Hi and welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by today! You’re busy and your brain is full of appointments, errands, grocery lists, meetings and all of life’s happenings. You depend on your phone to keep you organized and on top of everything, right? But, during those brief moments when you find yourself waiting somewhere or before you put your phone away for the night, how do you spend your time? Checking your email? On social media? Watching videos? My go-to are good puzzle games.
Something about disconnecting from social media, leaving work behind and giving my little brain cells a challenge is the perfect way for me to take 10 minutes for myself. I can shut out all the noise and just focus on the problem at hand. That brief disconnect doing something just for me helps me come back ready to tackle whatever is next on my agenda. These apps are some of my favorite ways to spend those brief 10 minute breaks and leave me feeling ready to jump back into life.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE TIME TO PLAY PUZZLE GAMES
You might be thinking you don’t have time to play games. You’re an adult, after all, with adult responsibilities and obligations. No time for games. I get that. I have kids to care for, errands to run, meetings to attend, work to complete. But, allowing ourselves some down time will ultimately make us happier, healthier people. That’s right, I’m saying it. Playing games can make you healthier.
Think about how much time you spend on social media. How do you feel after you get off Facebook? Did you find anything you’ll actually, really try on Pinterest? Or was it just a mindless 10 minutes of pretty pictures and projects you know you’ll never think seriously about? Maybe you could find a few less minutes to spend on social media and a few more minutes to spend challenging yourself. I know I could.
Puzzle games let you leave the politics, the world problems and the stress behind, even if for just a few minutes. Puzzle games give you a solvable problem to focus on and then leave you to your own reasoning and intellect to figure it out. Puzzle games are similar to imaginative play for children. It’s a creative outlet that, when explored, can help us be more productive in other aspects of our lives. Even as adults, we need to practice problem solving to be any good at it.
FINDING THE BEST PUZZLE GAMES FOR YOU
This list includes a lot of different kind of puzzle games. Not every puzzle game is great for every person. Math is not my strong suit and, while I enjoy the occasional Sodoku game, I don’t typically enjoy games that require a lot of numerical calculating. But word puzzles, those are my jam. Some of the types of puzzle games included in this list are:
- number games
- word games
- quick reaction games
- escape games
- physics-based games
- mystery games
There is bound to be a game you’ll love. Maybe even two or three… or five. Some of these games are great while I’m waiting at the doctor’s office or in the pickup line after school. While some are better for when I’m standing in line at the grocery store. And yet others are better when I’m winding down for bed. Figure out what works best for you!
THE 10 BEST PUZZLE GAMES YOU’LL LOVE TO GET LOST IN
Some of the links included in this list are affiliate links and are for your benefit. Some of these apps are free or may include in-app purchases. If you choose to purchase any apps through these links, I will receive a small portion of your payment. Your cost does not increase in any way and purchases made through these affiliate links help me keep this site running. These are puzzle games my family uses and I personally recommend.
In Little Alchemy, you start with the four basic elements: earth, fire, wind, and water. By combining the elements together, you can create new products. There are over 500 new elements that span from bacteria and algae to vampires, skyscrapers and more. This game requires some critical and creative thinking – and maybe a google search when you get a few hundred elements in and can’t figure out your next combination. This is one even older children and teens can enjoy. I like to play it with my almost 8-year-old; some times he comes up with combinations I would never have thought of.
GEM MINER: DIG DEEPER
This is a strategy game. You are a miner and your goal is to mine ore, minerals and fossils and then trade them in for money. You can use the money you earn to buy bigger and better mining equipment that will help you get deeper into the mine. I enjoy that no matter how many times I play this game, it’s never the same. This is another game that older kids and teens can enjoy as well. Game play is easy to learn, fun and engaging.
Heads Up! This exact game isn’t in the App Store, but I’ve linked to one that’s similar and supposed to be really good – although, I’ve never played it personally.
The Room is an escape game with a bit of mystery game mixed in too. You are transported to and then trapped in a room. You must find clues, solve puzzles and figure out how to get yourself out. What I really love about this game is that it can be as difficult as you make it. There are optional hints you can receive if you get stuck, which helps me keep game play moving enough that I don’t get frustrated and bored. The stories included with the game are a bit wild, but that’s part of the fun. There are currently three editions of The Room, each even better than the last. I’m currently working my way through the last one and it’s just as enthralling as the first one was – totally worth the cost. And the graphics, they are absolutely amazing. This game is hard to put down.
