There are so many puzzle games floating around on the App Store, it can be hard to choose the right game to tickle your noggin. So after several days of non-stop puzzle-gaming research, we’ve come up with our own list of the seven best free puzzle games for iPhone to help you find the perfect one.
1. Flow Free
If you’re looking for a quick puzzle game in this list of best free puzzle games for iPhone to stimulate your brain while out and about, Flow Free is right up your alley. The game gives you the right balance of relaxing and challenging gameplay, which involves forming a pipeline to connect matching colors while completely filling the grid provided in as few moves as possible.
As one of the best iOS puzzle games without in-app purchases, Flow Free comes with ads, though they’re largely out of the way and primarily just banner ads that run along the bottom, in addition to full-screen commercials that play every five stages or so. You can also view ads as an option to obtain hints, and can opt to get rid of them altogether by paying $3.99.
Next up to other good free puzzle games for iPhone, we have Three!. In this game, you move cards around a four-by-four board, merging pairs, which then double in value. The snag? Every time you slide your finger, all cards on the board move in that direction, assuming they’re not blocked. The other snag: after every move, a new card shows up in a random empty spot on the board edge you dragged from.
Threes! Freeplay therefore becomes a delicate balancing act: you have to think several moves ahead because your game’s done when no more moves are available.
Cloned like crazy shortly after release, Threes! nonetheless shone compared to the countless cheap rip-offs, through its breezy personality and tighter rules. This free version is identical to the paid release, bar having to watch video ads to get extra goes. And, yes, you can queue up a load if you’re going to be offline for a while.
3. Cookie Cats
Cookie Cats is another must go for amazing free games for iPhone and iPad. The games will let you trace across at least three cookies of the same color to achieve objective-based goals within a set number of moves. Goals range from feeding a number of lovable kitties their corresponding cookies to knocking out pastries to cook waffles or keeping away the neighborhood dog.
Ads are largely non-existent in Cookie Cats. They’re more of an option that you can watch for perks like extra moves, items, and so on, to minimize distractions. The game can be played in either portrait or landscape mode to better suit your needs.
4. Dr. Mario World
Breaking up to the fourth game in the list of best free puzzle games for iPhone is Dr. Mario World. The idyllic Mushroom Kingdom is always in trouble, and this time is no different. With Dr. Mario World, you’ll need to don your lab coat alongside the lovable plumber to get rid of all the viruses plaguing the magical land. Gameplay is simple enough: just eliminate viruses with pills of matching colors. You need to be strategic with placement, however, as you only have a set amount of pills per stage.
5. FRIDAY THE 13TH: KILLER PUZZLE
You don’t usually associate sliding puzzles with lashings of gore, but then only slightly unhinged developers reason Soko-Ban should be smashed into Friday the 13th with a baseball bat.
Oddly, it all works brilliantly, with you sliding Jason about a tiled board to bludgeon his next victim, splattering your screen with cartoon gore. All the while, the levitating decapitated head of Jason’s mother offers sage advice.
Naturally, it won’t be for everyone. But if you can stomach loads of South Park-style violence, the actual puzzles (of which you get 100 for free) are suitably brain-smashing in an entirely different manner.
6. FLIPFLOP SOLITAIRE
Having already reimagined solitaire in Sage Solitaire, which combined the famous card game with poker, Zach Gage’s broken it entirely in FlipFlop Solitaire. Although what you get resembles Spider Solitaire, you can in this iOS game stack cards by counting upwards and downwards on a single stack.
7. Two Dots
Two Dots is the last game in the best free puzzle games for iPhone. Connecting dots has never been so fun and relaxing, and that’s what the simple Two Dots brings to the table. As its name implies, a minimum of two dots can be connected vertically and horizontally, but not diagonally. You can also connect long chains of dots for greater points, and even make squares to knock out any dots located inside them to save moves.
To make things more interesting, Two Dots has objective-based tasks — primarily collecting set numbers of dots — that must be completed within a given number of moves in order to progress to the next stage. The game gives you five lives to start with, which then regenerate every 20 minutes. With its simple, intuitive gameplay and practically non-existent ads, Two Dots comes highly recommended.