Who knew connect the dots could be so compelling? Flow Free is my new favorite addictive puzzle game. It starts out easy on a five by five grid with five colors. You must connect the dots and cover each square on the grid without crossing over paths, or flows, between dots. As you progress through the levels the game becomes increasingly more complicated, adding more dots to connect and more space in the grid to connect them. Bright colors on a black background resemble an 80s arcade game, but, unlike most arcade games there is no pressure of a time limit if you don’t want one. In free play mode, you can spend as long as you need on each level, and make as many moves as you like. You can even take back all of your moves and start over. The fewer moves you need, the more points you get, and if you solve a level perfectly you’ll get a star. Or you can up the tempo and play against the clock in time trial mode.
Does looking at these screenshots make you want to complete the puzzles? As you can see there are some ads, like most free games, but I did not find them distracting.
Flow Free has 750 free levels available and more that you can purchase within the app. It even includes a jumbo pack expansion to play on an iPad sized grid. You can also pay for hints, which seems to be becoming a popular way for free games to make money. I found it more fun to solve the puzzles without resorting to hints. Turning your device screen can give you a new perspective for finding flows between dots.
A teacher friend of mine heard about this game from her students, who said it was great to play on the subway. Flow Free passes the time of a commute, while engaging the brain, but not being so involved that you might miss your stop. Even the easiest levels have a meditative quality, while the more complicated levels are a fun spatial challenge. Flow Free is the perfect game for a train ride, waiting in line, or any time when you have a few minutes or longer to play. I always think of games like this as icebreakers. Ask your teens, “Have you seen this game?”
For more app recommendations, visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive.