If you were to associate one game genre with smartphones, what would it be? Have a good think. Figure it out. We can wait.
Your conclusion might differ, but we’d go with the puzzler every day of the week. There’s simply no other game genre that has been such a constant since the App Store landed in 2008.
Game genre trends come and go – the line-drawing game, the tappy flier, the mobile MOBA, the idle game – but the puzzler remains strong and steadfast through it all.
Puzzlers didn’t start on mobile, of course. There’s a long and storied tradition of brilliant puzzle games way before people started playing games on their phones. But mobile gaming has undoubtedly embraced the puzzler like no other platform.
Part of that is down to the abstract simplicity of most puzzlers. They’re perfectly suited to a tiny screen. Related to that is the issue of control, with most puzzlers being simple enough to play with one or two prods of a touchscreen.
Then there’s the fact that you can typically devote as much or as little time to a puzzler as you like, and still feel suitably engaged and rewarded. That’s perfect for the temporal Polyfilla nature of mobile gaming, where the next bus could be five minutes away or the next plane could be five hours away.
Suffice to say, the following list of 25 top puzzlers couldn’t hope to prove comprehensive. But it is a handy snapshot of some of the best iOS puzzlers available right now.