Puzzle Love (Free) by Naked Apps is a beautiful collection of various puzzles for your iPhone.
The best thing about this app is how beautiful it looks. From the moment you launch it, you are presented with a beautiful interface. The main screen is divided into two different sections: Puzzles and Downloads.
With the initial app, Puzzle Love provides you with four puzzles in the Sample pack. However, as of this writing, there are two free puzzle packs available for download, so I would recommend grabbing them right away.
On the Puzzles screen, you’ll see your current puzzle packs (represented with beautiful bookmark graphics and icons) and your progress on them with the green bar. Each puzzle pack contains a set number of puzzles, and you’ll see the number completed out of the total to compliment the progress bar. Tapping on a puzzle pack will reveal the puzzles and difficulty level of each (from a range of one to three).
In the Downloads section, new puzzle packs will be available on a regular basis. There are free puzzle packs and premium ones. Free puzzle packs will only have a few puzzles, but they are completely free and added once a week, so there’s no loss. Premium packs are added constantly, but will cost you. Once a pack is downloaded, it will show up immediately in your Puzzles screen.
Currently, Puzzle Love features four different kinds of puzzles: Sudoku, 5×5, Target, and Wordbuilder.
Sudoku should be well known by now, but for those that aren’t aware of what it is: you essentially fill in a 9×9 grid of 3×3 sub-grids so that each row, column, and 3×3 grid contain all of the numbers one through nine. It sounds easy, but it’s much harder than it sounds. The sudoku puzzles in Puzzle Love provide you with two input methods and a keypad for entering in your digits. I found it fairly intuitive and user-friendly.
The 5×5 puzzle gives you a 5×5 grid with some letters already in some boxes. The goal of the puzzle is to make complete words from left to right and top to bottom – another task that is harder than it sounds. In this mode, you are given a custom keyboard (but still retaining that native iOS keyboard feel) to fill out the boxes.
For both the Sudoku and 5×5 puzzles, you are able to get hints and undo your last move. There doesn’t seem to be a penalty for using the hint button over and over until a puzzle is solved though, which can take away from the challenge. The undo button can also clear the board if you tap and hold it.
Target gives you nine letters, of which you must create as many words as you can with a minimum of four letters. There is also a letter that is in black – this is the “target” letter. For a word to qualify, it must contain this letter. Sure, there may be a lot of words that you can create from nine letters, but specifically with a certain letter? That changes things! It’s definitely a great puzzle that will be picking at your head.
Wordbuilder is the final puzzle type in the current iteration of Puzzle Love (version 1.1). In this puzzle, you are given five letters and can use any combination to create words of three letters or more. It’s a bit simpler than Target, but still a challenge all its own.
For Target and Wordbuilder, the puzzle is complete once you obtain at least one star. However, there are a total of three stars that you can collect – tap on a star to view the minimum requirement of words to obtain it.
The settings in Puzzle Love allow you to toggle music, sound effects, and whether the app should show completed packs.
I would like to see an easier way to throw the letters back in Target and Wordbuilder. Currently, you will have to drag each letter back individually if a word does not work and you want to start fresh. This can get annoying if you are doing it constantly, so it would be nice to have a button to put them back (think of the recall function in Scrabble).
While the current variety of puzzles is nice, it would be great to see even more puzzle types in the future. Luckily, the developers already seem to have that in mind, as they left a note in their iTunes App Store description. In addition, they are planning dictionary integration, Game Center support, and more. This is already a very polished app that seems like it will only get better with time.
An important note is the fact that the developers are from New Zealand, thus Puzzle Love uses British English for the word puzzles. So you’ve been warned.
Any puzzle fans will definitely want to check out this app. Get it for free while it lasts!