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9 offline iPad and iPhone games to play without Wi-Fi

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re going on a trip and want to queue up some offline entertainment, you can’t go wrong with iPad and iPhone games.
  • Not all games can work offline, however. So I hand-picked some recommendations that can all be played without Wi-Fi or internet.
  • You need to download them with an internet connection, of course.



The greatest strength of mobile games is their portability. Games downloaded to your iPhone and iPad are designed to be taken and played anywhere and everywhere. However, you might discover that your favorite game doesn’t work unless you are connected to the internet. Given that you might rely on these games the most when Wi-Fi isn’t readily available, discovering this at the worst possible time can be a major bummer.

Some games simply cannot be played offline, most notably online-only games, but there are many that offer amazing experiences without a connection. Mobile games come in as many shapes and sizes as console titles and even share a good number of games with consoles. That’s why I made sure to include a good variety of genres and styles, so you can find at least one that appeals to your tastes. These are the best iPhone and iPad games you can play without an internet connection.


Make sure you download these games
before
you are out of internet range. Accessing the app store and downloading them will still require an internet connection before you can play them offline.

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1 Monument Valley

M.C. Escher eat your heart out

Monument Valley
Monument Valley

Puzzle games are a dime a dozen on the app store, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. Monument Valley and its sequel do so first with their simple but pleasing art style but really hook you with their mind-bending mazes. All the areas are made up of impossible spaces and optical illusions that make finding your way through them tricky but satisfying to work out.


The premise of the game is that you, Ro, are placed on a seemingly impossible stage. By manipulating the perspective to create new pathways, you need to navigate through them to the end. Between the pleasant colors and chill tunes, this is a great way to relax while out of internet range.

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2 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Use the Force, not the internet

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

What was once a cutting-edge game on the original Xbox and PC now fits in the palm of your hand. Set thousands of years before the events of the films, there’s no need to know all the ins and outs of the Star Wars universe to enjoy this amazing RPG made by the masters at Bioware.


You create your own new character in the Star Wars universe, whom you will guide on a classic tale of good versus evil. However, this RPG lets you decide which side you fight for: the Jedi or the Sith. Will you be an honorable warrior of the Light side, or a selfish and powerful Dark side user? The choice is yours.

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3 Plague Inc.

Morbid curiosity

Plague Inc.
Plague Inc.

Made well before a real plague terrorized the entire planet, Plague Inc. has become a strangely intriguing game in the years following. It’s all about creating and adapting a disease of your own design to try and infect the entire globe before scientists can contain and cure it. It isn’t meant to be a true simulation of how diseases work, but it does highlight some interesting things about how quickly sickness can spread.


You have a few different disease types to choose from and modify over time, but actually winning is quite challenging. If you have the stomach for a game that may hit a little too close to home, Plague Inc. can give you a new perspective on how global health issues evolve.

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4 Offline Poker – Texas Holdem

All in

Offline Poker - Texas Holdem

Pocket-lint

Offline Poker – Texas Holdem

You can play many games with a simple deck of cards, but remembering to pack a full deck, having the space, and other people to play with isn’t always an option. When you are a poker fan, you also have to consider whether people know the rules and are of somewhat equal skill. Or, you can just play Texas Holdem Offline Poker.


This is a no-frills poker app that does exactly what it says on the tin. It sets you up at a table, gives you a stack of chips, and starts dealing. You can even play tournaments with the AI if you think you’re ready to go pro.

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5 SevenBloks

Tetris meets Sudoku

SevenBloks

Pocket-lint

Why pick one amazing puzzle game when you can play both at once? I admit this combination doesn’t sound as obvious as chocolate and peanut butter, but trust me when I say it works. Best of all, it’s as addicting and replayable as both games it is inspired by.

The idea is that you have a Tetris-like grid with blocks you need to drop, only instead of making a row to delete them, you need to line up numbers that are in those blocks. It sounds more complicated than it is when you play it, but you’ll be hooked from your first game.


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6 Old Man’s Journey

A leisurely adventure

Old Man's Journey
Old Man’s Journey

Fans of classic point-and-click adventure games will adore Old Man’s Journey. You need to help the titular old man navigate various landscapes using simple touch controls to manipulate the environment, somewhat similar to how Monument Valley works.

Most of the game involves moving hills and animals to let the man get from one side of the screen to the other, but it also slows down for moments where you search for something in the background to trigger a memory. This will fill in some of the old man’s life, helping you understand who he is and what his journey is all about, all without a single line of text or spoken dialogue.

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7 Flow Free

Go with the flow

Flow Free

Pocket-lint

I couldn’t help myself but add just one more puzzle game to the list. There are so many good ones that I don’t think you could blame me, and Flow Free is quite different from the rest. As with the best ones, the idea is simple: you just need to connect all the same colored points together with unbroken paths. The tricky part, of course, is doing it with every color at once.

You can get the feel for the puzzles with the early levels, but then move on to the harder stages that are much bigger and have way more colors to connect in mind-breakingly hard patterns. These might stump you for a while but will give you a massive rush of accomplishment when you finally crack the code.


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8 Brothers in Arms 3

Answer the call of duty

Brother in Arms 3

Brother in Arms 3

You can’t get your Call of Duty fix while offline, but you can still get your adrenaline rush with Brothers in Arms 3. This is the third entry in a long-running shooter franchise, but you don’t need to have played any of the previous games. You’re dropped into WWII to participate in some of the most iconic battles of the war.

This is a third-person shooter as opposed to a first-person shooter but has as much spectacle and tight gunplay as any other game. The campaign is a decent length, with a good amount of variety between each stage to keep the game feeling fresh. You’ll grow attached to the various “brothers” you meet and fight with in this epic adventure.


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9 GTA San Andreas

Go wild

GTA San Andreas
GTA San Andreas

Who hasn’t heard of the GTA franchise at this point? If you’re newer to the series, you might have missed out on San Andreas, which is a shame because it still holds up as one of the franchise’s best. While it might not be as robust and detailed as the newest game, it still has some unique features and a story worth seeing through.

Set in the titular city of San Andreas, you follow CJ in his struggles with various street gangs, cops, and basically everything else in his life trying to pull him into the world of crime. You’re free to follow the story or go off and create your own fun in the open world that acts as your personal playground for mayhem and destruction.


This game requires you to have an iPhone 4s or newer to run.

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