With the App Store growing and growing, it's getting harder every month to pick the best iPhone games. Thankfully though, we're here to help guide to you through what to play right now, to bring you the most delightful, the most varied and the ones likely to make your iPhone smudgy. Whether you're looking for an adventure, a puzzler, or something that once appeared on consoles, there's probably something in our list of best iPhone games for you.
It's a platform that will have you playing number matching things like Threes one minute, and Fortnite or GTA the next. What you play is up to you but it means if you pick the best iPhone games you have a console in your pocket at all times, and plenty to play. So take a look at what's on offer here 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...
April iPhone game of the month: The Gardens Between
A beautiful, ever-changing world full of objects that you may recognize from your own life. The Gardens Between is a beautiful puzzle-adventure game where you are able to uncover the story of two children, all through islands of their belongings or memories. The game opens up at a treehouse, and this is where you meet the two characters you will be helping along. Childhood friends named Arina and Frendt who have grown up together.
Through the various stunning islands you’ll need to travel around and solve, you’ll learn more about these two children and what they are currently going through. One of them seems to be moving away - boxes hit across the beach, toys falling out. All of the levels are relatable, stuff I’ve played with or had within my house and yard. You’ll see childhood moments that are being unpacked, explored, and then filed away to be thought of at a future time. These little bits of context give memories and personality to the characters you are controlling, but it’s not the only thing that’s going on within this island.
You are solving these puzzles by going forwards and backwards in time - the characters will move forward or backwards depending on how you manipulate the time around them. Islands have these sort of light orbs that can be carried and placed into buttons or used for switches, if you get the timing right. Sometimes it’s as simple as picking them up on the way forward, while other times you must trigger wind chimes to open flowers, then grabbing light from them and carrying it within your lantern. Black void orbs also float around, which take whatever light you have - forcing you to find a way to close them or get the light around them to trigger whatever switch you need to hit. Other times you’ll need to avoid grabbing light orbs as they can block off areas.
A few of the levels contain puzzles that don’t have to do with light and instead have to do with the giant items within the level. Walking on them or interacting with them can cause objects to light up, change, or move depending on exactly what you’re doing. Theses puzzles make the objects within the island not only look stunning, but seem interesting and useful - you’ll need to watch your surroundings closely.
Once you have completed a level, the two children will together go through a light portal. You are then shown the memory that has inspired the level you just solved, which is captured into a bubble, showing you the full scene so you understand where these objects come from and exactly what they mean. You’ll then float your treehouse-turned-boat to the next island, which is another puzzle for you to solve.
The Gardens Between isn’t a simple puzzle game - the levels are 3D and take a lot of time to figure out. Each one tells a story and shows some part of their lives, even down to the backgrounds around the islands, showing various objects and buildings off in the distance. This entire game is so well made, with perfectly themed islands to each but of story for you to explore. You’ll never get to a point in the puzzle that you physically cannot solve, as you can always rewind back to the very start and just try again. With such artfully designed levels, I was very happy to hear that The Garden’s Between had made its way onto mobile, where I can take the game with me and play it wherever I go.
There are a lot of challenges in later levels, especially as levels become darker and more difficult to follow, but they are always worth finishing to figure out what memory these children are working through next. Unlike more simplistic puzzle games, there aren’t a hint system or a way to purchase (or watch ads) to overcome the challenge - you’ll just need to keep trying until you figure it out. There’s not a lot of negatives to this game, apart from when you get stuck on a memory and have no way to solve it. But it’s one of those puzzle games where you can just close the game down for a bit and come back with a clear head.
You get to be apart of the growth and memories of a pair of children who are just super adorable to watch. They have their own attitudes designed through the way that they walk and their interactions within the memories together. Being apart of this world, this really wonderful and beautiful world, is just a joy to do - and I really felt like my time with The Garden’s Between was time worth spending.
Price: $19.99 / £19.99
Turn to page two for our pick of the top 39-21 best iPhone games to play right now...