Bubble Pop

Bubble Pop is the first game that I’ve gotten the opportunity to compare both Kindle 2 and Kindle Touch versions.  The Kindle Touch version wins hands down as far as navigation goes, but this game is rated quite highly on both Kindle Touch and non touch screen Kindles.

Bubble Pop is pretty self explanatory.  Simply pop matching bubbles until you run out of moves.  If you run out prematurely, the game is over.  Try to match the biggest groups of one color as you can because the bigger groupings get more points.

There are two game types; Classic and Puzzle.  Classic constantly fills the board as you pop the bubbles until you no longer have any moves left.  The puzzle mode takes away bubbles until they are all gone or until you run out of moves.

With the Kindle Touch, all you have to do is touch the matching bubbles and they pop.  For Kindles that include a toggle button, you have to move the cursor around until you get to the bubbles you want to pop.  The toggle button slows everything down considerably, but it is still a fun game regardless.

Bubble Pop’s graphics are about equal for both types of Kindles.  The bubble colors are distinguished by different shades or patterns.  They look really crisp and easy to see.  If you get stuck, there is a hint option.  The game isn’t timed, but the best thing you can do is to try to beat your own previous scores.

So, overall, Bubble Pop is easy to learn and is great for all ages.  You know how it can be fun and addicting to pop bubble wrap?  Well Bubble Pop is the same type of deal.

Hard2Please

“A great game for having some quick mindless fun just poping bubbles willy nilly, or a game of strategic moves that maximize a high score.This game moves very fast given that you’re playing on a Kindle. Another good feature is that the game tells you when no more moves are possible so you aren’t just spinning your wheels.”

Lady Galaxy

“This game reminds me of the very first game I ever downloaded to my little Mac Classic when the world of computers was oh so new and oh so simple. It’s easy to play. It doesn’t require that you learn or remember a lot of complex keystrokes to play. All you need on a Kindle Keyboard is the 5-way controller and a few minutes of spare time. The hard part is stopping. Popping all those bubbles is a great way to rest your mind.”

Holiday Kindle Games

The holiday Kindle games are really starting to pour in.  There are about six so far, and as the holidays approach, I’m sure there will be more added to the Kindle game collection.  These games will be great for traveling, and as fun activities for the whole family.

Pixel Perfect Holiday Puzzles is holiday edition of Pixel Perfect Puzzles, a game developed by Amazon that is one of the most popular games in the whole Kindle game collection.  The goal is to create a picture by grouping sets of blocks together on a grid.  Each row and column has a set of numbers that tell you how many blocks to put down.  The trick is to figure out how far to space each set of blocks so that they’ll make a picture.  The holiday edition includes themes such as Winter, Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.  This game is free, so you can’t go wrong, especially with it being top quality.  I like that it includes themes from all of the major holidays of the season.

Picture Cross is the same type of game as Pixel Perfect Puzzles, and it comes in a Christmas edition.  This game has 100 Christmas themed puzzles, and even though it isn’t free, it is still pretty cheap at $.99.  So, if you get done with all of the puzzles in the free game, check out the Picture Cross version.  Picture Cross Christmas Edition is a fun game for all ages.

Word Search is one of my favorite word games.  There are many versions available for the Kindle, and to celebrate the season, you can grab Holiday Word Search for just $.99.  The object of the puzzle is to find the words hidden vertically, horizontally, or diagonally into a grid.  All of the puzzles in Holiday Word Search are part of different categories such as songs and movies, and are related to the season.

Cryptograms are scrambled words or phrases that you have to decode.  To me, they are quite challenging, at least as far as word puzzles go.  Puzzle Baron’s Holiday Cryptograms add a fun twist that includes cryptograms with themes from the season.  I find that it is helpful to pick up context clues from the letters already in the slots.  The categories are Wintertime, Gifts and Giving, Friends and Family, New Years, and Holiday Season.

Futoshiki is one of the top rated Kindle games, so I am excited that there is a holiday version that brings even more great Futoshiki puzzles.  Futoshiki is basically a Sudoku puzzle game, but it includes < and > signs to make things more interesting.  The rules remain the same in Futoshiki Holiday Eidtion, but the board becomes more cheerful with the addition of trees, stockings, and presents.

