YouTube gets into gaming with Playables - 75+ games you can try right now

The YouTube logo appears on a phone on top of a keyboard
(Image credit: SOPA Images / Getty Images)

It feels like everybody wants to get into mini-games lately. Just weeks after LinkedIn launched a trio of puzzle games, YouTube just announced 75 games that can be played directly on the service. 

Previously available only to members of YouTube Premium, the Playables program is available on both desktop and mobile. On desktop you can find it under the Explorer menu, hidden under the three line action button. You’ll find it at the bottom of the Explore list under Podcasts. 

On mobile you can swipe from the left side of the screen to pull up the explore menu. Or you can tap the compass button under the YouTube logo. 

Screenshot of YouTube Playables

(Image credit: Future)

There are supposedly over 75 games to choose from. The biggest one is probably Angry Birds Showdown! And Cut The Rope. We tried a number of the games and if we’re being honest most of them seem like they were actively created to be the games that other apps on our phones advertise.

We’ve definitely seen Bazooka Boy and Mob Control as advertisements in other games. The assumption being that those games were mostly fake with reviews on the App Store and Google Play mostly confirming this. It appears the YouTube version removes advertisements and pay-to-play functions that these games usually feature.

If we had to recommend one game it would be Alien Shooter, which is a pretty fun Space Invader knock off. Most of the games appear to have some component of competing against other players. Right now, it feels like those other players are probably bots but maybe as more people discover these games it will actually be against other players. 

If you’re signed in, Playables will save game progress and track all-time best scores. You can also share the game you’re playing with friends. 

The initial run of games launched for Premium subscribers started last year and ran until March of this year. That run featured far fewer games than the current offerings. 

Gaming has gotten popular again lately. The aforementioned LinkedIn games debuted at the start of May. The New York Times recently revamped its gaming app. Hearst has been trying to compete by buying their own puzzle app system. Even Netflix offers games on their desktop browser service.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.