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Adam Doppelt
almost 3 years ago • Seattle

iPhone game recommendations?

With the break approaching, does anybody have a game to recommend?

I can't stand "Pay to Win" games that hook you and proceed to drain your wallet, or games that plaster the screen with ads. Happy to pay extra for quality, especially games that have replay value. To get the ball rolling, I looked in my App Store history and made a list of my favorites:

Mainstream hits

A Dark Room • thoughtful idle game
Alto's Adventure • beautiful zen snowboarding
Ballz • homely yet addictive
Crashlands • crafting, exploration, outstanding game
Gorogoa • game of the year, gorgeous puzzler
Kingdom Rush • tower defense, best of the genre
Monument Valley • puzzler, has an excellent sequel too
Osmos • game of the year, classic
Threes • sliding tiles, launched a thousand clones
Where's My Water • game of the year, still fun

More exotic games

Dandy Dungeon • if you remember Katamari Damacy
Dungeon Warfare • tower defense
Epic Little War Game • strategy war game
Rogue Wizards • like diablo, very fun
Space Miner • I’ve played it through like 3 times
SteamWorld Heist • polished and worthy of repeat play
You Must Build A Boat • quirky RPG running game
18 replies
almost 3 years ago
Have you tried Genshin Impact? It's kind of a clone of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but on your iPhone or iPad. It does have some unique gameplay that differentiates it, and it certainly has more RPG characteristics than Zelda BOTW does.
almost 3 years ago
I recommend Bad North. It's fun, you can play through it multiple times since the landscape is generated new each time.
see - Bad North
almost 3 years ago
NYT Crossword Puzzle! Robin Warren Wasn't Monument Valley one of the ones you told me about?
almost 3 years ago
Great list, here are some of my favorites:

PvZ (Plants vs Zombies - original version) - the main campaign and all the challenges are very replayable
2048 - Once you get good, it's very meditative
Threes - Similar to 2048, but faster and with a twist
Drop7 - Tetris with a math twist
Lux DLX - very similar to Risk, with bots smart enough to make it challenging
Space Miner - a repeat from Adam's list, but very replayable
Tiny Wings - Simple, nicely designed, nicely progresses from easy to challenging

Apple Arcade (require sub, but no in-app purchases)
Grindstone - a mix of puzzle game and candy crush.
Monster's Expedition - Hop islands and solve puzzles
almost 3 years ago
The Room and its sequels are fun solo puzzle games with a consistent Lovecraftian aesthetic. Mostly linear and not complex, but diverting and fun for the mood that they set. And Lunar Flowers reminded me a bit of Monument Valley.
see - The Room
almost 3 years ago
There are many fantastic suggestions above. A few that I don't see, which I'd highly recommend are:

Holedown ($3.99) - perhaps the best block-breaking game on iOS
Reigns ($0.99) - a game where you run a kingdom by swiping left or right
Oh h1 (free) - a simple logic game that could be described as "binary sudoku"

(These games don't have any ads, although some cost money upfront.)
see - Holedown
see - Reigns
see - Oh h1
almost 3 years ago
A few that we like that I haven't seen mentioned:

Smash Hit
Cross Fingers
Dots (old but better than its sequels)
And just to brag, I'm on level 2,300 of candy crush without paying them a dime (definitely doesn't meet the criteria of few ads though).

NYTimes also has a few fun word games besides the Crossword: Spelling Bee & Letter Boxed
see - Smash Hit
see - Dots
almost 3 years ago
I got a Switch Lite because Pay to Win games were ruining my bank account like a bad gambling habit, so I appreciate this list.
almost 3 years ago
Mini Motorways (Apple Arcade) and Mini Metro ($3.99) are similar games by the same developer, and both lovely and nice diversions.
- Mini Motorways
- Mini Metro
almost 3 years ago
Krumits Tale is my favorite right now. Sorta a strategy board game with a few different modes and characters. Theres enough randomness that it has a lot of replayability
almost 3 years ago
Liz Pearce Monument Valley is great for puzzle lovers. Framed and Framed 2 are also great. Returner 77 is a puzzle game like The Room and sequels (which I loved) and has pretty graphics.
see - Framed
almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago
That article was great, thank you. I especially enjoyed the reviews for Persona 5 Royal, which takes a mere 130 hours to complete! Not sure how I missed Hades, a PC/console game of the year contender from the same people who made one of my other favorite games, Bastion. I gotta catch up on my PC gaming too.
almost 3 years ago
Hades is great. For phone games, Rymdkapsel and Super Hexagon.
see - Hades
almost 3 years ago
Trace is an old game that I used to enjoy playing. I think they have came out with a second one now. It is a fun puzzle game where you have to draw your character a path through the puzzle.
almost 3 years ago
Adam Doppelt I downloaded Gorogoa on your recommendation and burned through it in a few days. LOVED it! Thank you for the rec, although I’m a little sad it’s over 🙂
almost 3 years ago
Not a huge gamer anymore, but Universal Paperclips had me completely hooked for a few days
almost 3 years ago
Adam Loving Love that game, along with A Dark Room, Candy Box, Kittens Game and Trimps. A Dark Room was probably my favorite, though I've played Paperclips through twice... Those idle games are right up my alley.
almost 3 years ago