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The 25 best puzzle games on iPhone and iPad

25 essential games to start your iOS collection
Product: Best iPhone games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: iPhone, iPad
Updated June 26, 2018: New entries added

Puzzle games occupy a unique position right at the very centre of mobile gaming. As long as there have been phones with screens there have been abstract brain ticklers to help while away idle minutes.

Naturally, the genre took a massive step forward with the arrival of the smartphone. The App Store is packed full of brilliant puzzle games.

What's most impressive is the sheer variety of puzzle game experiences on offer, often borrowing elements from a range of other genres.

These days, there's arguably no more varied or accomplished a genre than the iOS puzzler. Here are 25 of the very best examples to prove it.

#1 Monument Valley 2

Product: Monument Valley 2Formats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: ustwoGenres: Puzzle

Monument Valley 2
Like the original, Monument Valley warps reality and assaults your eyes with otherworldly landscapes. Rarely has a runaway mainstream hit felt so daringly experimental.

#2 Gorogoa

Product: GorogoaFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamGenres: Adventure, Puzzle

A rare masterpiece of a puzzler, Gorogoa combines a clever picture-shifting mechanic with a beautiful storybook art style. It's quite wonderful.

#3 Prune

Product: PruneFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadGenres: Puzzle

Puzzlers used to be functional looking and targeted at the logic centres rather than seeking any kind of emotional response. Prune turns all that on its head with its achingly beautiful grown-'em-up gameplay.

#4 The Room: Old Sins

Product: The Room: Old SinsFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Fireproof Games

The Room: Old Sins
Even four entries in, the intricate locked-box puzzles within puzzles of The Room series continues to enthrall. When it's as perfectly executed as The Room: Old Sins, we could happily take several more.

#5 Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage

Product: Icebreaker: A Viking VoyageFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: NitromePublisher: NitromeGenres: Adventure, Puzzle

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage
The competition is stiff, but we reckon Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage is the king of cutesy physics puzzlers on the App Store. It's a delight to play from start to finish.

#6 Threes!

Product: Threes!Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Asher VollmerGenres: Puzzle

This fiendishly clever number-puzzle game should have a place on every mobile device. Accept no imitations.

#7 Ticket to Earth

Product: Ticket to EarthFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres: Puzzle

Ticket to Earth
It's not often that you find a puzzler with a rollicking story, but that's precisely what Ticket to Earth provides. At heart it's a block-matching game, but one that adds in compelling RPG elements and glorious comic book visuals.

#8 Causality

Product: CausalityFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: LojuGenres: Puzzle

Causality manages to make mind-frazzling time loop manipulation feel like a natural and intuitive mechanic in this colourful isometric puzzler.

#9 Yankai's Peak

Product: Yankai's PeakFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: Kenny Sun

Yankai's Peak
An extremely challenging abstract puzzler from Kenny Sun that keep drawing you back in. Rotating coloured triangles into place across its compact levels is a mind-bending delight.

#10 The Witness

Product: The WitnessFormats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Thekla Inc.Genres: Puzzle

The Witness
The Witness might look and even feel like a first person adventure game, but its beautiful free-roaming hub world is underpinned by fiendishly clever line-drawing puzzles.

#11 Campfire Cooking

Product: Campfire CookingFormats: iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Layton HawkesPublisher:

Campfire Cooking
A grid-based puzzler with some of the most delicious presentation around. In place of blocks and tiles, here you're shuffling around marshmallows and cooking pots. Tasty.

#12 Starman

Product: StarmanFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres: Puzzle

Starman certainly owes a debt to Monument Valley, but it also does things its own way. Control a spaceman and flip switches through stylish black-and-white levels.

#13 Euclidean Lands

Product: Euclidean LandsFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres: Adventure, Puzzle, Strategy

Euclidean Lands
Euclidean Lands takes elements of Square Enix's GO series and a little Monument Valley (both represented on this list) and stirs in a brilliant Rubiks Cube-like mechanic. The result is a memorably fresh puzzler.

#14 Scalak

Product: ScalakFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher:

Scalak is one of the purest and least hand-holdy puzzlers around. It throws you into a bunch of abstract puzzles, and challenges you to figure things out for yourself.

#15 Pavilion: Touch Edition

Product: Pavilion: Touch EditionFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Visiontrick MediaGenres: Puzzle

Pavilion: Touch Edition
You might initially mistake Pavilion for a gothic platform-adventure or even an isometric RPG, but each of its intricate levels is in fact an ornate puzzle waiting to be (directly) manipulated.

#16 Lara Croft GO

Product: Lara Croft GOFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Square Enix MontrealGenres: Puzzle

Lara Croft GO
In truth we could have slotted in Hitman GO or Deus Ex GO here, but Lara Croft GO boils down the essence of Tomb Raider into a tricky but always satisfying tabletop puzzler.

#17 Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes

Product: Might & Magic: Clash of HeroesFormats: Android, DS, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: UbisoftGenres: Action, Puzzle

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
As much of a JRPG as a match-three puzzler, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes has you waging war using a classic Bejeweled-style tile-swapping mechanic.

#18 Kiwanuka

Product: KiwanukaFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: CMA MegacorpPublisher: CMA MegacorpGenres: Adventure, Casual, Puzzle

Building bridges out of people - not the latest scheme dreamed up by Donald Trump, but actually the premise for this beautiful Lemmings-inspired puzzler.

#19 RGB Express

Product: RGB ExpressFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Bad CraneGenres: Puzzle

RGB Express
In RGB Express, you have to draw a path that a bunch of different coloured trucks traverse to deliver packages to that same coloured house. It sounds simple, but the challenge quickly ramps up as you have to make sure they flip coloured switches and not crash into each other.

#20 Splice: Tree of Life

Product: Splice: Tree of LifeFormats: Android, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Cipher PrimePublisher: Cipher PrimeGenres: Puzzle

Splice: Tree of Life
Splice: Tree of Life is one of those unique experiences that you could only have on a touchscreen device. A true native puzzler if ever there was one, and an artistic triumph to boot.

#21 Triple Town

Product: Triple TownFormats: Android, iPhone, Other, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Spry FoxPublisher: Spry FoxGenres: Puzzle

Triple Town
To call Triple Town a match-three puzzler is to undersell its escalating challenge, as each match bundles into something grander and tougher to deal with.

#22 Death Squared

Product: Death SquaredFormats: iPhone, iPad, Switch

Death Squared
Puzzlers are typically contemplative single-player affairs, so Death Squared's cooperative multiplayer angle feels really refreshing. It's also just a handsome, charming game to play.

#23 Tiny Bubbles

Product: Tiny BubblesFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: Pine Street CodeworksPublisher:

Tiny Bubbles
There are super-punishing puzzlers that make you work for your satisfaction, and then there's Tiny Bubbles - an impossibly welcoming, intuitive bubble popper that practically begs you to play around with its tactile mechanics.

#24 LYNE

Product: LYNEFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows 8, SteamDeveloper: Thomas BowkerPublisher: Thomas BowkerGenres: Puzzle

A beautiful abstract puzzler all about connecting shapes. With an ingenious randomly generated Daily Challenges mode, LYNE pretty much goes on forever.

#25 Tavern Guardians

Product: Tavern GuardiansFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres: Action, Puzzle

Tavern Guardians
There are plenty of excellent Match-three RPGs on the App Store, but Tavern Guardians stands as one of the best. Positioning is as important as forming chains in this unusually tactical puzzler.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 1 August 2018
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