Ranked: The 9 Best Paid Puzzle Games for iPhone & Android

The 9 Best Paid Puzzle Games for iPhone & Android

Puzzle games are great at giving your brain a workout while keeping things fun and killing time. They stimulate your noggin as you strategize and plan your next move, whether it's to keep your character from getting killed, or to get that special item to finally complete your collection and unlock a new feature within the game.

Both the iOS App Store and Google Play are awash with puzzle games, so choosing the right title can get confusing and expensive — especially if purchase a game you end up not liking. After seemingly endless hours of playing puzzle games in the name of research, we've come up with our own list of the nine best paid puzzle games to help you find the right one with minimum risk of denting your wallet.

In selecting these games, we made sure to only include puzzle titles that are available for both iPhones and Androids, with an average rating of at least 4 stars. In addition to this, only puzzle games that are fully compatible with iOS 11 were chosen, as Apple has stopped supporting games built on the older 32-bit framework. That said, here are the nine best paid puzzle games for both Android and iPhone.

#1. Monument Valley 2

Monument Valley 2 is a worthy successor to the original, and will have you totally immersed as you guide a mother and daughter through gorgeous yet seemingly impossible architecture. Each level consists of wildly imaginative monuments (which are puzzles in themselves) that you'll need to interact with to help guide Ro and her little girl from point A to point B.

To add to the trippy nature of the game, optical illusions are thoughtfully employed, providing mind-blowing satisfaction whenever paths are created where you'd least expected. Unlike its predecessor that only had ten levels to play through, Monument Valley 2 features 14 charmingly rendered levels that are sure to keep you lost in the game's beauty.

Monument Valley 2 shines through in terms of visuals and audio. Its minimalistic graphics are incredibly pleasing to look at, and these are accentuated perfectly by its haunting soundtrack which really sets the surreal mood of the game. Controls are simple and easy to to get used to, basically consisting of tapping on blocks and paths to move them around while leading Ro and her daughter through each stage.

All in all, Monument Valley 2 is a poignant and beautiful story of a mother and daughter that you get the pleasure of interacting with. The game truly sucks you in, and you feel yourself caring for the pair as you help them navigate through labyrinths and ensure their safety. Their story is truly yours to experience, so get the game now — it's cheaper than a purchasing a movie like Wonder Woman, and infinitely more fulfilling!

#2. Samorost 3

Samorost 3 is a exploration puzzle game that has you play as an intergalactic gnome that embarks on a voyage filled with wonder and excitement. With the aide of a magical flute, your curious space gnome travels across the cosmos and explores different worlds in search for their meaning and origins. You solve unique puzzles along the way, each with their own methods of completing.

There are nine distinct worlds to explore, filled with their own unique creatures and items that you can interact with or use to solve a puzzle. Samorost 3 features stunning, intricately detailed visuals that truly reflect the love and attention poured into it by its developers. If its beautifully rendered graphics aren't enough, the game's accompanying soundtrack is simply fantastic, and is as varied as the worlds you explore, adding tremendously to the tone and mood of each environment.

The game is incredibly minimalistic, and contains no unwanted distractions such as points, resulting in a completely immersive experience where exploration is the reward in itself. So if you haven't already played Samorost 3, we highly recommend giving it a try — we'd be surprised if it doesn't suck you in.

3. You Must Build a Boat

You Must Build a Boat is an incredibly addicting puzzle game that mixes elements of old school dungeon crawling with fast-paced tile matching. The game has you travel and explore a fantasy world in a boat crewed by misfits, all while defeating and recruiting monsters to join in your odyssey, and finding loot to aid you in your quests.

Gameplay is fast in You Must Build a Boat, where you'll need to match up various tiles to perform actions that correspond to NPCs or items that you encounter while exploring dungeons (such as swords and staffs to attack and defeat monsters, or keys to open treasure boxes). Knocking out tiles with speed is key, as monsters will keep attacking until you get kicked off the screen, ending the game.

Thankfully, you can use hard-won currency to upgrade weapons and other items (thanks to your onboard Arcanery) that make you stronger and more efficient in your dungeon crawls. You Must Build a Boat features dungeon modifiers to randomize its stages, which means you'll never play the same dungeon twice, even if you had to start a new game from scratch.

  • Download You Must Build a Boat ($2.99): Android | iOS

4. The Room Three

Reminiscent of classic PC games like The Myst, The Room Three is an intriguing puzzle game that's set in a remote island full of puzzling mysteries. Puzzle boxes are central to this game's theme and are strewn across multiple rooms that you're required to solve in a connect-the-dots fashion to unravel a mystery and proceed to the next group of puzzles in another location. In addition to this, you can peer inside small objects like locks and scale models and interact with their inner workings thanks to a special spectacle bestowed upon you by a mysterious figure only known as "The Craftsman."

The Room Three spans five chapters set in different locations, along with four possible final outcomes that you can achieve based on how you solve significant puzzles you encounter. This massive content is guaranteed to keep you glued to your screen as you unravel more secrets. And with four alternate endings, it's safe to say that this game has tremendous replay value that will have you solving puzzles feverishly to make sure there are no stones left unturned.

As far as graphics go, The Room Three certainly doesn't disappoint, immersing you in a beautifully rendered environment filled with finely detailed objects that you can interact with. The game's audio is also amazing, adding to the gloomy, mysterious theme and truly making you feel isolated as you navigate room to room. So if you've been dying to play a suspenseful puzzle game with console quality visuals, look no further than The Room Three!

