Match some match games for my matching mama
December 11, 2018 6:06 PM   Subscribe

My mom likes match three (think Bejeweled) and Tetris. She's getting an iPhone for Christmas. What match or Tetris-adjacent puzzle games for iOS a) don't suck, b) aren't merely ad-delivery services with pretty colors, and c) can be played entirely offline? Willing to pay a couple/few bucks for a great game (up-front or IAP), willing to deal with minimal ads for free games.

These kinds of games are not really my thing, so I'm in the dark here. She's on satellite internet so ad-filled games are no bueno. She's invested probably thousands of hours in Tetris 2 on SNES over the past 20 years playing against the CPU. When she had an Android phone previously, she played a few match three games offline quite a bit (though I don't know which ones beyond Bejeweled).
posted by tubedogg to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (27 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Two Dots? Dots?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:11 PM on December 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

Recommending the same as If only I had a penguin... because they're the best of the class. Adding Dots & co (same company), Threes, HexFRVR (which I came to via this website somehow), the standard 2048 and Merged++.
posted by General Malaise at 6:17 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

1010 is like Tetris but the pieces aren’t flashing and you put them anywhere they fit. It’s utterly addictive. Also try Strategery and Flow Free.
posted by bleep at 6:27 PM on December 11, 2018

I Love Hue (matching colors) and Mosaic Jewels (fit the small blocks into a big shape) are not match 3 games, but fill the same “put things in a specific order” itch as Tetris for me.
posted by holyrood at 6:43 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm a longtime fan of Bejeweled and Tetris, ND I really enjoy Two Dots.
posted by jeoc at 6:54 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

2048 is in the same spirit, I think.
posted by batter_my_heart at 7:00 PM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

You must build a boat (#YMBAB),
10,000,000 (aka ten million)

Both have wrappers on top of the basic puzzle core, that is a draw for many. But two dots is the place to start for clean elegant abstract iOS puzzle games, for sure.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:14 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

A thousand years ago when I had an iPhone I really liked Pawn'd. It's not available for Android so I can't speak to how it plays now (maybe they've updated it and it sucks, I have no idea, hope not) but it was just the right amount of slightly more interesting gameplay on a match 3.
posted by phunniemee at 7:23 PM on December 11, 2018

Candy Crush and all its variants
posted by karbonokapi at 8:05 PM on December 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ultimate Jewel 1 & the sequel are my favorite, I'm sensitive to flashy lights and it's calmer in the special effects than most. And it's untimed which is a must for me. There is no asking for money, ads are just a bar at the bottom, and if I play in offline mode it's just a blank space.
posted by buildmyworld at 8:29 PM on December 11, 2018

Twenty, zen mode. So soothing and addictive. Tetris-adjacent.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:51 PM on December 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Real life card game! She might really love Set, and she can play it with other people of different ages!
posted by amtho at 10:52 PM on December 11, 2018

I‘ve cycled through all the games mentioned here and am now stuck on Toon Blast. I like how there‘s an infinite amount of levels and each of them is a bit different, the difficult ones alternating with the easier ones. I also get a kick out of the silly visuals.

You can play it online but I just ignore the team building suggestions.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:16 PM on December 11, 2018

Drop7 is regrettably not on the App Store right now—it was incompatible with iOS 12 and is, according to a customer support rep, going to be put back on the store eventually—but it is honestly the best match-y puzzle game I've ever played.
posted by Polycarp at 11:28 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Gardenscapes and/or Homescapes. Classic match 3 but with a continuing storyline. You get 5 lives every few hours with chances for unlimited lives with certain challenges. Nice graphics, nice gameplay. I’ve been playing these for over a year and they’re still fun.
posted by like_neon at 1:45 AM on December 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sumikko Gurashi. Adorable graphics, no time limit, and a seemingly endless number of stages, all for free. And it can get pretty challenging, requiring a combination of strategy and luck. If your mom does end up trying this out, memail me - the only drawback is that it takes 30mins to regenerate lives and you really need a few friends to send you lives in the early stages.
posted by satoshi at 3:14 AM on December 12, 2018

Came in to say 2048, so will second it.
posted by penguin pie at 3:43 AM on December 12, 2018

Came in to say Twenty, so seconding that, though I like the classic mode.

Also, since Set was mentioned above, there's a Set app, which looks like it's from 1995 but works great.
posted by snaw at 5:12 AM on December 12, 2018

I liked Fishdom for a while. It’s a Candy Crush knockoff but it seems less highly engineered to get you to spend money (maybe they’re just not as good at it). And it looks nicer. Super addictive, wound up deleting it for that reason!
posted by lunasol at 6:15 AM on December 12, 2018

As was mentioned above, I am completely addicted to Two Dots. You only have to watch ads for bonus lives or a bonus box.
posted by lyssabee at 7:34 AM on December 12, 2018

The Puzzle Quest series has a lot of these features, though the early installments appear to no longer be available on the iOS App Store, and the later media tie-in installments (Marvel Puzzle Quest etc.) IIRC are a lot more pay-to-win freemium style.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:34 AM on December 12, 2018

I am obsessed with the Quell puzzle games, which are incredibly soothing and calm.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:42 AM on December 12, 2018

1010! - tetris-adjacent
Jewel Mania - bejeweled-adjacent
posted by yawper at 9:42 AM on December 12, 2018

Puzzle And Dragons?
Takes the matching a couple of steps further.
posted by Arthur Dent at 11:09 AM on December 12, 2018

For the amount of time I used to play games on my phone, I should be able to come up with more but the following are (iirc) free and without ads:
Triple town, is a sort of match three with a cutesy theme. Instead of swapping tiles you place them on the board, and creating a match combines them into a higher level tile. The free version has some limitation in amount of moves within some period, but quite generous (at least it used to be).
I’m pretty sure Zoo Keeper is without ads (did a quick hame, didn’t run into any). Fairly regular match three type game with pixelated zoo animals. It’s against the clock, which may or may not suit her.
posted by bjrn at 11:48 AM on December 12, 2018

0h n0 and 0h h1 are simple but entertaining puzzle games.
posted by box at 12:51 PM on December 12, 2018

I’ve been addicted to Zynga’s Wizard of Oz Magic Match for much longer than I’d care to admit.
posted by cardinalandcrow at 5:25 AM on December 13, 2018

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