PuzzleNation Looks Back at 2015!

The year is quickly coming to a close, and as I look back on an eventful year in the world of puzzles and games, I’m immensely proud of the contributions both PuzzleNation Blog and PuzzleNation made to the puzzle community as a whole.

Over the last year, we explored dice games and tile games, apps and pen-and-paper puzzles. We met designers, constructors, and creative types of all kinds. We cracked brain teasers and tackled mind-bending riddles.

We explored the history of puzzles, broadened our understanding of how puzzles and games contribute to brain health, and celebrated the lives of puzzle greats Bernice Gordon, Henry Hook, Merl Reagle, and Leslie Billig, who were taken from us too soon.

We spread the word about numerous worthwhile Kickstarters and Indiegogo campaigns, watching with glee as a puzzle/game renaissance continued to amaze and surprise us with innovative new ways to play and puzzle.

We celebrated International TableTop Day, the debut of The Indie 500 crossword tournament, a new Star Wars movie, the 80th anniversary of Monopoly, new world records set by Rubik’s Cube solvers, and a puzzly wedding proposal, and we were happy to share so many remarkable puzzly landmark moments with you. Heck, we even solved the mystery of The Dress!

It’s been both a pleasure and a privilege to explore the world of puzzles and games with you, my fellow puzzle lovers and PuzzleNationers. I recently posted my 450th blog post, and I’m even more excited to write for you now than I was when I started.

And that’s just the blog. PuzzleNation’s good fortune and accomplishments in 2015 went well beyond that.

In January, we launched the Penny Dell Bible Word Search for iPad, and in March we started our monthly hashtag games. In May, we added Penny Dell Jumbo Crosswords 2 for iOS devices, and July saw the debut of our Crossword Clue Challenge every weekday on Twitter and Facebook.

But the standout showpiece of our puzzle app library has been the Penny Dell Crossword App. With our Dell Collection puzzle sets, our monthly Deluxe puzzle sets, and the 2015 Deluxe Combo (not to mention our various value packs and supreme bundles), we maintained a steady stream of quality puzzle content for solvers and PuzzleNationers.

We added a free daily puzzle feature for all users, and just before Christmas, we launched the Penny Dell Crossword App for Android devices, ensuring that more puzzle lovers than ever have access to the best mobile crossword app on the market today.

[Fred, our Director of Digital Games, shows off the Penny Dell Crossword App
at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in March.]

And your response has been terrific! We amassed over 1500 followers for the blog and we’re closing in on 1700 followers of the PuzzleNation Facebook page, numbers that are both humbling and very encouraging.

2015 was our most productive, most exciting, and most creatively fulfilling year to date, and 2016 promises to be even brighter.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, your support, and your feedback, PuzzleNationers. Have a fantastic New Year. We’ll see you in 2016!


Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!

Penny Dell Crosswords App for Android!

We promised a big announcement, and boy, did the PuzzleNation Team deliver! Just in time for Christmas!

Ask and ye shall receive!

Friends and fellow PuzzleNationers, as you have requested, the Penny Dell Crosswords App is now available for Android mobile devices!

Download Now on your Android phone or tablet! FREE on the Google Play Store!

All of the great features available on the iOS version are here! Our Smart Step navigation helps move you around the grid with ease, while our Hints (and alternate clues for Collection sets) are there to assist you every step of the way!

You can add to your puzzle library with in-app purchases of our Deluxe puzzle sets, and of course, there is the free daily puzzle for all app users!

We are proud to welcome Android users into our ever-growing PuzzleNation community of solvers, and we promise…this is just the beginning!


Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!

PuzzleNation App Review: Shuttle Shuffle

Welcome to the another edition of PuzzleNation App Reviews! Today we continue our quest to explore the world of puzzly games and apps for your tablet or smartphone!

Our resident app player and puzzle fiend Sherri has a new game for us today, so let’s get down to business and dive into her review of Shuttle Shuffle for iPhone and Android!


Shuttle Shuffle is a game where the goal is to return stranded aliens to their spaceships, so they can go home.

