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Whether you're stuck waiting in an airport, in line at the supermarket or simply lounging away on a lazy Sunday afternoon, there's no shortage of extraordinary games to tap through on your favorite smartphone or tablet.

In fact, therein lies the problem: With an estimated 1.2 million apps at the App Store and about 1.5 million on Google Play — and a good number of them interactive games — it can be difficult to know which ones are worthy of your time and money.

We can help.

Not only have we chosen five delicious digital diversions for you to play with, but they're all free or "freemium," the latter of which refers to the fact there are optional in-app purchases that unlock additional content and/or remove ads.

STORY: Why so many apps are free

Timberman (iOS, Android)

Because of its simple arcade concept and retro-art style, consider Timberman the new Flappy Bird. Digital Melody's addictive game for phones and tablets is easy to pick up, yet impossible to put down. Your goal is to chop down a tree with an axe — but avoid getting hit by branches as the trunk descends. Simply move your lumberjack to the left or right of the tree as you anticipate the approaching branches — by simply pressing your thumb on each side of the screen — but you need to act quickly or else you'll run out of time. Gamers can unlock additional lumberjacks, too, including a Viking, TimberGirl, a diaper-wearing baby, Jason from the Friday the 13th films and more.









Cascade (iOS)

If you like the "Match-3" style of puzzle games — like King's Candy Crush Saga or PopCap's Bejeweled — then you might enjoy the twist Big Fish has added to its similar puzzler, Cascade. Employing a slot-machine mechanic, you're presented with randomly generated gems at the bottom of the screen and must fire them onto the board to create at least three adjacent gems of the same color. Doing so removes them from the board, allowing for others to cascade down. Featuring 140 levels, this challenging and colorful game has you earn power-ups, stars, wild gems (match any color), burst gems and other goodies to keep the gameplay fresh. Note: Cascade is completely free, therefore you won't be nagged with any in-app purchase requests.











Family Guy: The Quest for Free Stuff (iOS, Android)

Taking a page from the successful The Simpsons: Tapped Out, TinyCo, Inc. has created a city-building simulation based on another animated FOX show: Family Guy. In the irreverent The Quest for Stuff, you're tasked with rebuilding the fictional Rhode Island town of Quahog after a brawl between Peter Griffin and a giant chicken accidentally destroys it. By completing various missions, you'll unlock familiar characters from the hit TV series (Stewie, Lois, Brian, Quagmire, Cleveland and others), as well as construct new buildings throughout the town's many neighborhoods. You can visit friend's games via Facebook for bonus cash, which can be used to buy items in your game, plus there's optional in-app purchases, as well.

Guess the Emoji (iOS, Android)

One of the more popular downloads this summer, Random Logic Games/Conversion LLC's Guess the Emoji, challenges you to decipher a word or phrase based on the emoji (emoticons) on the top of the screen. For example, if you see an eyeball and someone talking on a small device, the answer might be "iPhone," while a U.S. flag and rocket ship are hints for "NASA." If you get stuck, you have the option of posting the emojis to Facebook for your friends to help out, or you can use earned coins to expose a random letter in the word, remove letters from the board (that are not required for the correct answer) or skip the question altogether. Coins are earned by playing or you can purchase additional coins for real money via an in-app purchase.












Swords & Poker Adventures (iOS)

Built upon the original Swords & Poker mobile game, Konami's remix of this turn-based adventure fuses 5-card poker with role-playing game-like combat. Using the shared cards on the board and your dealt cards, you must create the best poker hand possible in order to defeat various enemies playing against you. As you move through a huge world to take on increasingly tougher opponents and end-of-level boss fighters — each of whom require a different strategy based on their strengths — you'll earn better weapons, shields and magic. While free to download and play, there are various "time gates" to sit through unless you want to pay for no waiting. An Android version is currently under development.

Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. E-mail him at techcomments@usatoday.com.

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