Besides its unique gameplay experience and the vintage spectacle that is its immensely beautiful 8-bit graphics, the best thing about Superbrothers: Although some say that Superbrothers: In this adorably grim and lethally funny afterlife noir seasoned with a dash of Mexican folklore, you play as Manny Calavera, a travel agent working for The Dead Man at the Department of Death, selling luxury packages to fellow skeletons to give a lavish boost to their four-year journey on the railroad track leading to eternal rest.
Unfortunately for Manuel, he gets caught in a web of conspiracy he must untangle himself from in order to secure his own salvation. On the visual front, Grim Fandango Remastered packs repainted, high-resolution character textures and dynamic lighting, and it has something new and blissful for the ears in the form of an original score rerecorded with a live orchestra.
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Your actions, choices, and words determine how the story unfolds, putting you behind the wheel of your own fate Your actions, choices, and words determine how the story unfolds, putting you behind the wheel of your own fate. Further complicating matters are murder, romance, rebellion, and plenty of intrigue, so make sure you tread carefully, as a single bad decision can breed disaster — especially with a relentlessly ticking in-game clock. Having been funded by a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign, it was basically predestined for success. The two main characters in Broken Age are Vella Tartine and Shay Volta, a pair of teenagers facing almost identical situations in two planes of reality which could hardly be any more different.
You can switch between the two characters and storylines whenever your heart desires, diving into magical adventures graced with beautifully detailed 3D-like graphics, and also with barfing trees and talking spoons. Banner Saga 2 packs stunning 2D visuals, including bloody awesome combat sequences, jaw-dropping animations, and wow-inducing effects. Super Hexagon is a game about getting lost in a state of flow.
I love it for its hypnotic visuals and sound, perfectly-responsive controls, and sheer ball-busting difficulty. It's insanely difficult, but never cheap. Super Mario Run It's a Mario game, on your phone. It borrows elements from one-button phone runners, and it's more of a score attack than most other Mario platformers, but it's very distinctly Mario.
A dreamy, atmospheric adventure game. It's much more about wandering through a surreal gorgeous world than complex puzzles or action. An incredibly fresh-feeling and brutally difficult match-3 game, which is in itself quite an achievement these days. A delightful little puzzle game. Adorable graphics and sound are the cherry on top of an already addictive puzzler. If you've played , it was based on Threes and isn't nearly as good. A casual take on a point-and-click adventure game with stealth elements. It's divided up into self-contained puzzles, making it great for short play sessions.
The earlier levels are a bit too easy, but if you stick it out it gets better. A moderately fun stream-based puzzle game wrapped in a pitch-perfect framing narrative. TouchTone tells an NSA-like story of government surveillance, contextualizing your puzzles as helping enact wiretaps. A fantastic Werewolf-style social deduction game played using just a single phone. It needs at least 5 people, but it's great fun for a party.
The epitome of "simple to learn, difficult to master" puzzle games. Triple Town is essentially a match-3 puzzler, but joining three like pieces together causes them to combine into a single upgraded piece. A refreshing new take on word puzzles. The normal game didn't particulary grab me, but the "clue puzzles" are a great fresh take on crosswords. A fantastic free-to-play mobile MOBA. It's far simpler and more approachable than LoL or DOTA, making it a great introduction to the genre for folks looking for a strategic team-based multiplayer action.
A toy that has you interacting with lots of lovely 3D objects in joyful ways. The lack of "game" might turn some people off, but it's a fun little object to interact with. A great Advance Wars-style strategy game. The game is remarkably similar to Advane Wars, even down to the overall theming, but it's unbelievably polished and has lots of character. A lovely narrative game that aims to capture the feeling of road-tripping through s Italy.
The Top Puzzle-Adventure Games for the iPad
It's available on other platforms, but thrives as a portrait mobile game. Although Jonathan Blow's puzzler was a big-budget console release, it shines on mobile. Its 3D movement controls are the best I've seen, and its tricky bite-sized line puzzles are perfect for quick pick-up-and-play sessions. It's Scrabble, on your phone. You've probably heard of it, but if you haven't, check it out.
