Smartphone touchscreen controls offer a unique opportunity for puzzle game developers. Our pocket devices are uniquely suited for clever puzzle games because they're easy to pick up and play whenever you have a few free moments. If you're looking for a game to test your brain, check some of these out.
And when you're done here, be sure to check out our best games for Android!
Do you like great writing, colorful characters, challenging puzzles, and explosions? Then Bomb Club is just the game for you. Featuring a charming cast of safety-minded bomb enthusiasts, Bomb Club has you make your way through a huge map of puzzle levels, all based around the art of setting off bombs.
The goal in each level is to set off every bomb on the stage, with added bonuses if you can also set off optional fireworks. This may sound overly simple, but the game weaves a lot of intricacy into itself through the use of different types of bombs. Laser bombs, mega bombs, baby bombs and so many more will all have to be used and placed with strategic precision if you want to beat the level and maximize your score.
You'll leave no bomb behind as you work to uncover a mystery hiding at the center of this story, all while being entertained by Bomb Club's hilarious dialogue and quirky characters. Best of all, Bomb Club is 100% free, there are no ads, and the only in-app purchases are for optional post-game DLC. Bomb Club is a total winner, so go pick it up right now!
Brain It On!
Brain It On! is an addictive physics-based puzzle game that requires you to think outside the box to solve each level. Using your finger or a stylus, you draw lines, shapes, weighted objects, or whatever else you think will solve each screen. Sounds simple, right?
Things get progressively more challenging and creative as you progress through over 200 levels, with stars awarded for completing the level, finishing under the time limit, and minimizing the number of shapes used to solve. In the free version, future levels can be unlocked by earning stars. You can pay just to remove ads, or remove ads and add hints.
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor is a great physics-based puzzle game in its own right, but this spin-off takes the concept and adds in all the wacky elements from Portal and Aperture Laboratories. There are 60 test chambers to complete using portals, along with propulsion and repulsion gels all while avoiding deadly lasers, pits of acid, and sentient turrets.
It's an outstanding cross-over title that provides a challenge that will delight fans of Bridge Constructor and Portal alike. It's an absolute delight to play with tons of Portal references and it even features Google Play Games achievements to aid in the replayability!
Chess Light is more of a puzzle game that takes obvious inspiration from Chess than an actual chess game. It might have appeared in our best chess games roundup, but it certainly belongs here, too! You have over 180 puzzles at your disposal and six difficulty levels.
There's a hint system for you if you get stuck, but where's the fun in that? Chess Light is free with no ads, so have at it! It can get really challenging, but I encourage you to stick with it.
The Eyes of Ara
Ever play Riven or Myst? The Eyes of Ara is in much the same vein — an open-ended adventure where you solve puzzles, unlock clues, and uncover pieces of the story bit by bit. It's a bit obtuse, but that's what makes it enjoyable and nostalgic. Riven was not an easy game for younger me to beat, so I have a soft spot for games like this.
The 3D environment is stellar and looks good for a mobile game. It's a premium title that doesn't contain any ads or IAPs, so you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the intense puzzler fun. It took me a little while to beat, so you're getting a lot for your money.
MC Esher would be damn proud of hocus, a mind-bending, perspective-based puzzle game that is easy to play, challenging to master, and lets you create and play other user-created puzzles. Your goal is to get the cube to the red finish marker as fast and efficiently as you can.
There are over 100 official puzzles, which require you to swipe to move a cube around the shape. When you hit an intersection between two paths, you can completely change direction along a different path. It's glorious in its minimalism and easy to drop several hours into.
The House of Da Vinci
The House of a Da Vinci is a 3D puzzler that requires you to solve various puzzles (duh), escape from certain rooms, explore and find hidden objects, and otherwise have a good time. It asks you to pay attention to your surroundings and to keep your wits about you.
The touch controls are well-optimized, never giving me any trouble as I navigated the game world. The aesthetic and setting are interesting and special, with plenty of mechanical puzzles and cool setpieces. Finally, the story is good enough to keep you going and wondering what's going on.
I Love Hue & I Love Hue Too
I Love Hue and its sequel, I Love Hue Too, are two of the most soothing, addicting puzzle games on the market right now. I Love Hue is a minimalistic, psychadelic exercise in logic and color. You drag and drop colored tiles around a grid until the spectrum is chromatically perfect. Varity comes in the form of different tiles being fixed in place for each level, along with the sheer variation of which colors are bleeding into each other.
