Mobile gaming is big business with the respective Apple and Google Play stores being flooded with hundreds of new apps and games every single day. Spending the time to separate the memorable mobile experiences from the ones that are uninstalled from your phone on the same day can be a daunting task for even the most dedicated mobile gamer though.
Puzzle games in particular are in large supply thanks to them being easy to develop and perfectly suited to the small spurts of gameplay that takes place on our mobile devices in between our busy days. Unfortunately these puzzle games are also often plagued by copycat experiences and overloaded with ads or microtransactions that detract from the experience.
If you’ve got a keen interest in a game that’s not only enjoyable over a long period of time but also going to stimulate your brain with perplexing puzzles this list of 10 best puzzle games for iOS and Android offers up 10 fantastic mobile puzzle apps along with its available platform and price tag.
Threes! was one of the first number-based puzzles which inspired many similar games, such as the also popular 2048. It’s second claim to fame is that it ironically took a player just over 3 years to reach the end of the game ensuring it won’t be a puzzle game that you can beat in a single afternoon.
The premise of Threes! requires players to match tiles numbered 1 and 2 to create 3s which slowly fill up the 4×4 game. From here you’ll have to keep the matches flowing by combining two 3 tiles to create a 6 and so on all while ensuring you don’t run out of space on the grid. These mechanics are part of the game’s longevity with a design that truly embodies the simple to learn but hard to master mantra of all successful puzzle games.
A free (ad supported) version is available on both iOS and Android with a paid version removing all game ads.
9. Zookeeper Battle
There is no shortage of match three titles filling up the mobile game stores in 2019 but very few are offering anything of new to the formula. It’s this lack of innovation in the match three genre that lands Zookeeper Battle on our list, a game that features classic well-known mechanics but adds an element of progression and even competitive PvP.
With over 10 million downloads across iOS and Android Zookeeper Battle has no shortage of opponents to challenge either as you match the blocky animal game tiles faster and more strategically than your opponent. Zookeeper Battle doesn’t limit itself to competitive gameplay though with a wealth of content and progression in the quest and boss systems that offer up items, animals and objects to create a spectacular zoo that you can call your own.
Zookeeper Battle is available for free on both iOS and Android.
Another innovative title on this of best puzzle games for iOS and Android with Mekorama, a title that lets the community create their own puzzling levels. In Mekorama you’ll control your own cute little robot character as they attempt to traverse the dangerous game levels to reach the end objective.
Obstacles that stand in your way in Mekorama will mostly consistent of various types of moving blocks requiring careful timing and planning to overcome. The tiny level designs also make for some intriguing puzzles where paths will often overlap in unique ways. While the 50 base game levels won’t prove terribly difficult for a puzzle veteran to overcome the relaxing and charming level design combined with the wealth of community created levels make Mekorama hard not to install and even create your own levels for.
Mekorama is free for iOS and Android based on a “pay what you like” system which does unlock in game hints if you wish to partake in a purchase.
7. Alphabear: Word Puzzle Game
Opting to avoid numbers to create its puzzle experience Alphabear uses words to test your brain’s grey matter. If you’re a fan of the likes of Words With Friends then the cute and varied gameplay of Alphabear may just be your next addictive puzzle adventure.
Mechanically Alphabear is played on a range of game boards to keep the word puzzles fresh and interesting across the 9 campaigns with the game utilising simple touch controls to spell out words for points. Once letters are used in creating a word they’ll be converted into a cute bear and the game board expanded with more letters. The difficulty in Alphabear though arises from letters only being available for a certain number of turns before turning into stones and reducing the points you can obtain which is often the goal post for passing the level and moving on to the next one.
Gameplay is Alphabear is further supported with a number of different bear characters that have their own abilities that alter gameplay in slight ways. Collections these bears also provides a constant source of progression alongside finding a bear that suits your preferred playstyle.
Alphabear is free to play on iOS and Android and relies on in app purchases.
A more atmospheric puzzle game for number 6 on this list Prune is not shy of winning awards which includes TIME Magazine’s Game of the Year (2015) and iOS App Store Best of 2015. Despite the games age it is still worthy of your attention for its fantastic aesthetic and unique puzzle design. Your objective in Prune is to cut away at branches of your growing tree in order to help it grow further towards the ultimate goal, sunlight. With sunlight comes the birth of flowers on your otherwise barren tree branches and allows you to move along onto the next level.
