Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so I love the fact that there’s Halloween games you can play on your Kindle. Even black and white “e-ink” Kindles can share in the fun, since many of these games were written before Amazon had even introduced their own line of color touchscreen tablets. It’s really fun to see game developers taking their established Kindle titles, and updating them with special Halloween editions.
I think the most interesting title ever for a Kindle game was Ghostboy and the Nameless Grave. It describes itself as “An Interactive Children’s Book for Kindle,” and I’m really impressed by its funny, elegant graphics. (The size of the game file is 4.6 megabytes). On his birthday, a little boy named Tristan is haunted by a little ghost girl, and the game’s description on Amazon promises that as its four-part story unfolds, “your child explores a town full of mysteries on the night before Halloween.”
But one Halloween, the best-selling game in the Kindle Store was the “Ultimate Halloween Quiz” — which actually became one of the top-40 best-selling items in the entire Kindle store! HandyX had already created seven other “interactive quiz” games, but this one promised questions about monsters, magic, and other October-appropriate topics. “Do you know Mary Shelley from Marilyn Manson, or Freddy from Jason…?” asked the game’s description at Amazon.com “Questions topics include horror movies, Halloween facts, scary novels, gruesome history, magical creatures, myths and legends. Halloween will never be the same!”
And there’s also a spooky version of the Sudoku-like logic puzzle, Futoshiki. “Futoshiki Halloween Edition takes an eerie twist as witches and zombies take over in a graveyard game board,” warns the game’s page in the Kindle store. There’s a dangerous-looking tree in the background of the game board, and the top of the screen even includes the silhouette of a witch. But somehow, the stark contrast on the Kindle’s black-and-white screen seems to fit the holiday perfectly.
But I think my favorite game is the special Halloween version of Blossom. This has always been one of my personal favorites, and it’s fun to see it getting a holiday makeover. In the original version, you’d rotate squares in a grid to connect a network of pipes to make some flowers blossom. But in this Halloween edition, those restful flowers have been replaced by jack-o-lanterns — and instead of a watering can, they’re connecting to a black witch’s cauldron!
And believe it or not, there’s now even a Halloween version of Mahjong Solitaire. “This game is so fun it’s scary!” reads its description in the Kindle Store, which promises to complement its 13 different layouts with two special Halloween tile sets. Their pictures include pumpkins, tombstones, and even something that looks like a smirking ghost. At $3.99, it’s one of the more expensive Kindle games — but if you like Mahjong Solitaire, this looks like a fun novelty.
And there’s one more new game in the Kindle Store with a special connection to Halloween. The makers of Slingo have just come up with “Poker of the Dead” — which combines the challenges of the classic “Texas Hold ‘Em” card game with…zombies! It’s a seven-day tournament (with 10 hands per day), with a dramatic backstory adding the complication of an onslaught by the living dead. But fortunately, according to the game’s description, your zombie opponents “have no brains, never fold, and will always call your bet.” The phrase “winner takes all” gets a whole new meaning, but if you defeat all these poker-playing zombies, you’ll live to fight another day.
Amazon’s newest free game isn’t quite as creepy — but they’ve taken a classic logic puzzle and given it a nice Kindle adaptation. “Grid Detective” recreates those story problems you may remember from puzzle magazines — where, for example, there’s four people receiving four kittens that are four different colors. So who got which kitten? The game offers a series of cryptic clues — but you can “crack the case” if you carefully track them all, and also make the right inferences. In the paper-and-pencil version, you’d have to draw your own grid to keep track of all your deductions, but Amazon’s made this game much simpler to play by creating their own detailed interface. It may not be the most mysterious game ever, but the whole “intrigue” theme seem appropriate for Halloween.
It just makes me smile that independent Kindle developers are dreaming up their own fun ways to celebrate Halloween with a Kindle!