iPad Game Thursday: New Releases

By some strange coincidence, all five of the games in today’s roundup are free (at least as of the time I write this) — which means you really have no excuse not to give them a try!

These games feature puzzles of all kinds, including murder mysteries, locked doors, a candy land and word-building points. There’s also a “Help, I can’t slow down!” driving game thrown in for good measure. Click through below to get your game on.

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“Escape” games seem to be popular these days, and this one does it right. The concept involves working your way through a series of rooms by solving a puzzle, which unlocks the next door — and leads you to the next puzzle.

No two challenges are exactly alike, and to solve them you’ll need to tap into your talents in arithmetic, pattern recognition, matching, deduction, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, observation and other areas.

Some puzzles are less straightforward than others, requiring the player to make skillful use of hints scattered throughout the game — many of which are not obvious and can include sounds and acquired objects. The developers promise even more challenges in future updates, so put on your thinking cap.

Price: Free
Developer: gameday Inc.
Download: iTunes

Candy Crush Saga

Enter a wonderful land of colorful candy, complete with more than 100 levels of addictive matching challenges for Tiffi and Mr. Toffee to work their way through.

Switch three or more candies of the same color next to one another to gain as many points as possible, and take advantage of special candies to make more complex match combinations and therefore earn more points. There are also certain objectives given at the beginning of each level, which you can complete to earn stars.

Different modes include Moves & Score (limited number of switches); Jelly (gameboard is covered in jelly); Ingredients (collect and deliver ingredients); Time Limited; and Candy Order (collect the wanted candies before time runs out). How sweet!

Price: Free
Developer: King.com Limited
Download: iTunes

Extreme Road Trip 2

It’s time for another extreme road trip! Your gas pedal is stuck, so there’s no slowing down — whatever lies in your path is definitely getting run over. And those cliffs? Yeah, you’re jumping them. Use your controls to manipulate the car’s tail and nose, meaning you can spin the car in the air and then try to keep it level on the landing.

Doing tricks in the air garners a lot of points, so does landing the car with all four tires flat on the ground. Good hand-eye coordination and fast reflexes are definitely necessary skills for gameplay.

While this is a game I turned out to be terrible at, I still had a heck of a lot of fun playing it. Maybe one day I’ll even have execute a drive that’s clean enough to upgrade me to a better car, 24 of which are currently available.

Price: Free
Developer: Roofdog Games
Download: iTunes

Mystery Detectives: Blackwood and Bell

This game, which involves finding objects, is one you could really get lost in. You play a detective who must travel around old London in search of clues. Scenes include alleyways, the opera house, a chemist shop and other intriguing locales.

Each scene contains a random assortment of objects, and you’re provided a list of the ones you need to collect from the scene. Take these clues back to your own version of Scotland Yard, where you display the evidence and build up a pretty swanky display of other objects and architecture using the coins you earn. You can also visit friends’ yards to earn points and witness their yard-planning and yard-decorating skills.

Go on quests to different locations and find extra special clues to tie the storyline together and solve the big mystery!

Price: Free
Developer: Disney
Download: iTunes


Imagine a crossword puzzle that came to life. That’s a little how QatQi (pronounced cat-key) looks, although the actual playing of it is more like digital Scrabble for one. Place letters on the board to form valid connected words (left to right and top to bottom). The puzzle is complete when you place the last tile into a valid word.

Tiles take on different colors to signify whether or not they are valid English words. Dots on the game board multiply the score of any letter you place there, and coins multiply a letter by 10 and add an extra 50 points.

It’s easy to see that there’s some strategy involved, plus the game requires some excellent vocabulary and spelling skills to attain really high scores. A statistics board generated according to your gameplay is also a pretty cool feature.

Price: Free
Developer: ZWorkbench Inc.
Download: iTunes

What are You Playing?

Which games are you hooked on right now? Let your fellow gamers and iPad enthusiasts know in the comments section below!