There will always be a place in entertainment, and the practice of mental sharpness, for the familiar standards of gaming. The Chess and Crossword types will persistently own a carved out space in the world. They’ve withstood the tests of time, and continue to harbor beautiful communities.

However, in 2018, there’s a starving market for the new and the fresh. Mixing the best of both these worlds, our list today takes a look at four Puzzle Games that are making waves with their revolutionary adaptations of some very common puzzle gameplay.

AC+A |  @AdrianCrookInc
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Hexologic

MythicOwl

Why Play?   Coming to the app store at the end of May, Hexologic is part zen and focus application, and part evolution of Sudoku. Listen to calming tunes while solving ever-more-difficult puzzlesthat require some serious thinking. In a magnificent adaptation of the standard Sudoku puzzle, Hexologic will train your cognitive foresight and aims to be more than just a game. The game also features extremely beautiful artwork, and themed levels. Exclusive to the App Store on mobile, MythicOwl also plans to release Hexologic on Steam. Stemming from a desire to “avoid ad fatigue” says CEO Tomasz Mularczyk, Hexologic will be a premium title upon release.

App Store
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Love Balls

Super Tapx

Why Play?  Two balls separated by a growing-complexity of obstacles needs your help to reunite. Using your touchscreen to draw lines is your only tool, in this intuitively unique puzzle game. This forces players to think outside the box (or ball, in this case). Love Balls takes many queues from puzzle games like Lemmings, and The Incredible Machine, mixing in the paper-like visual styles of SnipperClips. Love Balls is the poster child for a lovely game heavily affected by a poor choice in monetization, you can tell by the review scores below and comments on the store that being the number one game on the app store doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right. Love Balls is a quirky gem, regardless of the inundation of ads, and deserves a play.

Google Play App Store
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Weave the Line

Lion Studios

Why Play?  This digital reimagining of classic puzzle games brings the line-art world to a new century. Coming from a studio with a vast pedigree in popular and addictive clicker games, Weave the Line is an intriguing swerve for Lion Studios, but it has paid off with top ten placements on both app stores. The gameplay is simple, yet refreshing. Using anchor-points and lines, recreate the pattern you see. It’s addicting, and evolves in difficulty at the perfect pace to keep you confident. Three game modes that include mirrored lines, and multiple colors can freshen things up, but it will take a long while before you get bored (if ever) of the standard play.

Google Play App Store
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Homescapes

Playtrix

Why Play?  There is no shortage of studios trying to add value to a match-three game, and plenty of them are great. However, no one has been able to accomplish the overhaul of “WHY you are playing a match-three” like Playtrix has. Giving the player an absolute ton of fleshed out gameplay that compliments the match-three, rather than attempting to justify itHomescapes and the other games in the Scapes Series have carved out a gigantic fanbase. Both Home and Garden are consistent fixtures on the grossing charts, simply because they’ve built a system of investment within an otherwise overdone genre.

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at games@compulsionloop.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).

Know a game that you think others should play? Let us know and tell us why we should play it.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact games@compulsionloop.com — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com