Hello, humans, your goal is to help the aliens get back to their ships! They need to leave the planet at once. Won’t you please guide them?

This is really cute twist on a clear-the-board type game. Your goal is to clear the aliens from the board by matching them to spaceships of the same color as the aliens. To move them, simply touch an alien and move up, down, left, or right.

However, it isn’t quite that simple, as a column of aliens will move up or down together, and a row of aliens will move left or right together. This can make earning the medals and stars tricky.

There is also a social aspect to the game. When you earn medals, you have a choice of earning a tickets to challenge another player or a ticket to make your own board with which to challenge another player. This adds a nice twist to the game.

This is a really enjoyable game. For fans of this type of game, it is highly recommended. This will keep you puzzling for ages.

Ratings for Shuttle Shuffle:

  • Enjoyability: 3/5 — This is really fun and quite challenging! Trying to earn the medals and stars really takes thought.
  • Puzzle incorporation: 3/5 — In each level, you have to puzzle out how to get the aliens to their ships, each level with its own layout of aliens, which often provides a chain-solving challenge.
  • Graphics: 4/5 — Except for the blinking eyeball, the graphics are static, but they are very bright and colorful. You move the aliens along a standard grid, and the background of the first world, Terra, features clouds and spaceships launching.
  • Gameplay: 4/5 — This is a really cute twist on a clear-the-board game. The aliens are adorable, and the levels get increasingly more difficult, so you really have to think to earn the medals and stars. Plus, the social aspect of designing your own levels adds an extra dimension to the game.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

PuzzleNation “You Like Us, You Really Like Us!” Giveaway

Hello fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers!

It’s been an awesome year for PuzzleNation, and a much of the credit for that success goes to you, the PuzzleNation audience.

We appreciate everything you’ve done: your comments and feedback, your enthusiasm and support, the puzzly spirit of everyone who reads these blog posts, everyone who enjoys our Pinterest page and follows us on Twitter and hits up Facebook every week for Wordplay Wednesday or Follow-Up Friday.

To show our thanks, and continue growing PuzzleNation, we’re launching a Contest to build the PuzzleNation audience! Just Like our Facebook page to enter!

We’ve organized some outstanding prizes to give away, and we’ll be randomly drawing names from our list of Facebook followers to receive great prizes!

At 1,000 likes, two randomly chosen followers will receive a free Classic Word Search app for Android/Kindle Fire devices! ($2.99 value, per app)

At 1,250 likes, a randomly chosen follower will receive a free Penny Dell Jumbo Crosswords app for iOS devices! ($9.99 value)

At 1,500 likes, we’ll give away three more Classic Word Search apps PLUS two more Penny Dell Jumbo Crosswords apps!

At 2,000 likes, we’ll give away five more Classic Word Search apps and three more Penny Dell Jumbo Crosswords apps!

Just imagine the possibilities. If every person who follows this blog likes the PuzzleNation Facebook page, we would blow through those first few targets!

And if you’ve already liked our FB page, you’re automatically entered in the giveaway! (But if you share this Contest with friends and they Like our Facebook page to enter, make sure they message us and tell us you recommended them!)

This promotion is live today and will run until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on November 30! Winners will be announced on Facebook and the PuzzleNation Blog on December 1st!

For full contest rules, click here.

Good luck, fellow puzzlers! We can’t wait to give away some prizes and see the PuzzleNation audience grow and flourish!

PuzzleNation App Review: G.O.A.T. – Mow it up!

Welcome to the another edition of PuzzleNation App Reviews! Today we continue our quest to explore the world of puzzly games and apps for your tablet or smartphone!

Our resident App player and puzzle fiend Sherri has another intriguing game for us today, so let’s get down to business and dive into her review of G.O.A.T – Mow it up! for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices!


Oh no! Farmer Jason’s mower is broken! How is he doing to mow his fields? Well, Mr. Goat is here to the rescue. After all, he is a farmer’s best friend.

G.O.A.T – Mow it up! is a cute twist on a clear-the-grid game. It’s an iOS game in which your goal is to guide the goat through the unmowed grass. All of the grass needs to be cleared, and you can’t mow a space twice.