Blossom is another top rated Kindle game, and has awesome reviews.  A holiday edition of the hit flower irrigation puzzle has been released.  Instead of flowers, your goal is to spread holiday cheer by transforming ugly lumps of coal into beautifully wrapped presents.  The basic concept of the game stays the same.  You connect pipes from a center source to different parts of the board.  Each puzzle is complete when all of the pipes are connected.  It can take a bit of maneuvering, so don’t leave any lumps of coal behind!

All of these games are compatible with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Kindles.  The only one currently compatible with the Kindle Touch is Word Search, which is unfortunate, but with the user interface now touch screen, it will take some reworking on the developers’ part.  The Kindle Fire has its own separate set of games that can be found in the Amazon Android marketplace.  The prices range from free to $1.99, with most being $.99.  Happy Holidays!

 

What Black Friday Means for Kindle Games

November has been a big month for the Amazon Kindle.  The Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire shipped on November 14, and the reviews are pouring in.

Black Friday is fast approaching and people are already starting to camp out at stores like Best Buy and Walmart.  Amazon is celebrating Black Friday Week by offering deals on its Official Black Friday page.

Consumers already have a wide variety of Kindles available for unbeatable prices.  The Kindle 4 starts at $79.  The Kindle Touch starts at $99 and the Kindle Fire is $199.

Barnes & Noble quickly responded with an update to its NookColor and calls it the Nook Tablet.  The Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire will be going head to head during the 2011 holiday shopping season.

Holiday editions of Kindle games are starting to trickle in.  Pixel Perfect Holiday Puzzles has been out for a couple of weeks.  Reviewers raved about the original Pixel Perfect game created by Amazon.  Both the original and holiday versions are free.  Hard to believe a free game would beat out its paid counterparts. Picture Cross and Nonograms by a long shot.

Pixel Perfect Holiday Puzzles is a logic puzzle.  Starting with a grid, you have to fill in the number of blocks that the numbers at the top and end of the row indicate.  Sometimes, there are more than one numbers, so you have to figure out where to place each set of blocks.  For example, 6 3 would mean 6 blocks separated by one or two empty blocks, then 3 blocks.

The holiday edition includes puzzles that are symbols of all of the holidays that come around this time of year: Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

The only other holiday themed Kindle game that I’ve seen so far is Puzzle Baron’s Holiday Cryptograms.  This game includes quotes about all things holiday: winter, friends and family, New Year’s, gifts and giving, and the holiday season.  There are 100 quotes that are scrambled into cryptograms.  This one is around 3 bucks, but the original one got great reviews.  I wouldn’t expect anything less than great reviews for this version as well.

To be honest, I thought there would be a much bigger holiday game selection by now.  Maybe developers are focusing more on recreating games to be compatible with the new Kindles.  There are very few games compatible with the Kindle Touch so far.

But, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a big game sale for Black Friday.  Now that the Kindles are all in the hands of consumers, it is only natural that great deals on games and accessories will not be far behind.

 

5 in a row

If you are looking for a simple, no brainer kind of game, 5 in a row is your game. There is also a built in version called Gomoku that is on the Kindle 2 and 3. You can press either alt+shift+m or g.

The object of 5 in a row is to get your game pieces: “x” or “o” all lined up either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. By default you are “x”, and you will always go first. There are three difficulty levels: easy, medium, and hard all determine how accurate the A1 moves are. So, the harder the difficulty level, the more fine tuned the Kindle’s moves will be.

To me, the thing that puts 5 in a row above the built in version is the graphics. They’re bigger and easier to see. Another difference is that there are three difficulty levels in 5 in a row as opposed to one in the other one.

I thought the game was okay, and the simplistic nature fit the object of the game. The easy level is a good warm up. It is easy to win, but it also teaches you strategies. The 5 in a row direction that I usually forgot about was the diagonal direction. So, the Kindle did manage to get me there.

I wish there was a smoother way to fill in the blanks. My 5-way toggle selection was all over the place. This might be better on newer Kindles though. With that said, you use the 5-way toggle button to navigate to the square you want, and to select it.

5 in a row did not get good reviews. I think the two major things that it could use are bigger graphics and an option to play a human instead of the Kindle. Otherwise, it is just a simple, time filler game.

5 in a row is available on the latest generation Kindle, as well as older models.

Ed Pegg

“My first game was on Easy. The computer opponent played over in the corner, far away from my stones, and I got 5 in a row right off. “Uh-oh,” I thought.

