18 Mind Bending, Brain Teasing Games

We talk about games a lot here on iPad.Appstorm, and why not? They’re the first thing most people download when they get an iPad. So, if you’re going to waste hours playing games on your iPad why not challenge your brain instead of numbing it?

That’s why I’ve put together a list of eighteen games that will work out that often overlooked muscle, your brain. So, get ready to think hard about which of these you’d most enjoy! Here they are in no particular order.


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Angry Birds HD Free

Angry Birds HD Free

Angry Birds HD Free

I’d be amiss if I didn’t include one of the games that really served to put iOS gaming on the map. No one knew just how angry those birds were at pigs until Rovio introduced us to the world of Angry Birds in December 2009. Angry Birds now comes in many different versions from classic to space to Rio.

The free version contains 24 levels to get you started, but don’t blame me if you get so obsessed you end up purchasing the full version for $2.99.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Rovio Mobile

Words with Friends HD Free

Words with Friends HD Free

Words with Friends HD Free

The makers of Farmville brought this highly addictive Scrabble knockoff to the iPad. Battle your friends to decide who can spell the highest scoring word and claim the title of lexicon king!

Now you can also play its counterpart on the iPad, Hanging with Friends HD Free, a twist on the classic word puzzle hangman.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Zynga Mobile

Draw Something Free

Draw Something Free

Draw Something Free

Another spinoff of a classic game, Draw Something Free, is a collaborative game where you work with a friend to gain as many coins as possible by guessing each other’s drawings. Try to set a new record for how many turns you can go in a row without being stumped.

As you collect more coins you are able to get more colors for your palette. Will you do a quick stick figure sketch or let your inner artist shine?

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: OMGPOP, Inc.

Cut the Rope HD

Cut the Rope HD

Cut the Rope HD

When a mysterious box shows up on your doorstep with a sign that says “feed with candy” you know something is awry. Cut the ropes in each level to get the candy to the character affectionately named Om Nom. With many challenging levels, cute animations, and new obstacles added as the game progresses, you’ll be hooked!

Price: $1.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Chillingo Ltd.

Bejeweled Blitz

Bejeweled Blitz

Bejeweled Blitz

The object is pretty simple. Line up at least three jewels of the same color and they clear from the board. The more jewels you can clear at one time, the more points you’ll get. The blitz version also gives you the chance to score rare gems that unleash special powers and help you achieve an even higher score.

Can your friends playing on iPad or Facebook top your high score?

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: PopCap

Plants vs. Zombies HD

Plants vs. Zombies HD

Plants vs. Zombies HD

If you’ve ever played a tower defense game you’ll pick up Plants vs. Zombies HD quickly. Employ zombie-zapping plants to stop the zombies trying to invade your home. With a number of game modes from Slot Machine to Portal Combat this game is death-defyingly fun!

Price: $6.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: PopCap

TETRIS for iPad

TETRIS for iPad

TETRIS for iPad

TETRIS has been wildly popular ever since it was released on the PC back in 1984. Thinking about this game brings back memories of playing it in black and white on my 8-bit Game Boy. Now EA has brought their version to the iPad, so you can relive the block stacking puzzle game that started it all!

Price: $6.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Electronic Arts Inc.

Contre Jour HD

Contre Jour HD

Contre Jour HD

Named the iPad Game of the Year by Apple in their annual App Store Rewind of 2011, Contre Jour HD is a fantastical mix of mind bending puzzles and artistic creativity. Set to an eerie soundtrack, affect the environment around you in an attempt to guide the one-eyed creature Petit to safety. Manipulate many different gadgets to solve each puzzle. With over 60 levels you’ll be fascinated and enthralled for hours.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: Chillingo Ltd.

World of Goo HD

World of Goo HD

World of Goo HD

This physics based game challenges you to build structures out of goo in an attempt to reach the pipe (or exit) in each level. Achieve different types of goo balls as you go and discover the best way to string them together all while trying to avoid and overcome various kinds of terrain. Developed independently, World of Goo is unique and clever.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: 2D BOY

Sudoku HD

Sudoku HD

Sudoku HD

If you’ve never opened your morning newspaper, flipped open to the comics and then sat down to a rousing game of Sudoku then the iPad version might just be your gateway drug. The quintessential game of numbers, this version has some new features that separate it from the paper game.

