Need a break from long hours slaving over financial documents, paperwork from the office, or an essay you’ve been hacking away at since mid-afternoon? Switch gears and give your brain something new and interesting to think about with the following twelve top puzzle games.
1. Tetris Zone: Everyone loves Tetris. Download the app and play it on the go; then come home and test your new skills on your PC. The object of the game is to clear rows of blocks; blocks of different shapes and sizes fall from the top of the screen, and you’ve got to format them so they make full rows, so they get eliminated from the board. Find patterns and new strategies, and see how long you can last playing this legendary puzzle game.
2. Angry Birds: This hugely popular game has a lot to with both angles and luck. Shoot birds with various features (boomerang bird comes back, bomb-bird explodes, etc.) at pigs that are hiding under structures on the screen. Remove all the pigs with your bird weapons to move on to the next challenge.
3. Bejeweled Deluxe: This version of Bejeweled follows the same rules as the others: move jewels on the screen to create blocks of three or more, and they get eliminated for points. Just don’t run out of moves, or let the obstacles get in your way. The deluxe edition has new boards and features to amp up the game for the seasoned player.
4. Zuma: Zuma is essentially a cross between Angry Birds and Bejeweled: shoot stones from your stationary character’s mouth at rows of swirled and curled stones on the board. Groups of more than three of the same stone will be eliminated, until the level is clear.
5. Chuzzle Deluxe: Chuzzle and Bejeweled have a lot in common, but Chuzzle has the added perk of cute, big-eyed, fuzzy characters that move around the screen and must be eliminated. Groups of three are the key in this game as well … and watch out for the giant chuzzles, that take up four blocks of your screen.
6. Unblock Me Free: This game is for the simple at heart; merely move blocks around to unlock the red block that is trapped within. A game of intellect, this one still addicting; start a level and you’ll see why.
7. Insaniquarium: This puzzle game offers a pet lover’s dream: a huge aquarium filled with fish to care for and feed. Unlock money to buy more fish by performing good caretaking. Just keep an eye on your fishes: sometimes aliens come down to attack!
8. Bad Piggies: This game complements Angry Birds: you get to be the pigs in this fun, fast-paced game. Custom-make your own vehicles and battle your way through the levels to reach the end.
9. Hidden Object Crosswords: Combine your love of crosswords with your love of hidden object puzzle games in this great duo that will challenge your knowledge and test your brain strength along the way.
10. Gardenscapes 2: This game is for the OCD folk and HGTV fanatics in the audience. The point of the game is to renovate your mansion, by cleaning it from top to bottom. Get the job done and your old houswares sold within the time frame to complete the game.
11. Gold Miner Special Edition: Become a gold miner and fish for jewels and gems in this game that’s simple and fun. Download the amped-up version with better graphics and game play to enjoy an improved version of the classic game.
12. Zuma’s Revenge: A spinoff from the original Zuma game, this version includes the same three-match elimination with added boss battles and trickier levels to advance the skills of expert players.
Many of these and other puzzle games are available as free downloads online.