty heavy, didn't it? Let's restore a little levity with a game about wrapping presents! Anyone?

Zen Bound tasks you with covering 3D wooden models with string, turning them this way and that in order to fully entwine them. It's an oddly calming and deeply satisfying process in a way that actually wrapping presents in real life just isn't.