Best free iPhone puzzle games

by Simon Sage

If you’re looking for a head-scratcher, but can’t be bothered to spend any money, you’re in luck. We’ve dug up some fine, free puzzle games for iPhone. Most have some kind of in-app purchases, usually to unlock more puzzles, hints, or power-ups.

Ready for a challenge? Let’s see if you can get through all of these.


Block x 3

Block x 3 is a minimalist tile-pushing game where players have a limited number of moves to line everything up with no stragglers left behind. There are over 300 puzzles included, gradually increasing in complexity. Before long you’ll start seeing multiple colors of tiles to keep matched and tiles that will otherwise impede or improve your movements.

For a great selection of sharply-designed logic puzzles, grab Block x 3.

Chip Chain

Chip Chain is a polished casino-themed match-up game. Players are tasked with lining up and matching same-numbered chips, which consolidate into a single chip of a higher denomination. The player and the virtual dealer take turns putting new chips on the board, attempting to reach the highest score possible through matching. Players also get three cards which can help them make key strategic changes to the board. There are different game modes available depending on what day it is, though you can cough up an in-app purchase to have them all available at once.

Chip Chain is a snappy, good-looking puzzle game with just enough strategy tossed in.

Dots

Dots is a light, casual, and addictive puzzle game where players need to line up same-colored dots as quickly as possible. You’ve got a limited number of moves and time to match up as many dots as possible. You can also get bonuses for tracing closed loops. Once you run out of time and moves, the dots you’ve matched and gathered can be spent on consumable power-ups. There’s also a local multiplayer mode if you want to see how your friends stack up.

Dots is fun, sharply designed and highly accessible - give it a shot!

Flow Free

Flow Free is a simple game of connecting two same-colored dots on a grid while making sure it doesn’t intersect with other lines on the board. This involves making sure you carefully pick your route, and which you start putting down first. Though Flow Free isn’t the prettiest puzzle game of the bunch, it does offer the biggest bang for buck - 1200 puzzles, to be exact, plus another 1440 available through a $3.99 in-app purchase.

Flow Free is a no-brainer solution for the truly voracious puzzle gamer.

Puzzle Craft

As the name suggests, Puzzle Craft players gather resources through two puzzle games which are then used to craft various usable tools (power-ups for the resource games) and buildings for your village (which periodically spawns additional resources, tools, and gold). Lining up enough of a single resource will spawn one of a higher tier when new tiles drop down from the top. In the farm game, players gather various foodstuffs, which are then spent on feeding workers for the mining mini-game.

Puzzle Craft is a perfect mix of short-term puzzle goodness and long-term city building.

QatQi

QatQi is a unique take on crossword puzzles. Players have a handful of letter tiles that they need to use in their entirety to complete a stage, which can be a challenge given the complexity of some of the level layouts, which you only discover as you play. Score multipliers and coin objectives also become available as you progress through a stage, though managing to get them all and use up all of your letter tiles can be a real pain.

QatQi is perfect for literary fiends hankering for a new take on crossword puzzles.

Tetris Blitz

Tetris Blitz is a reimagining of the classic puzzle game. Like the Tetris you know and love, players still need to line up and slot an un-ending parade of oddly-shaped blocks so they line up into solid rows, which are then eliminated for points. Things are changed up in that you don’t have to manually direct each block, though; targets are provided, and you simply have to tap where you want a block to go, or tap the rotate button to see additional options. You have two minutes to get as far as you can, and there’s a wide arsenal of new power-ups to employ to get you to the top of the online leaderboards.

Tetris Blitz includes a healthy dose of familiarity with several refreshing twists.

Trid

Trid is a clever memory puzzle game where players are presented with a pattern on a 3 x 3 grid, and they have to recreate it as quickly as possible. You can rack up the score with multipliers the longer you go without making a mistake. This can get complicated once the target square rotates a few times and you have to reorient the pattern in your reproduction. There are a handful of game modes, including sudden death, mirror mode, and time attack.

For a game game that is both totally free and not burdened with in-app purchases, Trid is amazingly smart and sharp.

Triple Town

Triple Town is a classic match-3 game where players have a limited grid and try to merge adjacent tiles of the same type. This system makes a neat hierarchy - three shrubs merge into a bush, three bushes into a tree, three trees into a house, and so on. This makes for an ever-shifting board, but one must still be careful. A few misplacements or a lack of wriggle room can make finding matches impossible, plus irreverent bears can come in occasionally to hog spaces.

Triple Town remains a cartoony, kid-friendly puzzle game with lots of replay value.

Where’s My Water 2

Where’s My Water 2 continues a strong tradition of fluid-based puzzles. Players have to dig through the earth to deliver a fresh water supply to a shower while not contaminating it or losing too much to hazards in the way. There are bonus ducks to be gathered between the beginning and the end, plus other hidden bonus objectives for the truly diligent. New game modes such as reversed maps add a new dimension to previously-completed puzzles.

Where’s my Water 2 remains as challenging and kid-friendly as ever with a few new elements to keep players on their toes.

Honorable Mentions

Color Zen

Juggle shapes and colors in this abstract title.

The Impossible Line

Guide an arrow to a target, but avoid invisible walls.

The Room Pocket

Get a taste for the amazing premium puzzle game.

To-Fu 2

Guide a martial arts master of vegetable matter through perilous gauntlets.

Trainyard Express

A stylish puzzle full of planning and Canadian geography.

Those are our top picks for free iPhone puzzle games, so now it's time to give us your faves! We’re always on the prowl for fresh additions to this and our other top iOS games lists.

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