No, I don’t hate puzzle games. No, I don’t think they are horrible; and truthfully, you might get that impression from my last review. Well I assure you that I do love a puzzle challenge, as long as the mechanics are set up right. Even other games that have randomly generating pieces do well—I love Tetris, it’s a classic!
That being said, I prefer puzzle games that make me scratch my head. I want a logical challenge, not a probability game. Thus I have put together a good list of three excellent puzzle games of ranging difficulty, to help you find some great gems out there in the App Store.
Game 1: Flow Free
Flow Free is a grid-based game that is super easy to pick up and offers some good puzzle fun. While the game definitely weighs in on the incredibly easy side of the spectrum, its later levels will still provide a bit of a challenge. Each level of flow is given to you as a grid with some colored dots. The idea is to drag a line between the dots, and connect each pair of colors, while using every grid space. What gives the challenge is that you are not allowed to cross over lines, and must pre-think out your moves to accommodate all the other lines on the board you will need to make. Once you understand how the game functions and the general layout used for level design, you can start plowing through the levels quite quickly. Due to this fact, I suggest starting on the 7×7 grid.
While a good solid game, it’s a bit easy for my tastes, and the challenging levels come entirely too late in the game. Graphically not much to see but a dark grid and some colored lines. Simple, but could have been made to be a bit more visually pleasing. Plenty of free content doesn’t hurt the title, I just wish less of it was able to be slept through.
Game 2: Amazing Breaker
All right, now we’re talking! Amazing Breaker has explosions galore and a wonderful soundtrack. The player is given a few different types of bombs and needs to essentially break all the glass on the screen’s image. Some bombs break into other bombs, other’s lay down more bombs as it travels its path and you tap the screen. Glass objects can range from flower vases, to musical notes. While the core gameplay involved in this is simple, switching to what bomb you need can take some thinking. The game also doesn’t always provide you with all the bombs you need right off the bat, as you progress in the games levels, you need to pick up more bombs in the level itself, by exploding next to the icon. However, they don’t stay on the screen forever, getting to these extra bombs is your highest priority, or you will not finish the level. This creates a challenge in and of itself as sometimes these are quite hard to reach in time.
This is a really solid game that, while not overly difficult, can take some thinking and strategy. The graphics are pretty and the sound effects and musical score are great. My only true complaint about this title is that the demo for this was incredibly short (16 levels) and I tore through them quickly. Guess I’ll be trying to 100% each level later.
Game 3: Doors&Rooms
I know, another one of these. I typically hate “Escape the room” type games, due to their inherent issues with just slamming my finger into every part of the screen until I find an item. D&R does a great job of making sure objectives are clearly laid out and don’t suffer from the “I JUST LOOKED AT THIS, WHY CAN’T I DO IT AGAIN!?” frustration caused by all too unforgiving detection of where you click. The first set of rooms for the game (Stage 1-1 to 1-9 ) are super simple, with clues that almost read “DO THIS AND WIN”.
The game does operate on a micro transaction basis, which is a little annoying, luckily however, you can earn currency over time. Currency is used to buy 3 different levels of hints, as well as unlock additional stages. So don’t do what I did and blow all of it on hints trying to test them out.
While frustrating to wait and earn free currency, (current time as of writing this article was over 3 hours to receive coins) I can understand the developer’s decisions to do so, this is a fabulous game, and most definitely warrants payment. While temping to buy coins, I’ll wait a bit to progress and see how the difficulty scales later in the game. The art style is fantastic and sound effects, while nothing spectacular, are right on the money for the genre. As a side note, this game does have ads that can be a little distracting, especially when it’s an ad for Candy Crush Saga, and we all know how I feel about that one.