The app store’s extensive collection of gaming apps has turned just about everyone into a gamer.
While they’re not always the deepest games on the planet, mobile games are often defined by their addictiveness. Even though many gaming apps are designed as five-minute distractions, iPhone users everywhere return to them time and time again. The best gaming apps provide a true adrenaline rush in just a few minutes time and ensure that you’ll never be able to truly put them down.
It almost makes us hesitant to even suggest the best gaming apps. Do we dare take up your valuable free time with these 20 games you won’t be able to stop playing? It’s a real moral dilemma, but at the end of the day, you need these apps on your iPhone.
20 Most Addicting iPhone Games
20. Hidden Folks
The basic concept of Hidden Folks will be instantly recognized by anyone who grew up on Where’s Waldo books or those hidden object puzzles. The game just asks you to scan a black-and-white landscape and locate certain people and items. Sounds simple, right?
Well, it is and it isn’t. Anyone can understand the basic concept of Hidden Folks, but it’s hard to beat each level. The game’s visual style makes it surprisingly difficult to identify individual objects. At the same time, Hidden Folks is never frustrating. Instead, it compels you to complete every objective by finding ways to make you wonder how you’re overlooking that final object.
19. Clicker Heroes
Remember Cookie Clicker; the surprisingly addictive game that just required you to click the screen? Well, Clicker Heroes is like a much better version of that concept.
Clicker Heroes looks like an epic role-playing game on the surface, but it’s actually a very simple game. You just click on monsters, earn gold, and level-up your character. However, the game makes the process of click combat so satisfying that you’ll spend hours clicking away before you realize how much time has passed.
Clicker Heroes is that rare game you play in five-minute bursts for years to come. It’s a must-have.
18. Mini Metro
Ever complained about how bad public transportation is in your city? Think you can do better? Mini Metro puts your theory to the test.
In Mini Metro, you just need to draw subway lines across your city in order to have the most efficient transportation possible. It’s simple enough at first, but the longer you play, the more and more things you become responsible for.
It’s that learning curve that makes Mini Metro so great. The game convinces you that you’re just one more try away from. More often than not, though, you’ll be playing for hours before you win.
17. Push & Pop
Push & Pop kind of came out of nowhere to become one of the most downloaded free gaming apps for a period of time.
This game’s concept couldn’t be simpler. You are a large white block in charge of pushing smaller blocks around a small grid.When you complete a line of blocks, you score points. It’s basically just a twist on the Tetris formula.
However, Push & Pop distinguishes itself via its surprisingly clever levels. You can easily block yourself into a corner in this game. Winning requires lightning fast reflexes and the ability to think ahead. It’s a very smart game executed to perfection.
16. Impossible Road
Generally speaking, games that use the word “impossible” in their title tend to try to live up to that word. Impossible Road is not an exception to that rule.
All you have to do in Impossible Road is touch the left side of the screen to turn left and the right side to turn right. Follow the road, and you win. If that sounds easy, that’s because you haven’t played Impossible Road yet.
The hairpin turns of Impossible Road are as daunting as those in “real” racing games. This app does an amazing job of locking you into a zen-like state.
One of the best board games ever made, Carcassonne, is also an exceptional iOS app.
In Carcassonne, you compete against other players to create a puzzle-like landscape. You score points by completing features like cities, roads, and farms. At the same time, other players are trying to prevent you from making the best plays. Once you run out of pieces, the player with the most points wins.
If you love putting together puzzles but wish that there was a way to make them competitive, Carcassonne is for you. You can finish a round in under 20 minutes, but you’ll play it forever.
14. Space Team
If you’ve somehow missed out on the phenomenon that is Space Team, allow us to fill you in.
Space Team asks you and other players to run a spaceship by managing a series of knobs, levers, and buttons. The catch is that everyone receives instructions that don’t apply to the buttons on their screen. Instead, you must shout out instructions to other players so they can perform the appropriate actions on their phone.
Space Team can only be mastered by players who demonstrate expert coordination, but that’s ok. The real fun of the game comes from enjoying how the whole thing devolves into fits of laughter.
Blizzard’s Hearthstone is considered to be one of the most addictive games ever made.
If you’ve never played a collectible card game (CCG) before, Hearthstone is a great place to start. It requires you to build a deck of minions, spells, and weapons. You then play against other players’ decks – or the computer – and try to beat their hero before they do the same.
There’s a lot of complexity to Hearthstone, but you don’t need to bother with it if you don’t want to. Instead, you can enjoy an endless series of 15-minute matches that will consume your gaming hours if you let them.
12. Clash Royale
Clash Royale is one of the most popular gaming apps in the world, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Clash Royale combines card games with tower defense titles. Every match requires you to use character and item cards to build a base and attack your enemy. By successfully managing your resources, you will – probably – ultimately win the day.
While some might say that Clash Royale is a bit too simple for its own good, there’s no denying that the game nails its particular formula. Games are lightning fast, victory feels incredible, and defeat will send you down a spiral of more and more matches.
Is Beat Sneak Bandit a puzzle game? A stealth title? A music game? The answer is “yes.”
Each level in Beat Sneak Bandit requires you to collect a series of clocks while avoiding detection. The catch is that you must tap the screen to the beat of the game’s music in order to successfully navigate each area. Given that the beat of each level can change incredibly fast…well, things certainly get hairy in a hurry.
Beat Sneak Bandit teaks a little time to really “get,” but once you do, you’ll have a very hard time pulling yourself away from it.
It’s impossible to identify the best iOS puzzle game, but Threes! is certainly a top candidate.
In Threes!, you will arrange a series of titles featuring numbers divisible by three. When you combine matching numbers – such as three and three – you’re given a larger single tile in its place. The goal is to build the largest numbers possible without filling the space on the board.
While that may sound like a puzzle game for math fans, Threes! really is for everyone. The basic arithmetic is simple enough, and the game’s true strategy comes from mastering tile placement and positioning.
Super Hexagon is a game that will absolutely break your mind.
All you have to do in Super Hexagon is move a triangle around a hexagon-shaped space and avoid touching any of the incoming walls. The game can be explained in seconds and – theoretically – beaten in minutes. However, you will likely never, ever beat this game.
That’s ok, though, because Super Hexagon is all about the attempt. You’ll need instantaneous reflexes to even have a hope of getting through the game’s tougher levels. You’ll never get too frustrated, though, because trying to beat them is just so much fun.
There’s a new genre of games out there called Battle Royale. If you’re not familiar with them, then Fortnite is a great place to start.
Fortnite drops 100 players onto a small island populated with items, weapons, and building resources. The goal is to be the last person standing. Complicating your goal is the fact that the area you’re allowed to play in is constantly shrinking. That means that hiding from everyone else will only last so long.
Fortnite’s cartoonish style, simple mechanics, and building systems make it arguably the most popular Battle Royale game on the market. Its recent iOS version is as good as the game has ever been.
Of course, Fortnite isn’t the only Battle Royale game out there. Actually, Fortnite is just capitalizing on the success of a game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
PUBG – as it’s commonly called – follows the same basic concept mentioned for Fortnite. There are 100 players, a small map, and it’s last-man-standing. However, PUBG is much more realistic and tense. Victory requires expert aim, real survival skills, and the ability to anticipate where the enemy is going.
If you’re looking for a more intense take on this concept, then we’d recommend PUBG over Fortnite. Either way, you’ll be playing these games for hours to come.
Ridiculous Fishing is one of the older games on this list, but it’s just as addictive as ever.
On the surface, Ridiculous Fishing is just a fishing game. You cast a line, reel some fish in, and score points based on your haul. Instead, it’s the “Ridiculous” part of the game’s title that makes it so special.
Ridiculous Fishing requires you to utilize a series of crazy items in order to catch larger and larger fish. There’s enough genuine skill to the fishing system to make you feel like you’re getting better, but the real fun comes from getting the biggest and best items at you progress.
5. Mega Dead Pixel
Mega Dead Pixel doesn’t just have a cool name; it’s legitimately one of the most addictive games out there.
Mega Dead Pixel is described as an “Endless Faller.” If you’ve ever played an endless runner – like Temple Run – you’ll be familiar with the basic concept. Dead Pixel just requires you to guide a pixelated hero down a series of vertical courses. Avoid every obstacle, and you’re good to go.
Pixel’s fun graphics and soundtrack certainly bolster its appeal, but its main draw is its simple gameplay. You’d think that it would be repetitive, but Mega Dead Pixel packs a surprising amount of depth.
4. Pigeon Wings
Pigeon Wings is a frustrating game to talk about. We can explain the premise in extreme detail, but it’s difficult to explain what makes it so good.
Basically, Pigeon Wings is all about the adrenaline it instills in you. This simplified racing game features nothing more complicated than a few controls and some 2D levels, but the speed of its action makes it a mini-masterpiece.
By the time that you get into the game’s most challenging levels, you’ll find that you’ll start losing track of time. That makes Pigeon Wings a dangerous game, but a great one.
Apple named Splitter Critters the best gaming app of 2017, and few people have found a reason to argue with them.
Splitter Critters initially appears to be a super simple 2D platformer, but it packs a mean twist. In order to navigate each level, you’ll need to “cut” each map and build your own platforms and puzzle solutions.
That single, simple, brilliant mechanic makes Splitter Critters one of the best puzzle experiences in recent memory. Levels make clever use of the snipping system and will completely change the way that you look at video game levels.
2. HQ Trivia
HQ might just be the most revolutionary gaming app in years.
In case you’re somehow unfamiliar, HQ is a live trivia game that runs twice a day. Hundreds of thousands of players are asked to answer a series of increasingly complicated questions. Manage to be among the last players standing, and you’ll win your share of the very real prize money.
If you’ve ever watched shows like Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? and wondered how you would fare in such a contest, HQ is the closest that most of us will come to finding out. It’s appointment gaming.
Do you enjoy swiping on Tinder but wish you could do so without involving the emotions of real people? Reigns: Her Majesty is for you.
Her Majesty is the brilliant follow-up to the original Reigns. Both games present you with a series of characters and obstacles that require you to either swipe left or right in order to make a decision. The ultimate goal is to make your reign last for as long as possible.
While this is basically a choose your own adventure game, there are enough mechanics under your control in play that will ensure you’re swiping well into the night.
Is there a gaming app that you just can’t quit no matter how hard you try? Let us know about it in the comments below.