Puzzle games used to be a simple genre with a simple idea. You solve puzzles for time killing enjoyment. However, the genre ballooned in a big way on mobile. In fact, it’s one of the most popular genres on the entire platform. It started with simple viral games like 2048 and evolved into genuinely enjoyable experiences like Monument Valley and Telltale Games titles (until they went under). These days, you can find some seriously good puzzle games on Android. Gone are the days of super simple mechanics and graphics with goofy ideas. Some of these games are actually fairly intense and complex with stories and even really good graphics. This list changes almost entirely every year and 2018 was no different. Here are the best puzzle games for Android.
- All That Remains: Part 1
- Amanita Design (Machinarium, Samorost 3)
- Blue Wizard Digital (Friday the 13th, Slayaway Camp)
- Bridge Constructor Portal
- Dear Villagers games (Bury Me, My Love, Another Lost Phone)
- The Eyes of Ara
- Hello Neighbor
- Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm
- Monument Valley 1 and 2
- Part Time UFO
- Professor Layton series
- The Room series
- ROOMS: Toymaker’s Mansion
- Rusty Lake series
All That Remains: Part 1
All That Remains: Part 1 is an escape puzzle game. Players wake up in a bunker and have to find their way out before something bad happens. Each room in the bunker has a bunch of puzzles. You also communicate with the character’s sister over a two-way radio. It’s definitely the best escape room game by this developer. They do also have other escape style puzzle games as well if you want to try those as well. In any case, All That Remains: Part 1 goes for $2.49 with no in-app purchases or ads.
Amanita Design puzzle games (four games)
Price: $4.99 each
Amanita Design is a publisher on Google Play. They have three very excellent puzzle games with Samorost 3, Botanicula, Chuchel and the popular classic Machinarium. All three games feature fun puzzles, a distinctive art style, and simple game mechanics. Basically, you wander around the game world in search of clues and puzzle solutions. They each have fun little stories as well. All four games go for $4.99 up front. However, there are no in-app purchases after you purchase the game.
Blue Wizard Digital
Price: Free / $2.99 / Up to $9.99
Blue Wizard Digital is a developer on Google Play. They have two excellent puzzle games. The first is Slayaway Camp. You play a serial killer and you avoid the cops while you slaughter people. The second is Friday the 13th. It has a lot of the same ideas, but over 100 levels of gory goodness. These games are not for children or adults with weak stomachs. They otherwise make for outstanding horror-puzzle games. Slayaway Camp goes for $2.99. Friday the 13th is a free download with in-app purchases, but it’s not a freemium game.
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor Portal is a cross-over game between Bridge Constructor and Portal. The game has primarily Bridge Constructor mechanics. You build a bridge from one end of the level to the other with a variety of strategy and parts. The Portal mechanics make each level more fun and difficult. It contains 60 levels (test chambers), plenty of Portal references (including voice acting), and some extra stuff like Google Play Games achievements. Bridge Constructor Portal goes for $4.99 with no in-app purchases or ads. It’s an excellent puzzle game. This game is also free to play for folks with Google Play Pass.
Price: $2.99-$4.99 each
Dear Villagers is another publisher on Google Play. Its puzzle games are some of the most unique. Included in their collection are A Normal Lost Phone, Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, and Bury me, my Love. The first two are mystery puzzle games. You have someone’s phone. Your goal is to search through it to find out who they are, where they went, and what happened to them. Bury me, my Love is a text game about a refugee. It’s definitely something different, but also really fun. The Lifeline series by 3 Minute Games are also excellent adventure-puzzle games with text elements.
The Eyes of Ara
The Eyes of Ara is one of the newer puzzle games on the list. It reminds us a lot of classic puzzle-adventure games like Myst. Players explore a world looking for clues, unlocking secrets, and gathering the story from snippets of story from the game world. It plays in a 3D world with exploration and surprisingly decent graphics. The developers round out the experience with achievements, support for about a dozen languages, and a minimal game UI that puts the game world first and foremost. There isn’t a whole lot wrong with this one, but the controls are occasionally wonky.
Faraway 3: Arctic Escape
Price: Free / $2.99
Faraway 3: Arctic Escape is another newer puzzle game from 2018. It features a variety of puzzles similar to console games like The Witness. You have various boards and each board needs solved. The game has 18 stages with a variety of puzzles in each one along with a story line. This is also the third game in the series and the previous two are pretty good as well. The three together should provide a decent amount of entertainment. The third one has nine free levels and the rest cost $3.99. The previous games are also fairly inexpensive.
