Among the many new features introduced via iOS 10, Apple implemented a new way of playing games directly from the Messages app. As long as you and your pals are texting via iMessage as opposed to SMS, it’s now possible to jump into multiplayer action directly from your conversation.
Whether you’re looking for a word game to test your gray matter, or something more action-packed, there are already a host of great games to play in the Messages app. Here are nine of the best titles to hit the scene so far.
1. Words With Friends (Free)
For many, Words With Friends is the ultimate multiplayer game for mobile devices. It’s essentially head-to-head Scrabble, but players can take as long as they like to take their turn, meaning games can stretch out over days or even weeks.
The back-and-forth nature of Words With Friends makes it a great fit for iMessage support. Indeed, it was among the first apps to add this new feature following the release of iOS 10. It’s an incredibly convenient way of laying down some smack talk — or chastizing your opponent for stealing your spot.
2. GamePigeon (Free)
If you’re looking for variety, GamePigeon is an essential download. It offers over 20 games to play with your friends, ranging from four-in-a-row, to a version of Battleship, to plain old checkers.
The game’s implementation of 20 Questions is particularly noteworthy, as it supports more than two players. This app is a great starting point for anyone who’s new to playing games via iMessage. There’s tons of content, so you’re sure to find a game that suits the situation at hand.
3. MojiQuest (Free)
If you’re the kind of person who shudders at the thought of emoji, this one might be a hard sell. However, if their presence doesn’t put you off, MojiQuest is a pretty unique experience to enjoy with friends.
Players create their own character, then head out on quests to gather loot and earn experience. The gameplay revolves around turn-based RPG-style battles, but its character progression mechanics will keep you coming back for more.
This game would be a great way to waste time on a long trip. It’s not exactly Dungeons & Dragons, but it’s great fun to team up with friends and kill a few monsters — and the appeal of randomized loot will make sure at least one member of your party is always looking to play another round.
4. Truth Truth Lie (Free)
Unlike many other iMessage games, Truth Truth Lie takes full advantage of the iPhone’s hardware. As the name suggests, you tell your opponents two truths and one lie, relayed to them via video messages.
Recording yourself delivering the truths and the lie adds an extra dimension to gameplay — especially if you know the other person well. It’s great fun looking for the slightest hint of dishonesty on the opposing player’s face. Plus, if you’re not feeling camera-ready, you can play the game via text messages, too.
5. Qiktionary (Free)
Many readers in the UK will be familiar with television quiz show QI, which is all about trivia that can be classified as quite interesting. Qiktionary allows players to unlock facts sourced from the show by answering tricky questions.
However, Qiktionary is a word game through and through. Players need to guess a four or five letter word, with every incorrect attempt letting you know if any individual letters are correct. It’s a variation on Jotto, if you’ve heard of it.
Qiktionary is great fun, and can offer up a real mental workout. If you’re a fan of QI, be sure to check this one out.
6. Mr. Putt (Free)
Mr. Putt is mini-golf, pure and simple. Grab a friend, and you can challenge them to a round of nine holes across four visually distinct courses.
You control your putt via a drag-and-release mechanic that’s easy to grasp, but tough to master. Most players will be able to make par on the introductory holes without breaking a sweat, but the game gets pretty tough in more advanced courses. Playing with a friend puts your scorecards head-to-head, so Mr. Putt can get very competitive if you’re evenly matched.
7. Boggle With Friends (Free)
Another title from Zynga, the company behind Words With Friends, this app adapts the perennially popular board game Boggle. It’s particularly appropriate for iMessage play, because rounds are short but intense.
Boggle is a true pick-up-and-play game. Its simple format — giving you two minutes to find words in a grid of sixteen letters — means that all ages and abilities can give it a go. Plus, with your iPhone taking care of set-up and scoring, it’s much easier to bang out a quick round than it is with the physical version.
8. Cobi Arrows (Free)
Many of the best iMessage games revolve around words, but if you’re eager for a more arcade-y experience, Cobi Arrows is a good place to start. The app gives players thirty seconds to fire arrows at a target, so a good sense of aim and quick reflexes are essential.
Cobi Arrows is all about getting to grips with its aiming mechanic and perfecting your skills. For players who are looking for a little more content, there’s a $1.99 in-app purchase that unlocks a few more game modes and a handful of extra characters.
9. Checkmate! ($0.99)
There’s arguably no better one-on-one game of wits than chess, and Checkmate! is a great way to play. Much like Words with Friends, casual chess is a game that lends itself to trash talk, particularly if you’re contesting a hard-fought series spanning several games.
Checkmate! stands out from a host of other apps offering iMessage chess because of its clean interface. While other apps might introduce unnecessary bells and whistles, Checkmate! keeps things straightforward — and it’s all the better for it.
What are your favorite iMessage games to play with friends? Add your suggestions in the comments below!
Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov, Aneta_Gu via Shutterstock.com