But on Hard, it took me over a hundred moves to win in my first try.

5 in a row, go-moku, renju, gobang, pente, caro, omok are all variants. This does not use the Pente rule (capping a line of two opponent stones captures them). This does not seem to use the “three and three” rule either (two simultaneous lines of three forbidden). This seems to be a pure 5-in-a-row game.”

KenKen Vol. 1

KenKen Vol. 1 is a logic puzzle similar to Sudoku, but it has a lot more factors involve that make it more challenging.

There are four difficulty levels: easy, medium, hard, and expert.  The puzzle grids get bigger and bigger. So far I’ve completed some 3 x 3 grids and am working on a 4×4 grid.  The grid size doesn’t reflect on the difficulty level necessarily.  I saw some easy puzzles that consisted of an 8×8 grid.

The size of the grid determines what numbers you’ll use.  So for a 3×3 grid, you’ll just use 1-3.  Numbers repeat horizontally or vertically.  There are also sections within the grid that are called cages.  In these cages you’ll see a mathematical symbol along with a number.  So, if therre is a 10+, all of the numbers in the cage have to add up to 10.  So, just an extra bit of puzzle fun to be had.

This game is a lot more interesting than basic Sudoku games.  the graphics are very clear and easy to see.  You can annotate the squares before you make your final decision on what number to puz in.  they’ll show up as tiny numbers.  Navigation is through the Kindle’s 5-way toggle button.  The cages are well highlighted, so you can’t miss them.

There are a ton of Sudoku and other similar games out there for Kindle.  I think for the mos part they’re all worth checking out.

KenKen Vol. 1 has excellent reviews.  the game fits well into the look and feel of the Kindle and does a good job of guiding the user throughout each level.

speakfriend

“I learned how to do ken-ken in the Reader’s Digest. This version is great, because you can easily put notes in the squares, keeping track of all the possibilities. The sudoku game I bought for my kindle was difficult to use, but this is fabulously easy. I bought it a week ago, and I have completed almost all the puzzles. Now I am going back and redoing the ones I used clues to finish, trying to get a star! When will we get Vol. 2? I can’t wait!”

delta

“I love how comprehensive Kenken is; there are so many levels to prepare you to the ultimate toughest level. I enjoy the challenge very much. The paper look of Kindle help creating the ‘classic and important’ feeling to the game. I’m addicted to the game soon enough, promising myself to solve all the puzzles. Thumbs up for the game! “

Picture Cross Volume 1

Picture Cross Volume 1 is a good game for the Kindle.  The graphics aren’t perfect, but I still think it is worth checking out.

If you’ve played Pixel Perfect Puzzles by Amazon, or Nonograms, then you’ll pick this up pretty quickly.

Basically, you fill in squares on a grid that when completed, create a picture.  The rows and columns have numbers in them that tell you how many black squares you need to fill in. It takes a little bit of strategic thinking to decide which ones are the easiest to fill in first.  I found the puzzles challenging, but not overly so.

In Picture Cross, you use mostly keyboard shortcuts to fill in the squares.  At the start, all of the squares are gray.  To turn the square black, press “E”.  To turn it while, press “W”.  To turn it back to gray if you’ve messed up, press “Q”.  I’m not sure what the logic is for using E instead of B for black, or Q instead of G for gray.

As far as the set up of the game goes, I think everything is placed so that they’re really easy to see.  All of the keyboard shortcuts are listed at the bottom.  The grid is pretty big.  One aspect of it that I think needs improvement is determining how many squares are filled in.  I had to use a hint because I didn’t realize I had filled in 5 squares when I really needed only 4.

There are three pixel puzzles available for the Kindle.  Pixel Perfect Puzzles and Nonograms are the other two.  For more information about Nonograms, check out my review of the game that I wrote not too long ago.  Pixel Perfect Puzzles is free.  Nonograms cost a few bucks, and is just a randomly generated puzzle instead of a picture.

Picture Cross Volume 1 is available on the latest generation of the Kindle, as well as older models.

Meredith Klein

“I purchased this game after finishing Amazon’s free version. I loved that one so much, that when I found more, I was ecstatic. This version, though loaded with far more puzzles, just doesn’t live up to the Amazon version.

