Best Android Puzzle & Word Games
Monument Valley 2
If you enjoyed the original Monument Valley, you need to grab its sequel right away. And if you've never played the puzzle game, Monument Valley 2 is a great way to get started: it's a standalone game that doesn't require you to have played the original. The mentally stimulating puzzles are back, this time with a touch of color and light as you navigate through a kingdom that resembles an M.C. Esher print. Monument Valley 2 adds welcome new features like the ability to control a second character — the heroine Ro is joined by her child on this journey — while maintaining the minimalist look and immersive music that made the first game such a joy to play.
ELOH is a charming rhythm puzzle game that has you rearranging blocks in order to bounce a series of balls into their proper end goals. Similar to classic “light and mirrors” puzzles, ELOH nevertheless develops its own characteristic charm with the addition of a lively musical element, as each bounce and ricochet triggers its own unique sound effect that’ll have you nodding to the beat in no time. The game comes with almost a hundred puzzle levels, and has no ads or in-app purchases to distract you.
Layton: Curious Village in HD
A mobile remaster of the first in this series of puzzle solving classics, Layton: Curious Village in HD has you join the cerebral Professor Herschel Layton and his clever assistant Luke. You mission: unravel the many mysteries of the village of St Mystere in the quest for the Golden Apple. Curious Village features more than 100 puzzles designed by Akira Tago, as well as numerous mini-games and collectables that you unlock by talking to side characters and poking around in the village. This Android version includes new and remastered animation sequences and a mobile-friendly interface.
The Room: Old Sins
Fireproof Games’ puzzle game series returns with The Room: Old Sins, challenging new and returning players with its wicked blend of tactile puzzles that cleverly take advantage of the sensors housed inside your Android phone to give you the illusion of manipulating a complex puzzle box. In this installment of The Room series, you’re investigating the disappearance of an engineer and his wife, and the trail leads to their home and a cunningly contrived dollhouse. Equal parts slow mystery and clever puzzle game, The Room: Old Sins is heartily recommended for gamers in search of an excellent atmospheric treat.
Fusing together elements of puzzle games like Threes and the classic Sokoban, Twinfold has you push blocks around the map, combining them together and then eating them to score points. But while you’re doing that, you have to contend with roving enemies and maze walls that reshuffle as you combine scoring blocks together. That forces you to think three moves ahead to evade enemies and adapt your strategy on the fly to deal with shifting obstacles.
Dissembler is a nifty little puzzle game that has you matching colors by swiping around tiles to match three or more tiles of the same colorto clean out the board. What starts out as a simple exercise quickly ramps up in difficulty as the game adds more colors, intricate patterns, and other complications across more than 170 different levels. Additional puzzle of the day and infinite modes are available for added replay value.
Vandals is a stylish puzzle game in the vein of Hitman Go, with players carefully guiding a street artist through back alleys and avoiding detection as they plant their tags across the world’s great cities. You'll need to carefully plan ahead, manipulating the movements of guards and other threats by using noise and other distractions to find the golden path through each level. Along the way, you also get an interactive history of modern street art and graffiti through hidden photos and collectibles you discover in play.
There’s a new version of Alphabear, Spry Fox’s cute bear-themed word game, and the sequel plays a lot like the original. You build words from tiles on the map, freeing up space for your bears to grow in size and points. Unused letters become rocks, which keep your bears from growing and adding a turn pressure element. Alphabear 2 mixes up the formula with more costumed bears to unlock, each with different effects and modifiers, as well as a story mode.
If you’re the type to always point out the tiniest of spelling errors, Typochondria might just be up your alley. It’s a quick-firing puzzle game that challenges you to spot the typo in each snippet of text, slowly ramping up the difficulty as you go along. You can challenge your wits with the pressure of arcade mode, compare your score on the leaderboards, or just chill out in the zen mode. Typochondria is ad-free, with in-app purchases unlocking additional content packs, providing you with new genres of fiction or non-fiction to go sleuthing through.
Old Man's Journey
It's not as trippy as the Monument Valley games, but Old Man's Journey operates on the same premise — help a character get from Point A to Point B by rearranging the landscape to help him on his way. More important than figuring out which mountains to drag in what order, though, is savoring the trip itself. Old Man's Journey features gorgeous hand-drawn animations that look like they should be hanging on the wall of a museum instead of appearing on your smartphone screen. With no dialogue or interruptions, this is one puzzle game you can really get lost in, especially if you've got an Android device with a larger display.
Loveshack’s follow-up to its stylish 2014 comic book puzzle game Framed has you sneaking around in the Far East, engaging in various Spy-vs-Spy style shenanigans. As in the original, Framed 2's gameplay consists of players having to rearrange a series of comic book-style panels to ensure they make it through each scene unscathed. Comic hijinks and a jazzy soundtrack make the game a delight, though its 23 levels might be too few for those looking for something meatier.
Threes is a delightfully addictive match-two puzzle game that's all about getting the highest score. Starting with a 4 x 4 grid of numbered tiles, players slide around 1s and 2s, matching them into 3s, and then combining matching numbers together. However, every time you slide a tile in a certain direction, all tiles make the same movement. What starts out simple turns into a challenging puzzle, as you balance short-term number matching with long-term planning, all while trying to adjust to new tiles added every turn. It's no wonder that Threes' simple-yet-challenging formula has been copied by numerous games.
Road Not Taken
Inspired by the Robert Frost poem of the same name, Spry Fox's Road Not Taken is a turn-based puzzle roguelike that has a Jawa-like robbed wizard working to save the town's lost children by wandering the frozen forests to reunite them with their parents. With your magic staff, you can pick up objects, animals, and children, but carrying them drains your life force, so it's more effective to pick things up, and then toss them to where you need them. The game's environmental puzzles include a crafting element, as you pick up and combine objects to create new items that you use to overcome obstacles. Players must survive 15 years (levels) of procedurally-generated puzzle mazes, so no two games are ever the same.
This puzzle platformer has you guiding a strange organic blob through a post-apocalyptic world, prodding and poking the blob to guide it through environmental puzzles, past a myriad array of platforms and hazards. Tapping on the mushroom deletes its cells, which grow on the opposite side, propelling the blob onwards. Mushroom 11 will have you worming through tunnels and machinery, splitting into multiple blobs to solve puzzles, and even balancing a rocket in mid-flight.
Words With Friends 2
Zynga’s Scrabble-like Words With Friends returns with a major update adding a ton of new features, while making sure that loyal users don’t get left behind. The app’s asynchronous multiplayer fun remains untouched, but with new game modes added in, such as a Solo Challenge mode, a team based 5v5 Lightning Round, and an expanded dictionary with more than 50,000 new words added in. Crucially, in-progress matches from the first game can be seamlessly continued in the second, and players who bought the ad-removal in-app purchases in the original can continue to play the new game ad-free.
Why We Love Puzzle and Word Games
Smartphones and tablets with detailed touchscreen displays and powerful processors make a great platform for mobile puzzle games. Responsive touch controls are ideal for giving puzzle games a tactile feel, and short, sharp mental challenges are perfect for gaming on the go. These devilishly fun distractions will have you wondering what you used to do with all your free time.