BreakingModern — One of the most addictive and often frustrating games ever created by humankind is the crossword puzzle. The concept is simple: You get a clue about a word, you know how many letters it takes to spell that word, you figure out what the word is and then you fill in the blanks. But it’s the “figure out” part that stimulates the brain, frustrates us and ultimately keeps us coming back for more.
Nearly Infinite Puzzles
Crossword, from Berni Mobile and available free for Android on Google Play, is an uncomplicated app that will continuously present the player with tantalizing crossword puzzles for as long as they care to request them. The Crossword app only runs on the latest Android devices, so be sure to check if your device is compatible.
The interface for Crossword is simple and automatically adjusts to your Android device’s screen size.
For each puzzle you set the size of the puzzle grid, decide on screen orientation, choose your preferred level of difficulty and then (with anticipation) you push the play button.
This is where we must discuss the one notable drawback of this “free” crossword puzzle app. Crossword is an ads-supported app. Before the start of each puzzle, you will be presented with an advertisement of some kind. The ads are delivered over the Internet so keep that in mind if you are subject to additional charges for activity under your data plan. There is also a continuous ad displayed at the top of the screen as you play.
The advertisements I saw were for innocuous things like the Amazon Kindle and for other game apps found in Google Play. Thankfully, when I was playing, there were no advertisements that would embarrass me in public, so I don’t think there is cause for concern in that respect.
After exiting out of the advertisement screen, you are presented with the familiar crossword puzzle grid and a word clue. But the Crossword app also provides you with the jumbled letters that make up the word in question (see the image).
When playing Crossword under Easy mode, as shown in the images, only the letters that make up the word are displayed. In Normal mode, there will be letters included in the jumble that don’t belong in the word. And in Hard mode, you are presented with the entire QWERTY keyboard.
At first, I thought the jumbled letters would make puzzle-solving too easy, but it really doesn’t help as much as you might think. Playing under Easy mode essentially becomes a two-puzzle game. First solve the jumble and then solve the crossword.
A 10-letter Word for Bottom Line
The Crossword app is one of the hundreds of simple, nearly free applications you can find on Google Play. So, if you’re one of those people who play crossword puzzles obsessively and don’t mind seeing a few advertisements, then this is the app for you. Or, if you always wanted to try your hand at crossword puzzles but were a little intimidated, this is the app that can help you overcome your apprehension and start you on your new addiction. Because we all need a new addiction.
For BMod, I’m Mark W. Kaelin.
All screenshots: Mark Kaelin
Featured image: “Making crossword puzzle” by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr Creative Commons
Header image: Michael J, published under the GNU Free Documentation License