If you’re planning a long trip, looking to exercise your mind, prepping to be a contestant on a reality TV show or just want to have some fun, check out puzzle games. Puzzle games use your brain in a way that helps give you mental stimulation as you figure out how to solve the puzzle. These apps are fun, addictive and may help give you more brain power.
The best games are ones that stimulate your brain while you’re having fun. Puzzle games can do just that by keeping your brain active and healthy. Studies have shown that people who stimulate their brains through activities such as puzzle games can have improved cognition and lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life. See, National Institutes of Health Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know?, Alzheimer’s Association Stay Mentally Active, CBS News Alzheimer’s brain plaques prevented by lifetime of puzzles, study suggests. No matter what your age, playing puzzle games will help exercise your brain.
This collection of new and classic puzzle apps will have you thinking while having fun!
This brand-spanking new puzzle app is a perfect fit for fans of Sudoku, Tetris, Rubick’s Cube and Minesweeper. The puzzles for NonoCube are a formation of 3D blocks and your goal is to reveal a secret object by keeping certain blocks while eliminating others.
You’re given clues to which blocks you should keep and which you should destroy. You never have to guess which blocks to eliminate with NonoCube and you get three wrong guesses per puzzle.
Here’s a video showing the game in action:
Solving the puzzle reveals an animated shape and unlocks the next puzzle. The puzzles get increasingly difficult the farther you progress. Helpful tutorials are included to teach you the game and help you master your strategy.
NonoCube is available for:
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch for $1.99
Android devices in a Lite version for free
Android devices in the Full version for $1.99
Note that NonoCube was released in the iTunes App Store on May 15th, the day before the 50 billionth iTunes App was downloaded. I’m fairly certain my purchase of this app on May 16th was iTunes download number 49,999,999,999.
This free game takes one second to learn but will have you addicted in no time. Simply use your finger to connect dots of the same color, horizontally or vertically (not diagonally). The connected dots disappear and new dots fall into place. You have one minute to clear as many dots as possible. Longer strings of dots get you more points.
Try to build long strings by eliminating smaller strings of dots. You can connect dots around a corner to form squares, rectangles and “z” shapes.
This game has a leaderboard with impressive high scores, giving you an incentive to match their scores. This game is so easy to learn, kids of any age will start having fun with this quickly.
Dots is available free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. You can purchase more dots to play with but you shouldn’t need to as playing the game earns you more dots.
Mosaique is a new game that challenges your puzzle-solving skills by shooting at colored squares with a similar colored square on the outer perimeter of the board. You have a limited number of shots to eliminate squares from the board. By eliminating a long line of squares of one color, you can re-energize your shooting power for future levels. Your goal is to rearrange the blocks to create long lines of squares in a single color so you can take as few shots as possible.
The developers have even created an interesting back story for the Mosaique.
This game not only makes you think, but also an interesting music sound track that plays in a 10 minute loop. The game doesn’t have a time limit so you can listen to the music as you relax and ponder the puzzles.
Check out this video giving you not only a glimpse of the game but a sample of the music.
Mosaique is available for $0.99:
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch at the iTunes App Store
Android devices at Google Play
Kindle Fire and Android devices at the Amazon Appstore
Even if you don’t like the game, you may want to get 10 minutes of the music for the price of a song.
Flow Free is a puzzle game that also has you connect dots, but instead of trying to eliminate the dots, you try to connect them all with pipes (lines) so the pipes don’t cross. The game starts off simply with easy connections. The higher level games require planning so you don’t end up getting your pipes crossed. You can play timed or untimed (“free play”) modes.
Here’s a video showing you how Flow Free is played:
Once you’ve mastered Flow Free, check out Flow Free Bridges that lets you use bridges when pipes cross. While Bridges might sound easier, the game actually is more challenging to play.
Flow Free is available free for:
Flow Free Bridges is available for:
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch for $0.99
The free versions include 900 games with additional games available for in-app purchase.
This puzzle game is simple to learn but requires complex thinking to master. Send balls across columns and rows to smash similarly colored balls. The goal is to clear the board to move on to the next level.
The games starts off easy with a few balls and colors. As the levels progress, more balls and colors are added making the game much more challenging.
My full review of Ball Smash!: Ball Smash! My Favorite Game Ever!. I’ve been playing the game for nearly 10 years, when it was first a PC/Palm Pilot game and it’s still one of my favorite apps.
Ball Smash is available:
Google Play: Full
The Full version of the game is $0.99.
No puzzle game list would be complete without the classic puzzle game Tetris. Developed by Alexey Pajitnov in the Soviet Union in 1984, this puzzle game was named the Greatest Game of All Time by Electronic Gaming Monthly in 2007.
Tetris is played by arranging blocks of four tiles onto a grid as they fall from the top of the screen to the bottom. When all of the squares in a row are filled with a tile, the row disappears, making room for another row. The tiles are arranged in six different shapes and your job is to nestle them into rows as they drop.
You can spin the shapes and move them side to side as they drop to the bottom of the screen. You have a brief moment to slide a shape into place once it rests on its row.
Tetris comes in many different formats for about every gaming console, mobile device and computer for the past few decades. You can get Tetris for:
iPhone and iPod Touch for $0.99
iPad for $0.99
Kindle Fire and Android for $2.99
Windows Phone for free
BlackBerry for $3.99
Online at the Official Tetris website
Have fun while exercising your brain with these new and classic puzzle games. Immerse yourself in trying to solve these puzzles to while away the hours, have fun and maybe get a bit smarter in the process!
Do you enjoy puzzle games? Have you tried any of these games? Do you need to practice your puzzle-solving skills to be a contestant on Survivor or Big Brother? Do you try to exercise your brain? Let us know in the Comments section below!