As winter sets in most of us will be spending a lot more time huddled up indoors with our gadgets and gizmos. With this in mind, we've got our eyes out for the best ways to keep ourselves entertained until the warm weather returns. Let's dive in to our list of the best Android puzzle games.
The Room 2
This atmospheric puzzle game isn't exactly action packed, but it is a slow-burning and incredibly rewarding game if Candy Crush isn't exactly your thing. Observation is key here, as you explore different rooms and objects in first person to try and piece together different riddles and clues. The Room 2 was built from the ground up for mobile platforms, so it is perfectly suited to this system. It runs smoothly, the graphics are amazing, and it is consistently clever and engaging. Pick it up from the Play Store for 2.99 USD, and don't forget to read our The Room 2 review too.
Monument Valley would earn a place for sound and visual design alone - it feels like interacting with magic. You control the hooded princess Ida whom you must guide through Escher-like scenes, relying on the use of isometric perspective and manipulation of the architecture to achieve this. It’s hard to visualize without playing it, but just imagine something like an interactive never-ending staircase painting that you direct a little figure through. Something like that.
It’s awfully clever and awfully pretty, with puzzles which never becoming frustrating. Despite its relatively short length, there is also a subtle story running through it, which combines with the other elements to elevate Monument Valley above your typical “tap-here-build-this-wait-5-minutes-and-repeat” Android game. You can pick this one up for 3.99 USD.
I can’t speak highly enough of Little Inferno. It’s part puzzle game, part social commentary - it’s partly just a game that wants you to stop and think about why you spend so much time tapping on your screen anyway. You play as a young boy in a snowy town who has the joy of owning a "Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace", a device which encourages children to burn their toys (among other items) just to watch the beautiful flames.
Little Inferno is dripping with metaphors and symbolism (come on, the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace is a shiny, sparkling box that asks you to maddeningly interact with it and give up on normal social interaction…sound familiar?) and is accompanied by a wonderful story. If you want a deep game that makes you think, give it a try. A bargain at 2.99 USD.
Super Hexagon is a perfect pick-up-and-play time killer: most games won't last more than a few seconds in the beginning. You guide a small triangle through a maze by rotating the screen to the beat of some thumping chiptune beats. It’s an incredibly difficult game, but it's always fair, requiring great reflexes, speed and accuracy. Yours for only 2.99 USD from the Play Store. Just one more try… just one more try...
If I had the choice between saying this game, or playing this game, I’d play it. Not because rymdkapsel is a necessarily unfriendly word. It’s fine. rymdkapsel. rymdkapsel. rymdkapsel. It's just that this game is quite, quite brilliant.
rymdkapsel is a beautifully abstract puzzle-game-slash-management-sim set in space. It's based around constructing a space station and sustaining a population while attempting to complete objectives. You order your little minions go to work aboard your space station, upgrading it with extractors, reactors and a weapons bay for defense, among other necessary space station stuff.
It’s a (mostly) meditative game with a serene soundtrack, which quickly becomes frantic when your minions are hard at work and an air strike comes along to destroy them. These enemy air strikes occur more frequently as the game progresses, ramping up the difficulty. It’s minimalist and clever and isn’t filled with in-app purchases and free-to-play tropes. It’s sublime at 3.99 USD from the Play Store.
Bubble Witch 2 Saga
Love them or hate them, King have a knack for creating addictive games with mass appeal. Bubble Witch 2 Saga, despite its terrible title, is a another sure-to-be-popular arcade style puzzler. Using a similar formula to classic 'puzzle bobble' style games, the player must try to remove the colored “bubbles” which hang at the top of each screen by shooting them with bubbles of the same color. It's extremely easy to play, and accompanied by typically dreamy music and bright colors, offers an inoffensive and pleasant experience. And it's free!
Shiny hypnotic pixelated retro tile-matcher? Yes please. GlowGrid is an old-school block matching game: You place your blocks on a grid and score points for matching four colors or more. It's not revolutionary, but the neon artwork is consistent and GlowGrid requires some quick thinking to keep the score steadily increasing.
It has two game modes, the casual experience awards you unlimited time to make decisions on where to place tiles. Panic Mode, however, is far more interesting. Here you are given a few seconds to place tiles, and failing to do so gives you an unusable block to place, which limits the on-screen area available. I know, my heart is racing just thinking about it! Again, another great free game!
"The year is Cyberpunk!" states Cybergon's ludicrous Play Store description. The developer claims that you control a computer program trying to hack a megacorp's network... but there are no references to this anywhere but on the Play Store. So, I'll just give you my description instead: you control a floating pyramid trying to avoid floating cubes while gathering floating spheres.
Sound fun? Well it is! The aim is to survive as long as possible, but as you continue to catch spheres, more pesky cubes arrive which must be avoided. The in-app advertising videos can't be skipped, and handling your floating pyramid feels just a little too responsive, but these quibbles aside it works rather well. You guessed it, it's free!
Puzzle meets platformer in Jakyl Kiwanuka. Unique art style, and gameplay reminiscent of the memorable, and near universally adored, Lemmings, Kiwanuka gets a lot of things right.
You control a guide leading a group of travellers to “freedom” across dangerous terrain. You press the guide's staff and drag it outwards to create a bolt of lightning which your travelers follow. It begins simply with walking them to the end of each stage, but as the gameplay progresses you discover more ways in which the staff, and your people, can be utilised to traverse canyons and avoid the fatal flouriscent pink mountains.
The Trippy Eastern music is awesome, particularly when you complete a stage, and it has a sense of originality that most others games on this list (and the Play Store) don't. A bit more contextualization on who the tribe are and why this wizard has an lightning staff may have been nice, but the level design is inventive, the art direction is rad, and I think it's a great overall package. The game costs 1.99 USD.
Push Panic is a sparkly little block blaster with a variety of game modes. Blocks fall from the sky and you must tap multiple cubes of the same color to destroy them before they pile up too high. It's fluid, responsive and has a dainty physics engine; I quickly forgave the initial instability once I started blasting blocks and building combos again. Plus it restarted with an awesome electro-house number – I wish the rest of the music was of the same quality! Another free beauty!
What puzzle games have you been playing recently? Tell us about them in the comments below!