The sequel, I Love Hue Too, still hinges on the core elements of color perception and tile rearrangement, but ramps everything up to 11 with the addition of wild new geometric patterns, creating an extra layer of challenge. There are also six new synth tracks to back up the ambience, which fans of the original game will no doubt adore.
Both titles include over 900 levels each, so you're looking at a whopping 1,800 mosaics between the two to work your way through at your leisure. Considering the fact that these games are free with ads, the I Love Hues are a stellar deal in the puzzle landscape.
Lara Croft GO
Tomb Raider's Lara Croft is back in this challenging entry that adds new wrinkles to the turn-based puzzles introduced with Hitman GO. Lara Croft is athletic and adventurous, and her GO game reflects that with turn-based puzzles that have her dodging boobytraps and deadly enemies as you work your way through 115 levels split into seven chapters.
It's an award-winning game that lures you in with its outstanding visuals and keeps you playing with its increasingly challenging puzzles. There are unlockables and some harrowing turn-based action that keeps you engaged. Like Hitman GO, there are several ways of completing a level.
Released a couple of years after Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, it's easy to see the influence it likely had on Mekorama. Thankfully for Mekorama, it is just as delightful, and perhaps even a bit more challenging, than Treasure Tracker. Mekorama is a 3D puzzle game featuring a truly adorable robot making its way through blocky dioramas. For only having one gigantic eye and no voice, the robot is one of the key parts of the game that makes it so memorable thanks to its surprising ability to convey emotion and its super cute stretchy, floppy limbs.
Gameplay is very simple, you just tap around the screen to move your little mechanical pal, swipe to the sides to rotate levels 360 degrees for a better view, and drag blocks/parts of the levels marked with a circle icon to rearrange levels and create paths forward. Your goal is to guide the robot to the end point of each level. Easy, right? In theory, yes, but in practice, this ultra charming puzzler has some impressive tricks up its sleeves and you may find yourself scratching your head more than one.
There are 50 levels to make your way through, along with some optional extras to up the ante and make things even more difficult for those looking for a true mind bender. Don't be afraid to pick this game up though; when you complete one level, you unlock 5 more so you can swap around if you ever feel like you're stuck. Free with ads and in-app purchases, Mekorama is an adorable 3D puzzle game that is sure to delight!
Mini Metro is an award-winning subway simulator that is steeped with puzzle elements. You're tasked with drawing up subway lines that connect the various stations that pop up as your city expands. You need to make sure passengers arrive where they need to go in a timely fashion, which often requires re-drawing your lines to be more efficient.
With a brilliant minimalist aesthetic, a responsive soundtrack that's fleshed out by the subway lines you build, and a ton of different game modes to enjoy, you will fall in love with Mini Metro. It's probably the best game to play when you're actually on the metro.
Monument Valley is an award-winning puzzle game that features outstanding art and sound design. You play as Ida, a princess who must find her way through fantastical structures, which you must manipulate and change to complete the path and help her reach her goal.
The controls are simple: tap to move the princess while discovering the different ways you can move the surrounding structures. It's an intuitive experience that forces you to look at things from a different perspective.
The sequel, Monument Valley 2, is much of the same, but in a good way. There are a few additional twists on the formula, but if you liked the first one, you'll appreciate the sequel.
The best puzzle games are deceptively simple to play while offering a brain-busting challenge. This describes Patterns, a logic game that has you rotate pieces to create shapes of different sizes. Each puzzle tells you how many shapes to make and how many pieces can be connected for each one.
I swear, sometimes the puzzle looks impossible, and then suddenly it just comes together. If you want to put logic skills to the test, then this is a game you have to check out. There are two modes, a timed and a freeplay one; the former is aimed at people who want the stress and challenge.
Patterns is free to play, although you can buy the developer a cup of coffee via an in-app purchase to remove ads.
Did you know that "piffle" is actually a real word in the real English language? I certainly did not, but having played the game first, the definition—"nonsense"—ironically makes perfect sense. Piffle is a delightful, silly, nonsensical block-breaking puzzler that has kept me coming back for months. In Piffle, you play as an adorable little person dressed in a cat suit on a quest to save their dog from the villainous Doc Block.
How exactly are you going to save your dog? By chucking piffles — squishy bouncey cat heads (it's not gross or creepy, I swear) — at blocks to clear your path to the boss, of course! It's a ridiculous premise for an equally ridiculous game. Piffle manages to breath new life into its genre with a super sleek UI, great graphics, simple controls, and loads of mechanics and power-ups that make levels more interesting.
