Are you bored of 2048 and lost in the desert of listless mobile gaming? Are you are drearily dragging your finger over yet another level of Candy Crush because… well just because it’s there? Not to worry. I know just how you feel. Here are three new games that quenched my yearning for some new mobile puzzle action.
If a jigsaw and a crossword puzzle had an app baby on a lovely spring day… that’d be Bonza. It’s a delightful new mobile puzzle game. Each level is a field of chopped up words, some letters float off on their own and others come stuck together in two or three letter chunks. Your job is to rearrange the pieces until you find a word that goes with the clue. See, much like a crossword puzzle gives you clues to fill in the blanks, each level of Bonza has a central theme. The puzzle with the clue “chain,” for example, is solved by piecing together words like: bicycle, smoker, daisy, mail, reaction, and saw. Go as slow or as fast as you like, there’s no time limit.
And beyond just the fresh feel of the mechanics, Bonza is beautiful. It has none of the cloying color of games trying too hard to attract women’s attention, but rich ombré gradients and relaxing typefaces that are easy on the eyes. My only gripe? The game doesn’t save your progress if you have to quit mid level. It just feels like work to retread the same steps I completed last time I played.
You know how you spent the last few years honing your smart phone tapping and swiping skills, playing games that obfuscate taps and swipes in puzzles and adventure? And tried 5 different gestural email apps until you found one with just the right feel? Or is this just me? Well, Teggle, a new IOS puzzle game, strips away the façade of UI and leaves you with a fast fun exploration of touch itself.
The game is a race of gestures: tap, double tap, and swipe. Each with its own color and symbol. The challenge? How fast can you see a tile, identify the action required, and get those fingers involved. It might seem too simple to be fun, but the speed and precision required quickly get into your blood. Not into mobile games? Slow texter? Think of it as a precision and speed trainer. When you’re right on the edge of game-over and hanging on by a thread, it’s delightfully full-focused with great flow. I’m hooked. Oh, and play with the sound on… even better.
Threes is the pattern matching strategy game du jour. Besides one-plus-two there is no math involved, despite its numbery appearance. Ones and twos make threes, but beyond that you have to match the tile of the same number with the goal of getting the highest total possible before you run out of places to stick new tiles. Part of the challenge is managing the board. Sliding the tiles to arrange the larger numbers toward each other, you also have to keep an eye on what’s coming down the pipe, because every time you make a move a new tile is added from the stack.
The aesthetic is fine — not great — it’s cutesy when they were aiming for endearing. But that doesn’t matter because soon you will be too hooked on the pink and blue fairy to notice the soft design.
New mechanics, stylish and calming design, and a heart pounding race against the clock all on that tiny, smudged screen you can’t leave the house without — that you’ve developed a neurotic habit of making sure is in your pocket every 5 minutes … that you keep under your pillow at night. Not to worry. I know just how you feel. Get playing!