At Diivr, we’re obsessed with apps. And we’re even more obsessed with apps that completely blow us away. We don’t come across them often, but when we do we never forget them. Today, we bring you:

The best-looking iPhone games (First Edition)

By way of a disclaimer, let’s just clarify that when we say “best-looking” we’re talking more about artistic direction and style rather than how highly-detailed the graphics are. In short, these are the apps that made us say “Wow!” the most while we played them.

 

Monument Valley


It’s probably safe to say that Monument Valley was the first stand-out mobile game that was also widely heralded as a work of art. The first game released in April of 2014, and is still a masterpiece by today’s standards. The second game took the stunning Escher-inspired graphics and exciting gameplay to a new level just earlier this year.

Monument Valley Screenshot
Monument Valley is still one of the best-looking mobile games of all time.

 



Nightgate


With a stunning yet simple style inspired by futuristic user interface design and HUD, Nightgate is an amazing experience from start to finish. Part of what makes this game so visually awe-inspiring is the approach to depth; everything in the game is made up of simple lines and shapes that use parallax shifting to create a surreal sense of dimensions.

 

Islands


Islands is an experimental puzzler. The gameplay can feel laborious at times as you wait for animations to complete, but its definitely a looker. This game combines masterful sound design with immersive environments that you’ll rotate and prod until you figure out how to make them shift into their next form. It’s all very clever and entertaining. We just love the scenes in this game. They’re the kind of thing you could print out and hang on your wall.

Islands puts you into immersive surreal environments as you try to solve its unique puzzles

 

Last Voyage


If a 1970s science fiction film poster became an app, it would be this game. There are bold contrasting colors, surreal scenes featuring mysterious geometric shapes contrasted with photorealistic textures…the list goes on. It’s tough to classify this as a puzzle game. It’s a bit of everything. One thing is for sure though: this is a “wow” experience from start to finish.

 

The Room


Another legend in its own right, The Room and its two sequels showed us just how immersive a mystery puzzle game could be. Playing this game feels both eerie and exciting as you piece together elaborate clues hidden within each room. Most of the levels consist of unlocking boxes nested within boxes, but there are also hidden compartments to discover, mazes, riddles, machines, and so much more. The carefully detailed design of each contraption in this game are why we knew it had to go in this list. Trust us, the whole trilogy is worth experiencing.

The Room 3 Screenshot
Every puzzle you solve in The Room games is uniquely impressive.

 

Geometry Wars 3


And the award for best-looking arcade-style game goes to Geometry Wars 3. While the first two games were colorful and fun to look at, this latest installment came with an eye-catching graphical makeover. The textures feel much more polished, and the glowing shapes feel much more…glowy. Beyond that, level designs exchanged the previous games’ flat rectangular grid for 3-dimensional surfaces. And that’s where this game’s visuals truly shine.

Geometry Wars 3 trades in flat rectangular playing fields for 3D awesomeness.

 

Transistor


Transistor is truly a work of art on so many levels. It has a deeply-mysterious storyline set in a fantasy/sci-fi universe inside a computer. The character designs are absolutely gorgeous, as are the environments. We’re talking actual hand-painted textures. Transistor is both an adventure and high-stakes strategy/battle game. Playing through the whole thing will take some dedication, but its worth it–even  just for all that beautiful artwork.

Transistor screenshot
Hand-painted textures bring dazzling life to the isometric world of Transistor.

 



Vignettes


Vignettes is one of those rare games that never uses any words, unless you count the name appearing in the logo at the very beginning. Other than that, Vignettes is purely imagery. Beautiful, colorful, pop art imagery. The premise of the game is simple: rotate each object until it reaches an angle where it can become a different object. Repeat. There’s something very peaceful about playing Vignettes. Perhaps its how casually you can interact. There’s no timeout, no scores, just simple motions and whimsical interactions.

Vignettes features colorful pop art imagery and that’s all.

 


So what did we miss?

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of every single awesome-looking game you could play on your phone. What should we add in the next edition? Let us know in the comments.

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Posted: October 17, 2017