Battleship

Battleship is the latest to join top quality Kindle games by Electronic Arts.  It is one of my favorite games from childhood, so I am stoked to see it on the Kindle.

Battleship is a two player game, and each player strategically places ships around the board.  The object is to destroy your opponent’s ships before they can destroy yours.

The best part about the Kindle edition of Battleship is that it is much more portable.  The regular version includes a bunch of bits and pieces that can be easy to lose.  Lots of family fun to be had, especially with the heavy travel going on during the holiday season.

The Kindle edition includes three different modes: Classic, Salvo, and Superweapon.  Classic is the traditional battleship game with opponents going back and forth with one shot.  Salvo allows for the amount of shots as ships you have available.  Superweapon has multiple shots going at once.  I can imagine how much fun and chaotic that mode can get!

There are quite a few customizations in that can be applied based on the player’s preferences.  The ships can be placed automatically, or manually.  You can also choose to play against the Kindle, or against a friend in Pass ‘N Play mode.

All navigation is done via the 5-way toggle button.  It did get away from me at times when trying to position my shots, but overall it worked fine.  The graphics are great.  There is a well written help section if you need it.

The only thing I wish the Kindle could do with Battleship is call out the coordinates and ships sunk like the original version does.  That is one of my favorite parts of the game.

This is a really good time to grab any of the Electronic Arts Kindle games because they are going for a steep discount.  Normally $4.99, they are all currently $.99.  So, stock up while they’re cheap.  Electronic Arts has some of the best games out there for the Kindle.

Battleship is available on the latest generation Kindle, as well as earlier models.

Battleship has the best reviews so far that I’ve seen in awhile.  Nothing less than 5 stars.

J. Chambers

“I loved to play the old board game version of Battleship when I was a kid many years ago. Since then I’ve played it in a number of electronic versions, but the Kindle is a perfect platform for this game. The 5-way controller is all you need to choose where to attack the enemy ships, and the monochrome graphics are excellent for displaying the ship locations.”

 

 

POGO Hearts, Spades, and More

POGO Hearts, Spades and More is a lot like the games you find on your Mac or PC.  There are five games included in the Kindle version: Hearts, Spades, Euchre, Gin, and Canasta.

Hearts is the one I’m the most familiar with.  The goal is to finish the game with the fewest points possible.  The card to avoid is the queen of spades.  This will add 13 points to your score.  If a player gets up to 100 points, they automatically lose.

In Spades, you pair up into two teams.  The team that bids and wins the most number of hands wins.  You have to play against the Kindle for all of the games in POGO Hearts, Spades and More.  They present a challenge, but not overly so.

Euchre is played in pairs as well.  the goal of this game is to get as many tricks per game as possible.  In order to get a trick, you have to play the highest trump card or highest card in the suit if there is no trump card.

The object of Gin is to make sets of cards based on matching rank or runs in suits.  The player with the most matches wins.

In Canasta, each player makes sets of seven cards.  The first player to make sets out of all of their cards wins.

There is a very detailed tutorial included, and when you begin a game for the first time, it will prompt you to decide whether you want to try the tutorial or not.  I haven’t played any of these card games in a long time so it was good to have a refresher.

Most of the EA games are top quality, and Pogo Hearts, Spades, and More is no exception.  Everything was crisp and easy to see.  the only drawback is that it only lets you play Kindle players as opposed to playing with friends or family.

Topaz22

“I play these games regularly on POGO and was delighted to find them packaged for my Kindle. They are fun, easy to play, and the response time on the Kindle is excellent. The graphics are good and navigation is easy. I have also downloaded (and love) other EA games and am thrilled to have these card games available. I have test driven all 5 of them and they play very smoothly, as I expected they would. Euchre is my favorite. Just one more thing to compete with my reading time! ”

Becky B

“Love it….now let’s get a Blackjack game that has at least 3 to 4 players. It’s hard to put down! Was playing it in a restaurant and now one of the servers wants to buy a Kindle! “

Trivial Pursuit Master Edition

One of the things that you will definitely notice in EA Kindle games over others is the quality, which makes them a little more expensive.  Trivial Pursuit is no exception.

I thought the Kindle version of Trivial Pursuit was a good game.  The biggest advantage of it over the regular board game is portability.  You don’t have to worry about losing pieces when you travel.

The game includes three modes: Classic, Pursuit, and Pass N’ Play.  The Classic Mode is the same type of thing as the regular board game.  You roll the dice and answer questions in literature, entertainment, science and history.  I am really bad at trivia, but I learned a lot as I went through the questions.

Pursuit is a timed game.  You have to answer quests and get across a board in as few moves as possible before the time runs out.  Work to improve your speed strategies and trivia skills as you race against the clock.

