Eurogames for iPhone
August 20, 2018 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I have an iTunes gift card and I'd like to use it to upgrade the timewasters on my phone. Looking for Euro-style or puzzle games to play on a (very) small screen.

Right now I have Ticket to Ride (America and Europe), but that's all. I'm looking for games or puzzle apps that fit these criteria:
  • Works well on the smallest of screens, the iPhone SE. I will not be playing these on a tablet.
  • Works well with sound turned off.
  • Works well in airplane mode.
  • Lots of replayability.
  • Must have good AI or solo play.
  • Ideally no more than $5 per game, though I'd pay up to $10 for something great.
  • Single purchase only. No subscriptions or required in-app purchases. Expansions OK if they add a lot to the base game.
  • On the lighter side; not looking for Puerto Rico or Agricola here.
Some games I like are Lanterns, San Juan, Suburbia, Dominion, Race for the Galaxy, Rivals for Catan, Splendor. I also like Japanese-style logic puzzles such as Masyu, Hashi, etc.
posted by expialidocious to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have the Android version of Splendor, and play it on a phone - it costs $6.99 on iTunes. The AI is pretty good.

I've also played Carcasonne on an iPod (small screen) and it plays well - but it's $13.99 for the base game.
posted by jb at 2:14 PM on August 20, 2018

This is free, but maybe Pixelogic? It's based off the Japanese logic game picross. There are many iterations of picross on the app store, but this one has a zoom feature.
posted by typify at 2:22 PM on August 20, 2018

The iPhone version of Carcassonne is extremely well done and works fine on the SE.
posted by caek at 2:38 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Triple Town is a delight. Buy it once, and you never need to spend anything again, although you can if you want.

Threes is a one-time purchase and has been the phone puzzle timewaster champion for three years running in our household.

And also, have you played King of Dragon Pass and its recent sequel? Not a puzzle, and not so much strategy, because it focuses on storytelling and decision-making, but it hits every one of your other criteria out of the park. I've come back to it time and time again over the past six+ years of my life.
posted by joyceanmachine at 3:05 PM on August 20, 2018

I really like Jaiper and Galaxy Trucker on ios. Both have pretty great campaigns!
posted by bbqturtle at 3:51 PM on August 20, 2018

If you don't mind a little heavy, I'd recommend Castles of Mad King Ludwig; the tutorial is good, the AI is decent and there is a campaign mode that adds an interesting way to play solo.

Also, a little bit lighter, and cheaper... Patchwork is great.

They both play better on a small screen than you would expect.
posted by Laura in Canada at 4:00 PM on August 20, 2018

Seconding Carcassonne, and adding Lost Cities.
posted by cellar door at 4:06 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I recommend Burgle Bros. Works well on a small screen. Your set of options on each turn is reasonably small, but gives you plenty to think about.
posted by tracer at 8:00 AM on August 21, 2018

Almost all of the games you listed as "games I like" are available on the iPhone! (Unless you were saying you own them already, in which case sorry for the misread.) Lanterns in particular is very well-produced, and Splendor has sets of solo challenges that deepen the game in interesting ways.

I'd also recommend Onirim (designed as a solo card game, plays beautifully on the phone) and Frost (a super thematic deckbuilding survival game that feels like it could very easily be made into a solo board game). Those two take up the majority of my phone gaming time.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 2:50 PM on August 21, 2018

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