Puzzles have entertained mankind for ages. There is something about a good puzzle that makes it hard to put down and, if you’re anything like me, even when you are getting frustrated with a mind bender, you still push on, attempting to solve and conquer. Today, we will be looking at some of the best iPad puzzle games available.
Blek will make you say… well, blek. This game requires you to draw lines to collect colored circles around the screen. The hard part? You have to draw in a pattern which repeats itself in a loop to do so. There are black circles to avoid, so your loop must be drawn with care. Believe me, it is harder than in looks. Countless solutions exist for each level, but you can enjoy trying, and sometimes failing, to come up with even one of them.
Broken Age is a great example of how Kickstarter has benefited the game development world. This story-based graphic adventure is completely hand-painted to bring users an amazing puzzle experience.
Broken Age follows the story of two teenagers in similar situations living in two completely different worlds. Players switch between the two teens to help them through interesting adventures. The crowdfunding money has been used well, as Broken Age sports a wonderful soundtrack too.
Contre Jour is one of the early classic puzzles on iOS that has won quite a lot of awards, including a feature in Apple’s 2011 App Store Rewind. This game mixes light and dark to create a beautiful world of contrasts which is a pleasure to look at and interact with.
The starring character is a blob named Petit and your job is to navigate him to safety using pull, swipe, tap gadgets and even by altering the landscape. A professionally orchestrated soundtrack fits the visual beauty of Contre Jour and there are over 100 different levels to keep you busy.
Cut the Rope is an innovative puzzle game with a simple idea, all you have to do is cut the rope. Sounds easy right? Wrong, this game makes cutting a rope a lot more challenging. With the addition of obstacles, you must cut the rope at the right time in the right places in order to deliver a piece of candy to the cute little monster, OmNom.
This game is updated regularly and has many variant games too, so that you always have new puzzles to swing your fingers at. Read our full review of Cut the Rope.
I was quite disappointed when the Hitman game made exclusively for iOS turned out to be a board game, instead of what we have been used to on consoles. But when I finally had a chance to get my hands on this board game, it was very hard to put down.
Hitman Go brings players into a turn-based strategy game. Players must utilize different tools of spy craft to navigate around the board and to avoid unwanted attention from other pieces on the board. Stealth and strategy forms a major part of the experience and taking down guards couldn’t be more satisfying. Each level features different solutions that allow people who enjoy varying styles of gameplay to enjoy the game.
[Price: $0.99/In-App Purchases]
Isoland is a perfect combination of a point and click adventure game mixed with a challenging puzzle game. What helps Isoland stand out the most is the incredible art. Each seemingly hand-drawn scene is like something out of a graphic novel, and exploring this art is half the fun of the game. The other half of the fun comes through in the puzzles that hold the keys to progressing in the game. Each puzzle you come across is different than the last, and with no instruction, you must use clues and intuition to make it through. This is a great puzzle game for people who get tired of playing the same type of puzzle over and over, but the downside is that since it is story based, you do eventually reach an end.
At the time of this writing, the game hasn’t even been out for a month, so I’ll be interested to see how the developer keeps this up to date with fresh content for players.
Lyne is a unique game of lines and shapes. There are different shapes which you connect together by lines. The catch, you cannot visit the same shape twice, or intersect the lines. Things get crammed up pretty quickly as the number of shapes, limited line selection and modular shapes come into play.
Over 250 levels are available to keep you entertained, at my casual pace, that offers days, if not weeks, of fun. You can unlock different color pallets in Lyne, to make the game even more interesting and variable.
You’ve probably heard of Monument Valley. It is a puzzle game that lets you manipulate crazy impossible architectures to guide a silent princess through multi-level monuments. Hidden paths and optical illusions make Monument Valley a difficult game that will keep you guessing at every turn.
The simplistic design of a highly complex architecture is as awe-striking as it is beautiful. And the subtle audio effects add more value for the money, so keep your headphones ready. Read our full review of Monument Valley.
[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
Crossword puzzles are well known around the world as classic word puzzles. With many versions to choose from, the New York Times Crossword is possibly the most well known. Now, you can have the daily newspaper issue of the game delivered directly to your iPad.
The New York Times Crossword, however, brings only a handful of free puzzles and needs you to subscribe for $1.99 a month for more. If you are a fan of the genre, and of the New York Times take on the crossword, it is money well spent, as this will unlock the NYT’s archive of years of crosswords as well.
[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
0h h1 and 0h n0 are puzzle games which have their roots in Sudoku and Minesweeper respectively. But they are nothing like the originals and are more of an extreme adaptation made for the touch interface of the iPad. It is hard to explain the game in words but is really easy to get started. Each level is randomly generated and different so that you have an endless supply of grids to fill in.
