Ever since the App Store debuted in 2008, there have been hundreds of thousands of apps, with a lot of them being games of some kind. With this in mind, it's definitely not hard to find some kind of mobile game that's entertaining, but what if you're looking for something that's much more unique in terms of art style? It can definitely be hard to find some great iOS games, but here are some of the best and most visually appealing games that we can think of that are must-haves on iOS.
- Alto's Odyssey
- Horizon Chase
- Monument Valley 2
- Framed 2
- PAKO 2
- Playdead's INSIDE
Looking for something beautiful, relaxing, and challenging? Then Alto's Odyssey is for you. It's the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Alto's Adventure, and it's just as gorgeous as the first game, if not more so.
In Odyssey, you'll find a serene desert that's vast and unexplored. There are ruins of temples, hot air balloons with railings to grind, huge rock walls, and mischievous lemurs to recover. You'll find Alto and his friends once again as they take to the dunes for a soothing and trick-filled run down the slopes. You can play the normal mode and strive to complete the goals, or go for Zen Mode if you just want to unwind.
Love retro games but want a modern spin on them? What about putting the pedal to the metal? Then don't miss Horizon Chase.
Horizon Chase is a colorful racer with low-poly 3D graphics that are heavily inspired by old-school games like Out Run, Top Gear, Turbo Challenge, and more. The game is full of tracks spread out across several stunning real-world locations, and the dynamic lighting and weather effects add an extra layer of challenge to the races. You'll find a nice variety of racing cars, which you can even upgrade to get the best stats.
The game is free to download for the first five tracks and two cars. You can purchase the rest of the game for just $3.
Puzzle games are the usual suspects when it comes to stunningly beautiful games, and Evergarden is no exception. Even if you think you've played all the puzzle games that the App Store has, make sure to give this one a try—it's unlike anything you've played before.
Evergarden is a narrative puzzle game, and it features a gorgeous forest world that is comprised of geometrical shapes and structures. The goal is to transform your garden by combining plants into strange new forms that you didn't think were possible, and at the same time, you're unearthing hidden secrets that unravel a bigger picture. It's a unique game that puzzle fans should pick up and experience for themselves.
Monument Valley 2
Monument Valley 2 is a no-brainer, and it's the direct sequel to the original Monument Valley that came out five years ago.
In Monument Valley 2, players must guide a mother and her child through magical and mystical architecture that's inspired by M.C. Escher. Sacred Geometry is full of buildings with paths that seem to go nowhere until you twist and turn and move platforms around to form paths that the naked eye did not originally see. The game itself is fairly short, but it's still an experience that should not be missed, considering how Monument Valley set the bar for Escheresque puzzle games. Plus, Monument Valley 2 is subtly more intricate than the first game, which was already a masterpiece.
FRAMED 2 is a sequel to the original FRAMED, which is also an excellent game. In FRAMED 2, players get more of the unique puzzle noir experience.
Even if you've played a lot of puzzle games, FRAMED is quite unique. You get a screen full of comic book panels that you must rearrange to change the outcome of the scene. There's always a certain sequence of events that needs to occur to get the best result (aka progression in the story), but figuring it out isn't as easy as you think. Plus, the graphic novel style and smooth animation of FRAMED is mesmerizing to watch as you try and figure out how a scene should go.
Everyone loves some good old pinball. But what if you added some color to it? You'll end up with something like INKS.
INKS is a pretty straightforward pinball game for your iOS device. But the magic behind it is watching the art of ink splatter come to life as the ball hits colored bumpers and lights, and then you end up with a unique masterpiece that you can call your own. The point behind INKS isn't to get the highest score or anything like you would in normal pinball games. Instead, it's about using your skill and tactics to create something beautiful on the canvas. It's not just the ink splatter that will transform the board, it's also the colored trails the ball leaves behind.
Even if you aren't normally a pinball fan, this is one that everyone should check out.
Ever wish that you could play the role of the getaway driver in some crazy car chase? That's exactly what you get with PAKO 2, and the visuals are delightful to boot.
In PAKO 2, you're the getaway driver. Pick up your crew from their heist spot, and then put the pedal to the metal as you get away from the cops who are closing in on you. How long can you go before they get to you? The game has simple controls, is fun, challenging, and just looks fantastic with the low-poly 3D art style. Plus, you get a nice handful of cars to pick from, and each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to handling. See how you do compared to others on the leaderboards.
Platformers are a classic on any platform, including iOS. But Dandara is one that takes everything to an entirely new level.
Dandara features a beautifully classic and retro look with the 16-bit 2D graphics and stunning music. But it also plays like no other platformer you've played before. Instead, Dandara defies gravity with a distinctive moveset of jumping across floors, walls, and ceilings alike. You'll need to strategically think about where to jump next, and how to shoot down your foes along the way. It's up to you to save the world of Salt from oppression.
Photographs is another excellent game from the guy who brought you 10000000 and You Must Build A Boat. However, this time, instead of going with a match-three RPG style game, Photographs is a narrative puzzler with fantastic pixel art.
In Photographs, you will search around and solve puzzles that are in the form of photographs. Eventually, you'll develop a scene and hear a story that can be found in that particular scene. The puzzles aren't too hard, because the focus of the game is the storytelling, and the retro pixel art helps put everything together. Every scene is different and features different puzzle mechanics that have a role in putting the story together.
The developer has stated that this is a fairly short game, but if you love a good story with nice visuals, then this is definitely worth taking a look.
Following in the footsteps of the classic LIMBO, Playdead's INSIDE is another amazing 2D puzzle platformer that you'll remember mostly because of the unique art style and how it improves on everything from LIMBO.
INSIDE is similar to LIMBO with the dark and creepy setting, though it does have a bit more splashes of color. You'll find even more devious puzzles to solve, as well as a dark sense of humor. And don't be too surprised with all of the "holy crap" moments that you're going to come across in this great follow-up that expands on concepts from its own predecessor.
INSIDE is free for the beginning of the game. If you like it, you can purchase the full game.
Those are some of our favorite beautifully artistic games on iPhone and iPad. What are your favorites? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.
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