The board, point values, and letter distributions are tweaked from Scrabble to make games more exciting and higher-scoring. The controls are awkward, the free-to-play elements obnoxious. But it's your best choice if you want a team-based online shooter, and it's pretty darn good. A great simple "coffee break Roguelike".
Controls great on mobile, and perfect for quick pick-up sessions. A very compelling framing mechanic and a great aesthetic make this hard to put down. Worked your way through everything I've mentioned and still want more?
I try to keep the main list relatively trim, but here are some other games I've really enjoyed. I thus give you the definitive list of iOS games that I think are worth playing. A few ground rules: I've aggressively pruned this list. If a game is on here, it's because I really liked it. This is subjective. I'm not trying to create a canon. These are just some games I've enjoyed.
Your favorite game's not here? It's possible I just wasn't a fan, but it's also very possible I haven't played it. Email or tweet at me! Some of these games are available on other platforms. I generally only include ports if I feel like the iOS version is at least as good as other platforms, if not better.
Some of these games cost money. Each game on this list will provide many hours of entertainment, usually for less than a cup of coffee. Most are self-published by small, independent studios. Don't be a cheapskate. Changelog January 8, Fixed a few typos and copy edits. Added a link to Reigns: Game of Thrones from within the Reigns writeup.
July 26, Added Fate: Show More History January 24, Updated Reigns to refer to the sequel. November 4, Added filter for offline only. June 14, Added City of Love: Paris , Implosion , Mystic Messenger to the bottom. Removed a few dead games. December 20, November 15, Added TISP to the bottom list.
June 28, Added platform toggle. January 5, Added a link to The Room 3 from within The Room's entry. Removed Spacechem and Blood and Laurels , neither of which are available any more. Added filtering options, and made game names in this changelog into clickable links. October 28, Added Downwell , The Sequence , and Subterfuge. Added Shooty Skies and Sword and Glory to the bottom list. August 19, Added Alphabear and King of Thieves to the bottom list. July 10, Filters Show Me Games With: The Arcana The Arcana's an otome game; essentially, a relationship visual novel. Arena of Valor It's basically League of Legends , but on your phone.
Your team of players, each with their own device and distinct role, need to work together as a crew to steer the ship and accomplish various missions. Totally nerdy, and totally great. Banner Saga This truly is a "saga" in the literal sense. Beglitched A minesweeper-y match 3-y puzzle game with a killer glitch-meets-witch "cyberpink" aesthetic and a delightfully brutal difficulty curve. Blackbar Set in a vague dystopian future, Blackbar tells the story of a resistance movement fighting censorship, by means of solving censorship puzzles. Blackbox A fiendishly clever and brutally difficult puzzle game that requires you do to weird things with your phone, taking advantage of just about every sensor it has inside it.
Bloop A game of complete madness requiring everyone to madly tap on your iPad screen at the same time. Bounden An absolutely beautiful collaborative dancing game. Burly Men at Sea A charming experience that feels like an interactive children's book in the best possible way. Bury Me, My Love A game where you text, in real time, with a loved one trying to escape Syria as a refugee. Campfire Cooking Another great iOS puzzle game about roasting marshmallows on a campfire. Cinco Paus Fair warning: Corrypt A Sokoban-style block puzzle whose rules quickly start to collapse in on themselves.
Dandy Dungeon A super-quirky indie F2P game. Data Wing A great Asteroids-esque racing game with a great Tron-like aesthetic and a delightful and surprising! Desert Golfing A punk-y minimalist distillation of Angry Birds-style controls into a golf game. Downwell Downwell is a minimalist roguelike platformer about descending a well, armed only with a pair of trusty gunboots. Dream Quest Dream Quest is a roguelike deck-building game.
Drop7 An iOS classic, Drop 7 is an addictive numbers-based puzzle game that feels like it's existed forever.
