Not every game in Apple’s massive library is worth $1 — or your time, for that matter. Lucky for you, we’ve taken on the burden of sorting through the sea of titles to bring you some of the best iPhone games, whether you’re looking for a casual puzzler or something a bit more epic. For more ideas, check out the best Android games, because most of them are available for the iPhone as well, and if you want to switch off that screen, the best board games could offer a welcome alternative.
HQ is a live trivia game where you have the chance to win cash prizes, but only if you make it through all 12 rounds. The show airs every day at 9 p.m. ET with additional shows on weekdays at 3 p.m. ET.
With Pokémon Quest, you get to take cube-shaped Pokémon out on an adventure. While on Tumblecube Island, you’re able to search for hidden treasure and battle wild Pokémon. The game also features characters from both Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Red.
‘THE GAME OF LIFE’
With The Game of Life on mobile, you can now play the board game on the go. You can experience all the stages of life, such as attending college, having a family, starting your career, and more. With online multiplayer mode, you can also play with others or play with friends using one device. But since we all know how long the game can take sometimes, there’s the option to play Fast Mode — which provides you with a shorter version of the game.
‘GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS’
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on iOS has been remastered and enhanced specifically for mobile. With over 70 hours of gameplay, this Grand Theft Auto installment takes you back to the hood as you follow the life of Carl Johnson who has returned home in an effort to salvage what he left behind.
Heads up! is a different type of trivia game than you might be used to. With a wide range of celebrities, animals, accents, and more you have to guess the word that’s on the card by placing the phone up to your forehead — so you can’t see it — and interpreting your friend’s clues.
In, you have to control your black hole by eating up everything in your path. As it expands more, you’re able to eat larger objects and structures. But you’ll also have to watch out for the opponents’ size since they can also swallow you.
‘ALTO’S ODYSSEY’ ($5)
As a sequel to Alto’s Adventure, Alto’s Odyssey transports Alto from the snowy mountains to the majestic desert. Whether it’s sandboarding past snapping vines, rushing water inside the temple zone, or windy tornadoes, this infinite runner provides you with an endless backdrop of stunning visual content.
A terrific, touch-controlled platform game, Limbo is a stunning saga of a boy who wanders through a haunting industrial jungle. There’s no explanation, no dialogue, and no shortage of horrendous surprises. It’s the kind of game that stumps you for hours until something clicks and you suddenly realize how simple the answer was.
With Hello Stars, you have to draw lines to guide a ball from its starting point and make sure to touch all of the stars placed on each level. The concept seems simple — and things start out super easy — but what makes it difficult as you continue to play is that all the objects on the screen are affected by gravity.
‘THE SIMS MOBILE’
If you’re looking for a blast from the past, The Sims Mobile has all the nostalgia packed into it — with a bit of a millennial spin to it. You can customize your character, buy a “fixer-upper”, and land a job, all while trying to find love and maintain a group of friends.
If you can’t get enough of Fortnite on your computer or gaming console, you can also download it on your iPhone. While you do need an internet connection, Fortnite on mobile lets you compete in a 100-player game as you attempt to claim the title of last one standing.
‘OLD MAN’S JOURNEY’ ($5)
Like To the Moon, Old Man’s Journey is a game that sets out to tell a very specific story about life and the choices we make (or don’t). You follow the titular Old Man as he travels across the country, aiding him along the way by altering the hills and landscapes in front of him and interacting with the objects and people he meets. Gorgeous locations, brought to life with hand-drawn art and animations, will ensure your attention never diverts from the story being told. It’s short, simple, and may be a welcome change of pace from other games that have debuted this year.
Frost is a visually stunning puzzle game filled with vibrant colors and powerful background music. Within each level, you’re presented with an orb of a specific color along with a swarm of other colors. Depending on what color the orb is, your job is to guide the same color within the swarm towards the orb. Since the game isn’t specific about what you’re supposed to do, part of the challenge is figuring out the concept as you advance from level to level.
Based on the drawings of graphic artist M.C. Escher, Hocus features 100 mind-bending levels to solve. Each puzzle is made up of minimalist 3D shapes in the form of cubes or lines. As an added bonus, there’s also relaxing music and sounds playing in the background.
Download now from:
‘POLY BRIDGE’ ($5)
There’s something satisfying about coming up with a design for a bridge, building it, then sending a car to the other side without your bridge comically collapsing. Of course, it’s also just as entertaining to see how ridiculous your crashes can be, and how absurd your bridge designs can get. Fortunately, Poly Bridge lets you accomplish all of these things, and you can compare your bridges and achievements to other players around the world, because surely someone made something better (or worse) than you.
With Fallout Shelter, you’re in control of protecting others from the dangers of the “Wasteland” following a nuclear explosion. It’s up to you to control and build the perfect vault to keep your Dwellers happy and the community running smoothly.
Download now from:
‘NBA 2K18’ ($8)
Another year, another NBA 2K game. With NBA 2k18, there’s expanded gameplay controls, such as more rebounding capabilities and the option to sprint on defense. There’s also a multi-season mode with the ability to control a franchise and its future, as well as new music, fresh interactions, and more.
‘MONUMENT VALLEY 2’ ($5)
The sequel to 2014’s Monument Valley, Monument Valley 2 puts players in control of Ro, as she guides her child through overwhelmingly beautiful, yet impossible architectural structures that continue to be inspired by the likes of M.C. Escher. You don’t need to play the first game to enjoy its successor, which is sure to captivate, amaze, and leave you puzzled for hours. Read our Monument Valley 2 review to learn more.
With Minecraft, you can get those creative juices flowing by digging and building things. You’re also in control of the game with the ability to create your own 3D world through exploration in a variety of different gameplay modes.
‘THE WITNESS’ ($10)
The Witness is a single-player game with over 500 puzzles has stunning graphics and immersive sound effects. The plot begins with waking up alone on a deserted island and having no recollection of how you got there. To find your way back home, you have to discover clues and solve all the different puzzles.
The plot behind Prune is as soothing as the graphics. By swiping your finger, you get to grow your own tree under the sunlight and care for it as it grows over time. You’ll get to trim branches and watch flowers bloom, while also protecting it from poison. As you excel throughout the game, you’ll be exposed to pollination and be able to grow more trees as well. As the levels become more intense, as do the trees which start to grow to a much larger size as their branches begin to twist and intertwine.
From the lead designer of Monument Valley, Florence tells the story of a young woman who falls in love for the first time. Through a series of different puzzles, you get to experience the ride alongside stunning visuals.
Long before Harry Potter received his letter to Hogwarts, class was already in session at the school of witchcraft and wizardry. In this game, you get to see what Hogwarts was like before Harry ever set foot on campus by exploring never-before-seen rooms, investigating early mysteries, and more.
A mix of high strategy and realistic simulation, Plague Inc. places you in a world where it’s up to you to evolve a deadly global plague. With a pathogen that infected Patient Zero, you’re in charge to bring an end to human history.