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 puzzle games in the Apple App Store for your iPad.
LIMBO is a puzzle game like no other, it makes players think outside the box and on a whole new level. You take on the role of a little boy, whose sister has suffered a possibly tragic fate, and so, you enter limbo to save her.
Each level is an excellently mastered piece of grayscale artwork that requires players to navigate through levels of extreme dangers by tackling macroscopic real-life like puzzles. Critics have rated LIMBO 5/5 for its fun play, stunning architecture and odd but excellent graphics. (Top 5 iPad games with the best graphics.)
Name – The Room 2
Price – $2.99
Our Rating – 9.5/10
Do you like both escape games and puzzle games? The Room 2 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.
A hint of horror and fear has been built into The Room 2 to keep you on the edge of your seat, while solving each stage gives you an unprecedented level of satisfaction. The Room 2 has won Apple’s Game of The Year 2012 and a BAFTA award, both if which are fairly prestigious in their own right. Read our full review of The Room 2.
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.
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.
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.
Year Walk is a Swedish vision quest in an immersive world of puzzles. Switching between the real world and a fantasy universe, Year Walk invites players to navigate the 19th century Sweden. It will take an open mind and critical thinking to be able to complete Year Walk.
It is highly recommended that you wear headphones, not just because it is soothing but sound plays a key role in some puzzles too. For those who are interested in the concept of this game, there is also a free companion app that will provide you with more info on the folklore that lays behind Year Walk.
Thomas is a curious and lonely rectangle. He needs your help to navigate 100 levels of obstacles and puzzles, in order to find other shapes and satisfy his curiosity. Thomas Was Alone has a wonderful story, beautiful graphics and an ear-worthy voice-over. The experience is so good that it won a BAFTA award for performance and was nominated for two more, in story and original score.
Thomas Was Alone shows you how even minimalistic indie games can be truly compelling and warm hearts with simple ideas.
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.
The second act of the story will be available via in-app purchase soon.
Tiny Thief takes a whole new angle at the puzzling genre. It is a side scrolling level-based game where stealth, strategy, timing and puzzling plays equal parts.
This medieval world is full of corruption and injustice. The world needs someone to make a stand and that is exactly what Tiny Thief does. He is an unconventional hero that utilizes his cunning skills as a thief to bring justice and wipe out corruption in the medieval world.
Sporting a point and click navigation, Tiny Thief has a wonderful visual style that is sure to bring hours of fun to anyone who picks up the game. Levels feature hidden treasures and surprises that will ensure some replayability too.
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.
Where’s My Water is the Disney game that both kids and adults can enjoy equally. Swampy is the cutest alligator you’ll ever tap on and he really wants to take a warm shower. But his pipes seem to be all clogged, leaving you to help clear the way.
Physics based puzzles challenge players on each level and obstacles such as dirty water, toxic water, mud, moss, and steam must be navigated precisely in order to bring in the good water for Swampy. This Angry Birds style game receives regular updates and is great for kids young and old.
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.
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.
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.
Name – 0h h1 and 0h n0
Price – Free \ Free
Our Rating – 8.5 \ 9.5
These are relatively fresh games when compared to some of the others in our list, but has had me addicted for a while. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.