Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

best iphone games

If you’re a gamer, there is no better phone to buy than the iPhone. Both the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus brought bigger screens to iOS, but it’s the success of the App Store that makes the iPhone such a great platform for gaming. With more than a million apps, the gaming options on the iPhone are nearly limitless. But finding the best iPhone games isn’t always easy.

Not every game in Apple’s massive library is worth a $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 our best iPhone games, whether you’re looking for a casual puzzler or something a bit more biblical. 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.

Trivia games

HQ

best iphone games hq

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.

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iTunes

Trivia Crack

best iphone games triviacrack

With Trivia Crack, you can play your friends, random opponents, or even yourself. By spinning the wheel, you’ll land on a category such as entertainment, sports, geography, and more. Once you collect all of the different icons, you win the game.

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iTunes

Sporcle

best iphone games sporacle

Sporcle provides you with a variety of different brain teasers to solve across a wide range of topics like television, geography, and sports. There are also new quizzes and challenges added every day.

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iTunes

Jeopardy

best iphone games jeopardy

With Jeopardy! World Tour, you can take Alex Trebek and his challenging questions with you. You can play random opponents, answer questions from thousands of clues and categories, and earn free power-ups along the way.

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iTunes

QuizUp

best iphone games quizup

QuizUp is not only a destination for all things trivia, but it also has a social media flair to it. You can play based on questions asked about your favorite topics and also post your thoughts and interact with others via the QuizUp newsfeed.

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iTunes

Action and Adventure games

Dragon Hills 2 ($3)

In Dragon Hills 2, you get to fight against the zombie apocalypse on a mechanical dragon. Discover lands filled with dragons, giants, zombies, and more, while sliding down hills and destroying everything in your path.

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iTunes

Marvel: Contest of Champions 

In Marvel: Contest of Champions, your favorite superheroes and villains face off the ultimate showdown. You can build your own team or create one with friends to form an alliance. Throughout the game, you also have the chance to expand your pool of characters, level up, and receive synergy bonuses.

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iTunes

Limbo ($4)

best iPhone games: limbo

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.

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iTunes

Ocmo ($5)

Ocmo is a game that’s a bit on the darker side — you’re tasked with killing ragdoll rabbits as you control Ocmo through different environments. As you advance throughout the game, the obstacles become more difficult as you try to navigate Ocmo towards the rabbits without killing Ocmo yourself. With 80 levels and over ten hours of gameplay, you’ll have plenty of time getting to know the little creature and how to successfully complete each level.

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iTunes

Vikings: an Archer’s Journey ($3)

best iPhone games: Vikings: an archer's journey

In Vikings: an Archer’s Journey you control the character Nott, a Valkyrie who has been sent to the Underworld by the Viking gods. You must use your keen archery skills to conquer the enemies you encounter along the way.

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iTunes

Life Is Strange ($3)

Originally released in 2015 on PC and consoles, Life Is Strange is available for iOS. In the game, you’ll follow the story of Max Caulfield who finds herself, alongside her best friend, investigating the disappearance of a student at their high school. The five-part episodic game allows you to rewind time which then affects the past, present, and future.

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iTunes

Old Man’s Journey ($5)

old man's journey

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.

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iTunes

Puzzle games

Frost ($5)

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.

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iTunes

hocus. ($1)

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.

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iTunes

Poly Bridge ($5)

best iPhone games: poly bridge

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.

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iTunes

GNOG ($5)

With GNOG, you can interact with each puzzle through different motions — pulling, sliding, grabbing, pressing, clicking, and rotating. With each movement, you uncover what is hidden inside each quirky-looking monster head. The game also has optional augmented reality support, which allows you to bring each toy to life on a flat surface.

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iTunes

TypeShift

best iPhone games: typeshift

Part word search, part crossword puzzle, part anagram, TypeShift challenges your vocabulary and your ability to recognize words in jumbled letters. It presents rows and columns of letters that can be “shifted” up and down to form words between three and seven characters long. In the game’s traditional mode, all letters need to be used at least once before you can progress, while the more difficult Clue Puzzles provides a crossword-style list of hints to guide you to the proper answers. If you’re a fan of crosswords, word searches, or simply discovering new words, TypeShift is a game you need to check out.

