These days, so many of the most popular mobile games we seek out and pour hours into each day are puzzle based, despite the App Store use of the word “casual” to describe those games that even those not typically gamers are downloading.
Puzzle games have are a popular choice among both developers and users in that they are never really going to be in danger of stepping outside the limitations of the hardware, which as we all know with the iPhone and now the Apple Watch is an important boundary.
The real challenge facing those developers of Apple Watch games in recent months has of course been the maintaining of gameplay on an iOS game between its iPhone version and its Apple Watch extension. In many ways, given the difference between the two platforms, this is a port rather than a reproduction – or even an extension, since we know that many of the Apple Watch apps are mere companion pieces to their iPhone counterparts.
So, what of the puzzle games currently available on the Apple Watch? We recently took to the App Store to pick our favorites!
Puzzle Games Apps on Apple Watch
8. Cops and Donuts! (Free)
Perhaps one that deserves to be placed in the aforementioned “casual” category rather than a full blown Puzzle Game, but Cops and Donuts is actually a huge amount of fun.
The basic premise behind the game, based on the stereotype founded by such popular shows as The Simpsons that all cops do is eat donuts, is to spin your character around and ingest as many sugary treats as possible, with particular combos reaping different rewards.
It’s the kind of simple puzzle game that is very easy to pick up and play but becomes quite difficult to master, which is of course the best kind!
7. GeoBlocks (Free)
GeoBlocks is another fairly simple puzzle game that has recently been updated for the Apple Watch, where you are basically given a screen of 5 by 5 blocks and are asked to remove as many connected blocks of the same color. You are given 7 moves to do so, and it really becomes a tactical battle to attemt to extract all the blocks but to do so in the most efficient manner possible.
This app has been somewhat overlooked among the slew of Best Games lists out there for the Apple Watch, but I find it strangely compelling and also charming. Besides the great little inclusion of being able to alter between color schemes in the menu, I think the best thing about this particular game is that no session you start is ever the same as the last, or indeed the next, which keeps you coming back and turns what is a fairly simple premise into something very addictive.
6. A Few Billion Square Tiles (Free)
I love the name of this particular app, but that doesn’t distract from the fact that the idea behind the game is just MineSweeper, which doesn’t really lend it a great deal of originality but at least you know that players won’t need to learn the rules. As with all these rehashed idea of old and popular games, A Few Billion Square Tiles does put a spin on things, basically turning the MineSweeper concept from a single player battle of wits to a MMO where you can play with other players across the world and even join clans!
5. BlockCircleBlock (Free)
When a new gaming platform arrives, especially one that is as minimal as the Apple Watch, it’s typically only a matter of time before developers pop up to fill the holes left by classic games. This appears to be the case with Block Circle Bloc, which is a basic tic-tac-toe game initially developed for the iPhone but perfectly honed for the smaller Apple Watch screen.
I’m usually pretty much against developers seizing these rights for games we all know and love and making money off an ancient concept, just because they got their first, but Block Circle Block is so impressive as a stripped down game that it’s difficult to be mad.
We here at Top 8 love a good design and interface, and that created by Geof Crowl for Block Circle Block, which can be seen on Dribbble and beautifully combines the colors purple and blue on a dark gray background, is so pretty.
4. Peak (Free)
While more of a brain training or educational mobile game, Peak still displays a lot of puzzle game aspects – typically, focusing on memory and problem solving. I’ll admit to not playing this one on the iPhone before it received this update for the Apple Watch, but I do love the variety and it’s refreshing to find a brain training app that actively discourages you from rushing through the different challenges.
3. BoxPop (Free)
As you may have guessed from the name of the the game, BoxPop is all about popping boxes, but that’s really as far as I can go to describe the premise behind this one.
The concept is an addictive one, though, as with all good puzzle games, and developers FreshPlanet have done a good job preserving the exisiting gameplay that thousands have been enjoying on their iPhone to date.
While this Apple Watch port strips away some of the functionality, and it does in all honesty seem a little rush, you can still track your stats and medals earned from your iPhone which is nice – and returning players will be happy to hear that you can now unlock up to 20 new achievements that are exclusive to the Watch.
2. Rules! ($2.99)
As mentioned above, the size of the Apple Watch screen seems to be just the right size for a good puzzle game, and perhaps the forerunner in terms of press these days seems to be Rules!, developed by TheCodingMonkeys.
Rules! is the kind of fast paced puzzle game that is accessible for both kids and adults, is a lot of fun but also manages to train your brain so it could even be considered educational.
You get four numbered tiles and are invited to tap the tiles in descending order, with new rules added (hence the name) on each turn to leave you scratching your head as you attempt to remember them all. It’s like being in school again!
1. Letterpad (Free)
Some iOS games that have made the jump from iPhone to Apple Watch find themselves having to scale back on things so as to condense the existing gameplay and functionality into the smaller Apple Watch screen. This is particularly the case with tile based deals, where you simply can’t fit as many into the space.
Letterpad is one of those however that has managed to port all of its tiles over to the Apple Watch, so expect a full 3 by 3 grid once you download it. Those who have played Letterpad already, you will be pleased to know that the gameplay is really maintained across the two platforms, with the same kind of frantic search for anagrams as always.