Infinite fun!
July 15, 2017 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a puzzly iPhone game for the random spare minute I spend sitting on transit, or waiting in restaurants. Difficulty level: Should not end.

Every time I finish a mobile game I have to search for a new oneā€”ain't life tough? Help me find the ultimate game that will keep me playing forever.


- Should be really easy to pick up and put down, even for just a minute. No long intro sequences every time the game opens, no real-time elements that make it hard to stop suddenly.
- I'll pay for a good game, but just once. I don't want to pay for more levels, or be constantly nagged to buy in-game-currency.
- I like making progress! So difficult is ok, but not so difficult that I get stuck for days.

What came close, but not quite: Monument Valley (long intros, limited levels), Flow (I get stuck), Prune (long intros), various crossword apps (phone interface feels too cramped), Slitherlink (only Android versions seem to have good puzzles).
posted by vasi to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I like Infinity Loop for this sort of thing. Each level isn't terribly hard, and there's no time limit, so it's not stressful.
posted by Weeping_angel at 8:14 PM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Laps is a new game that just came out I've been playing a lot the last couple of days. It's basically a "beat your last high score" puzzle game with levelling up based on experience gained per play. It sort of reminds me of 2048 in an abstract circular way.

The only IAP i've seen so far is to purchase "endless mode" early, but apparently they'll unlock it at level 12. And there's the usual "watch this video to double your XP" advertising, but that's pretty typical for a free game these days.
posted by cgg at 8:15 PM on July 15, 2017

How about Blackbox It's not infinite, but the challenges are unique and require lateral thinking. You can pretty much tackle them in any order.
posted by Alensin at 8:29 PM on July 15, 2017

posted by mon-ma-tron at 9:22 PM on July 15, 2017

Two Dots or its companion game Dots & Co. seem to fit this pretty well. Both are excellent for the scenarios you describe, and they're well designed and aesthetically pleasing.
posted by witchen at 9:46 PM on July 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

threes is not unlimited, but it has been out for 3+ years and only 1 person has reportedly beat it.
posted by juv3nal at 11:58 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use the whole Dots family for this: Dots, Two Dots, and Dots & Co. There are both many, many levels and additional smaller games every week.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:04 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

My two favorite "waiting room games" on my phone are a puzzle sliding game called Unblock Me and a simple word search game that I can't seem to find the exact version on the Apple store (I have an Android phone and Android version), but there are a lot out there.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:49 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing Two Dots (I haven't tried the other games in the series yet). Really lovely game, and lots of it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:59 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I liked 2 dots for a while but eventually it felt like it was purposely not letting me advance to the next level to get me to pay up. Not sure if this is common experience or just mine. I still like the original Dots, which has 1 minute gameplay but you just restart when it's over. There is also an "endless" mode that costs all of two dollars. Difficulty is pretty constant though so if you like the "increasing difficulty over time" experience it might not work for you.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 9:40 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've been playing the same game of Bejeweled since 2010 in zen mode. I imagine there are other matching games that offer the same, however I don't know if it's free or not. It wasn't when I bought it.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:02 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bloom blossom doesn't nag too much. There are 800-some levels (I'm only halfway through the 600s after too many months of playing) and they come out with another 20 levels every so often. Sometimes I sit on a level for a few days but mostly only because I don't spend that much time on it. You only get five fails at a time unless you spend real money, but that just encourages me to put it back down again, so it's pretty perfect for the pick up for three minutes niche.

It's not exactly a puzzler, but I've been playing plants versus zombies 2 since it came out - buy it once, ignore all the options to spend more. There's a vase-breaker game that's kind of interesting, and it comes out with new challenges on a schedule once you beat all the levels so it's closer to infinite.
posted by arabelladragon at 12:47 PM on July 16, 2017

I've really been enjoying Sym-a-Pix by Conceptis. It's a puzzle game that's great for "I've got three minutes until the bus arrives". There seem to be roughly a kazillion puzzles available, and they keep adding more. Each puzzle pack costs a few dollars but (for me, at least) provides hours of calm enjoyment.
posted by Lexica at 3:04 PM on July 16, 2017

Similar to 2048 and Three's there is Tallnum.
posted by Iteki at 5:15 PM on July 16, 2017

Damn you, all you Dots recommenders. You have ruined all my productivity for the day.
posted by Preserver at 5:48 PM on July 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I loved Two Dots for a while, but then it became obvious that they were ramping up the difficulty to force me to use extra power-ups. I understand that selling power-ups makes them money, but I hated that and deleted the game after enjoying it for a couple of weeks.

Threes was intensely addictive and I got to 1536 before drifting away from it.

Alto's Adventure was a lot of fun but it's a real-time twitch-reflex game, so probably not for you.

I enjoyed Monument Valley, but not as much as some others.

Wasted far more time than I should have during commutes on Plants vs Zombies, but that ends. You could keep re-doing them with increasing difficulty (forced fixed choices), but eh. PvZ 2 seemed less fun to me.

I'm hoping to pick up a few good suggestions here myself!
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:10 PM on July 17, 2017

I play Blendoku for this. It's technically finite, but if you buy the extra levels, there's a lot of play in there, and they occasionally come out with another set (included if you buy the all levels package). The harder levels can take a long time, and I find them replayable as well.
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:36 PM on July 18, 2017

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