Simple yet challenging puzzle games for Android | Android Apps

Simple yet challenging puzzle games for Android

Sep 18, 2016

I love a good puzzle. I’m pretty sure puzzle games are one of the most popular game types for Android mobile devices. It is always a good thing to give your brain a workout, plus it’s a nice change of pace from many of the first person shooters, zombie attacks or sim-type games.

In addition to giving my brain a workout, I like puzzle games because they are usually easy to pick up and play, do not require a large time commitment, and they have a lot of replayability. Even after I finish, I usually will go back to try and improve my score, looking to get those gold stars!

Where’s My Water? ($1.99)

Below the city, alligators are destroying the pipes, stopping the water flow. Swampy, your friendly neighborhood alligator, is trying to take a shower. Your job is to get the water to his shower. The game comes with 20 levels per chapter and there are seven chapters. A new challenge area has recently been added. There are numerous hidden in-game bonuses you can discover, adding to the challenge.

Within each level you need to direct the water into the open pipes and that is done by swiping your finger to help remove the dirt and create a path. There is only so much water so the challenge is to create the shortest path and conserve your liquid. There are three rubber ducks you need to try to collect (this is done by having the water wash over them) on each level, to help unlock future levels. There is no time limit which is great since I will sit and try to envision the path I want to create before digging. Trying to get all the ducks and the hidden objects can be tough. You can also download the sequel, Where’s My Water? 2.

Where’s My Water — Celebrating Over 300 Levels!

Over 300 levels are now available in Where’s My Water from Disney! Get started in Swampy’s story and for an extra challenge try Cranky’s Story now featuring over 80 levels for a small additional price. So much fun, and it’s always getting bigger.

Where’s My Perry? Free (Free)

Where’s My Perry? is the cousin to Disney’s Where’s My Water?, and a game I have to fight my kids to play. In this game you help Agent P, who is a platypus, get to headquarters. To get there he must travel through transportation tubes but Dr. Doofenshmirtz , the evil villain, has blocked the way. You need to figure out how to use the water to active the transportation tubes. You utilize water in all its different forms, including  ice, steam, and liquid, in order to solve the puzzle.

The game currently has four missions with 20 levels in each. There is also a locked area that you can access via in-app purchase. When doing each puzzle you need to try and collect all three gnomes and the top-secret collectibles to unlock secret files and become a top spy. The game really is a challenge and I find myself redoing most levels over and over again to improve my score and find all of the secret items.

Strata ($2.99)

Weaving doesn’t sound like the most interesting of activities for a game, but in Strata, it requires lots of puzzle-solving logic. In each puzzle, you need to weave colored strands together in a specific order to get a desired picture, with the right colors in the right places. That means figuring out the order, which becomes more and more complex over time, and requires players to think carefully and plan to get the best score possible.


Quell is a quiet, relaxing puzzle game when compared the two mentioned above. The market description of the game calls it a zen puzzler and I would have to agree. The graphics and background music create a very peaceful ambiance to the game. The game gives you three profiles and a huge number of in-game achievements.

The game has seven stages, all labeled between the years 1928 to 1946. Within each year there are three stages. Once you choose a stage, then you pick a level. If it is your first time for a stage you must complete the levels in order to unlock them and the next stage. The goal for each level is to swipe the raindrop around the board to collect all of the pearls. You will want to collect all of the pearls in the least amount of moves. You can only move the raindrop up/down and right/left, thus the challenge. As you progress you will earn hints that can come in handy.

Bag It! ($1.99)

It’s time to do some shopping! In Bag It, you need to fill up your grocery bags with milk, juice, cereals, produce and bread but you need to try not to break or crush anything. The game comes with 16 levels per aisle and there are six aisles of groceries to pack. You can earn points by creating different combinations of groceries within the bag. Depending on how well you pack the bag, you will earn points/stars which will unlock future levels. The game also has OpenFeint support.

