Flow Free
by Big Duck Games LLC
operating system: android also available for iOS | price: FREE | size: 5.2 mb | category: brain & puzzle

BY DREW NOWAKOWSKI | I’ve always been a sucker for a good puzzle. I think that’s one reason why I find Flow Free such an entertaining game to play. The game reminds me of a cross between Pipes and Snake (our favorite game to play on the old Nokia phones) with a little more thinking and planning involved. If you like simple puzzles, this may be the game for you.

To play the game, you drag your finger across the screen matching one color dot to its partner, creating a “pipe” in its path. The object is to connect all the same color dots together, not only without crossing paths, but also covering up the entire puzzle board with pipe. Level one (consisting of 30 puzzles) starts out easy with a 5×5 grid that helps you get the hang of the game, but as you advance to higher levels, the boards get larger with more and more dots to connect. These larger boards are where you need to put in a little more thought as to how you connect your dots. A lot of times, taking the shortest route is not best way to go and you have to get creative with your paths. Thus, these higher level boards are where my proverbial puzzle itch gets scratched.

What I like most about the game is the sheer number of puzzles. The game comes with 900+ puzzles to play and even the option of purchasing more if you so choose. Also, you can skip around if you are having a particularly difficult time with one of the puzzles, so you are not stuck on one forever. There are also hints available to if you get really stuck, but you only get a little few before you have to purchase more.

There is also a time trial mode, in which you are tasked to solve as many puzzles as you can in a determined set of time. I’m not as big of fan since I like to take my time planning my routes, but the option is there for those who want to be challenged by not only solving the puzzle, but also doing it in a speedy fashion.

The biggest hang up I have with the game is that when I am connecting the last set (or near last set) of dots, I tend to accidently swerve my finger into an adjacent pipe. Thus the previously laid pipe is broken and you have to go back and re-lay it, which is kind of an annoyance. I play on my large Galaxy Note II, so this problem may be exacerbated on a smaller screen.

All and all, I find this game entertaining and would recommend it if you are a puzzle-junkie like me.