The Best Adventure Games on the iPad

A good adventure game usually involves an interesting character, an engrossing story and a combination of action, role-playing, combat and puzzles that present enough of a challenge to keep pulling you along.   Some are more heavy on the story side, others go story-light and action-strong, but all of them transport you in some way.   This list brings in a variety of different adventures, some that offer challenging puzzles, others that are breathtakingly beautiful, some that are action packed, and some that are just truly unique.

LEGO Anything

The LEGO series of games are among the best adventure games across any number of platforms, so while this list is not intended to be in any particular order, it seems appropriate to start with them. The LEGO franchise has stuck to the tried and true formula of adding a bit of action, a bit of bashing and a large dose of humor to their games. And the great part is you can pick your poison with titles ranging from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter.

Broken Sword: Director's Cut

One of the best games from the 90s comes to the iPad in style with Broken Sword: Director's Cut. And Broken Sword does retro gaming right, redesigning the interface for the touchscreen in a way that actually adds to the game. In addition to the classic story, the iPad gets some exclusive content, so even if you are just hoping to relieve the good old days, you'll find something new. And for those that didn't play the original, this is a must-have download.

Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery

Sword and Sworcery successfully blends 8-bit styled graphics with 21st century game play, creating a point-and-click adventure that is unlike any other game on the iPad. There's a mix of everything in the game, from puzzles to combat, and a very interesting interface that will have you holding your iPad and turning around to get a fix on your environment. The game even makes neat use of time, and while it may not have puzzles as difficult as The Room or action as exciting as Wild Blood, it is truly a unique experience.


Republique is easily the best adventure game you can play with one hand. The game's "one touch" control scheme allows you to do almost anything in the game -- combat, sneaking, interacting with the environment, etc. -- with just a single touch. But don't think this makes the game easy. You'll need to pay attention to almost every note, email, hint or tip you come across in what amounts to one of the most polished and fleshed out games on the tablet. Originally funded by Kickstarter, Republique is definitely one of that website's success stories. 

The Silent Age

 1972. Richard Nixon was president, Dirty Harry was at the movie theatre and the Dallas Cowboys won their first Super Bowl. It was also the year Joe the average plumber came into contact with a time-traveling stranger, setting off the adventure in The Silent Age. A very unique story lines takes you between different times, with certain actions in one time needed to help solve puzzles in the other time.

The Walking Dead

We might wish the AMC series could go back in time and recapture the pure awesomeness of season one and season two, but while the series may be going downhill, the game is still pretty fun. The Walking Dead puts you into the role of Lee Everett, a convicted criminal who has -- guess what? -- given a new chance at life with zombie apocalypse. (Don't we all wish we could get a new chance at life because of a zombie apocalypse?). But don't think this second life will be full of easy decisions. One neat part about the game is how your actions really do matter. The Walking Dead consists of five separate episodes to play though, and when you are done with those, you can move on to Season Two.


On the more hack-and-slash side of things, there is Swordigo. This platformed adventure has fun puzzles, nice action and epic boss battles. You'll start out with a sword, but you'll soon add spells to your bag of tricks, which are used both for fighting and interacting with your environment. Swordigo is one of those games that gets the interface right, so you spend your time fighting enemies in the game rather than the control you have over it. If you love games like Zelda, you'll love this one. Perhaps a bit too light on the story side of things, but it is a fun romp. 

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge may have the name and story of the console version, but it's turned the original on its side. Rather than simply port a watered-down version of the game to the iPad, EA redesigned the first-person experience of the console game into a third-person side-scroller and somehow managed to do so without losing the action and excitement of the original. As Faith, you will run and jump your way across the rooftops of the city, all the while evading authorities as she completes her mission. It's a fun (if somewhat short) thrill ride.

Like a Little More Puzzle in Your Adventure?

If you prefer to work out your brain as well as your reflexes, check out the top puzzle-adventure games for the iPad.