With all of the groceries our family gets you would think I would be an expert at this game! You always put the heavy items on the bottom. The problem is that the items are given to you in a specific order and once you put something in the bag, you cannot take it out! You can do some rearrangement but not a lot. The game only shows you the next three items, adding to the challenge. Once items are in the bag, you can gently shift them by tilting your device. This way you can hopefully prevent items from getting destroyed. I am still working on this. Putting a watermelon on top of eggs is not a good idea!

Bag It! Seedy’s Booty Trailer (NOW AVAILABLE!)

Attention Landlubbers! Our latest and greatest update to Bag It! is now available! We’ve got a whole new challenge mode: Seedy’s Booty! ★ Introducing an all-new mode: Seedy’s Booty! ★ Explosive new gameplay! ★ Use crazy power-ups like Gold Bomb and Bag Blast! ★ Compete with your friends on Facebook and Game Center!

Greedy Spiders (Free)

The poor little flies are trapped in the spider’s web. Your job in Greedy Spiders is to free them by breaking the web between them and the greedy spider. The game is broken up into four sections with 32 levels in each section. You will need to earn enough stars to unlock the next sections. You are allowed one free hint every 12 hours. If you like them on Facebook, you can earn 100 stars immediately, to help unlock the higher levels more quickly. A paid version of Greedy Spiders with more levels is also available for $0.99.

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This is a game that will frustrate you and make you think. Just when you think you have cut the spider off, he finds a way to get to his lunch. In the game you take turns with the spider; you cut one segment and then he moves one segment, and so on. To succeed, you need to try and anticipate where the spider will go and cut him off. As you move up to higher levels, you will be able to use fire and other items to help cut the web but that will not solve all your problems. On some levels I am happy just to get through it, never mind trying to earn three stars! If you get through all the levels, you can check out the sequel Greedy Spiders 2.

A Monster Ate My Homework (Free)

Monsters have your homework and you need to get it back! Your job is to knock the monsters off the box but not the homework. The game comes with grades 1-4 with 20 levels in each grade. You need to use the least number of balls to get the best score. You need to complete each grade in order, just like school. If you want to skip a level you can use their in-game credits, which I believe you can purchase for real money. The game also has OpenFeint support. You can remove the ads with an in-app purchase.

The difficulty of this game is in the placement of the homework and the monsters. Can you hit and move the monster without significantly moving the homework? You can rotate the box they are on and change the angle of your throw. As you move up in grades, the position of the homework and monsters becomes more precarious. I have played some levels many, many times trying to get the right bounce or angle with my throw. There are some levels in which I am still not sure how to save the homework!

Cut The Rope 2 (Free)

Like the original title in the series, Cut the Rope 2 primarily challenges players to use slashing motions to cut ropes. The ropes hold up a piece of candy, and your job is to guide it into the mouth of a waiting monster. To do that, you’ll need careful timing and planning to cut the right ropes at the right time, and Cut The Rope 2 introduces lots of other elements, like characters with different abilities that you’ll have to manipulate to find the best solutions to each level.

World of Goo ($4.99)

The goo balls of World of Goo are both characters and the building blocks players need to solve its many puzzles. In each, your job is to place goo balls together, forming a scaffold between them that lets you build structures like towers or bridges. The idea is to reach the other side of the level, where a pipe will vacuum up the goo you didn’t use — you’re scored on how efficiently you can build your solution while keeping it structurally sound.

Dots: A Game About Connecting (Free)

Arcade puzzler Dots has similarities to games like Tetris — you clear objects off the screen by connecting them in a certain way. In Dots, your job is to draw lines between various dots of the same color, which are adjacent to each other on a grid. Your score goes higher the more dots you clear at a time, so the goal is to clear dots strategically to make larger groups of a single color. All of this is timed, so it’s a race against the clock to pull down the best score you can.

Triple Town (Free)

You’ve likely played games in the match 3 genre before, but Triple Town takes the usual matching gameplay and adds layers of strategy. Your goal is to create a town by matching elements together — matching three bushes makes a tree, three trees makes a house, and so on. The higher up the line you get with more and more complex objects, the higher your score when you inevitably run out of room in your house. You’ll also need to beware bears that will crowd up crucial spaces.

