Five perfect puzzle games for the iPhone

Just five? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of killer puzzlers for the iPhone and iPod Touch. I've narrowed the list to five favorites that are sure to tickle your brain.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Puzzle games and the iPhone and iPod Touch go together like peas and carrots (and they're nearly as good for you). They fit beautifully on the small screen, they have no awkward controls to master, and they're ideal when you have 5 minutes or 10 minutes to kill (and don't feel like killing things).

Here's a list of my five favorite puzzle games (so far):

  • Hanoi A beautiful rendition of the classic Towers of Hanoi game. The object is simple: move a stack of disks from one side of the board to the other. There's not much replay value once you master it, but it's fantastic until you do. And, hey, it's free.
  • Nintaii I had no idea what to expect from this game when I won it from AppGiveaway, but it took all of 30 seconds for me to fall in love. Like any good puzzler, this block-rolling, switch-activating brainteaser is easy to learn, challenging to play, and thoroughly rewarding to beat. The full version's on sale for 99 cents, but there's also a Lite freebie.
  • Nintaii is just about the perfect puzzle game: clever, challenging, and fun.
  • Myst The puzzle game to end all puzzle games, Myst is a lush graphic adventure based on the eponymous PC classic. Well worth the $5.99 given the amount of gameplay you'll get from it--and if you can beat it, you're a smarter player than I.
  • Unblock Me One of countless iPhone versions of the beloved Traffic Jam board game, Unblock Me challenges you to remove a red block by sliding other blocks out of the way. The free version gives you 400 puzzles to solve before going on to the 1,600-puzzle full version (which costs of all 99 cents).
  • Twisty Text Lite I love Boggle-style games like TextTwist, which challenge you to build as many words as you can from a set of scrambled letters. Until I can get the real deal, Twisty Text easily satisfies my word-building cravings. It's similar to Free Word Warp, but I like the presentation and input method better.

OK, your turn: What puzzle games have earned a permanent home on your iPhone or Touch? I know I've left out some classics, like Bejeweled and Wurdle, but for me those are just played out.

Update: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that classic puzzler Jumble was announced for the iPhone just yesterday. Jumble Classic is $3.99 and available now.