January 29th is National Puzzle Day created by Jodi Jill to share her love of puzzles with everyone. And yes, I love puzzles just like her (like those of you who visit my blog know!) Given my penchant for puzzles of all types, I am always on the lookout for books and sites and apps that allow me to indulge me every once in a while! Why the once-in-a-while? Well, I have needed to uninstall game apps every so often and also force myself to stay away from websites for days just so I could detach from them for a bit, and do other stuff. One such website (and that is actually a compliment) is Plays.org.
So Why Do I Like Plays.org?
To answer this question simply, I can say, “For the myriad games it offers, and free plus ad-free at that with no registration required!” Plays.org has so many games to offer that I did not know where to begin when I first discovered the site. It is humungous to say the least, and you can get lost in exploring just the categories of games themselves as you can see below:
So breaking it down based on what I first noted and the games I played…
Plays.org: The Basics
An uninterrupted game experience with no popups/ads/or other similar things which is free for all to use. Plus, we have something for everyone, from the youngest players to those looking to recapture their childhood memories from decades ago. In addition, there is no need to register though they do offer an option for the same. This is useful if you are going to play often enough and might use different devices to play or clear your browser cache every so often. You could also choose to mark games as favorites (regardless of registration status but gets cleared if you clear your cache) when you find games you love.
Here are some of the games and puzzles I have been playing most often over at plays.org (and I don’t even mention 2048 which eats at least that many seconds of my day as in the name of the game without me realizing it (and then I have to mind-control myself from not playing it for a few days!!)
I recall enjoying the traveling salesman problems (TSP) when I first started learning computer science as part of one of the classes (operation research). It is so challenging to try to figure out the shortest or most efficient route between places so the salesman could cover all the places on his itinerary with zero overlap and maximum savings. Which means I also enjoyed trying puzzles like Node on plays.org. While these are not exactly like the TSP ones, since we do sometimes visit a node twice to complete the pattern, the challenges are very similar.
Here is a level that took me a couple of tries to get through (this screenshot is from between tries to avoid spoilers!!). Basically, just to give you an idea, the aim of this game is to move from dot to dot covering all those lines you see there though no line may be followed twice.
There are many more pattern games that I am finding here and getting addicted to. But moving on ….next up is…
I checked out games that evoked many childhood memories, including Ludo, Chutes and Ladders (or as we knew it – Snakes and Ladders), and Pin Ball (on those plastic things that we bought at village fairs). I played them more for nostalgia than for the challenge because this is nothing more than pure chance games and you can totally play these when you want to simply do nothing to strain your brain. And then the ones my kids played when they were little, like Connect 4.
And Finding 10 Differences, like the ones you most likely did in the Sunday comics (at least, I did them every week, even as an adult)
I have to admit that age is either getting on me or well, I have to retrain my brain at playing these type of games. But I can ask my teenager to help me and she is pretty good at spotting the differences as well as at finding the hidden objects when I play those games.
Last but not the least, do you recall those plastic slider puzzles you played with as a kid? I just realized we can still get those physical ones if we want. I am talking about puzzles like these ones below
I recall my parents buying them for us each year at annual fairs in the nearby town, and we would play with them a zillion times over until the pieces fell apart. And then the process repeated itself all over again the following year 🙂 And if you loved them like I did and have nostalgic memories, you can indulge in them online as well here.
Not really the last one…for, I also saw word games based on/inspired by the PBS show Super Why (a fav with my kids ages ago) as well as Dora and a popular Indian cartoon show called Chota Bheem, among many other popular children’s shows. While neither me nor my kids (at 20 and 17) are the audience for these games now, I was happy to see these, for I know many who will love them and will also help kids learn various skills while having fun playing games with familiar characters.
From typing games where zombies can get you if you don’t type the words on the screen fast enough(certainly helps improving typing speed) to games like Panda-Love and logic puzzles, number games, arcade games, simulation games, single and multiplayer games, and simply so much more, Plays.org sure has something for everyone. I did not even mention the word games I am enjoying playing here but I will post about a couple of them some other day here!
(note regarding this game – Panda Love – or similar ones: my teens seem to love games like this and are super good at it.. while, me… well, I keep dying here – see below. Any tips?)
Related Reads and Fun Facts
- Bookish Summer Smarts: Puzzles, Riddles and Brainteasers
- Wonderful Word Games: A Lewis Carroll and Wordle Connection. One of the connections, or rather the connection, is the word ladder puzzle created by Carroll!
- Wordless Wednesday: Puzzles for National Puzzle Day
- Will Shortz, the famous New York Times crossword puzzle editor, is the only person in the world to have a degree in enigmatology, the study of puzzles (source)
- Most mainstream crossword puzzles are vertically symmetrical, meaning they look the same when flipped (source).
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, puzzles are always fun and you can use them to relax, challenge yourselves, and always feel better at the end (Except when you don’t watch the time while playing them!) But for now, since it is National Puzzle Day, why don’t you head over to plays.org and enjoy for a bit! I am off for another 2048 seconds of 2048 myself!