September was a month of puzzle games, and honestly it’s a miracle that there are as many games as there are on this list that are not puzzles. The best mobile games are short and sweet and allow for a quick place to escape from the real world just for a bit, when you may not have the time to sit down and play a longer game that you would usually go for on a gaming console. Most of these games are simple, but enjoyable.
#10. Dungeons and Miners
This game is on the list primarily because it is gorgeous. The art style is completely pixelated, yet still manages to create picturesque scenes of lush forests and little villages full of detail and vibrant color. The music is great as well, mystical yet calming. Dungeons and Miners drops the player into a fantasy world where they must use their trusty sword to battle demons and collect treasure. The quests usually involve helping out others along the way. The controls could be a bit better since it relies on smaller buttons for complicated tasks, and the purpose of the game can be a bit confusing at times since the player is thrown into the world without much explanation. This single player RPG plays best if you let yourself go with the flow. If you are a lover of the fantasy genre or exploration games, Dungeons and Miners is one you might want to check out.
Dungeons and Miners is available on iOS Systems for $2.99 USD.
Here we have the first puzzle game. Arctictopia offers beautiful music and relaxing gameplay. The game follows a mother polar bear who has been separated from her young cub in an Arctic storm. It is the player’s job to help the mother navigate her way through melting icebergs and avoid falling into the frigid Arctic waters. The adorable art style in which the cartoonish animals are presented make this game perfect for animal lovers. The puzzles themselves are challenging, but not too hard to the point of frustration. They can become a little repetitive at times, but new concepts are added in every couple of levels to keep players engaged.
Arctictopia is available on iOS systems for $4.99 USD and on Android systems for $5.49 USD.
#8. DQ Dai: A Hero’s Bond
This is a story game based on the manga series Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai. If you are a fan of the saga this game is definitely worth a chance, yet it is still enjoyable if you aren’t familiar with the manga. This is an adventure RPG where you can create your own character and fight alongside the DQ characters to fight evil. The story is the best part of this game by far, and the graphics are very beautiful as well. The battles don’t take much planning to win and are relatively mindless, so it’s not as exciting to win as in other games. The most enjoyable part is watching your unique character fight alongside the manga characters and become a huge player in the story.
DQ Dai: A Hero’s Bond is available on iOS and Android systems for free.
#7. Car Drift: Racing History
Car Drift: Racing History is a single player game where you are trying to become the best racer out of all your opponents. Bet with the other racers before you race, and use the money to buy better, faster cars. Once you have become the best, the game will upgrade you to the next era in racing history. It starts in 1950 and ends in 2050. The races are actually pretty challenging though the controls are very simple. It is reminiscent of the Fast and Furious movies, so if you are a fan of that saga, this would be a good one to check out. This game is great for passing time since the races are shorter.
Car Drift: Racing History is available on iOS and Android systems for free.
#6. Impossible Isles
In this puzzle game the player is given the task of placing down tiles onto a bored according to a set of rules that belong to each tile. There are many ways to solve the puzzles yet some ways give you a higher score than others, so it becomes a great challenge to find the best scoring solution. The best way to play this game is to compete to get the highest score against another person, whether it’s a friends or a family member. A new puzzle is given every day creating an incentive to keep returning to the game, yet you still have a whole day to think over each puzzle in detail. Its a simple game, but still hard and fun.
Impossible Isles is available on iOS and Android systems for free.
Nauticrawl is a steampunk style machine puzzle game in which players must navigate an unfamiliar mech in order to navigate their escape from a devastated wasteland of a world. This game is extremely hard, so if you find most mobile puzzle games too easy this will be a great challenge for you. This game is not recommended, however, if you get frustrated easily. It is a repetitive, slower moving game that takes a lot of mental work to succeed, but the key is to never give up. The visuals are really interesting. It’s not that it isn’t visually pleasing, because the graphics are very nicely done. But it feels almost like the game is teasing you. The player is placed in this machine in a dangerous futuristic world, but you can only see your surroundings through radar. Nauticrawl is definitely a very thought provoking brainteaser to get you gears turning. If you are the type of person who loves machines, coding, or problem solving this is your game.
Nauticrawl is available on iOS systems for $4.99 USD.
#4. LEGO Star Wars Battles
LEGO Star Wars Battles is especially enjoyable if you are a Star Wars fan. In the game, you collect characters on both the light and the dark side in order to pit your team against other players in a 1v1 battle. The LEGO art style makes the game feel physically very solid. It has the excitement that comes with a competitive game but is not mindless slashing and tapping. There is a strategic element to where you place your attacks and defenses that make the game much more rewarding to win. As you progress in battles the player can unlock new locations, weapons, and iconic characters, so there is a great incentive to keep playing.
LEGO Star Wars Battles is available on iOS systems through the Apple Arcade and on Android systems for free.
#3. Night in the Woods
This game does not feel like a mobile game when you play it. Originally it was designed for other platforms such as PlayStation and Nintendo Switch and, after a long and windy road, has eventually made its way over to mobile. The best part about this game is the characters and their quirky, often relatable, senses of humor. The art style gives the game a playful feeling as the player traverses a somewhat depressing world through the shoes of Mae, a cat, who keeps a sarcastic, unabashed point of view the entire time. This feeling then transfers itself very well onto the player.
Night in the Woods is available on iOS systems for $5.99 USD.
#2. Pokémon Unite
Pokémon Unite had the most hype surrounding its arrival to mobile stores this month. It is the best multiplayer game, and is most enjoyable when played with friends and family. Work together to beat your opponent and plan out a strategy to gain advantages. The game consists of 5v5 battles in which you must first work to level up your chosen Pokémon and then work to score points into the opposing team’s goals. My favorite aspect of the game was being able to play as the Pokémon themselves running around and seeing other players through their chosen Pokémon rather than through their human avatar. The game is simple yet competitive.
Pokémon Unite is available on iOS and Android systems for free.
#1. Zookeeper World
Yes, it’s a puzzle game, but this one also doubles as a world building game and an RPG. Each puzzle that is completed makes money for your zoo, which allows players to purchase habitats, animals, and equipment to increase the zoo’s charm. In Zookeeper World, you can design and decorate your zoo however you want it to be. It is a match-three puzzle game at its core, but new complications are added as the levels progress. Warning: after playing this game for a few minutes, you may proceed to become very addicted and begin to put all your time and energy into your zoo. It is great for kids and for adults, and is most enjoyable when listening to a podcast or some type of music, since the game is relatively simple and doesn’t have a super complicated soundtrack.
Zookeeper World is available on iOS systems through the Apple Arcade.