5. Lara Croft GO

You don't have to be a fan, and it doesn't matter if you've never played any of the Tomb Raider games — even novices will thoroughly enjoy Lara Croft GO. The game is basically a Tomb Raider style turn-based puzzle game which has you move the heroine one square at a time around 3D levels while avoiding traps and head-on encounters with enemies. Each individual level is a puzzle within itself, requiring you to discern enemy movements in order to safely move.

There are numerous items to collect as you navigate through stages, such as spears to impale monsters from a distance and relics that unlock new outfits. The game has 115 levels that are split into seven chapters, which adds tremendously to its replay value. And with no tutorials that tend to hinder gameplay, the game will have you hit the ground running as soon as you open the app to play.

Lara Croft GO features great graphics that are fairly detailed despite the game's apparent simplicity. Moving your character around each level is incredibly intuitive thanks to simple swipe-based controls. All in all, Lara Croft GO is the best iteration of Square Enix's series of GO games to date and comes highly recommended.

6. Zenge

Zenge is a minimalist puzzle game that has you assist Eon, a multidimensional being who needs your help to travel between worlds through solving puzzles. The puzzles themselves are basically portraits of realms that you have to piece together in a specific order to complete. Once the puzzle is solved, you move on to the next world to do it all over again.

As with other puzzle games, stages get increasingly challenging to solve as your progress, with some stages taking up to half an hour to complete. There are no tutorials, move counters, points, or any rewards to be found in Zenge — the idea being a relaxing no-nonsense puzzle game where completing stages is its own reward. To add to that easygoing theme, the game features an amazing soundtrack that really helps set the mood and eases your mind even as you struggle with difficult puzzles found in later stages.

With beautiful artwork that's sure to suck you in, and simple controls that won't tire your fingers out, Zenge would make a welcome addition to your gaming library, so give it a try!

7. Scribblenauts Remix

Scribblenauts Remix is an incredibly addicting game that has you help Maxwell in his quest to acquire precious Starites, using nothing but your imagination. The premise is simple: Think of something, jot it down, and watch it come to life to help Maxwell overcome the obstacles that he faces at any given time. There's no limit to what you can create — be it a flying bus, giant yellow dogs, a ham sandwich trampoline — so the sky's the limit.

Scribblenauts Remix arguably has the best replay value among all the games in this list thanks to its focus on item creation, which provides you with almost unlimited solutions and outcomes. In addition to this, the game has 50 levels that you can play through, almost ensuring that you'll never grow bored as you come up with novel ways to solve puzzles. Scribblenauts Remix even features a Playground mode that lets you create as many objects as you please to interact with, making it a true sandbox that's at your fingertips.

Scribblenauts Remix is no only the perfect game for the casual player looking to be entertained on the go, it's also an ideal game for parents to enjoy with their kids and encourage their imagination to run wild. So if you're into solving puzzles unconventionally, give this game a chance and see what amazing objects you can come up with.

  • Download Scribblenauts Remix ($0.99): Android | iOS

8. Doodle God

Doodle God is an awesome puzzle game for kids of all ages, and will have you mix and match elements to create a thriving world. You start out with basic ingredients — earth, wind, water, and fire — and combine them to build up your planet to make it conducive to life while populating it with creatures of all shapes and sizes.

A complex, thriving planet isn't built in a day, so you'll have to work your way up from simple microorganisms to create more complex lifeforms, eventually leading to intelligent creatures that can use tools. From there, civilizations can even be formed, and with it, the good and the bad that inevitably follows. As such, the power of creation can be a double-edged sword, where a seemingly innocent invention such as the wheel can result in an unintended disaster like an outbreak or a plague.

Doodle God features great graphics for you to enjoy and appreciate, especially as you build up your world and see it come to life before your very eyes. Controls are easy enough — just tap different elements to combine them to form new ones. Best of all, you can try out Doodle God by downloading its free versions that feature limited moves that recharge over time, then purchase the unrestricted version if the game is to your liking. So what are you waiting for? Give Doodle God a try now and see if it's got what it takes to get you hooked!


If you're looking for a puzzle game with an engaging storyline filled with suspense at every turn, then FRAMED is right up your alley. Blending elements of film noir thrillers with tile-based puzzle games, FRAMED will have you move comic book panels into different arrangements to help your hero evade authorities out to get you dead or alive. After you arrange the panels, regardless of order, the scenes become animated for you to watch as the drama plays out. Be careful though, as one out-of-place panel can spell your demise.

FRAMED largely leaves you to your own devices and lets you figure things out for yourself. You rearrange panels in total freedom in order to determine the ideal arrangement that will guarantee success. This playground element makes the game very entertaining, as you'll waste time watching any number of outcomes unfold. In addition to this, the game gets more challenging as you progress through its stages, requiring lots of trial and error, such as turning the lights off to sneak past guards and turning them on again to power up a door you need to get through — all by arranging and rearranging comic panels.

Overall, FRAMED is an insidiously addicting game that gives you a sense of urgency as you play, even as you take your time to rearrange the panels. With visuals and sound that really sets the noir mood of the game, along with meticulously animated cutscenes that directly result from your panel arrangements, FRAMED will surely keep you glued to your phone as you figure out ways to evade and escape unscathed.

As better and more powerful smartphone comes our way, more advanced puzzle games are certain to be developed and come down the pipeline to replace some (if not all) titles in this list. Because of this immovable fact, we'll be sure to update this list as new puzzle games touch down for our gaming pleasure. Until then, be sure to share your thoughts or any recommendations you may have by posting in the comment section below.

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Cover image and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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