Recently, I wrote about the best single-player word games on mobile phones. But if words don’t do it for you, try some of these fantastic number-based games. You’ll need math, logic or a combination of the two to make it through these. And be warned, they are crazy addictive.
Threes [iOS, Android | $1.99]
Threes is so new that it’s still making a splash all across the web, and rightly so. This might just be the most addictive puzzle game on iOS yet. It’s a pretty simple premise, but delivered fantastically well. In a 4×4 grid, you’ll find tiles with different numbers. You need to add together ‘1’ and ‘2’ tiles to make them a ‘3’, or add ‘3’ with another ‘3’ to make it a ‘6’, a ‘6’ with another ‘6’, and so on. Here’s the tricky part. To add, you need to move the tiles in one of the four directions by swiping the screen. And each swipe will move all the tiles by one grid. You’ll be fine till you hit 192, but things get really difficult after that. Yet Threes remains charming and addictive with its lovely design style, cutesy animations and endearing soundtrack.
Note: Threes has become so popular that it has spawned a few clones. If you’re on Android and don’t want to pay for Threes (although we recommend you do), you can get similar gameplay in Fives. And on the web, just play a similar addictive Flash game called 2048 for free.
Drop7 [iOS, Android | $2.99]
A mobile gaming classic and one of the first titles from Zynga to make a splash, Drop7 concentrates more on logic than math. In a 7×7 grid, you will get balls with different numbers on them, and a few grey balls. If a numbered ball corresponds to how many balls it’s in a line with vertically or horizontally, it will explode—and this explosion cracks any of the adjoining grey balls. Two cracks and a grey ball reveals its hidden numbered ball. The game then becomes like crossing Tetris with Sudoku, where you are trying hard to crack and burst balls as fast as possible before one of the columns hits the ceiling and it’s game over. There’s a free ad-supported version on iOS [No Longer Available], but if you love the game, it’s worth the $2.99.
Download: Drop7 for iOS [$2.99 | Universal] | Drop7 for Android [$2.99 | Universal]
Hundreds [iOS, Android | $4.99]
Don’t be intimidated by the big price tag on Hundreds. It’s like nothing you’ve played before and it’s well worth it. I can personally vouch for that because I first bought it over a year ago and haven’t tired of it yet, with no signs of doing that in the future either. In Hundreds, you have a screen filled with lots of circles. Tap any circle and it starts expanding with a number counter going up. Your only job is to make sure all the circles add up to a hundred. The catch? No two circles can touch each other. Initially, there’s no need for any math as the counter at the top will tell you exactly what you need to know. But after you get through the easy levels, your only hope to crack the puzzle is to look at the whole grid and figure out the right number for each circle before you ever touch the screen. That’s going to need juggling some numbers in your head!
6 Numbers [iOS | Free] / Target Number [Android | Free]
These two games have the same gameplay but are exclusively available on their respective app stores. You can pick up either depending on the platform you use and play a fun math game for free. Here’s how it works. Each level has a target number. You are given six number tiles, and the four usual mathematical operators: addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. The objective is to use the operators and the tiles to form the target number. You can also form in-between numbers using multiple equations. For example, if the tiles have ‘1’ and ‘2’, you can add them up to get ‘3’—’3′ is now a new tile you can use in another equation. It’s a simple game with simple graphics and an increasing level of difficulty.
Download: 6 Numbers for iOS [Free | Universal] | Target Numbers for Android [Free | Universal]
Nozoku [iOS | $1.99]
Be very, very glad that developer Chaotic Box decided to only include 44 levels on Nozoku. This game could have easily ruined your productivity were there more levels to get through. Nozoku takes a 6×6 grid of squares and introduces some cool math with numbered tiles. You can slide one tile over another to subtract the smaller number from the larger, and get a new tile. When you have two tiles of the same number, slide one over the other for them to disappear—and the objective of the game is to get rid of all the tiles on the screen. As you progress, you’ll come across some cool new types of squares, like teleportals or special squares that let you add tiles instead of subtracting them. There’s no time limit, but it’s still going to take up a lot of your time.
Download: Nozoku for iOS [$1.99 | Universal]
Nozoku Rush [iOS | $2.99]
As if Nozoku wasn’t addictive enough, Chaotic Box had to go ahead and launch Nozoku Rush, which is quickly shaping up to be my latest addiction. You know how SpellTower combines Tetris with Boggle? Well, Nozoku Rush combines Tetris with math with similar gameplay mechanics. You have towers of blocks, each block has a number. Draw a line connecting two or more blocks, starting with the largest; whichever numbers you connect are subtracted from the larger number and the goal is to hit zero. When you connect five or more blocks, you destroy adjoining blocks too. This simplistic gameplay is how Nozoku Rush reels you in, and then it keeps you there with different modes like the Rush Mode where you need to clear it fast as more tiles fall from the sky and the Race Mode where you make the highest score possible before the time runs out.
Download: Nozoku Rush for iOS [$2.99 | Universal]
The above list is entirely about single-player math games, but I’m sure there are some multiplayer gems out there for those of us who like to fiddle around with numbers. Got any recommendations you can drop in the comments?