Top 10 trippiest games for iPhone and iPad

There are a lot of great games for iPhone and iPad but lets just be honest with each other here — some are way more trippy than others. Whether it's the color, the animation, the theme, the art, or just the overall vibe, if you're looking for something exceedingly mellow, or completely out of this world, the App Store has you covered. Here are the top 10 trippiest games for iPhone and iPad. Since audio is a big part of the experience, make sure to have your headphones on before getting comfortable. Then launch and enjoy!

Osmos

Osmos is a ponderous physics game that demands a lot of intuition. Players control a small cell that drifts through organic soup, absorbing other, smaller cells. The catch is that propelling yourself in a given direction ejects mass out the other end in the process. If you make contact with larger cells, they’ll absorb you instead. Things get particularly interesting when you try your hand at multiplayer mode. Though Osmos is very much a calming experience, it requires some reflexes and intuition.

Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon is an insanely difficult abstract twitch game where players have to navigate through a maze that's continually collapsing in on a central shape. The pulsing rhythm and constant spinning of the play area make Super Hexagon really, really hard, plus the fast-paced soundtrack isn't likely to calm your nerves. There are three difficulties to start, and as you beat each stage, a new version of the level unlocks that has the same track go at what feels like twice the regular speed. It doesn't take long before things get a little ridiculous. Super Hexagon is an absolutely fantastic game and mesmerizing in just about every way.

Bit.trip Beat

Bit.trip Beat is an abstract reimagining of Pong. With a simple tilt, players guide a paddle up and down in order to deflect a dizzying bombardment of 8-bit-style projectiles. You're rewarded an increasing amount of bonus points for consecutive deflections, though that counter is reset if you let one through your side of the screen. Let too many through, and you'll be shot into a stark monochrome view before losing the level altogether and having to start over from scratch. Three stages of progressing difficulty each host a unique soundtrack which orchestrates the entire assault. While you might not be entirely sure of what's going on, before long the rhythm of the music and the display of colors hones your gameplay to an edge.

Dimensions

Dimensions is a peculiar and sometimes creepy audio game. Players jump between different “worlds” that each have their own distinct mood and vibe. Engaging in certain real world activities (like shaking the device) can automatically have you hop between these worlds, though it can all be manually controlled. When immersed, audio from the real world is fed through to your headset with a wide range of disorienting filters. There are game elements here, which relate to gathering artifacts in otherworldly dimensions, and even a multiplayer mode, but you can just run this in the background and push off from reality for as long as you like. To get really crazy, play some familiar music on external speakers and see what it sounds like when fed through Dimensions.

Icycle

At its core, Icycle is a simple platform game with a series of unlockables earned by gathering currency scattered throughout each stage. You earn up to four stars depending on how much of that currency you collect, how many times you die, and meeting other specific challenge goals for each stage. That’s all pretty standard. What makes Icycle truly amazing is its absolutely bizarre premise and art style. With only an umbrella and a miniature bicycle, players must guide the hapless (and nude) Denis through a frozen nightmare in order to find a lost love. Icycle is one of the most mind-bending, unique games to hit mobile in a long time. This is a must-have.

Monument Valley

Ustwo's Monument Valley has players guide a hapless princess through a twisted maze of Escherian proportions. Over time, you piece together the cryptic story of a ruined world. Optical illusions and impossible architecture are nothing new, but when put into mobile game where you can interact with things that straight-up can't physically exist, you're left with an entirely new sensation. Besides the mind-bending tricks of perspective, a lot of detail has been put into the game's visual polish. Without a doubt, these stages look good enough to print and put up on your wall. Monument Valley is a beautifully constructed game that you can play without being worried about time. For an added twist, try playing with your device upside down.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2

Robot Unicorn Attack is a colorful, goofy endless runner where players have to simply survive as long as possible in a surreal landscape. Over time, you unlock new and even more ridiculous stages, soundtracks (including the Erasure classic “Always”), and power-ups. New challenges and rewards will continually have you coming back, not to mention the regularly changing level landscape. Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is a nonsensical romp full of happiness and joy.

Luxuria Superbia

Luxuria Superbia is a thinly veiled game about sex. Players have to touch and swipe at blossoming flowers as they appear on screen in an attempt to bring color to them. You can do this quickly if you want, but the game encourages you to take your time and enjoy the show until the inevitable climax. Over time you unlock new flower types, so long as you provide proper attention to each one before them. Luxuria Superbia is a blush-worthy game full of surrealism and color.

Papa Sangre 2

Papa Sangre 2 is a highly polished audio-centric survival-horror game. In it, you have to navigate through the afterlife to find fragments of memories and ultimate to the other side. Players have simple feet and hand controls on the screen, but most of the direction comes from the audio. Despite the limited visuals, you’ll be avoiding traps, shooting ducks, and running from monsters. Papa Sangre 2’s tagline “Powered by your fear” is altogether apt; pick this up if you’re looking for a good scare.

Gauge

Gauge is a mentally taxing one-touch game that simply requires players to keep a meter in the right zone. Hold down on the screen to increase the line’s size, and release to let it drop down. You can only make contact with the upper and lower limits so many times before it’s game over. The target zone you have to stay within is continually shifting in size, and bright lights, flashing text, and fast-paced music are continually testing your ability to stay focused.

Your favorite trippy iPhone and iPad games?

Honorable mentions go out to Cool Pizza and Pix’n Love Rush, Duet, and Wave Wave. If you’ve got any more trippy iOS games to suggest, please pass it along in the comments!

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Top 10 trippiest games for iPhone and iPad

5 Comments

The only comment I'm going to make is that "Robot Unicorn 2" is a horrible, messed up, super ugly, version of the original "Robot Unicorn." The game play is moronic and the graphics are ridiculous. If the original didn't exist, then maybe the sequel might be "alright" to play, but the original is superior in every way.

Anyone wanting to play this game should really buy the original "Robot Unicorn" and leave "Robot Unicorn 2" on the shelf where it belongs.