Price: Free trial / $14.99
Hello Neighbor is one of the most unique puzzle games on mobile. Your neighbor is doing some weird stuff and you want to check it out. Thus, you break into the house over and over again. The neighbor sets up defenses after each break-in based on your entry and exist strategies. You have to adjust your strategies accordingly. This was a very popular game on PC and the mobile game plays about the same but with mobile controls. There are also horror and thriller elements with this one. This one is rather expensive. The criticism is a little more harsh due to its price tag. However, it’s still a good game with a unique premise.
Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Price: Free / Up to $8.99-$11.99 each
Life is Strange is an outstanding adventure-puzzle-drama game. It follows the life of a Max, a high school girl with special powers. She can rewind and replay various moments in her life. You rewind and redo various moments until you get the desired results. This is a port of a console game and a pretty good one, too. The graphics and mechanics are good and the story is entertaining. There is a prequel for this game available as well, but it might need an update or two before we would fully recommend it. This may not be a puzzle game in the classic sense, but the main mechanic is a puzzle element so we’re counting it. Life is Strange: Before the Storm adds to the story quite a bit, but it’s a little rougher around the edges than the first game.
Monument Valley 1 and 2
Price: $3.99 + $1.99 / $4.99
Monument Valley 1 and 2 are some of the most popular puzzle games on mobile. They use MC Escher-inspired puzzle mechanics. You twist and turn portions of the level in order to progress. The games aren’t difficult. They boast a more relaxing experience rather than challenging. The Monument Valley games do look fantastic, though. The art style is definitely to be applauded. The first game includes a handful of levels along with the Forgotten Shores DLC ($1.99 extra). The second game is a bit longer but not by much. These are classics.
Part Time UFO
Part Time UFO is a goofy puzzle game from the developers of Kirby. Yes, the adorable pink puff ball that eats stuff. You fly around in a UFO while doing odd jobs for the village townspeople. Each job is a puzzle. The game has a variety of colorful characters, plenty of levels and puzzles, and even some stuff to unlock. It also has Google Play Games support for achievements. The game goes for $3.99 with no in-app purchases or advertisements. It’s not the most graphically intense game out there, but we like it anyway.
Professor Layton series
Price: $9.99-$15.99 each
The Professor Layton franchise is a series of puzzle games from the Nintendo DS. The developers, Level-5, have brought a few of them to Android as mobile ports. You can get Layton: Curious Village, Layton: Diabolical Box, and Layton’s Mystery Journey on Google Play. The series puts you on an adventure to solve puzzles and solve cases for Professor Layton. The games features comical dialog along with goofy situations that help sculpt the atmosphere of these games. They are rather expensive, though, so we recommend playing as much as possible in the refund time to make sure you like them.
The Room series
Price: $0.99 / $1.99 / $3.99 / $4.99
The Room franchise is one of the oldest and most successful puzzle game franchises on mobile. There are four games in the series at the time of this writing. The first two are classic puzzle games. You figure out puzzles to progress until you finish the game. The third game in the series introduced multiple endings and a slightly heavier narrative. Finally, the most recent game, Old Sins, takes place in a dollhouse. All four games have some similar elements, including outstanding graphics, escape room elements, and clever puzzle designs. They are also usually fairly short games. However, the inclusion of multiple endings gives the later titles some replay value. These are classics in the puzzle game space on mobile and we recommend them highly. The first game in the series is $0.99 and the most recent is $4.99. The other two fall between those two price tags. None of them have in-app purchases or ads.
ROOMS: The Toymaker’s Mansion
ROOMS: The Toymaker’s Mansion is one of the newer puzzle games on the list. It’s a fairly simple puzzle game at heart. You move through a mansion and each room moves like a puzzle piece. You assemble the puzzle pieces to continue on the journey. The game contains 144 total levels across four mansions. Players also unlock special abilities like transportation bombs, and the ability to move every room at once. There are 96 story levels and 48 special ability levels to keep things a little bit fresh. There is more than enough content here to justify the title’s $4.99 price tag and there are no in-app purchases or ads to ruin anything.
Rusty Lake series
Price: Free / Varies per game
Rusty Lake is one of the most popular puzzle game developers on Google Play. There are two different franchises by Rusty Lake. The Cube Escape series is a long-running series of puzzle games with escape room and hidden object puzzle elements. Most of those games are free except the most recent one, Cube Escape: Paradox (it costs $1.99 for the full version). The other series, Rusty Lake, is a more premium point-and-click adventure-puzzle game that takes place in the same universe as the Cube Escape series. These usually cost money, but never more than a few bucks. There are usually one or two new additions to each franchise every year and they’re all pretty good.
If we missed any of the best puzzle games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also check out our most recent app and game lists by clicking here!