Editor’s Picks: My Favorite Game Apps

Random Mahjong Pro (Ad-Free)

There are so many game apps available in Amazon’s App Store, the selection is downright dizzying! But just as personal recommendations can point you in the direction of a good book or movie, so too can they help you find some gems in the ocean of apps.

My favorite game apps to play on my Kindle Fire are Random Mahjong (avg 4/5 stars across 188 reviews, $1.99), Aces Cribbage (avg 4/5 stars across 18 reviews, currently on sale for $1.49), Angry Birds (avg 4/5 stars across 480 reviews, $.99), and Bag It! (4.5/5 stars across 868 reviews, $1.99).

(Some of my other faves will likely appear in a Kids on Fire review, so I’ll leave them out of today’s post.)

Random Mahjong is Mahjong with a fun twist: if you don’t solve the layout before time runs out, it’s randomly re-built with new tiles on top of the existing ones. Normally I don’t enjoy games that incorporate a time limit, I usually find them more tense than relaxing. But in this instance, the time limits aren’t so tight as to be frustrating, and sometimes I find the layout re-build helps me get “un-stuck” on a layout I’m having trouble solving.

Aces Cribbage (Kindle Fire Edition)Aces Cribbage takes me back to a summer vacation spent with relatives when I was around 11 or so. My Aunt Pat taught me to play Cribbage, a point-scoring card game, and we played it together all summer long. It’s a lot of fun, and combines both luck and strategy, but if you don’t happen to know anyone else who plays you can go decades without a match—as I did, before finding this great little app!

Aces Cribbage allows you to choose various game options such as number of rounds in a match, scoring (do it yourself or let the computer), and even the look of the cards and “table” background. It also has a terrific tutorial feature that you can access the first time you play the game if you like: the app will ask if you’ve ever played Cribbage before, and if you answer “no” it will provide some extra help screens and explanations at the outset. Even though it wasn’t my first time, I took advantage of the tutorial because I was pretty rusty!

Bag It! is a fun puzzle game that takes the packing puzzle concept to the grocery store and adds something new. Instead of having to fit odd-shaped items into a suitcase frame, you have to fit groceries into a bag.

The differences between Bag It! and a standard packing puzzle are numerous, and really add to the overall challenge and enjoyment of the game. First, the groceries to be bagged aren’t all revealed up front, you have to work with what you have while planning for the contingency of possible other items that may come up to be added to the bag; this is probably great training for real-life grocery baggers! Second, where a packing puzzle just requires you to fit all the pieces into the frame, Bag It! also brings weight and fragility into the equation. Broken eggs, squished bread and smashed cracker boxes will all cost you when it comes time to see if you’ve cleared the level. Finally, each level also includes one or more bonus combinations—grocery items that should be packed so they’re touching—that can earn you extra points if you clear the level.

Angry Birds (Ad-Free)Finally, there’s that Grand Pooh-Bah of the game app world: Angry Birds. It’s not for nothing that this is the best selling game app of all time and that its characters have become cultural icons.

If you have somehow managed to avoid learning anything about this game, here’s how it works: pigs are stacked up in various configurations involving boxes, planks of wood and the like, and you have to demolish their ersatz structures by firing angry birds at them from a slingshot. Different “species” of birds have different qualities: some split into a flock when you fire them, some are larger or smaller, some exert more force or speed…you get the idea.

This ingenious and addictive game combines strategy and physics to make for a very entertaining way to kill far more time than you ever intended.

Angry Birds Space is the latest addition to the Angry Birds family. Its puzzles are a little more complex, but it’s a hit, with an average review rating of 4/5 stars across 937 reviews. Angry Birds Space is priced at $2.99.

As you can tell, my favorite games are puzzle and strategy games. How about you? What games are you playing and loving on the Fire?


2 thoughts on “<b>Editor’s Picks: My Favorite Game Apps</b>”

  1. while going through kids corner one listed as “how to get pussy” was this an error. not sure i want my kids to read that. please check this. i have a 10 year old and a 14 not ready for that. I hope it was refering to a cat. if not this site is off limits


    • Thanks for the heads up, Lita. We have reported this title to Amazon, and they have removed it — at least for now. These category listings are automated — based on the categories the author or publisher selects — but the reference should disappear from the list soon. The following is from our note to our Amazon contact:

      “I just wanted to give your team a heads up about a title that showed up on our “free listings for children” this morning…. My concern is that the author would have had to categorize the book as a children’s book for it to turn up on our children’s lists, and that strikes me as the kind of action for which Amazon might want to consider a punitive response.”

      Thanks again,

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