Although the main lure for the best iPhone games now comes in the form of the best Apple Arcade games, there are still plenty to be found outside of the tantalising subscription service over on the App Store. This best iPhone games pick will have you playing Love You to Bits one minute, Telling Lies the next and then Three the next. It's a maze of top notch content, that will guarantee you good times in your pocket.Make waiting in line boring no more! So take a look at what's on offer here in our best iPhone games list because chances are your new favourite game is a tap away.
Each month we review a brand new title in the hopes that it will be added to our best iPhone games list. Sometimes they'll make the cut, other times they won't, but all the games we review will definitely be worth checking out, we can promise you that. For the full list of all 30 best iPhone games, turn to the next page...
December iPhone game of the month: Dream Detective
Cute and intricate worlds full of loads of small animations and wonder really do catch my eye. When it comes to Dream Detective, developer Century Game has taken the Where’s Waldo concept and created a large number of different themes, environments, and different gameplay worlds to be explored, all on your phone.
Dream Detective Allie has been sucked into a TV, taking her into Dream Land. Blue broken gems seem to have something to do with why the world is this way, but these are scattered around all of the different scenes and worlds, forcing Allie to become a detective, looking to fix her world. These different dream scenes come in such a variety of themes and worlds - it’s where most of the gameplay in Dream Detective comes from. Some are themed around holidays or animals, while others showcase whimsical worlds of their own creation. Others mimic famous works of art or even comic books.
Each time you play a level, it costs energy, which refreshes over time, but you can purchase or watch adds for more energy if you want to speed up the process. Playing through the normal story mode is pretty fun – different worlds have different rules with them, some giving you no timer and allowing you to just collect a few of the hidden objects where others need you to find all of the listed objects, often before a timer does run out. Other objects and people in various environments also can be clicked on, to reveal bits of text or tell you more about the scene.
If you are stuck, you can tap on the item bubbles at the bottom of the screen, giving you a cute hint as to where and what the object is. Many of these little details add a very cute feel to the game, matching its adorable graphic style.
There is a secondary game mode to play through, which requires slightly more energy. Instead of being shown a picture of what you need to find in the scene, you are given a number by some written instructions, and you need to basically find as many of these objects as fast as possible. Once you have got the correct number, a new description and number appears. This game mode has a timer and is looking for you to get the highest score possible, as you get more time with each correct find.
If you are out of energy, you can explore your avatar and castle. The castle you own can be upgraded with coins you earn, though it does take some time once you have paid for your upgrade to appear. You can also unlock various outfits and cosmetics through watching ads, purchasing them or reaching different levels. These can then be used to decorate your character, if you’re into that.
Personally, I found scenes like A Super Night, which transform as you find a specific object, to be the most interesting, while the comic book-themed scenes were less engaging, as you were just trying to find the right letter in the right version of the various comic book fonts. The secondary way of playing, a sort of high score chase the clock game, is a nice addition, but for my first go I really don’t know what the game wanted from me and found myself struggling to find the right items to click, to satisfy the requirement. It’s hinted that making it onto the top of these endless mode leaderboards unlock special items, but I couldn’t beat other people around the world.
In Dream Detective, I found that my energy simply ran out far too soon, forcing me to watch ads for one energy a turn (most rounds take three or four energy) or needing to pay to play. This sort of put me off of the game, as I wanted to play more and couldn’t quite yet. I did really enjoy the various scenes and variety in these scenes. The different characters you can interact with also bring the worlds to life - along with the subtle animations throughout the scene, making the world look as though it was breathing. I should also mention the music in Dream Detective - though I don’t normally get really into music, Dream Detective’s is above the normal, providing a soundtrack well worth listening to. Overall, it’s a really lovely game that just needs more energy per ad or price to be really worth it.
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Turn to page two for our pick of the 60 best iPhone games to play right now...