There is a smart point system that allows you to score higher if you complete the puzzle faster. You can now also rank and compare your score with others using OpenFeint. The objective is so simple, but you’ll be racking your brain to complete each board!

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Finger Arts

Unblock Me FREE

Unblock Me FREE

Unblock Me FREE

It seems easy enough. Free up the red block by moving the other blocks out of its way to get it to the exit. With 4,200 puzzles to play, 2 game modes, and 4 difficulty levels you’ll find yourself scratching your head. Thankfully the latest version has added a pack of 99 hints available as an in-app purchase for $.99 for when you get so stuck you don’t know what to do. If you crave more the $.99 version offers a whopping 9000 puzzles!

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 3.1.3 or later
Developer: Kiragames Co., Ltd.

Shanghai Mahjong

Shanghai Mahjong

Shanghai Mahjong

The Chinese tile game, Shanghai Mahjong, includes over 50 tilesets, 200 different layouts and 33 Game Center achievements keep you coming back for more. Personalize each game with custom backgrounds and play your own background music. A fresh look for the classic game makes for a whole new Mahjong experience.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: MobileAge, Inc.

t Chess Pro

t Chess Pro

t Chess Pro

There are plenty of Chess apps available on the App Store, but if you want the cream of the crop then you want to play t Chess Pro. The pieces look incredible on the Retina Display and there are a number of other features included. Read the integrated Learn Chess ebook, save and load games, and play against any computer player with an ELO rating from 500 to 2500 or a friend. Checkmate!

Price: $7.99
Requires: iOS 3.1 or later
Developer: Tom Kerrigan

Machinarium

Machinarium

Machinarium

This gorgeous puzzle game will draw you in simply with its compelling animated design and ethereal soundtrack. Machinarium is a point-and-click style puzzler. Lead the robot from the scrap heap back to the city of Machinarium so he can rescue his robot girlfriend and defeat the robot gangsters.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Amanita Design s.r.o.

Wheel of Fortune HD & Jeopardy! HD

Wheel of Fortune HD & Jeopardy! HD

Wheel of Fortune HD/Jeopardy! HD

Sony Pictures Television has brought everyone’s favorite timeless TV trivia shows to the iPad. Spin the wheel and solve the puzzle with friends or see if you have what it takes to beat out the other contestants on Jeopardy! I’ll take Fabulous iPad Games for $600, Alex.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Sony Pictures Television

Where's My Water?

Where's My Water?

Where’s My Water?

Swampy the alligator wants to take a shower, but the pipes aren’t working. Guide water through the ground and into his bathtub. The paid version has over 200 levels and two different storylines. This one will take some brain power, so get those pipes flowing!

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Walt Disney

NYTimes Crosswords

NYTimes Crosswords

NYTimes Crosswords

Why pay for a NY Times subscription when you get the most important part, the crossword puzzles, delivered straight to your iPad? Ok, so maybe I’m being a little facetious, but in all seriousness if you love crosswords you’ll want this app. Get the same crossword puzzle that’s published in the newspaper that day plus over 6,000 classic puzzles from the NY Times archives.

The app is free and includes a 1 week trial, after that you’ll need to pay for either a 1 year, 6 month, or 1 month subscription… I guess you won’t be able to avoid that subscription after all.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Magmic Inc.

Gears

Gears

Gears

Guide your ball through this physics-based game as you try to pick up as many power-points as possible. Navigate the world of gears by swiping and tilting the iPad through 27 levels in 3 different worlds. With vibrant colors and high resolution graphics you’ll be immersed in Gears!

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Crescent Moon Games LLC

So, there you have it. Eighteen games to keep your mind busy and give it the workout you can’t get from sitting in a cubicle all day. As you can see there’s a great mix of classic and modern games available in this category for the iPad.

What’s your favorite brain teaser game? Are there any really good ones that you would have included in this list?

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  • Grace

    Oh man recently I’ve started playing Kingdom Rush. It’s not only addicting but also gets even more difficult like most puzzle games =)

    • xbeta

      Yeah I agree, Kingdom Rush HD is amazing addictive and exciting game!

      • http://www.theintellectualist.com Philippe Gaboury

        Add another one to the list of Kingdom Rush lovers.

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