While simple in design Prune does ensure its levels are still challenging by requiring players to bend their tree around all sorts of obstacles. All up there is nearly 50 levels of Prune to overcome with the game never breaking its immersion thanks to a one-time purchase without ads.
5. Human Resource Machine
Human Resource Machine didn’t start its life as a mobile title but that doesn’t stop it from offering a fantastic mobile puzzle challenge. Based on programming languages Human Resource Machine tasks players with completing a wide range of objectives by providing instructions in a particular sequence.
A consistent theme throughout the 40 levels are two conveyor belts, boxes with alphanumeric characters and your little officer worker which you control. With this information laid out you’ll have to use the available commands such as copy from, jump, inbox and outbox to move boxes from the inbox into your outbox in line with the specific parameters for the level.
Human Resource Machine is an ideal mobile puzzle game if you’ve ever been interested in coding languages and is available on iOS and Android for a one-time purchase. The game is also available on Steam and Nintendo platforms (Switch and Wii U).
A puzzle game that challenges you to reach a score of 10,000,000 while adopting match three inspired gameplay and also includes elements of RPG and rouge lite in its game design. 10,000,000 is a game all about increasing your power through items and upgrades to tackle increasingly tougher game bosses to achieve that ultimate aggregate score of 10,000,000.
Obtaining these items and upgrades requires players to collect vital materials such as wood and gold by engaging with the match three portion of the game which also has an element of time pressure thrown in where failing to make the right matches will send you back to the home screen to upgrade your gear and try again.
10,000,000 is a paid app for iOS and Android and ideal for the gamer that enjoys a rouge lite adventure but also wants a puzzle game for their device.
3. Monument Valley 2
No list of the best iOS and Android puzzle games would be complete without a Monument Valley game, a series that contains 2 games released in 2014 and 2017. Played from an isometric view Monument Valley 2 contains similar mechanics to the original with your overarching objective to guide Ro through a series of mazes based on optical illusions.
A recurring mechanic is your ability to change the layout of a level by interacting with the environment to reveal a hidden or unexpected path to your objective and it’s this discovery that makes the Monument Valley series so enjoyable. As such the game is best played without the use of external walkthroughs and hints.
Monument Valley 2 is a slightly larger adventure than the first game increasing the number of game chapters from 10 up to 14 while still maintaining the unique aesthetic and level design of the original.
Monument Valley 2 is available on iOS and Android as a paid app. The original game is also still available and slightly cheaper than the sequel if you are on the fence.
An iOS exclusive puzzle title although you can have a taste of the game within your browser if you don’t want to miss out on the adventure entirely. Windosil is a puzzle game about experimentation and discovery with all strange manner of objects to interact with on each game level. Your tools are taps, swipes, and holds on your device which will activate, move and morph objects in the level in unexpected ways.
All of this interactivity is done to find the white cube key that unlocks the next door and move your wooden block train through it. While your objective is a simple one completing it will prove anything but straightforward with game levels that are each uniquely out of this world often requiring players to uncover the correct series of events to unlock the door.
Windosil is available for iOS as a paid purchase with half of the game available for free on the official website to play in your browser.
Playing with shadows is the focus of Shadowmatic with design seemingly inspired by the likes of children shadow puppets. Similar to Prune Shadowmatic has earned a wealth of awards for the unique mind-bending gameplay that it offers. Best of all the breadth of levels available exceeds 100 making it also one of the best value for money games from this list of top mobile games. These 100 levels are broken down into 12 unique rooms that come with their own beautiful concept, theme and music to explore.
Actual gameplay in Shadowmatic involves players manipulating and rotating strange objects in order to make a shadow on the wall based on the level requirements. From a fish to cupid or a wrench each of the items to create out of shadow are unique and created by rotating 1, 2 or even 3 floating objects.
Shadowmatic is a paid game for both iOS and Android although the Android version allows you to play the first 14 levels for free.
Those are our picks for the top 10 best puzzle games for iOS and Android, did you agree with our picks or have your own favourite puzzle games to play on your mobile phone?
This top ten list was written by Samuel Franklin as a guest author. Samuel is the webmaster of Gameslikefinder.com and is a passionate gamer who enjoys video games across all genres with a particular interest in the independent development scene, he has been writing about video games and producing videos on his YouTube channel since 2008.