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iTunes

Monument Valley 2 ($5)

best iPhone games: monument valley 2

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.

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iTunes

Linelight ($2)

Linelight is a very minimalist puzzle game that can become complex very quickly. You control a simple line in a world made of lines, and it’s up to you to navigate a series of puzzles that will challenge your problem-solving skills. The game’s soothing music will keep you calm and relaxed, while subtle hints and other objects in the world attempt to teach you what needs to be done to progress. Linelight can be played by children and adults and, with 6 worlds and over 200 puzzles, you’ll have plenty to keep your mind occupied.

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iTunes

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.

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iTunes

Prune ($2)

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 its branches begin to twist and intertwine.

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iTunes

San Giorli 

Set in the city of San Giorli, your mission is to bring back the cyberpunk atmosphere it once had. Through a series of 23 physics-based puzzles, players orbit the spacecraft, remove obstacles, analyze circuits, and more. The unique and vibrant graphics are also accompanied by musical composition to complement the storyline.

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iTunes

Role-playing games

Stranger Things

Any die-hard Stranger Things fans will be happy to know the adventure doesn’t end with the last episode. In the mobile game, you get to explore Hawkins, collect Eggos, and unlock areas you haven’t seen before. While you originally start out playing as Jim Hopper, progressing through the game gives you the opportunity to play as Lucas, Nancy, and all the other characters.

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iTunes

Solitairica ($4)

Solitairica is similar to Solitaire in the sense that it’s essentially a card game. You’re supposed to get rid of other cards by playing one that is of a lower or higher number but as you continue playing, the enemy will attempt to make it harder for you to clear your cards. As you continue to progress in the game, you are introduced to all different types of cards, spells, and weapons.

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iTunes

Platforming games

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Nintendo has officially released a mobile version of Animal Crossing, but it’s a little different than past versions. With Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, you’ll trade in the title of mayor for campsite manager. In order to help decorate your campsite, you’ll have to complete tasks for animals who reward you with currency and crafting materials.

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iTunes

Super Mario Run

best iPhone games: super mario run

Nintendo’s first official release for iOS sees the mustachioed marvel in a new role — namely, flying through levels at maximum velocity. The free version is a bit lacking, but a one-time investment of $10 unlocks the whole Mushroom Kingdom for your speed-running pleasure.

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iTunes

Robot Unicorn Attack 2

best iPhone games: robot unicorn attack 2

The second installment of the tongue-in-cheek Robot Unicorn Attack sports more than just updated visuals. New challenges and customization add depth to the endless runner, one set to Erasure’s Always.

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iTunes

Strategy games

Reigns: Her Majesty ($3)

Reigns: Her Majesty is the sequel to last year’s Reigns. But with this version, you have to make important decisions as queen — ones that could alter your dynasty or your reputation on the throne. By swiping left and right through a deck of cards, you’re asked to make decisions by a variety of different characters when it comes to raising taxes or even abolishing alcohol. Be careful though, some of your choices could lead the queen to death.

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iTunes

The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Heroes of Skyrim (Free)

There’s no shortage of fantasy collectible card games thanks to the likes of Hearthstone, Gwent, and now, The Elder Scrolls: Legends. If you’re at all familiar with Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls series, specifically Skyrim, you’ll recognize many of the dragons and characters that populated the world. The game offers hours upon hours of things to do, be it the solo story mode, playing against friends and strangers in ranked play, drafting a deck, or creating your own to find unique card combinations. Whether collectible card games are your forte, or you’re new to the concept, The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Heroes of Skyrim will make you feel right at home.

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iTunes

Clash of Clans

best iPhone games: clash of clans

Build up your settlement, plan your defenses, raise an army, and guide your tribe to victory against nasty goblins or other clan leaders. It’s a good combination of slow planning and quick, chaotic battles. Unfortunately, the pay-to-win structure is irksome.

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iTunes