Cons:
Ambiguous pictures
Different buttons than Amazon version

Pros:
WAY more games

I would probably buy this again, but I would not have your expectations as high as the Amazon version, because it is, in reality, much different.”

TeresaW

“After enjoying Pixel Perfect Puzzles so much, I’ve been waiting for more nonogram games. I miss some of the PPP features as the other reviewers documented, but for $1, it’s fine until Amazons comes out with more PPP’s. “

Mystery Castle Dawn of Illusion

Mystery Castle: Dawn of Illusion is not one of the best Kindle games out there, but it is still a fun logic maze game.  In the spirit of Halloween it is currently only .99.

When I first arrived in the game I had to select the first puzzle.  Once in the puzzle, Monty the Wizard meets the knight, who explains Monty’s mission. You are Monty, and your goal is to unlock each maze and progress through the castle.  To do this, you have to pick up 5 skulls and exit out of the skull door.

If you want a more detailed instruction manual, press Menu and choose “Instructions” from the list.

Mystery Castle is not just an average maze navigation puzzle game.  You’ll need to use some logic to make sure you don’t use up all of your keys before all  of the doors are unlocked.  I immediately fell into this trap.

I think the graphics could use some improvements.  For me at least, it was kind of hard to tell what things were.  The skulls and keys were a little light, and the doors didn’t look that much like doors.  This may be just due to the fact that I am currently using an older Kindle model.  The e-ink display is much better on newer models.

The navigation is through the 5-way toggle button.  Monty moves in a continuous fashion, and as he passes by the objects, they automatically get picked up.

Common thoughts throughout all of the reviews were that the graphics need improvement, a hint system would be helpful, and there weren’t enough mazes.

I  think Mystery Castle has a lot of potential to be a really good game if it makes the suggested improvements.

Mystery Castle: Dawn of Illusion is available on the latest generation Kindle as well as older models.

Candace Kiekhefer

“I think this is a very fun game to play. Well worth the $1.99 price. My only complaint is that there are no hints as to how to solve the levels. I am currently stuck on a level and haven’t any idea how to get by it. I agree with the other reviewer when they said an update with hints or even solutions would be nice. This is why I only gave the game 3 stars. I don’t mind having to figure out solutions but sometimes a little hint is needed when the solution just doesn’t come to you. ”

Ed Pegg

“In short, all of these puzzles are mazes. You must find a particular route, and if you pick up keys or open doors or collapse floors in the wrong order, you’ll likely arrive at a dead end. These are frequently called Logic Mazes, or Multistate Mazes. Expect to do a lot of starting over until you get the hang of it.”

Mahjong Solitaire Halloween Edition

Mahjong Solitaire Halloween Edition is a fun and much spookier version of the Original Mahjong Solitaire for Kindle.  The set up is exactly the same except for the labels on the tiles.

If you are new to Mahjong Solitaire, let me give you a basic run down of how the game is played.  There are sets of tiles arranged in stacks, or stair steps.  Your goal is to remove al of the tiles from the board by matching them up.

Tiles can be removed when both left and right sides are free, or are on top of the stack.  the matches can go across the stacks, in other words, the tiles don’t have to be in the stack to match them.

There are 13 tile sets, and there are two Halloween themed ones.  Scary and Super Scary.  Scary is just tiles with spooky letters.  Super Scary is a mix of Halloween characters.  The face one gives me the creeps, but that’s the point, right?

If you get stuck, try the Hint feature.  Use the Kindle’s 5-way toggle button to select and match the tiles.  Mahjong Solitaire Halloween Edition is pretty intuitive.  I think the Halloween characters: witches, ghosts, pumpkins, etc are easier to distinguish on the board.  So, you don’t have to worry about matching up the wrong tiles.

A computer version of Mahjong Solitaire has been around since the early 1980’s.  The game has gone under several names, It is loosely based on a Chinese game called Turtle.  There are Windows Vista and Windows 7 versions called Mahjong Titans.  It is primarily a computer game, but there is also an actual wooden tile form as well. more

The good part about the Kindle edition of the Mahjong Solitaire games over the PC and wooden versions is that they are fully portable.  You can play them in the car on a long trip, on the beach, or during long waits in the doctor’s waiting room.  Speaking of traveling, I’m sure there will be plenty of that during the holiday season.

Mahjong Solitaire Halloween edition is a fun game for all ages.  It could be a good, safe family activity for Halloween.

