We all have moments in our lives where we just don’t want to be doing anything at all that we know we should be doing. Not every moment of our lives can be full of the constant drive that we wish we could put into it. This is why certain things exist in the world of personal entertainment. It comes in a thousand different forms, TV, movies, gadgets, toys, alcohol, or video games and its that last one there, games, that I decided to expand on a little bit.

More specifically, my favorite games for the iPhone/iPod Touch. There are hundreds of them available and they keep popping up faster than anyone with any sense of priority or self control in life has time to explore. Well, lucky for you I am here to help out a bit and point out my personal favorites as I have a few to many here on my phone but there are a few that deserve all the attention they can get because they are simply wonderful experiences. To me, modern video games have become less and less interesting over time as production costs go up and up and this race for the best graphics or most violent gameplay seem so much more important to what made video games fun to begin with which is to offer the player something unique, challenging, original, entertaining…

All that silly introduction nonsense aside, what I am trying to say is that I really appreciate game developers that are out there taking chances on something interesting, unique, and fun as well as game makers who push for new ways of enhancing gameplay and making their games something new and interesting that involves more than aiming for the head and pulling a trigger.

OK, I didn’t mean to go on like that, it just sort of came out. I don’t usually talk about anything tech on the site anymore so I thought I would provide a little context. Readers here I would like to think like to be challenged as much as I do when it comes to playing games and many of you may or may not have iPhones or iPods that can play these games but I thought it would be fun to point out a few to those who do because if you enjoy a little break from life here and there as I do then these will do a good job of giving you something interesting or thought provoking to do with your mind in its downtime. Now, without further delay, here are my picks for best current iPhone games most of which I just noticed are puzzle type games…

I have included links both directly to the iTunes app store page as well as the developers sites and included a gameplay video from each game so you can get an idea for how it plays.

Zen Bound

I may as well start with my favorite of all, Zen Bound. This game is less of a game and more of an experience in my eyes. While there are goals set up to move you along and motivate you to complete the puzzles much of the game is simply to experience it. To let it into your mind and let yourself get lost in it. The idea is simple, you are presented with an object made from wood or stone an on that object there are two nails, attached to one nail is a length of rope that is pulled taught in front of you and the object is to rotate the objects in ways that eventually cover as much of the surface of the object as you can. This does not mean you completely cover every inch with rope, as you lay rope across the surface of an object it dyes the area around the rope a color/texture and the idea is to paint as much of the object as you can.

It is a beautiful game in its simplicity and combined with a great, well suited for the game soundtrack you cant help but get lost in the act of wrapping things up. It is surprisingly calm and clears my head as I play. The perfect distraction from the troubles of life and the most immersing gaming experiences I have had the pleasure of playing on any platform.

iTunes LinkDeveloper Site

Gameplay Video:


Up next is another unique one that I love. Edge is slightly more traditional in approach and is a sort of platformer style game only in three dimensions and you are not any sort of character in the game, you are simply a cube that is dropped in an expanding floating island of a world and you have to get from point A to point B while collecting items for bonus points as well as avoiding falling off of the edge of the game board. While this may sound simple and boring at first, it is amplified by a unique style and aesthetic in both its morphing level design and great sound design and music. It all combines into an experience that is really engaging and fun to play because each level presents you with a unique puzzle like design to navigate through. The game was recently updated with an additional 17 levels and a new control option that adds even more to the game. Worth every penny.

iTunes LinkDeveloper Site (Note there is also a lite version of this game that lets you try out the game)

Gameplay Video:


This was developed by the same team that created Zen Bound and is just as unique in its approach. This game is a game about silhouettes of objects and matching an objects orientation to the shape of the silhouette shown. You are given an object and a silhouette and you must rotate the object along its various possible alignments to match the objects outline to the silhouette. As with Zen Bound it is a strikingly simple concept made into something amazingly fun and unique. The graphics are colorful and playful and add a lot of personality to the game as you play. There are objectives, bonuses, and increasing speed as you play through the game as well as a time limit to reach the correct orientation of each object. Its a great casual game that I highly recommend checking out as it has not gotten nearly as much attention as it deserved.

Itunes LinkDeveloper Site (Note there is also a lite version of this game that lets you try out the game)

Gameplay Video:


This is the most recent game to suck me in and its a great one. Another simple game that lies somewhere between puzzle and action. Its graphics are simple shapes and outlines yet are presented in a really elegant sort of a way. The idea behind the gameplay is hard to describe actually. Basically, you are on a playing field where various colors of circles appear on the screen. These circles can be combined to make larger ones or split to break into two smaller ones. As the game plays out these points appear of different sizes where you drag your circles into that cause them to disappear which progress you through the level. The challenge lays in its speed and in the fact that two different colors of circles can not touch or else you start to loose energy and once your energy is gone entirely the game ends.

There are a number of various elements that enter the game such as black hole like formations that suck in your circles leading to end the game and other obstructions to get in the way of you clearing your circles from the board. It is a fully multi touch experience and the controls are as obvious as putting up to five fingers on the screen to move elements around as you play through the various stages of the game. I have never played anything like it and find it a highly addicting experience.

iTunes LinkDeveloper Site

Gameplay Video:

A few others I also really enjoyed that are very much worth checking out. (links all go straight into itunes)

Theseus (amazing, simple puzzle game that is really challenging. lite version available)

Chop Sushi (a really entertaining take on the ‘match 3’ style of game. lite version available)

WordJong (a game that I am pretty sure has been available on other platforms as well that turns Mahjong solitaire into a word game)

1112 (a beautiful adventure/puzzle game. light version available. lite version available)

Centipede (yep, the classic, surprisingly fun on the iPhone)

Chuck The Ball (odd name and idea but its a great puzzle game with a think quick twist to it. lite version available )

Pachinko (modeled after classic Japanese pachinko machines)

Ivory Tiles (A really wonderful sliding puzzle involving mahjong tiles. lite version available and also a sequel called shift)

It was fun putting this post together and I look forward to seeing if anyone enjoyed reading through it as I am often thinking of other possible things to feature here on the blog. Till next time…


  1. kamadiva* - March 12, 2009 at 5:20 am

    edge.ivory tiles and 1112 are my faves too..
    but why didn*t you mention *fuzzle*?!*HAHA*

  2. john - March 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Yeah your the one that beat all the stages in ivory tiles before i did, except for one that i STILL can not figure out. And why not fuzzle? good question, I nearly added it but for some reason didn’t. Anyone reading FUZZLE is a great puzzle game too;)

  3. Brad - April 6, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Check out Glyder. Came out today. You won’t be disappointed. It’s up there with Zen Bound for me in terms of best iDevice game to date.

    Have fun!

  4. john - April 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Hey brad, thanks for pointing that out to me, I just picked it up, and will give it a go tonight.

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