Top 25 best puzzle games for iPhone and iPad
The Firm A small game wrapping a stock trading theme around a Tinder-like swipe interaction. Fortnite It's literally the biggest videogame on the planet right now, and with good reason. Freeways A lo-fi puzzle game about designing freeway overpasses for self-driving cars. Glitch Tank A 2-player head-to-head tank-battle game. Her Story A phenomenal FMV game where you explore the circumstances surrounding a murder by searching and viewing old police interview footage.
iPhone/iPad Adventure Games
Hearthstone Blizzard's F2P deck-building card game. Helix A fantastic twitchy action game by Michael Brough. Hidden my game by mom Mechanically, this is a pretty straight-forward hidden object game, but its bizarre Japanese charm makes it an absolute joy. Hoplite A pared-down hex-based turn-based strategy game with roguelike mechanics layered on top. Human Resource Machine A smart take on programming games. Hundreds The perfect combination of reflex-based gameplay and strategy: Imbroglio Yet another minimalist roguelike from Michael Brough.
Brutally difficult, but equally rewarding. King of Dragon Pass In this civilization sim, you're in charge of a primitive tribe in a fantasy world. Kuron and the Jelly Islands A charmingly absurd game where you play as a cat, suspended on an island made of jelly, slurping up as much of that jelly as you can with a straw before you fall into the water below. Learn Cryptic Crosswords This is more an educational experience than a 'game', but this is an excellent interactive guide to teach you how to solve cryptic crosswords, walking you through common clue types and providing a great learning curve.
Letterpress A genius game by Loren Brichter aka "the guy who invented pull-to-refresh". Linelight A beautiful puzzle game about moving a ball of light along a line. Lumino City A charming point-and-click adventure game made entirely from papercraft models. Metamorphabet A charming interactive experience exploring the alphabet. It feels a charming children's book. Mini Metro A super-chill sim game where you manage a public transit system.
Monument Valley A gorgeous Escher-inspired puzzle game. The Mummy: Dark Universe Story A fun, light choose-your-own-adventure style romp through the world of the film The Mummy. Neon Chrome A twin-stick shooter roguelike with a solid cyberpunk aesthetic. New York Times Crossword The reigning champion of crosswords. Oquonie An atmospheric dive into a bizarre world. Osmos The ultimate chill-out game. Out There: Papers, Please A game about being an immigration agent in a fictional Eastern Bloc state. Prune A relaxing, meditative puzzle game about pruning a tree as it grows, a la a bonsai tree.
Pudding Monsters A super-cute grid-based puzzle game where you have to combine slimy puddings in interesting ways. Rayman Adventures A full-blown 2D platformer that loses nothing in having touch controls. Really Bad Chess Chess, but with a randomized arrangement of pieces. Her Majesty A civilization sim game cleverly wrapped in Tinder swipe mechanics, sort of like an uber-minimalist and funny! Road Not Taken Road Not Taken is one part roguelike, one part Minecraft-style crafting game, one part movement puzzle, wrapped up in a gorgeous aesthetic.
Rolando An oldie but a goodie. The Room A super-polished puzzle game that has you pushing and pulling at 3D objects to figure out their secrets. Rusty Lake Hotel A Flash-style escape room game with a delightfully macabre story. Rymdkapsel A minimalist take on tower defense and real-time strategy games. Sage Solitaire A fantastic, original solitaire variant from Zach Gage. Skulls of the Shogun Fans of games like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem will find themselves right at home with this turn-based strategy wargame.
A text driven adventure game set in the last 21st century with a noir theme. Slide through solution scenarios Swipe vertically across panels to introduce new elements that work towards a solution. A New 3D Adventure The fourth installment in The Room series revolves around a disappearance, a strange artifact, and peculiar dollhouse. The Curious Case of Rusty Lake The developers over at Rusty Lake have an interesting sense of style, and its even present in their games.
An episodic decision based adventure game with the ability to rewind time. Inception level puzzling Rearrange the panels to create a continuing storyline among beautiful artwork.