The game is divided into worlds and chapters. Summertime is the easy world, and it’s divided into 40 levels. Using your finger, you draw your path, dropping carrots along the grassy patches. There are also items of litter that the goat eats. You have to clear all of the litter and the grassy patches, and each path needs to end with a yummy piece of litter.

This is a great game. With the increasing level of difficulty, even in the easy world, I had a blast clearing the levels. They are colorful and bright, and I just love the goat. Once you complete the path, the goat really takes off, and it is a wonderful sight to see. Figuring out the best path to mow all of the grass provides such a good feeling of accomplishment.

Graphically, this game is great. The levels are colorful, with various obstacles to get around, and there’s a variety of litter items like sandals and tires. Mr. Goat just gobbles them all up. And carrots. He loves carrots. If you enjoy games where you have to clear a grid, this is a good one to play.

Ratings for G.O.A.T – Mow it up!:

  • Enjoyability: 3/5 — This is a really cute and colorful game but each level is essentially the same gameplay-wise, which can grow tedious over time.
  • Puzzle incorporation: 4/5 — The levels increase in difficulty, and you need to think logically to clear all of the grass. Plotting your route really works your brain, and that was just in easy mode!
  • Graphics: 4/5 — The graphics are bright and colorful, and the goat is great. It’s awesome seeing him zip through your path once you’ve cleared the board, although one big drawback is the continue screen that obscures the fast mowing.
  • Gameplay: 3/5 — It can get a bit monotonous, but the increasing difficulty and the need to puzzle out your path keeps you on your toes.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

PuzzleNation App Review: Spy Mouse

Welcome to the fifth edition of PuzzleNation App Reviews! Today we continue our quest to explore the world of puzzly games and apps for your tablet or smartphone!

Our resident App player and puzzle fiend Sherri has another intriguing game for us today, so without further ado, let’s dive into her review of Spy Mouse for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices!


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assume the role of Agent Squeak and to gather as much cheese as you can, all the while evading stealthy cats…

Spy Mouse is an action-packed strategy game for iOS that is great for the logical mind.

This is a great game. I am a huge James Bond fan, so playing as a mouse spy was right up my ally. The game is divided into several worlds, and each world is divided into 12 levels, one of which is a secret level. In order to open up later worlds, you need to collect a certain number of blue ribbons.

Each level consists of a building in which you must gather all of the cheese while eluding cats that don’t want you to escape. To earn the three ribbons per level, you really need to think logically. You have to plot just the right path around the cats to get the cheese and attain those coveted ribbons. Luckily, you don’t have to earn all those ribbons in one shot, as earning some of those ribbons can be quite tricky! You need patience, and you need to think very strategically.

All of that cheese is gathered for a very good reason. You can buy power-ups with your earned cheese that will help you in your quest to earn those ribbons and get more cheese! You buy the power-ups from Digger the Dog, who is quite the salesdog.

This game also has one element that sets it apart from many other strategic level games. Each world ends with a boss battle! These boss battles touched the RPG bone in me, and I quite enjoyed playing them.

Spy Mouse has so much to offer to the puzzle game lover. You have hidden areas to explore in each level and dossiers to collect. If you connect to Facebook, you have a secret level to open in each world, too. There are many achievements to earn and just a lot of fun to be had, so go get your secret agent on and go be a spy!

Ratings for Spy Mouse:

  • Enjoyability: 4/5 — This is a very cute game. I enjoyed playing Agent Squeak and outsmarting the cats.
  • How well puzzles are incorporated: 4/5 — This game requires a lot of strategy. In order to earn all of the blue ribbons, you need to logically plot your route around the cats.
  • Graphics: 4/5 — The graphics are great. Agent Squeak is adorable, and the cats are suitably menacing, but still cute. The rooms are rendered beautifully, if a bit simply. This is not a flat game.
  • Gameplay: 4/5 — There are three different ribbons to earn for each level, and there are several worlds to play. This is a game that will keep you on your toes for quite a while.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!