No Hidden Cost: 7 Free-To-Play Games That Are Actually Free

Mihir Patkar 15-02-2015

Mobile gaming has a problem. You download a game, you start playing, but you hit a roadblock and the only solution seems to be paying for some token or power-up in the in-game shop. From Angry Birds to Candy Crush, almost every game has in-app purchases. Almost.


Even when we round up fantastic free games 4 Free Magnificent Marvel Games For Android Looking for a little more Marvel action in your life? Then these four free Android games are right up your alley. Read More , we have to state up front that there’s an in-game store where you might want to spend real money. But wait, you can still get your game on without incurring any cost.

Such games are ideal for parents who need to make sure their kids won’t run up a huge credit card bill, as well as for anyone who just wants to play. So whether you’re running Android or iOS, here’s what you can get without any hidden costs.

Note: If you aren’t a fan of in-app purchases (IAP), you can disable IAPs on Android or iOS What Are In-App Purchases & How Can I Disable Them? [MakeUseOf Explains] "I can’t believe it!" my cousin said to me the other day, "someone’s just bought a $10 in-app purchase on my mother’s phone, and she doesn’t even know what I’m talking about!". Sounds familiar? How... Read More .

Lego Bionicle Mask Of Creation

Apparently, Lego isn’t just good to manage your time better How To Use LEGOs To Manage Your Time Better I think I've found the ultimate productivity tool: LEGOs. Don't leave! Let me explain. Read More . The new mobile game by the toymaker has a whole lot of free gameplay, with no in-app purchases and no third-party ads or online content. It’s as kid-safe as Lego! The fighting game has you choose one of six cool characters to start battling in 71 arenas. With each win, you earn new blocks that you can attach to your character, upgrading them into lean, mean fighting machines.

Download: Lego Bionicle Mask Of Creation for Android (Free) [No longer available]


Download: Lego Bionicle Mask Of Creation for iPhone/iPad (Free) [No longer available]

Dumb Ways To Die

What started as a campaign to prevent accidental deaths in trains took a life of its own when it went viral. Dumb Ways To Die (read our review Dumb Ways To Die For Android: Mini Games To Keep You Alive On The Metro Have you ever found a game you just loved, and later found out that it actually began as a Public Service Announcement? Well, me neither... until I found this one. Read More ) has a bunch of cute characters in stupid yet precarious situations, and your only job is to keep them alive. The 15 mini-games employ simple gameplay mechanisms of tapping the screen, flicking, doing precision moves, and even blowing on the screen! The amount of time you have in each mini-game keeps decreasing as you progress, upping the difficulty level.

Download: Dumb Ways To Die for Android (Free) [No longer available]

Download: Dumb Ways To Die for iPhone/iPad (Free)


Trainyard Express

You can’t ask for much more from a puzzle game than Trainyard Express. It has 60 levels of increasing difficulty, addictive gameplay that’s perfect for a pick-up and play game, and puzzles that will have you scratching your head. You are in charge of ensuring coloured trains reach their corresponding destination, so you need to manipulate the tracks and signals so that all the trains make it through. It sounds easier than it is.

Download: Trainyard Express for Android (Free)

Download: Trainyard Express for iPhone/iPad (Free)

Lego Ninjago Rebooted

There’s no such thing as too much Lego, right? Ninjago Rebooted is part of the Lego Ninjago universe, where you can play as Kai, Cole, Jay or Zane in their fight against the forces of Overlord. There are two major game modes: vertical (think Doodle Jump with more action) and horizontal (which is like any platform game). The change in game modes provides a nice break, but the action does get a little repetitive after a while.


Download: Lego Ninjago Rebooted for Android (Free) [No longer available]

Download: Lego Ninjago Rebooted for iPhone/iPad (Free) [No longer available]



Retro-style graphics that remind you of classic DOS games? Check. Dual touchscreen joysticks to control movement and shooting? Check. A frantic pace that will get your heart thumping? Check. Free? Check. No in-app purchases? Check. There is nothing to dislike about PewPew, a solid top-down shooter with an arcade style of gameplay. If you love the Geometry Wars series, you’ll instantly be a PewPew fan.


Download: PewPew for Android (Free)

Download: PewPew for iPhone/iPad [No Longer Available]

Mmm Fingers

How long can you protect your finger from the hungry monsters? Mmm Fingers is special for its super-simple concept and execution, but still having rich gameplay that makes you come back for more. Touch and hold the screen, and then drag your finger to avoid any monsters. It’s all a matter of how many seconds you can last before one of the monsters bites into your yummy flesh.

Download: Mmm Fingers for Android (Free)

Download: Mmm Fingers for iPhone/iPad (Free) [No longer available]


There’s a bit of nostalgia in Traal, reminiscent of the fantastic Atari games of old 7 Atari 2600 Games That Are Worth Going Back To Now Atari 2600 games are generally incredibly simple. However, there are a few games that have stood the test of time. You will need to go into them understanding that these are where video games started,... Read More . You’re alone in a dark maze, armed with just a flashlight. Ironically, the flashlight is what keeps you from moving ahead—if you shine it upon the gaze of a monster, you’ll retrace your steps, so the trick is to avoid the monsters and avoid pointing your torch at them. With creepy, eerie music in the background and a few scares thrown in, Traal is simply magnificent.

