Though not as flashy as other mobile gaming genres like first-person shooters, puzzle games continue to glue players to their phones. Puzzlers are perfect companions while out and about or on a commute, and they're also a great way to stimulate your brain and hand-eye coordination in a fun, relaxing way.
Unfortunately, the vast selection of puzzle games on both Google Play and the App Store has made finding a great game to get hooked on more difficult than ever. To make matters worse, newer releases often get lost in the sea of titles floating around. To help you out, after hours of gameplay, we're proud to present our top five new puzzle games that were released in 2019.
Popping pills is something that's usually frowned upon, but in the case of Dr. Mario World, you'll need to do just that to get rid of unruly viruses of varying colors plaguing the kingdom. You have to watch out, though, as you only have a set amount of capsules per stage to clear the infection and move on.
As with many puzzle titles, color matching is the name of the game, and Dr. Mario World lets you easily reorient and place capsules exactly where you want them to go. Don't let that simple premise fool you — the game gets pretty challenging early on, and will not only have you navigate through various obstacles, but also utilize elements like Koopa shells, along with bonus items like hammers, to disinfect levels.
While Dr. Mario World is completely free to play and devoid of advertisements, it gives you the option to buy items such as diamonds to help you get through those tougher levels.
Jewel Castle is another game based off the tried and true color-matching puzzle principal that will have you connect precious stones of the same type to eliminate them and accomplish various tasks such as freeing owls, removing screws, and destroying blocks to move on to the next level. Like other puzzle games, you get five lives as you play from stage to stage, which recharge over time.
In addition to special gems that you combine for more powerful moves, the game also gives you a slew of bonus items like hammers, gem exchanges, and bombs to help you get out of a sticky situation. As a free game, Jewel Castle features banner ads that run along the bottom of the screen and don't affect gameplay in any way, though you can opt to buy the game for $1.99 to remove them for good.
Thanks to its familiar mechanics and gameplay, anyone who's ever played a color match puzzle game like Candy Crush will feel right at home with Jewel Castle. So if you're a big fan of the genre but have grown tired of the same old same old, this little gem is definitely worth a try.
Released in June 2019, Line Color is a straightforward puzzle game with the goal of painting a line from the starting point to the finish line. While the premise is simple enough, the gameplay is actually quite challenging, as you need to dodge obstacles of various shapes and sizes. Naturally, these barriers get more difficult as you progress from stage to stage.
Keep in mind that as a free game, Line Color comes with a good amount of advertisements, and besides the banner ad that runs along the bottom, there are full screen ads whenever you're eliminated a third time (or every three stages, whichever comes first). Of course, you have the option to get rid of the commercials for good by purchasing the game for $2.99.
Twist Hit! is another addicting puzzle game that will have you fill in rings within tree trunks to make them grow into beautiful trees that range from willows and evergreens to oaks and palm trees. To grow your forest, however, you'll need to dodge black obstacles that change in length and numbers as you form rings — otherwise, you'll have to start over from scratch.
The only real downside to Twist Hit! is the frequency of advertisements which show up as full screen commercials every three or so levels, in addition to the banner that's constantly displayed on the bottom while playing. That said, you can eliminate these distractions once and for all by buying the game for $2.99.
Slices might be last on our list of 2019 puzzle games, but remember, it's in the top five. This incredibly addicting game has one simple premise: completely fill in one of the six circles provided to pop it along with the two circles immediately beside it. You need to be strategic with your placement, however, and pay attention to the next piece coming up, as you can easily run out of room and end the game.
If that didn't make Slices challenging enough, the game also requires you to reach a certain number of points to progress to the next level. These points get higher the farther you go, leaving you to form ever more circles to keep up. Thankfully, running out of room and getting knocked out doesn't spell the end, as the game gives you one chance to pick up where you left off — just be sure to make it count.
As great as the game is, it's not without its faults. Ads are the biggest issue. Out of all the games on this list, Slices plays ads with the highest frequency. In fact, the game will show full ads each time you level up or run out of moves, in addition to ever-present banners along the bottom. Like Twist Hit and Line Color above, you can get rid of these with a one-time payment of $2.99.
Of course, there are tons of newly-released puzzle games out for both Android and iOS, with more on the way. So if you want to recommend a great game that you'd like to see on this list, be sure to share your thoughts by in the comment section below.
This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on mobile gaming. Check out the whole Gaming series.