Pass N’ Play is the traditional game, but instead of playing against the Kindle, you can play against family or friends.  I always go for playing against human beings over a computer, don’t you?

The graphics are great, but the subject symbols on the board were a little hard to see.  I take into account that EA has a lot to fit into such a small screen.  I really like that there is a tutorial to guide you.

The reviews overall were not very favorable.  One thing I noticed in several reviews was that Trivial Pursuit focused on a lot of entertainment questions across all subjects.  From what I’ve seen, the questions seem to fit into their respective subjects.

Trivia Pursuit is available on the newest generation Kindle as well as older models.

Jeremy Johnson

“This game works well on the kindle and I enjoyed playing it. Games includes 3 modes; Classic: which is your normal trivial pursuit, you can select if you want a computer opponent to play against and their difficulty as well as how many tokens you need to win. Pursuit Mode: which is a single player mode where you try to get from start to finish in the least amount of questions. You can move 1-6 spaces depending on how quickly you answer and even if you get it wrong you still move 1 space. At the end it gives you 1, 2, or 3 stars depending on how many questions you saw. Pass N play is a group mode that you can play with your friends. In pass n play mode you can still select Classic or Pursuit mode.”

 

Red Hot Sudoku #1

Red Hot Sudoku  on the Kindle is just the regular Sudoku game we all know and love.

I really like the way they’ve done the graphics. The grids are large and easy to see. You can also “pencil” in possible numbers in a square before you make your decision.

If you aren’t familiar with how Sudoku works, here’s the basics:

Start with a 9×9 grid that has 9 3×3 grids built into it. There are some numbers already added in to get you started. They can be helpful, or annoying depending on how well you fit your numbers in.

You will need to fill every column and row of the 9×9 grid with 1-9, all numbers used once.

Make sure you fill each 3×3 grid with 1-9, all used just once.

I found myself having to move some numbers around after I got through the grid. The grids are a good challenge, but also good for beginners.

There are 33 puzzles to choose from. You can have the game randomly pick a puzzle for you, or choose one yourself. There are also bonus puzzles.

If you don’t have numbers on your Kindle keyboard, you can use the letter equivalents: QWERTYUIO instead of 1-9. I think the only people who will have to use this are Kindle 1 owners. I have a Kindle 2, and there are numbers on my keyboard.

From the main menu, you can change your settings to reflect the numbers or letters, depending on what keyboard you have.

The 5-way toggle button is the main tool to use. You can use it to annotate and insert the numbers. I like the font they use for the numbers. It makes them look more like they’re handwritten.

There are a couple of alternative choices for you if you want to try other Sudoku like games in addition to Red Hot Sudoku.  I encourage you to try EA’s version, and Futoshiki. Futoshiki is awesome, and adds a new twist with < and > symbols.

The one review available is by a professional puzzle maker.  The reviewer provides good insight on what can be done to make the puzzles trickier.   The interface is great.  I hope more reviewers will post because I’m curious to know what they think about this one compared to the other Sudoku Kindle games out there.  It is also good to get perspectives from players of all skill levels.

Yahtzee

When I first saw Yahtzee available on the Kindle, I was curious as to how it would work, because it relies so much on rolling dice.  I think of Yahtzee as a past paced, quick thinking type of game.  The Kindle version puts a new spin on it to make it suitable for this particular platform.

EA has done a good job with the Kindle version.  Of course, your goal is to get 5 of a kind to get Yahtzee.  It doesn’t matter if it is 5 ones or 5 sixes, you still get 50 points.  I encourage you to read the instructions that explain all of the combinations that you can achieve to get points: 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, full house, chance, or yahtzee.

You get a “chance” when your combinations don’t fit in any of the other categories.  Choose this option, and you add 20 points to your score.

The only real complaint I have about Yahtzee is that it is slower than most Kindle games.  That is to be expected with all of the stuff it needs to have to make it work.  I think it works best on the newest Kindles.  I am impressed that EA was able to pull off such a dynamic game on the Kindle.

I give high marks for the graphics.  They’re very crisp and easy to see.  If you ever get stumped during a game and need to refresh your memory on how to do something, then just press the menu button, and the help section is one of the options.

One thing to note: pressing the back button does not take you out of your game. You have to press menu, then “go to main menu.”

The only button to know to play Yahtzee is the toggle button.  Keyboard shortcuts would be useful so this button doesn’t get overused, but it gets you through the game.  You use it to select and move from upper to lower levels.  The upper level contains the dice.  The game will tell you when to roll.  The lower level has the categories.