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The Room ($0.99)

Imagine being locked in a strange room filled with antiques and weird items, and all those items are really puzzles that hide keys, notes and switches. That’s what The Room is like, and it’s a puzzle game that packs both challenge and mystery. Each level has players carefully moving around a 3D space to investigate furniture, puzzle boxes and strange artifacts, in search of the solution to move on. You’ll also uncover the game’s strange, supernatural story along the way.

Bubble Blast 2

Bubble Blast 2 is all about chain reactions, where you must strategically burst the board bubbles in order to minimize the board. With different color combos and turn restrictions, this free game can get tricky in a hurry. There’s two game modes to try out, with the puzzle mode featuring 1,900 levels. Climb global leaderboards (via Scoreloop) and get seasonal fixes with special editions for the holidays.

Move the Box Lite (Free)

Move the Box is a simple game. You need to clear the boxes from the screen by moving similar boxes next to each other. You need to get three of same boxes together to clear them. The game comes with five cities and 24 levels in each. There is Move the Box Pro for $0.99, which comes with eight cities, no ads and an arcade mode. If you are having problems, you can purchase hints (for real money) for the game. Move the Box Lite does not have any stars or high scores; you simply need to complete the level in the number of turns provided.

The whole challenge of the game is in the number of turns per level. Can you get nine boxes to line up in pairs of three in just two moves? Some levels will go quickly, others will take some time. I find myself sitting there studying the screen trying to figure out the moves needed. For one of the simplest puzzles (in terms of graphics, sounds and rules) I have played, it can be one of the toughest. I have not broken down and purchased any hints – that’s sorta cheating, right? Patience is the name of game here.

Move The Box

A logic puzzle about moving boxes around. Clean the dock, do it fast! You can move, drop and swap the boxes. Three or more boxes of the same kind in a line disappear. Watch out for turns, you only have a limited number! 144 exciting levels of different difficulty.

X Construction Lite

X Construction Lite will put your brain to good use, with the premise of building a bridge for the train to cross the valley. You’re limited in materials, but not in “undos.” See how well your physics hold up when it’s time to send the train across your bridge. The full version costs just under $1.50 and is ad-free, with complete level access.

Slice It!

Slice It! is one of my favorite time-killers. I can speed through a few levels when I’m itching to play a game, or pore over a single level in frustration. If geometry was a strong suit in high school, this brain teaser will light your fire, with dozens of levels for slicing different shapes into smaller figures of specified ratios. I’m just thankful for the hint button. This Android game is free.

Blocks & boards

Mahjong by Magma Mobile is a board game classic, that is one heck of a puzzler. With a digital, animated version, this game is far easier to play on your Android than real life. A solitaire matching game, you must link pairs of identical tiles until the board is clear. Depending on the patterned arrangement of the tiles, however, your strategy will depend on patience, skill and a very good memory. This game is free.

Sudoku is another classic reborn in the digital era, with a board that requires no eraser. There are a number of features to mimic pencil and paper gameplay, but plenty of new age perks, like undo and redo. Choose from four difficulty levels and stretch your basic math skills in this numbers solver.

Unblock Me is a simple game with a handful of blocks on the board, which you must arrange in order to clear a path for the single red block. With over 1,000 level combos, you’ll never tire of this Android game, which counts down your moves, time and skill level. This game is free.

Simon Tatham’s Puzzles is an inclusive collection of puzzle games, with classics like Minesweeper and Sudoku to favorites like Twiddle and Rectangles. The single-player games are all open-source, and can be saved between your phone and PC. The interface is basic, but the puzzles are anything but. This Android app is free.

These puzzle games have great graphics, smooth gameplay, tons of levels and bonus achievements, plus plenty of challenges to keep you occupied for a long time. All of these games will take some time to complete. I am still working on these and am not sure when I will get done. If you are looking for some puzzles to test your brain, give these a try. Have you played any of these games? If so, how far have you gotten?

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Larry Sullivan


Larry Sullivan has been online for over 10 years, runs a number of websites/services and has been revieiwng apps for over a year on numerous sites  Larry's own website provides Android and iOS users a central location to find links to quality online reviews, mobile news and articles, and custom reviews. You can follow him on Twitter at @drcentral.



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