Largely a geometry puzzler, you need to eliminate all blocks in a stage before they make it to the ground. You have a limited amount of piffles and blocks have a predetermined threshold for how many hits are needed to break them, so your job is to figure out ways to maximize bounce and power to get the job done. Simple concept, fantastic execution. Piffle is also free with non-intrusive ads and in-app purchases. An amazing value for an amazing little puzzle game.
The Room series
The Room is a widely celebrated puzzle franchise developed by Fireproof Games for mobile. There are four games in the series that each offer hours of challenging puzzle fun. They're reminiscent of point-and-click classic adventure series like Myst and Siberia that you can easily sink many hours into, so you've been warned.
The latest game in the series is The Room: Old Sins, which we've linked to below, but the whole series is worth checking out if you love a good puzzle. Each of The Room games is a premium title without ads or microtransactions and they're just spooky enough to keep you on your toes.
Unlike the incredibly soothing entries right above this, Samsara Room is quietly creepy, opaque, and surprsingly challenging. From the makers of the Cube Escape games, Rusty Lake's Samsara Room is actually a companion to other entries in the Rusty Lake universe of games. However, you can easily play it a standalone game and have little trouble navigating and enjoying the experience if you're not familiar with any of the other titles in the series.
The unspoken story is a big draw so we won't give any of that away. All you need to know is that you make your way through a room that is much more than it seems beyond those innocuous pastel green walls. You'll need to really flex those brain wrinkles to put two and two together sometimes so don't feel bad if you need to enlist the aid of a walkthrough.
Samsara Room is free with in-app purchases, but you'll really never need them. You can play the game one small puzzle piece at a time or have a long sit down session on a rainy day and work you way through the mystery all at once. Not including any time you may spent stuck, Samsara Room takes about 1-3 hours to complete. This superb mystery is one you do not want to miss!
Threes! is a fun and surprisingly cute number-based puzzle game where your goal is to swipe around the grid and match like numbers. You have to be strategic because if you fill-up the board and run out of moves it's game over! It's a simple game, but man can you spend hours trying to master it.
For a truly unfettered experience, you'll want to buy the full game for no ads or distractions. If you'd prefer to save your money, there's a free-to-play version, but you have to watch ads to earn more plays. It's a bit of steep price for a game of this type, but when the final product is this good, I'm more than happy to support indie developers.
Seriously, check this one out if you live time-killing puzzlers.
Total Party Kill
Most games that present you with a small party of playable heroes with unique skills challenge you to reach the goal while trying to keep everyone alive. This is not the case in Total Party Kill, where sacrifices must be made and only one hero — either your sword-wielding Knight, ice spell-casting Wizard, or ace archer Ranger — needs to successfully reach the exit of the 60 deadly dungeons presented in this game.
There's plenty of strategy, puzzle, and platforming action in Total Party Kill. It's a must-play game for any fans of retro platformers or quick puzzle games. And if you like quirky humor, then you'll get a kick out of Total Party Kill.
Turn It On!
Turn It On is all about solving black box puzzles with gears, levers, cogs, switches, dials, and more. Some of these challenges are quite intense and will really push you. You not only need to figure out what each thing does, but also the correct timings to eventually solve the puzzle.
The best part about this game is that you'll have no idea what's going on from the outset. That's part of its mystique and fun factor. But if things get a bit too easy for you, there are additional badges to chase, which you earn by completing levels quickly. This game surprised me with how fun it is and it's definitely a hidden gem on the Play Store.
Like all the best puzzle games, Two Dots is simple to learn, difficult to master, and highly addictive. This is the sequel to the wildly popular Dots game and the objective remains the same: connect as many dots of the same color as you can. The sequel brings new skills to the table, along with 900+ levels to work through.
Once you've completed the first 10 levels, which act as a tutorial, Two Dots offers a linear adventure of sorts in Treasure Hunt, and you unlock a new mode called Expedition once you've reached level 35. There's plenty of variety, fun, and adorable minimalism to keep you going. The soundtrack is something special, too.
Challenge yourself with a new puzzle game!
Puzzle games are among the best games to play on your phone — though there are lots of other games we love.
Any of the games on this list are well worth the money, but if you want to puzzle for free I'd highly recommend downloading Bomb Club, probably the best free puzzler on this list. It's funny, it's fun, and it gets more and more challenging as you go.
If you're down to spend a bit of money, you can't go wrong with the Monument Valley series, which are some of the most beautifully-designed games in the entire Play Store and feature hours of puzzle challenges. I also need to shout out Bridge Constructor Portal because it's the perfect crossover between two great games and is probably the closest we'll ever get to a new Portal game.
Updated January 2022: Added Piffle to our list!
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