If you've been looking for a few brain teasers to chew on for your iPad, you've come to the right place. These are the very best puzzle games you can find for the big screen on iOS. There's a healthy dose of physics games here, but number games, word puzzles, and everything kind of puzzler permutation is fair game.
As always, we're eager to hear your favorite puzzle games, so please leave a comment with your favorites. Also, we've rounded up some of the best free iPad games elsewhere if you're looking for something a little different. Without further ado, here are our top ten puzzle games for iPad.
1. The Room Two
The Room Two takes players on a dark journey in figuring out how to open a variety of puzzle boxes. In the process, you'll learn about an otherworldly power that just maybe shouldn't be in the hands of mere men. The process for unlocking these boxes is entirely non-linear and will require a lot of left-field thinking. For a relatively static game, the graphics in the Room are extremely well-crafted, and sets a particularly spooky mood.
The Room Two delivers equal measures of spookiness and challenge.
Contre Jour is a polished, classy, innovative puzzler with an absolutely sublime soundtrack. Seriously, take a listen. The gameplay is a really interesting mix of elements that you might find in World of Goo, Cut the Rope, and Portal. Players have to use various elements to move a tiny cycloptic blob creature around to gather up blue orbs scattered around the level without falling prey to pits, spikes, and other dangers. The art style is both dark and cute, and will leave a definite lasting impression. Contre Jour offers a good mix of thoughtful and reflex-driven gameplay in a truly unique package.
Hundreds is a minimalist puzzle game set in stark colors were players have to inflate or deflate circles until the sum of their sizes equals a score of 100. The catch is that if a circle touches anything else while you're resizing it, you have to start over from scratch. Toss in circles that have to be grown simultaneously, buzzsaws that will undo your work, and countless other hazards and mechanics.
All in all, Hundreds elegantly combines sharp design and challenging gameplay.
In Hitman Go, players control a plastic playing piece representing Agent 47, an iconic character from the PC and console franchise Hitman. Players work their way around a board, turn by turn, to eventually take out their mark. Enemy patrols move after you move, which can not you off the board if you're not careful. Combined with special tiles for hiding and bonus objectives, you'll find yourself in some very tricky situations.
Hitman Go is a unique and playful spin on the dark business of professional assassination.
World of Goo is a charming and original physics puzzle game where players have to build wobbly structures that reach from point A to point B. They do this by using various types of sentient goo balls and tools, such as balloons, to keep structures upright enough to get any remaining goo into a suction pipe at the end. Players are scored based on how much goo they transfer from the beginning to the end via this structure, though that gets progressively more difficult as levels begin moving and goo becomes shorter in supply.
World of Goo offers an imaginative, finger-friendly puzzler while also poking fun at corporate economics.
Splice is an absolutely beautiful puzzle game with an amazing soundtrack. You get to play god by moving branches of cells into target formations in as few moves as possible. Each cell can only branch off two other cells, though you can drag any cell you want to another. Players can move forward and backwards in their move sequence with a simple gesture. Things get complicated when you're presented with cells that shoot out another one after it, split into two, or delete all other cells further down the branch. You have to use all of those, and you can't have too many or too few cells to make the blueprint.
Splice is a meditative and polished experience. The soundtrack alone is likely to keep you playing for awhile.
Ustwo's Monument Valley has players guide a hapless girl through a twisted maze of Escherian proportions. Optical illusions and impossible architecture are nothing new, but when put into mobile game where you can interact with things that straight-up can't physically exist, you're left with an entirely new sensation.
Monument Valley is an artfully crafted puzzle game that you won't soon forget.
Cut the Rope 2 continues the adorable puzzle franchise whereby players need to feed the eternally-hungering Om-Nom a piece of candy. This usually involves swiping through ropes to which the candy is attached at just the right time to ensure it's not lost in a variety of traps on the way. This version has a variety of new interactive new elements, including a wide range of new characters to help out across more than 140 stages.
For a playful, kid-friendly puzzler Cut the Rope 2 is hard to beat.
Players in Blek are presented with a series of circles that have to be popped before moving onto the next stage. Black spots are peppered in between; touch those and you have to start over. The way you hit those targets is by tracing a single gesture on the screen which is then repeated on its own over and over after you lift your finger. The line can be as simple as a short swipe that continues moving forward, but more often than not you'll have to get pretty creative to continue on to the next stage.
Blek is an original and creative puzzle game unique to touch devices.
Threes! is a thoughtful and lighthearted game without ads or in-app purchases. By sliding a board of numbered cards in four directions, players aim to get adjacent and identically-numbered cards to stack on top of one another. Every turn introduces a new tile on the board, which means you've got to keep stacking to make room for the next batch. When the board fills up and you can't make another move, you're given a score based on the value of the cards left, which in turn gets posted on the Game Center leaderboards.
Threes! is elegant, fun, and challenging, and you should definitely pick it up if you haven't tried it yet.