Jackie-the-Greyhound

“It’s the same, fun game from way-back..and with about 5 minutes looking at the help menu and another few times to adjust to the controls it is pretty easy to work with on the Kindle.

It would be nice if you could use the keyboard for more, almost everything depends on the 5 way and it can get a little off due to a slight visual lag, hence the 4 instead of 5 star review. ”

Yahtzee is one of the pricier Kindle games at five bucks.  Funny to think of that as pricey, considering how much standard video games are.  If you hit it just right, you probably can catch it on sale.  Amazon holds 99 cent game sales from time to time.

Monopoly

Monopoly is the most well known board game in the world.  You can play it in the original board game format, on the computer, on your smartphone and on the Kindle.

The Kindle version of Monopoly has a good set up, but can use a few tweaks here and there to make it easier to navigate and find your playing pieces.

I think the “Help” section is great, and it is very useful for getting the feel for the game on the Kindle platform.  Also, try ” Tutorial” when you first start.  It gives you direction throughout the game.

The graphics are decent.  I agree with the many reviewers who said it was difficult to distinguish between your piece and the opponent’s because they aren’t marked very well.  It took me a minute to find mine on the board.

As you know, Monopoly is a really addicting game, and can last forever if you let it.  The Kindle version is no different.  Countless reviewers remarked how addicting it is.  You can play against the Kindle, or you can Pass ‘N Play with your friends and family.

I remember, before the Kindle came out, I’d have to travel with the original board games, and there was always a good chance that we’d lose pieces along the way.  With the Kindle, and even with the smartphone versions, you no longer have to worry about losing pieces.

As with many Kindle games, this one requires heavy use of the 5-way toggle button.  Future adjustment suggestions could be to utilize the keyboard more so you don’t wear out the toggle button.

The Kindle version of Monopoly is customizable.  You can create “House Rules” to determine whether players get extra money for passing “Go” and more.  You also have three levels of game difficulty ranging from easy to hard.  Whether these levels are actually easy or hard depends on the skill levels of the players.

Scott from Detroit

“The game delivers the true Monopoly feel. Computer AI is, for the most part, rather logical. Graphics are crisp and clear. Screen draws and navigation aren’t too slow.

Some added bonuses include the ability to have multiple human and CPU players at the same time, custom house rules, and the ability to choose what game pieces the AI uses. ”

I can definitely see a great potential for improvements in Monopoly as the Kindle product gets upgraded.  Right now, the game is listed at its full price: $4.99.  Be on the look out for sales.  It has been marked as low as .99 occasionally.

 

 

Sudoku for Kindle

Sudoku is a natural addition to the Kindle word game list.  You have a large variety of puzzles to choose from, and you can choose to play Sudoku puzzles that come from newspapers and magazines.  So, no need to give up your favorite New York Times puzzles.

If you aren’t familiar with the game, you are provided with a 9 by 9 grid that is partially filled with numbers.  There are thousands of number combinations to choose from.  The grid is broken down to smaller 3 by 3 regions.  You must fill each region with the numbers 1-9 in order to finish the game.  The Kindle version comes with levels ranging from easy to insane.  So there is something for everyone.  A reviewer who considers himself a Sudoku expert even feels challenged by the difficult levels.

EA did a great job making the Kindle version of Sudoku resemble its pen and paper counterparts.  There is a legend included to show what letters on the Kindle keyboard represent the numbers in the game.  EA makes is easy to remember what letters go with the numbers.  The letters that correspond to the numbers are the ones at the top of the keyboard starting with “w” and ending with “o”.  The 5-way toggle button makes it easy to move the letters around.

Sudoku on the Kindle has a few advantages over the paper version.  You can make notes in the squares and click “autofill” if the game gets too hard.  You also have a “hints” option that is included in all of the Kindle games.  If you mess up, click “undo” or use the error checking option.

For more information on Sudoku for Kindle, check out the Sudoku Kindle review on the Kindle Review Blog.

Texas Hold’em for Kindle

texas hold'emFor about 4 bucks you can get Texas Hold‘em for the Kindle, a fun poker game created by EA.  This popular poker game can be played with up to 5 people via Pass n’ Play.  EA has a good record so far for games on the Kindle and this one continues the trend.

In Texas Hold’em, you have three difficulty levels to choose from, as well as six different characters in Career Mode.  You can also play one on one or in tournaments.  Texas Hold‘em is an easy game to learn, and the Kindle version has a built in Advisor setting to help you out.  You can access this setting by pressing “A” on the keyboard.  One reviewer made a good point about the Advisor.  It can provide common sense advice, but sometimes a winning hand is based on just plain luck.

