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!

 

The Periodic Table of Elements

Braintonik Games is the creator of bestselling games: Futoshiki, Blossom, and Strimko.  So, any Kindle app made by this company is going to be top quality.  The Periodic Table of Elements is no exception.

There’s really not much to this tool except that it serves as a quick reference guide to the Periodic Table.  When you highlight each element such as Na (sodium) or Mg (Magnesium), then the box at the top will display the chemical attributes of each element.

It has been over 10 years since I took Chemistry, so I had forgotten about most of the elements.  Its one of those things where “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”  It was good to have a refresher though.

The Kindle‘s 6″ display is a small screen to cram the whole Periodic Table into, and still make it large enough to see.  The text used for the descriptions were on the small side, but it was still very readable.

Since Periodic Table of Elements is only one page, there are vary few menu and navigation options.  You just need the Kindle’s 5-way toggle to move across the table and select the elements.  Press menu, and it will give you the option to flip the screen.

Periodic Table of Elements is available on the latest generation Keyboardless Kindle, as well as older models.

The following reviewer mentions that it would be great if each element linked to a more detailed page about the selected element.  I think that is an excellent idea for future updates to the tool, but the current version definitely serves as a good quick reference guide.

Kersi

“What would have qualified this product for 5 stars? If each element box acted as a link activating a more detailed page containing more data would have been great. There is a FREE Periodic Table available at the Amazon Kindle store. However that product has poor resolution on the table itself but has excellent detailed information on each element. So my suggestion would be to use this 99cents product as a brief overview and the free product for details should you need them.”

D. Webb

“I like this little Kindle app quite a bit. It’s a very handy reference for a science educator, student, or anyone who needs to refer to the Periodic Table of the Elements. It’s perhaps a bit basic; but it provides the essential information most people need from the Periodic Table. I think it’s an excellent value for a very reasonable price. “

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.

Strimko

There are tons of Sudoku variations in the Kindle game collection.  Strimko is my favorite.  The logic of it is a little more interesting than a basic Sudoku grid.

The game set up is a grid with a set of circles in rows and columns.  Each circle contains a number ranging from 1-7.  The beginning grids are 1-4.  Each circle is interconnected throughout the grid.  So, you have the added challenge of making sure the numbers don’t overlap in the connections that are interspersed throughout the grid on top of numbers going vertically and horizontally.

When you first enter Strimko, the grid has a few numbers already set up to get you started.  The easy levels are great for beginners.  I completed my first puzzle ever in about three minutes.  It will take me awhile to get through the harder levels.  So, it provides a good number of puzzles for a good price.

The graphics are excellent.  They are so clean and easy to see.  Review the instruction manual if you need to to get the gist of the game.  Everything is pretty intuitive.  Use the keyboard numbers to insert numbers into each circle.

There are annotations available if you need them.  Just press the Kindle’s 5-way toggle to open them up.  They create multiple small circles for you to make notes in.

Navigation in Strimko is quite simple with the use of a combination of the 5-way toggle button and the keyboard.  Strimko is in my opinon, one of the most well designed games for the Kindle.  I really don’t have any major criticisms to report for it.

JCZinser

“The user interface works for me, and without the frustrations I get trying when using any of the Sudoku games. The hints are readily available when you get stumped (which does happen when you’re still learning). And you can reset a puzzle when you make a mistake — or, even better, when you’ve had to use too many hints and want to go back after a period of time to see if you can now improve your performance. This is an elegant puzzle.”

Turin

“But the game itself is a lot of fun. A simple set of rules, a clear objective and its the type of game you can play, pause and pick up again when you get another few spare minutes. There is some discussion of various solving techniques on the authors’ web site if you want to jump beyond basic strategies.

Included are 90 or so boards of various difficulties- so its 20-30 hours of play for a pretty nominal price.”

Blossom

I encourage you to try Blossom for Kindle.  It is such a fun game.  You connect pipes to a watering can to irrigate flowers.   There is a long history of pipe connect style games for computers.  Blossom is a variation of those.

Blossom takes a bit of strategy and moving around.  I connected pipes, then ended up with ones that were left over.  The good thing is, you can easily undo and keep working towards getting all of the pipes connected to the watering can.  It took me awhile to get all of the pipes connected to get all of the flowers watered.  If you get stuck, you can always press “H” to access the hints.

If you are familiar with Kindle games, you can probably just jump right into playing Blossom, since it only requires navigating with the toggle button..  If you are new to Kindle games and how they’re set up, feel free to check out Blossom’s Help section.

There are 120 puzzles. The difficulty levels range from easy to expert and have 30 puzzles in each difficulty level.  As the difficulty level increases, the puzzles get bigger.  So, there are more pipes and flowers to connect.

The navigation is pretty simple.  The Kindle’s-5-way toggle button rotates the pipes around.  The graphics are easy to see, and I think this game works well with the e-ink platform.

Blossom has excellent reviews.  One suggestion for Braintonik is to allow time after a completed game for the player to review their results.  This can be helpful for improving strategy and speed.

Julie Schmidt

“I love this game. After reading the other reviews I remember I had a game with vines and flowers for my computer. This is the same idea you connect the water supply to the flowers, when connected the flowers bloom. The neat thing is the flowers bloom differently depending on which side the water comes from. I have completed the Easy, Medium, and Difficult levels. I was delighted to find there is an Expert level. I was going to have to start over or find something else to do! Now I have a few more days of enjoyment. You will not regret buying this game. :)”

Catherine Shaffer

“This game is very easy to learn and understand, even without reading the tutorial/how-to. Clicking the boxes to rotate pieces, making sure they line up with the water source and the flowers (pipes turn black when water is flowing; flowers “bloom” when water reaches them). There’s some strategy added to it, but, on easy, this game can seem like an easy relaxer instead of a splitting headache.”