It would be neat to see more holiday versions of Mahjong Solitaire.  I’m sure that is in the works.

The Halloween games for Kindle are having a .99 sale, so grab them while you can.  There are no reviews yet.  I’m eager to see what others think.

Mahjong Solitaire Halloween Edition is compatible with the latest generation keyboardless Kindle, as well as older models.

Futoshiki Halloween Edition

Futoshiki is one of the top rated Kindle games to date.  I see it mentioned in reviews of other games.  The game itself gets high marks.

The good game gets even better with it’s Halloween Edition.  Instead of your standard grid, you get to look at spooky trees and other Halloween themed goodies.  The only thing I think would be even more fun, is to add floating objects that would go across the grid at random times.

If you are new to Futoshiki, it is basically Sudoku with an extra feature: greater than and less than symbols. Don’t be intimidated by them.  I’ve heard that they’ve actually been very helpful in solving the puzzle.

If you need help at any time, feel free to refer to the help manual or the Hint feature.

Braintonik Games has done an excellent job with the graphics.  They’re even very crisp on the earlier Kindle models.  The grids are big enough so they’re easy to see, and the < and > symbols are easy to find as well.

There are a ton of Sudoku puzzles available for people who like logic games.  I’ve seen many reviewers say that the Futoshiki games are much better.

Navigation is primarily through the 5-way toggle button as per the usual with Kindle games.  There are 120 puzzles in four levels of difficulty.  These levels are easy, medium, hard, and expert.  The grids get bigger as the difficulty level increases.  As a novice at logic style games, this one will keep me occupied for awhile.

So, add Futoshiki Halloween Edition to the growing collection of halloween themed Kindle games.  All of the Halloween Kindle games are currently just .99 for a limited time.  I’m guessing that by limited time, Amazon means until Halloween.

B.L. Parks

“Futoshiki and Blossom (both are Braintonik games) are two of my favorite games on my Kindle. The Halloween Editions of both games contain all new puzzles and the Halloween graphics are cute without being in the way. If you enjoy logic puzzles, you will likely enjoy both of these games. Futoshiki is a number logic game (don’t worry, no math involved) kind of similar to sudoku…Customer support at Braintonik is exceptional. I’ve written to them a couple of times to ask questions about their games and the response has been prompt and friendly every time. “

Futoshiki Halloween Edition is available on the latest version keyboardless Kindle, as well as older models.

Blossom Halloween Edition

If you aren’t familiar with Blossom, it is a connection game. The original Blossom game connects flowers to a watering can.  There are a variety of pipe irrigation games that go back to the 1990’s at least, and are available on the PC.

Just in time for Halloween, Braintonik Games is offering a Halloween edition of Blossom. Instead of flowers, there are pumpkins. The pumpkins connect to a witch’s cauldron, and the potion makes them turn into jack o lanterns.

I’d be interested to learn how these games are designed to see how Braintonik can make the pumpkins become jack o lanterns, and how the flowers bloom.

Blossom Halloween Edition is addicting. The hard part is making sure you get all of the pipe connected. I spent a long time rearranging them so they all can connect. The pipes are L or T shaped.  So it takes a bit of finagling to get them to fit every part of the puzzle.

There is a hint feature that can help you out along the way. I definitely made good use of it.  It will fill in some of the pipes for you.

Navigation is primarily done with the Kindle’s 5-way toggle button. Just like with the original Blossom, you’ll use it to connect the pipes. The only time you really need the keyboard is to hit “H” for the hints.  Be careful with how much you play this game.  Turning the shapes around with the toggle button constantly might wear it out.

There are 120 puzzles ranging in difficulty level from easy to expert. The grid size increases as the difficulty level increases. If you need to pause or rest a puzzle, you can just press “menu” and the options to do so are there.  Even the beginner levels present a bit of a challenge, so you have plenty of puzzles to keep you for awhile.

The graphics are decent, but the pipes might could be a little easier to see. The newer the Kindle, the more crisp the display is, however.  Blossom Halloween Edition would be a great game for a color device device as well.

So grab this game while it is so inexpensive because it isn’t going to be  for too long.  It is a great game for all ages, and can be a fun Halloween activity for the whole family.

Blossom Halloween Edition is compatible with the $79 keyboardless Kindle, as well as the older models.