[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
Puzzle games can be wildly difficult and intensely frustrating, but some people, puzzles are therapeutic. For those people, Outfolded is their game. In fact, the games developer, 3 Sprockets, want’s to make the game as relaxing and enjoyable, but still challenging, as possible. Upon opening the app, your presented with three statements – Slow down, Relax, Take your time. Outfolded is an endless puzzle game, so you can play for as long as you like, or as long as you’re capable. Soft music and harmonic tones for each move accompany you through each level, and if you get stuck, you have unlimited undos. It’s an all around great experience.
Perchang is another one of those puzzle games for iPad that requires a lot of strategic thinking. It’s not a sports game, but the goal is to get your balls in the hole. To do so, you have a multitude of tools at your disposal for each level, including fans, paddles, doors and more. The developers have found very clever ways for you to control the tools on the levels – making something that looks complicated, fairly simple. However, don’t let the first few levels fool you – this game gets difficult!
Perchang also made it on our list of the 15 Best iPad Games.
An old abandoned house brings with it memories of the past. They aren’t quite right though and that is where the you come in. By solving puzzles, players unlock memories from the house’s last occupant.
Game play is a matter of sliding around pearls to collect orbs and reach the finishing tile, which is easier said than done. A professional composed soundtrack and hand-painted art just pops up all your senses. Quell Memento also supports Game Center and leaderboards to allow players to unlock new achievements and compete with friends.
This game goes old school and does well in doing so. One of the most popular games for Windows, Myst, has found a new foothold in the mobile world. There are a few fan made renditions of the game already in the App Store, but this unfettered version of Myst btings real-time, free roam capabilities to the iPad – this is realMyst.
realMyst has a cryptic story about brotherhood and a complex island in its core. It is a point-and-click adventure full of puzzles. This is the kind of puzzle game that will keep you glued to your iPad for hours, even if this is not your first time at the helm of this famous game, with its iconic music score and the daunting puzzles.
If you like Myst, it is likely that you’ll love Riven, the sequel to Myst made just for your iPad. Without ruining the story, Riven picks up where Myst ends off, allowing you to delve further into the mysterious world of puzzles. The attention to detail and high quality graphics have made Riven for iPad one of most popular in this class of game and for the same reason, it is one of the largest puzzle apps out there. It takes up a whopping 1.93 gigabytes of storage, which, for many 16GB owners, has been a deal breaker.
Rubek, though very challenging, is an incredibly fun and addicting puzzle game. You’re in control of a little block with colored size, atop a “board” of equally-sized squares. The aim of the game is pretty straight forward. Topple your block along the board and match the colored sides to the colored squares. Progressing through the game the levels can get pretty mind bending, as you must plan far ahead to make sure you don’t get stuck. This can get frustrating at times, but the atmospheric sounds and music in this game top notch, almost meditative. If you plug in some great headphones and turn on this game, you can easily kill a few hours.
[Price: Free/$3.99 Ad-Free Upgrade]
Six is a puzzle game that reminds me a lot of the ever-famous Tetris. You have blocks of random shapes and sizes that all fit together like a Tetris puzzle, but instead of stacking them, your goal is to make them disappear. Do this without allowing the hexagon on top (hence the name “Six”) to roll off, and without having the whole tower topple. When you watch the preview video you’ll likely say “Well that’s easy.” but I promise you are mistaken. This game quickly becomes challenging and requires some quick wit to be successful.
Do you like both escape games and puzzle games? The Room 3 is a puzzle-based escape game with a heavy focus on graphics. In this game, you use an innovative control system to navigate a 3D world of intricate puzzles, that will keep you thinking as you explore.
I think at this point, most of us are familiar with the The Room series’ gameplay. I say familiar, but certainly not bored! Just like the previous two games, The Room 3 dark and eerie scenes, coupled with “haunting music” keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re into that sorta thing, this is an excellent game to play on a rainy night when you’re home alone.
We have here another game of the year recipient. Threes! won both Apple’s Game of the year as well as the Design of the year award in 2014. Threes! is the original, and some say the better version of the more popular 2048 game, it requires that you move tiles around the board to match and add up numbers.
While this game looks minimalistic and is easy to learn, it also gives you hours of fun as it becomes more difficult as you play. Each game is different and changes with how you play. Oh and it has no in-app purchases which I personally adore in a game.
Read our full review of Threes!
[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
TwoDots is as simple as puzzles get. You just link like-colored dots to make as long of a connection as possible. Complete a polygon and all dots of the color go poof. Different from their first game Dots, TwoDots brings new environments to the screen as you will visit Arctic tundras, fiery jungles, depths of the oceans and more.
Without having to race against a clock, you can play at your own pace and find your own way through every puzzle. If you are color blind, don’t worry, there is a colorblind option that comes free with the app.
The Apple App Store has dozens more great puzzle games for the iPad, it was really hard to pick just 20 of them for our best list today. Most of our choices today are for complex games, but we were sure to add a few minimalist apps as well.
With all the great apps out there, what is your favorite puzzle game? Please feel free to share your favorite puzzle games for your iPad in the comments below.