You’ve probably heard of tile matching game Threes – or its slew of clones, most of which go by the name ‘2048’. Threes is the real deal though, with refined gameplay, gorgeously minimal graphics and a lot more strategy than its imitators. It does cost a few quid, but it’s well worth it.
2. Plants vs Zombies 2
Plants vs Zombies 2 is a fun sequel to the popular PC game of the same name, where you must defend your back garden from murderous zombies with an assortment of flowers and flora. The game has been criticised for its in-app purchases, but it’s still quite possible to progress without paying a penny.
3. Super Hexagon
Super Hexagon is a game that I can’t stop playing. It’s simple enough – rotate your tiny triangle to avoid incoming barriers – but the pulsating visuals, brilliant soundtrack and intense difficulty make it a must-play. Mastering the first difficulty (hard) is tough but satisfying, and there are five more difficulty levels after that to really test your mettle.
4. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is probably the most beautiful game on the list, with M.C. Escher-inspired architecture and a serene soundtrack. Gameplay is simple but puzzling, as you move through an impossible level, each of which includes its own unique rules. It’s not a long game, but it’s still a pleasure to replay and one that you’ll want your friends to try too.
5. Super Crossfighter
Super Crossfighter is a fun shoot ’em up with 80s-era graphics and plenty of alien spacecraft to destroy. The gameplay is simple enough to grasp quickly, but the levels are reasonably challenging later on and will definitely test your skill.
6. Snap Attack
Microsoft are suprisingly good at crafting word puzzle games, it seems. First we had Wordament, and now we have another Xbox-on-Android title: Snap Attack. You rearrange letter tiles to form words here, with locked letter positions and a time limit adding some urgency to the proceedings. The game is fun and free.
7. Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Modern Combat 5 is the latest iteration of Gameloft’s series of Call of Duty clones. They’re a decent enough translation of CoD’s gameplay to a mobile-friendly format, and the latest is one of the most advanced depictions yet. While the gameplay is derivative, the execution here is good, and there is plenty of content to go around: singleplayer, multiplayer and 4 classes.
8. Thomas Was Alone
Thomas Was Alone is a rather extraordinary 2D platformer, with deep characters and genuine emotion attached to some rather simple geometric shapes. There are 100 levels to play through, and though they pass quickly you’ll want to revisit them later on.
9. Dungelot 2
Dungelot is a weird combination of Minesweeper and Pixel Dungeon. You uncover squares one at a time (like Minesweeper), finding randomly generated treasure and enemies to fight. Once you’re dead, you have to start over from the beginning. It’s a lot easier to get into than most roguelike games, but you may be disappointed with its depth.
10. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is a puzzle game set in the same universe as the TV show, but featuring a different setting and cast of characters. The game is famous for the tough choices that it demands of you, which cause the story to arc in different directions. Each decision is important, each decision is remembered, and things rarely proceed as you expect.
I hope you’ve found these recommendations helpful! Let us know what you think in the comments below, or on Twitter @mobilefun.