Puzzle and match games
The best puzzle and match game on iPhone and iPad: Euclidean Skies
This game’s predecessor, the sublime Euclidean Lands, wrapped Hitman GO’s turn-based stealth puzzling around a Rubik’s Cube. You twisted and turned planes to reach your foes, prior to getting all stabby. Euclidean Skies, though, enables you to break up the levels, while they get to work breaking your mind.
Now, increasingly complex 3D architecture can effectively be unravelled, so you can simultaneously prod switches and reach doors, or use a spinning rocky outcrop to obliterate unwary enemies. Like the original, it’s a tactile joy, marrying the best of dazzling visuals and deviously designed brain-smashing challenges.
Each level of Dissembler begins as a tiny slice of digital abstract art – coloured squares that might in another life have found themselves on a gallery wall. But here, pairs of squares can be flipped, like in Bejeweled. As in that game, the aim is to make matches of three or more.
The twist is that in Dissembler, matched elements vanish, and nothing replaces them. You must therefore figure out the exact chain of swaps that will enable you to remove every square, rather than leaving some isolated.
Endless undos and simple early levels lull you into a false sense of security, but this game eventually becomes brain-smashingly tough. Still, you’ll feel like a genius every time you crack one of its later levels.
The main thing you need to be aware of with Evergarden is it’s deeper than you initially realise. The basic gameplay finds you flicking seeds out of flowers on a hexagonal grid, and then merging them, like a horticultural take on Threes!
But as you work your way through the game, new mechanics are gradually revealed, such as demanding animal companion Fen bestowing you with big points should you match its favourite patterns.
With gorgeous visuals, lovely audio, and a smartly conceived narrative foundation, this is a lean-back puzzler that manages to hit you in the brain and in the feels.
Bring You Home
Polo the alien’s having a bad day. His pet’s been pilfered, but on giving chase he falls out of an upstairs window. Fortunately, someone up there loves him, allowing you to change the future by swiping and swapping panels until he survives.
In that first scene, a barrel of hay breaks Polo’s fall rather than his face. But before long you find yourself confronted by absurdly complex, surreal set-ups involving unicycling aliens, enraged clowns, and adorable mix-and-match giant animals.
Sometimes logic is strained, and there’s more than a hint of trial and error. But Bring You Home is so brilliantly scripted that you’ll replay every level you beat, to see all the entertaining ways in which Polo can come a cropper.