WHERE’S MY WATER 2
This physics puzzler is great for all ages, even my 3 year old can play well enough to enjoy it. The second edition of this game is definitely worth the memory space. I love that each level has three different ways to play. You can play just one or all of them. The added challenge of reversing gravity or avoiding the ducks instead of collecting them makes each level extra gratifying. This one is perfect for both quick or extended game play and the characters are fun.
The beauty of this game is in the simplicity. It’s a basic word unscrambling game. You have 5 letters and 60 seconds. Your objective it to find as many words with those letters as you can. Words must be at least three letters long and nouns are not eligible. Each set of letters will make at least one 5-letter word. Figure out a 5-letter word and you get to advance to the next level. Each word you correctly guess earns points on your score. You can also earn bonuses, such as super hint, extra time and a second try. Rack up as many points as you can before that 5-letter word eludes you and you have to start back at zero.
Heads Up! The App Store doesn’t have the exact game, but I found a similar one for you.
DISNEY EMOJI BLITZ
If you love the match 3 games, then this is definitely a game to try out. Between the lovable characters and the friendly competition on the leader boards, this game is addicting. Earn emojis that you can actually use on your mobile device. I picked up this game in December when I saw my kids playing it, thinking that these emojis would be great for our trip to Disneyland in January. Here it is May, and I still play just about every day. I love the timed game play and the demand on my full attention for 60 seconds. Game play is simple and easy to learn, but there are ample options. You can earn bonuses (extra lives, extra spins on the prize wheel) by watching ads. The ads are annoying (turn the sound off), but they are all family-friendly and most are 30 seconds or less.
This is a fun puzzle game. Game play is simple and easy to learn, but the puzzles can be quite complex. You start each level with a set of dots, two of each color. Your objective is to draw a solid line, connecting the dots of the same color. Your lines can not cross each other and you are trying to do it in the shortest line length possible. I enjoy this one when I’m waiting for just a few minutes.
Heads Up! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this one, or a similar one, in the App Store.
This is an arcade-style game, but there’s an element of strategy in there too. I’ll admit, I’m awful at this game… but it’s still fun! Your objective is to occupy as much space as you can with your designated color. You can travel away from your “home” to collect more space, but if you are run into while you’re out it’s game over. If you do the running into, however, the other player dies and their space opens up. If competition is your thing, this is definitely one to try out.
Heads up! I believe there is a free version, but it is loaded with terrible, annoying ads and I definitely think it’s worth the upgrade to get rid of them. Also, this game is not available from the Amazon Apps Store
DOTS: A GAME ABOUT CONNECTING
This game is simple, easy to learn, and fun to play. Basic game play is entertaining, but completing the challenges and earning the badges adds a new element to the game. Your objective is to connect as many like-colored dots as you can. Connect dots in a square to score extra points. The game has three modes: timed for quick action play, moves for thought-out, strategic play and endless for relaxed play. You collect all the dots you connect and those can be used to get power-ups. Initial download is free, but there are in-app purchases available.
This is a simulation game wherein the choices you make will lead to your success or demise. You are trying to infect the world with your newly developed pathogen. Choose where patient zero is located and mutate your pathogen to spread quickly throughout all the world. You’ll also evolve the symptoms and side effects of your disease and as the seriousness increases so does the world’s efforts to eradicate the germ. Can you effectively infect the world’s population before the world’s scientists develop a cure? This game is engaging and replay value is great. No matter how many time you play, it’s a new game each time.
YOUR TIME IN FRONT OF A SCREEN CAN BE GOOD FOR YOU
It’s no secret that we are a technology addicted society that often spends more time immersed in digital life than in our real lives. While connecting to others is a wonderful thing, being constantly connected can do more harm than good. How would things change if you used a little bit of your screen time to disconnect instead being constantly connected to everyone all of the time? Would you be more relaxed? Less stressed? Happier? Take a break and find out what a little time away could do for you.
Share your favorite puzzle games in the comments. If you struggle with getting good sleep, click that next button to check out 3 apps that will help you sleep better.