The most well-known games usually come from big studios, but indie developers always have something unique to offer. A great example is Minecraft, one of the all-time best-selling indie games! With eclectic art styles and gripping stories, these creations have an unbeatable charm. So, if you want to wander off the beaten track, try out these best indie games for the iPhone and iPad that’ll keep you hooked!
- Among Us
- Iron Marines
- Playdead’s INSIDE
- Mini Metro
- Game Dev Tycoon
- Dead Cells
- Monument Valley
- Hades’ Star
1. Among Us
Check out one of the best free indie games for iPhone that’s gained immense popularity in recent years. Among Us is all about finding the imposter aboard a spaceship crew. It’s best played with friends for endless entertainment.
I love this game’s cute retro graphics, which inspired us to create some cool Among Us-based wallpapers for iPhone. It’ll take a bit of time to find your way around this game, but once you do, you’ll be hooked.
Whether you’re exploring the spaceship making quick repairs or serving as the imposter targeting fellow players and critical systems, each game is unique and exciting in its way. It’s sure to test your wits and strategy while keeping you fully engaged!
- Engaging multiplayer fun
- In-game text chat
- Cute graphics
- No voice chat
2. Iron Marines
Get set to fight challenging sci-fi battles on fascinating planets in this epic strategy game. Your task is to command soldiers and aliens against hordes of space monsters and strange extraterrestrial armies in a far-flung galaxy. It’s going to keep you hooked with 21 campaign missions and 17 special operations that will test your mettle.
There are multiple levels of difficulty to choose from, plus eight special weapons that can help you unleash hell on your foes. I especially love the impossible mode that’ll challenge even the most skilled players.
Moreover, it’s visually stunning with a great sound design that’ll enhance your experience.
- Excellent blend of graphics and sound
- Variety of battles
- Keeps you challenged
- Offline mode
- It can be a bit too difficult at times which makes it frustrating.
3. Playdead’s INSIDE
This one’s a recent release, but I’m confident it’s one of the best indie horror games of all time! After all, it’s won more than a hundred awards, including prestigious BAFTAs for game design, artistic achievement, and narrative.
It’s a brilliantly creepy, narrative-driven platformer that combines challenging puzzles with intense action. You’ll love the moody art style, dark graphics, and ambient soundtrack that create a thrilling, unsettling atmosphere. It lures you into the story and keeps you there for hours on end.
- An innovative combination of puzzle and platform gameplay
- Gripping narrative
- Atmospheric graphics and sound
- Tricky to figure out how to play
4. Mini Metro
Ever thought of building your public transit system? It sounds weird but is, in fact, incredibly fun! Try it for yourself in this cool game that’s all about designing a subway map for a growing city.
The gameplay is as simple as drawing lines between stations and getting your trains running. Then, as new stations emerge, you have to redraw your lines to keep things running smoothly. Allocate limited resources strategically and keep the city moving!
You can test your planning skills across 20 real-world cities and choose between three modes. Normal mode keeps things quick, while the endless mode is perfect for relaxing. Or, up the stakes with the extreme mode that poses the ultimate challenge! It’s hypnotic, satisfying, and so addictive.
- Simple gameplay suitable for everyone
- Keeps you challenged
- Relaxing to play
- No way to save a game
5. Game Dev Tycoon
Ever fancied developing your own game? Well, you’ll need hours of study for that, but you can come close to experiencing the thrill of it with this business simulation game that’s one of the best indie iOS games.
You have to start your game company, design some games, and climb the ladder to success. It all depends on how creative, experimental, and strategic you can be.
I love that this game has no additional in-app purchases, so you can enjoy it fully after buying. Moreover, it pays attention to detail, and there’s so much you can do, from hiring and managing your team to eating for reviews, gaining fans, and becoming a worldwide tycoon!
Finally, the storyline keeps you hooked and wanting to play more.
- Good blend of easy and challenging
- Fun to replay over and again
- Engaging story
- The text size is too small for comfort
6. Dead Cells
Get ready to confront all things weird and wonderful in this action platformer that challenges you to master frantic 2D combat with a host of weapons and skills. You’re part of a failed alchemic experiment where you get to explore a sprawling castle ridden with surprises and merciless foes.
You can play at your own pace to uncover what went down on this gloomy island. Further, this game is described as a roguevania in which you progressively explore an interconnected world. You won’t get bored of replaying it either!
I especially love the custom controls that let you change touch gestures, button size, and placement according to what suits you.
- Great 2D action
- MFi external controller support
- Customizable controls
- A bit pricey
7. Monument Valley
Any list of best iPhone indie games would be incomplete without a mention of this hit puzzle game. It stands apart with its beautiful, spellbinding graphics that’ll keep you immersed forever.
As for gameplay, the objective is to manipulate fantastical architecture to guide a silent princess through a breathtakingly beautiful world. You’ll feel lost in a fairytale!
It’s designed to be easy and appealing for everyone, and each screen is like a work of art. This game is inspired by minimalist 3D design, crafty optical illusions, and gorgeous monuments worldwide. If that’s not a unique concept, I don’t know what is.
Further, the audio responds to your manipulation of the world, so be sure to pop on a good pair of headphones when playing this.
- Award-winning graphics
- Relaxing to play
- Immersive audio-visual experience
- Easy for everyone
- The storyline could be further developed
This little card game is one of the best indie games of all time, in my opinion! On the surface, it seems pretty straightforward – merge numbers to create bigger numbers and keep repeating to avoid gridlock – but this challenge, in fact, draws you right in and fires up those brain cells.
It’s a commendably original game that rewards thoughtful strategy and offers endless opportunities to grow your mind. From the cute design to the whimsical music, Threes provides an exceptional experience that’ll make you return to it.
- Beautiful, simple interface
- Strategic depth
- Suitable for replaying over and over
- Sound effects might be annoying to some
9. Hades’ Star
If you’re a space fan, you’ll love this unique space strategy game that puts you in control of a growing empire. You begin with a single planet and expand to own multiple outposts, command a fleet, research new technology, participate in diverse missions, and form relationships with other players.
It’s a long-term game with structured gameplay that you can easily engage in during your downtime and still have a life. Use your skills to optimize trade routes, mine resources, explore new territories and defend against the indigenous alien space race.
My favorite part is forming diplomatic relations with other players and setting rules for economic and military cooperation. It feels pretty fantastical, and the best part is that you’re never pushed to purchase anything. This one’s a rare breath of fresh air!
- No pressure to opt for in-app purchases
- Can play at your own pace
- Keeps you challenged
- No landscape mode
Price: Free (In-app purchases start from $4.99)
Get the party going with this exciting word game that will have you frantically pushing buttons and shouting at your friends! It can be played by 2 to 8 players on their own devices.
Each player will see a screen with a random control panel full of buttons, switches, sliders, and dials. Your task is to follow time-sensitive instructions that are being sent to your teammates. So you have to listen to and decipher their technobabble before time runs out and your ship explodes.
Apart from being tons of fun, this game might just turn you into a better listener and a cooperative friend! Play it at your next gathering to see what kind of Spaceteam you and your squad can make!
- Unique concept
- Perfect for parties
- Fast-paced and funny
- No single player or remote multiplayer options
Price: Free (Unlock all upgrades for $2.99)
That’s my list of best indie games for your iPhone and iPad. Which ones have you tried yet? Let me know in the comments below.
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Mehak has a master’s degree in communication and over ten years of writing experience. Her passion for technology and Apple products led her to iGeeksBlog, where she specializes in writing product roundups and app recommendations for fellow Apple users. When not typing away on her MacBook Pro, she loves being lost in a book or out exploring the world.