The 12 best iPhone and iPad games of 2018: What to play on iOS

Some of the best games you can play right now are on iPhone or iPad.

Remember the days when Doodle Jump was the crème de la crème of iOS games? That little bug thing, jumping from platform to platform, as you frenziedly tilted your iPhone to and fro. Yeah? Well that was 2009. And while, like Snake, it’ll be immortalised in our memories, times have changed, and so have the wealth of iOS games available for iPhone and iPad. 

The time is ripe for you to update the roster of games on your iOS device. For under a tenner – and in many cases for free – you can download some super addictive, stylish and state-of-the-art games. Here’s our pick of the very best games on iPhone and iPad as of 2018.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Her Story (£3.99)

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What with the legions of true crime podcasts at the minute (see: Serial, Casefile etc), it’s only right that we include a gaming counterpart. Her Story is the critically acclaimed game by Sam Barlow. Billed as a real life crime story where you play detective; sift through interview video clips from a 1994 murder case and attempt to solve the crime. The script is excellent, if unsettling, and the game promises that no two individuals will have the same experience of Her Story. 

Best iPhone and iPad games: Reigns: Her Majesty (£2.99)

Similar to the original Reigns, Reigns: Her Majesty plays out like a medieval version of Tinder, with choices made by swiping left or right. “Should we go to war with the South?” “Where will you send your daughter to be educated?”, etc. The gameplay is deeper than the first game, and the lightning-pace decision making just as absorbing.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (£4.99)

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You’re stuck in a cauldron. You’re holding a sledgehammer. You need to get over a mountain. Come to peace with the fact you will want to smash your phone. Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy is a tenacious gem from the maker of the equally frustrating QWOP.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Life is Strange (£0.99 for first episode)

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Dontnod’s lightly sci-fi teenage drama is now available on iOS, meaning you can delved into the episodic adventure game on your morning commute. A great choice if you’re looking for something with a bit of narrative meat. 

Best iPhone and iPad games: The Room: Old Sins (£4.99)

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The latest in the Room series of puzzle games, and arguably its greatest entry yet. This time you’re searching the attic of an ambitious engineer and his high-society wife, who have both mysteriously disappeared… If you like escape-the-room games, this is one for you.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Elder Scrolls Legends (free)

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There are many strategy card games available to play on mobile devices, from Pokemon Trading Card Game to Hearthstone, but Elder Scrolls Legends is one of the best. Based on the hugely popular Elder Scrolls series (although not necessitating in any knowledge of it), the game has more depth than other card games and is constantly being updated with new expansions, puzzles and story modes. You can play online against other players, or just against AI.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Alphabear (free)

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Spell words to make bears fatter. That, in a nutshell, is Alphabear. Choose letters much like you would do in Scrabble. If you use letters next to each other, a bear will appear. Those bears get fatter every time you make a word, and fat bears mean more points.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Monument Valley (£3.99)

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If you haven’t already played Ustwo’s gorgeous Escher-inspired puzzle game, correct that now. The game consists of a series of mind-bending isometric constructions, and every stage is a memorable delight to play through. There’s an sequel, Monument Valley 2, which is also good – although not quite as memorable as the original.  

Best iPhone and iPad games: Hidden Folks (£3.99)

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Like a monochrome Where’s Wally, Hidden Folks will have you searching incredibly detailed, hand-drawn scenes for various characters. It’s a joy to look over Adriaan de Jongh’s intricate world, full of minimalist animations and a charming sound design.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Lara Croft GO (£1.99)

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Like its excellent predecessor, Hitman GO, this game takes a popular adventure and whittles it down to a minimalist, turn-based series of puzzles. Worth the price alone for the beautifully stylised, cell-shaded design, the game’s five chapters are taxing enough to prove a challenge, but won’t leave you completely stumped on your morning commute.

Best iPhone and iPad games: 80 Days (£4.99)

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This pocket odyssey takes Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days and brilliantly reimagines it as a choose-your-own adventure. You’re cast as Jean Passepartout, Phileas Fogg’s loyal valet, tasked with charting a path from country to country in an effort to circumnavigate the globe. It’s won a huge number of awards, and was nominated for four BAFTA nominations.

Best iPhone and iPad games: Papers, Please (£7.99)

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As a border-control guard in the fictional Eastern European country of Arstotzka, it’s your job to check the documents of everyone wanting to gain entry. What starts as a simple game of check-and-stamp quickly develops into a gripping account of institutional corruption. It’s based on the popular PC game, but you’ll need an iPad to play this one.  

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