If there is one category that literally sees no end when it comes to number and variety on the App Store, it is games. Usually, games fall into one of many genres, but there are few that manage to bring more to the table than just entertainment while at the same time being super fun and addictive.
This is exactly the case with the two games we will show you today, one with a strong focus on vocabulary and another on math and reasoning.
Letterpress is a word game by the creator of the popular Tweetie app. The game always requires two players and an internet connection mind you, so no luck playing this one offline.
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As is expected of any word game, Letterpress requires you to compete with the other player creating words from an existing bunch of letters. So far there is nothing really new about the game when compared to others in the genre, right? However, upon further playing you will discover that Letterpress involves very entertaining mechanics that makes the game extremely addictive.
To start, you have a five-by-five grid full of different letters which you can’t change and will have to use for the whole match. When you form a word, each letter of the word takes your color and gives you a point. So far so good. Where the game really requires you to think and strategize though, is when you opponent’s turn comes.
When it does, they can pick any letter from the grid as well, including the ones you used before. What is even worse. Each letter of yours they use will turn their color and will both take the point form you and add it to them, so it’s like loosing two points instead on just one.
To make matters even more interesting, if you or your opponent manage to use letters so that any one letter with your/their color is surrounded by others of the same color, then that letter will stay your/their color for the rest of the match, locking the point and providing you/them with a great advantage.
As you can see, there is a lot thinking and strategizing to do when playing Letterpress, all with a system full of challenge and that encourages you to come up with long, unique words.
Now, let’s go for the subject all kids love, Math! (yes, even I can sense the sarcasm in that sentence but may be this app will eliminate it and make kids really love the subject.)
What makes Quento such an addictive and entertaining game is the hidden challenge beneath its simple mechanics.
Contrary to Letterpress, Quento is a single player experience that relies on the two most basic math operations: Addition and subtraction. Using these, the game gives you a three-by-three grid made up of five numbers and four symbols.
At the top of the screen, Quento displays the “challenges” you need to overcome. These consist entirely of getting the final number shown on top by adding or subtracting a certain quantity of numbers. For example, on the screenshot below you are required to add or subtract three numbers (no more and no less) to get the number 20.
As you progress you will get challenges like the one above where you need to use three numbers (considered medium difficulty) and if you want challenges with four or more numbers, you will have to pay $0.99 cents to unlock those.
As you see, Quento is a very simple game that nonetheless provides provides a great amount of challenge. It would be nice to also have multiplication and division in it, but as it is, it is already a very fun and addictive way to exercise your math skills.
There you go. Two free games that will keep you busy for hours while at the same time sharpening your skills.