The Best 10 iMessage Games of 2023

Use the Apps icon in iMessages to start games in a conversation

Apple added a new dimension to text messaging when it introduced iMessage games for iOS 10. All iMessage games are turn-based, so you and your friends can play at your leisure. Some of the games below are iMessage exclusives, while others can be played outside of the app. Before diving into the list of best games, learn how to play games on iMessage.

Information in this article applies to iMessage for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices with iOS 10 and higher.

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Best Multi-Game Compilation for iMessage: Game Pigeon

Game Pigeon app for iMessage
What We Like
  • Frequent updates include new games and bug fixes.

  • Some games support more than two players.

  • Lots of cool optional in-app purchases.

What We Don't Like
  • Some games are confusing and don't have instructions.

  • Most games are limited to two players.

  • A lot of content is behind a paywall, and you must pay to remove ads.

Game Pigeon packs over a dozen classic games into one app. Challenge your friends to a friendly bout of Checkers, Poker, Gomoku, or Battleship from iMessage. All games are free to play, but most games contain in-app purchases.

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Best iMessage Word Game: Wordie

Wordie app
What We Like
  • Over 600 classic levels with more to come.

  • Create puzzles and play levels made by others.

  • Integrates with social media, so you can ask friends for help.

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of ads.

  • Some puzzles are too easy.

  • Difficult to play on Apple Watch.

Wordie is a free word-trivia game similar to Pictionary. Players are presented with a jumble of letters and four pictures that serve as hints for the mystery word. It's possible to create groups of up to 40 players. Plus, you can sync your game across all your other Apple devices, including your Apple Watch.

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Best Basketball Game for iMessage: Cobi Hoops

Cobi Hoops for iMessage
What We Like
  • Lots of cool characters and courts from which to choose.

  • Every character looks unique due to the outstanding pixel art.

What We Don't Like
  • Not very competitive since there's no way to block an opponent's shots.

  • Must pay to unlock additional characters and game modes.

If you feel like shooting hoops with your friends, Cobi Hoops lets you play some serious b-ball without breaking a sweat. In this free game, players compete to see how many baskets they can make in 30-second rounds. Take advantage of trick shots to raise your score and unlock new challenge modes.

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Air Hockey With a Twist: Let's Puck It!

Let's Puck It! app for iMessage
What We Like
  • An interesting concept with lots of possibilities.

  • A great tool for settling disputes.

What We Don't Like
  • The turn-based gameplay doesn't match the excitement of real air hockey.

  • Some of the built-in bets are a bit crude.

Let’s Puck It! puts an interesting spin on an old American pastime by encouraging players to wager bets. You can choose from a list of options like "loser buys dinner," or you can make up your own stakes. Be careful what you wager because the pace of the puck increases with every volley.

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Word Game Tournaments for iMessage: Boggle With Friends

Boggle With Friends app
What We Like
  • Has multiple gameplay modes and live tournaments.

  • It's fun to play alone or with others.

What We Don't Like
  • It requires iOS 11 or higher.

  • Must pay to participate in tournaments.

If you've never played Boggle, it's a board game that gives players two minutes to spell as many words as possible from a collection of random letters. It's basically a fast-paced version of Scrabble. Download the Boggle With Friends app to practice on your own, then challenge your friends in iMessage.

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Mind-Bending Mini-Golf on iMessage: Mr. Putt

Mr. Putt app for iMessage
What We Like
  • The unique themes for each course keep things interesting.

  • The challenging and addictive competitive gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Has a limited number of courses.

  • The annoying background music.

  • The iOS 12 version is buggy.

Made by a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Mr. Putt has become the most popular mini-golf app on iMessage. Although the game puts up a challenge, sleek graphics and fluid controls keep things from getting too frustrating. Mr. Putt is free to play and exclusively for iMessage.

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Best Icebreaker Game for iMessage: Truth Truth Lie

Truth Truth Lie app for iMessage
What We Like
  • There's a text-only mode if you don't feel like recording videos.

  • Two Lies and a Truth mode.

What We Don't Like
  • You don't need an app to play Two Truths and a Lie.

  • It requires iOS 11 or higher.

Two Truths and a Lie is a game people play in groups to get to know each other better. Each player makes three statements about themselves, and everyone else has to guess which statement is false. Truth Truth Lie brings this classic icebreaker to iMessage so that you can learn more about people from all over the world.

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Best iMessage Chess Game: Checkmate!

Checkmate! for iMessage
What We Like
  • Sync your game across multiple devices.

  • It tracks your move history.

What We Don't Like
  • The bare-bones graphical interface.

  • It requires iOS 11 or higher.

Although Game Pigeon features a version of Chess, Checkmate! offers a superior experience. For $0.99, you can chat as you play and play multiple games at once. There's no timer between turns, so you can take as long as you need to think about your next move.

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Make Your Own iMessage Slide Puzzles: WIT Puzzles

WIT Puzzles app for iMessage
What We Like
  • Make puzzles as simple or complex as you like.

  • Create puzzles out of photos or text.

What We Don't Like
  • It requests access to iCloud.

  • Has occasional bugs and glitches.

WIT Puzzles turns your photos into slide puzzles for your friends to unscramble. The app keeps track of how many moves players take to put the pieces in the right place. In addition to iMessage, WIT Puzzles is available for WhatsApp and Facebook.

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Candy Crush Clone for iMessage: Bubble Bop

Bubble Bop for iMessage
What We Like
  • It's highly addictive.

  • The intuitive controls and gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • It's not very original.

  • Must pay to remove ads.

Bubble Bop may look like another knock-off of the arcade hit Bust-a-Move, and that's because it is. Nonetheless, anyone who has played Candy Crush or anything similar will immediately know what to do: Match up balloons of the same color to pop them before they fill up the screen. 

How to Get iMessage Games

The interface for the new iOS is slightly different from its predecessors. However, the instructions are basically the same for iOS 10 and up. Older versions of iOS don't support iMessage games.

To open the App Store within iMessage:

  1. Create a new conversation.
  2. Tap the Apps icon located next to the iMessage text box.
  3. Select the App Store icon.
  4. You should see a selection of apps, games, and stickers compatible with iMessage. Use the search feature to find the game you're looking for, and then tap Get to install it.
Downloading iMessage games on an iPhone

How to Play iMessage Games

After downloading your game of choice, it's added to the end of your apps list. To challenge your friends within iMessage:

  1. Enter a conversation with the person you want to play with.
  2. Tap the Apps icon located next to the iMessage text box.
  3. From the Apps menu, scroll through your apps to find the game you want to play and tap it.
  4. Select the Send icon to send an invite. As soon as your friend accepts it, the game will begin.

You can start playing right away. When your turn is finished, your friend receives a message letting them know it's their turn.

How to play games in iMessage
  • How do I play Game Pigeon in iMessage?

    Because Game Pigeon is a suite containing several games, you have an extra step to start playing one. In a conversation, select the Apps button as usual, and then select the Game Pigeon icon. Then, you'll need to select the game you want to play before you can send an invite to your friend.

  • How do I play the Reversi iMessage game?

    Several iMessage versions of Reversi (also known as Othello) are available for iMessage. Game Pigeon's is called Reversi. You can also download a standalone version like Black vs. White.

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