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!

 

Math Star

Math Star is an excellent game for both kids and adults.  I never was a math person, but it was good to have a refresher.

The thing that impressed me the most about this game is the graphics.  Every Kindle game developer should take note of how clear, big, and easy to see everything was.  The only drawback was having to use the keyboard.  Since the keys are so small, sometimes it was hard to press the right shortcut quickly enough.

Math Star begins with an introduction by Professor Plank.  He’s a goofy looking old man who guides you through all of the different games and other math questions.  Math Star calculates the difficulty level by your age.  At 27, I got double digit addition and subtraction problems.  You have to unlock the multiplication and division problems once you complete the addition and subtraction ones.

Once you get into the menu, there are several options to select.  You can choose to play the main game which is a larger set of addition and subtraction problems.  Or, you can play quick games that consist of ten questions.  They’re all timed, so you have to move quickly.  I suggest acclimating yourself with the keyboard before you start.  I messed up a few times before I got the hang of it and was able to move quickly.

You’ll be using the keyboard a lot for Math Star.  That is good because it doesn’t over tax the Kindle’s 5-way toggle button.  The keys they have you select are pretty logical, just running down the keyboard vertically.  So you aren’t going all over it to select your answers.

I love that there are fun, interactive math learning tools like Math Star out there.  It can go a long way in getting kids to learn math, who otherwise wouldn’t.

Puzzle.tv also has a spelling equivalent to Math Star called Spelling Star.  It is set up the same way.  Other math games for Kindle are Ultimate Math Skills Quiz and Flash Cards: Basic Math for Kids.

KValentino

“This game is GREAT for kids and adults! It bases your starting level on your age and allows you to move up from there. My 6 year old has fun with addition and subtraction games with one caveat: the game developer(s) have included a timer for each game at each level. For the younger players this is VERY stressful while they’re still learning. I would recommend that a “relaxed game” mode be incorporated as an upgrade for this game. After all, it’s supposed to be a learning game…give the kiddies time to think instead of the pressure of a timer (at least at the lower levels). Otherwise this is a GREAT 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. “

Spelling Star

All Kindle games should model their graphics after Spelling Star as far as font size and clarity goes. The words are huge.

This game is geared more towards kids in the lower levels, but it uses your age to figure out what level to start you at. There are over 1000 words, and they have a very wide range of difficulty levels.

Spelling Star  as a whole is great for all ages. After taking a few minutes to get a hang of the game, I mastered all of the games pretty quickly, and moved on to the next level.

The games are timed, so make sure you complete all of the words before the clock runs out. It is better to get a word incorrect and get all of them done, than to not finish them.

There’s a little boy who serves as your guide throughout the game. As a young adult, I think he’s kind of amusing looking, but for kids, he’s a lot of fun. He guides you through each step, and explains what to expect in each game. He also tracks your points and lets you know how you did once you complete the games and difficulty levels.

Spelling Star helps you learn or brush up on your adjectives, verbs, and nouns. It also has sentences that you choose the best word for. Then, of course you have correct spellings and anagrams.

Navigation is pretty straightforward. I just used the keyboard to type in the letters. If you need to do anything else, the game will prompt you. I like that Spelling Star doesn’t over use the 5-way toggle. The only drawback to using the keyboard is that it is kind of small. So, finding the right keys can eat into time. But, you should be fine once you get the feel for the layout of the keyboard.

For more spelling related games, try Scripps Spelling Bee. It includes words from the National Spelling Bee list, and is more puzzle focused than direct spelling.  Also, if you want to work on your Spanish, try the Spelling Star: Spanish Edition.

SanDiegoJesse

“This is soooo much fun. I really didn’t expect it to be, but it has several different challenges and 100 levels. Really makes you think. Not very fond of being timed and at first I didn’t think I’d like it. But I’m hooked and it boosted me to Level 38 after a few minutes of play.”