One thing that the Kindle edition has that the physical card game doesn’t, is stats.  That is, unless you write them down yourself.  You can track your stats that the Kindle has automatically created for you, and see your playing history.  That’s pretty cool, and you can use your past experiences to get better and better with each game.

One review suggested some good improvements that EA should include in the game.  It should be able to hold 8-10 people instead of just 5.  Players should be allowed to play against other Kindle users via wireless or 3G networks.  Both of these would be great additions for any of the games available on the Kindle.  The Pass ‘N Play feature is nice, but it would be easier to play against users with their own Kindles.  Plus, that would give you the option of playing with someone remotely.

Texas Hold’em works the best on the third generation Kindle, but first generation Kindle users are out of luck unless someone comes up with a way to make it compatible.  There have been several complaints about this issue in the reviews.

For more on Texas Hold’em for Kindle, check out the Texas Hold’em Kindle Review post on the Kindle Review Blog.

Solitaire for Kindle

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has ventured into card games with the recent release of Solitaire.  Solitaire is a great game to play if you’re bored at work (that is, if your boss doesn’t block it from your computers) or have time to kill.

The Kindle and Kindle DX version of Solitaire lets you get by the boss’s computer restrictions, and it also adds portability to the well loved game.  Actually, I should say games.  The Kindle edition comes with twelve different games to choose from: Klondike, yramid, Yukon, Golf, Freecell, Wasp, Peaks, Canfield, Spiderette, Eliminator, Easthaven, and Baker’s Dozen.

Brief Overview of a Few of the Games…

Klondike is the most familiar and well known version of Solitaire.  The goal is to build piles, or foundations of each suit.  The foundations begin with an ace and end with a king. In the mean time, you create piles of descending numbers starting with the king and ending with a two.  The goal is to get to the point where you can move the cards from the descending piles to the foundation piles.

Freecell is another form of Solitaire, and the good part about it is that you can play it over and over and still get a challenge.  The goal is to build foundation piles by suit, just like with the Klondike version.  Throughout the game, you can move the piles around and start new piles.  So it provides a little more card flexibility than Klondike.

Baker’s Dozen is set up by creating thirteen columns of four cards.  The game got its name because thirteen is considered the baker’s dozen. The object of the game is the same as Klondike and Freecell.  In order to start the foundations, you must free the aces from the piles and add them to the foundation piles.  The columns or tableaux can be added to in descending order regardless of suit until the ace is found.

The Kindle’s keyboard makes moving the cards around really easy with shortcuts and the 5-way toggle button.  The Kindle is not a color e-reader so you will need to know which suits are red and which are black to create the descending piles of alternating colors.  The crisp e-ink display makes it easy to see the cards and their contents.  Despite the lack of color, Solitaire has been a real hit with reviewers.

Describing the games in writing might come off as a bit dry and hard to understand without seeing the games themselves.  I think, in order to understand the Solitaire games and how to do well in them, you have to actually play them.  Trust me, they are a lot of fun!

For more information about Solitaire, check out this Kindle Solitaire review on Kindle Review Blog.

Scrabble for Kindle

Scrabble has been a real hit for Kindle users since its release on September 23.  It includes a lot of cool features to help you improve your playing strategy..

The Kindle edition of Scrabble includes both solo and multi player versions.  In the solo game, you’ll play against a computer with a choice of three difficulty level settings.  The Best Word feature provides you with the best word options that would make the most out of the double and triple word scores for a turn.  Too bad you don’t have that hint with the regular board game. I’m sure many people will make good use of this feature.

Statistics tracking is included to help you strive to improve your game each time you play.  You can also take a look at past moves that both you and your opponent have made throughout the game.  It looks like the players are going to have to get a lot more secretive about the way they play strategically.

The reviews for the Kindle edition of Scrabble are great, and one reviewer pointed out that the Kindle’s five way controller makes playing the game really easy.

Another reviewer noted that the graphics are well done, and the game has just enough complexities to justify the higher price of $4.99.  This is about the same price as the best games on the iPad and iPod touch.  So you get what you pay for in most cases.  When I think of paying $5 for this game versus $30 or more for a Nintendo DS game, it puts things into perspective.

The full board on the regular Kindle is quite small, but the new and improved graphics on the latest generation allows it to remain crisp and easy to see.  The Kindle DX certainly provides more board room on its bigger screen if you have one.

As for the game itself, Scrabble is a challenge.  It is fun to come up with creative or crazy words.  I get a real kick out of beating the “unbeatable” experienced players.  Now, with the game available on my Kindle, I can take it anywhere and play it while I wait for the bus, the doctor’s office or at home on a rainy afternoon.

For more information about Scrabble, check out this Kindle Scrabble review on Kindle Review Blog.