Download: Traal for Android (Free)

Download: Traal for iPhone/iPad (Free)

Free, With IAP You Can Ignore

There are plenty of free games where you can ignore in-app purchases and still have a great time. The recent WWE Immortals is a great example Is WWE Immortals Worth Downloading? Read More , as is the older Plants vs. Zombies 2 Plants vs. Zombies 2: Does Going Free-To-Play Mean The Death Of The Series? Since EA has taken the reigns at PopCap, Plants vs. Zombies 2 has been released for free. By free I am referring to the game being free to download initially, with plenty of in-app purchases... Read More . So tell us your favourite free mobile games where the IAP doesn’t matter.

Image credits: Twin Design /, Nemo / Pixabay

Related topics: iPhone Game, Mobile Gaming, Save Money.

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  1. daisysky
    March 17, 2017 at 1:39 am

    I've been a gamer since Atari. I've raised my children on gaming and introduced my grandchildren to gaming. I still play. I consider it unethical to have so many games with IN-APP purchases that don't warn you first. I'm happy to pay upfront to play a good game. I've been looking for a good farm/garden game for my pc. No luck.
    I hope there will someday be versions available for some of the better games, that will be one time purchase. I don't like putting my financial information out there if I can help it.

    • Sandy
      July 30, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      Uou have serious issues...with gaming
      Educate yourself you idiot.

  2. Raphael Alexander
    December 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Clash of clans doesn't have a pay wall, Shadowgun Deadzone doesn't, N.O.V.A 3 freedom edition is completely free if in app purchases and is free to download.

  3. Anonymous
    June 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Vega Conflict is playable without paying a dime. It is sort of a space based clash of clans, but more fun IMHO.

    Hearthstone is another great game. Sure you can buy stuff, but if you play regularly for a while, you'll earn plenty of in-game coins to purchase new cards, and have fun doing it.

  4. Joko
    April 22, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    The Witcher Battle Arena is a great game. You can buy skins with real money but you can also buy literally everything using in-game currency.

  5. Samuel Escueta
    March 9, 2015 at 9:52 am

    okay? is a really good one as well

  6. Tom H
    February 17, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Dead Trigger 2 has in app purchases, but is playable without buying more gold. You'll sometimes have to wait days to produce gear and won't have as many power ups, but the game allows you to set the difficulty for each play. It's a very addictive FPS with great graphics and enough variation to keep me playing it every day for month after month. They do regular updates so you have fresh graphics and new game play for holidays. For example, at Halloween, some of the zombies had pumpkin heads that exploded when hit!

    • Mihir Patkar
      February 17, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      I loved DT2! But this article is meant to highlight non-IAP games :) I agree with you though, can easily play it without IAPs. I haven't spent a dime on it.

  7. Christopher
    February 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Dumb Ways to Die has full screen video advertisements.

    • Mihir Patkar
      February 17, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Whaaa?! I just played this a few days ago, where did you get video ads? iOS or Android?

  8. CG215
    February 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    When it was free on Amazon I got Guardians of The Galaxy. No IAP's

    • Mihir Patkar
      February 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Oooh nice! I'll keep an eye out for it going on sale again.

  9. Anonymous
    February 16, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Vainglory is the best free to play app.

  10. Doc
    February 15, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    If you liked the original Diablo, Dungeon Quest is pretty hard to beat. Lots of loot, pets you can buy (or free from the bad guys), and three different classes; you can even hire one of your other characters to come along with you. The only problem is that rings and amulets in the Merchant Shop don't tell you which class they're for until bought; everything else is obvious as to which class (rogue, warrior or wizard) it's for. 200 levels of crazy fun.

    • Mihir Patkar
      February 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Do you mean this one?

      It says it has in-app purchases.

    • Doc
      February 18, 2015 at 2:29 am

      Yes, but it is "free to play," and Shinybox specifically states you can complete the game (with one character) without paying a cent. You can always delete your character and start over as a different class, as well. The game is good enough (despite the occasional "freeze" on my tablet, but *not* my phone, strangely enough) that I gladly paid 999 Amazon coins for the "deal" pack, unlocking the other 2 character slots and some "vanity" items (character outfits).

  11. Lelamb
    February 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    World of Tanks Blitz. Military shooter using army tanks from the 1920s through the early 1960s. Improve vehicles as you win. Incredible graphics. Offers IAP but totally playable and enjoyable without.

    • Mihir Patkar
      February 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Nice! Free of ads?

    • Lelamb
      February 17, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      No third party ads. They occasionally advertise for their premium account status and will offer "special" vehicles that are purchase only (special only in variety, not necessarily capability. You're not going to buy a special vehicle and be indestructible. You still have to play it well). I've been playing for 8-10 months. Still not tired of it. Have spent $0.99 for an incredible deal for premium time but didn't have to. Great game- 7 on 7 match ups.

    • Jeff Gilcher
      February 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Yes, free of ads. If you play the PC version, you log into the servers on mobile so all your game play goes with you.

  12. Anonymous
    February 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Wee immortals is great

    • Mihir Patkar
      February 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Yeah, but it has IAPs in the form of buying WWE coins.