On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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March 2018
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Best of 2011 Editors’ Picks for Kindle Games

2011 is drawing to a close, and it certainly has been a great year for Kindle games and applications.  To celebrate the success of top rated Kindle games, there is a $.99 sale going on under the name Best of 2011 Editors Picks.  In the list of 25 games, the ones that were picked mostly didn’t come as a surprise, however there were some not on there that I thought should be.

Electronic Arts games such as Scrabble, Sudoku, and Monopoly are usually around $4 or $5, so this is a pretty steep discount for them.  All of these games are adaptations of the traditional board games and puzzles.  You should catch on to the way they work pretty easily if you are familiar with how to navigate Kindle games in general.

Other hit games up for grabs at a discounted price are Jewels, Slingo and Strimko.  All of these have great reviews and are easy to learn.  Jewels is a Kindle version of the popular game Bejeweled. All you have to do is match up different shaped jewels before the time runs out or before you run out of matches.  Slingo is a combination of Bingo and Slots.  Strimko is Sudoku with an added element called streams.

The list of Kindle games for kids has grown tremendously this year, and a couple of the best ones are Hangman 4 Kids and Spongebob’s Treasure Quest.  There are a number of games and interactive fiction for kids that are good, but they are not on the list.  Interactive fiction is a genre that is continuing to grow, and includes books that are great for both kids and adults.

In addition to games, there are also applications that can aid in productivity like Notepad, Calendar, and Easy Calculator.  These aren’t really much of a sale because they are usually around $.99 anyway, but they serve their purpose well.

Lastly, for those who are looking for an inexpensive exercise program, check out My Yoga Studio.  It includes several yoga routines that cover most parts of the body.

I was really surprised that Futoshiki and Blossom were not on the list.  Those two games have shown some of the best reviews of all of the Kindle games.  Futoshiki is Sudoku with < and > signs mixed in, and Blossom is a pipe irrigation puzzle game.

For more detailed reviews on each of these games and apps, visit the Kindle-Apps review blog.  Again, as far as the sale goes, I think it that this is the best time to get the more expensive EA games.  They are good quality, and are all games that have been around for a long time in some form or another.

Most games are compatible with Kindles up to the 4th generation. There are not many games for the Kindle Touch yet, just because the interface is so different.  But, with time, that will change.

Kindle Fire to Offer Apps for Pandora, Netflix, and More

As many of you know, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has its own Android based app store that offers a free app every day.  The Kindle Fire is set to release on November 15 with a huge selection of popular apps including Pandora, Netflix, Facebook, and games from top gaming companies including Electronic Arts, PopCap and more.

Amazon is set to go with everyone’s favorite apps right out of the gate.  That’s pretty impressive considering how long it took the iPad to get a Facebook app.  But, in Amazon’s case, a precedent has been set in the android market. Whereas the iPad was the first to enter the tablet market, and is the only tablet using Apple’s app store.

EA and PopCap are known for high quality games.  A few favorites include Scrabble, Tetris, and Peggle.  Tetris has been a huge hit since the beginning of gaming systems.  Rovio is also on board, and they’re the makers of the hit game Angry Birds.  What is a tablet without Angry Birds?

Netflix and Pandora are other top apps that are available across tablet and smartphone platforms, so they are a natural addition to the Kindle Fire collection. Amazon also has its own video streaming library for Amazon Prime members set to rival Netflix.  Pandora and Rhapsody are the major players in music apps.

As far as apps go, one niche that Apple has a good hold on is Accessibility.  There are apps for the iPad that serve as decent and much cheaper alternatives to assistive technology.  I just downloaded a magnfying glass and a recorder recently. There are also caption services, and so much more.  I haven’t seen as much of this on Android systems, or on the Kindle in general.  It would be great to see apps that help people with vision, hearing, mobility, and learning disabilities.  Just another way to heat up the competition against Apple.

For more information on what popular apps will be available on the Kindle Fire, check out the latest Amazon press release.



Scrabble for Kindle Released

Recently we have seen the release of the first third party game to actually be sold for the Kindle.  Scrabble, an Electronic Arts release, is available to US customers on their Kindle 2 or Kindle 3 for $4.99 through the Kindle store.  This is not the first game to become available for the popular eReader, of course, but it is the first major production from a big name publisher.

Those who have been following these sorts of things, or who simply like word games and Kindles, will likely remember the release of two free games(Every Word and Shuffled Row) a couple months ago that were quite well executed and demonstrated the potential for development that was present in spite of the lack of a rapidly refreshing screen.  This version of Scrabble operates similarly.  It can be played alone in a solitaire mode for fun and practice, against the Kindle when you want a bit more of a direct challenge, and in a head-to-head competitive mode that involves passing the Kindle around. Sadly, there is no capacity for multiplayer interaction between devices.  While it is understandable that the hardware limitations of the device might make such things difficult, it is certainly a disappointing and difficult to accept shortcoming that will be a major factor in many players’ purchase decisions. Overall, however, it looks at least somewhat promising if you don’t mind that.

These days there are quite a few different activities to be found in the Kindle store, from Crosswords to Sudoku, but this is pretty much the first polished experience to be found since Amazon’s initial offerings.  Reviews so far are favorable in the extreme.  People are finding it to be a fun game, fairly intuitive, and easy to get addicted to.  As always, however, there are going to be problems and it is best to bring them out into the open.

The most common complaints so far are:

Some customers have taken issue with the way shading is used in this application.  Words occasionally become hard to discern due to overly bold board markings(double word/letter scores, etc.) confusing the play area.  There are also passing comments made that there is no major distinction made on the board between a space occupied by no tiles and and a filled one.  Empty spaces and blank tiles are effectively identical, apparently.

While many reviews state that controls were obvious and easy to understand, there are some gamers who wish that the Kindle‘s 5-way controller was more intuitive to use.  Most of those who made these complaints also went out of their way to mention that it was soon something they grew accustomed to as well.  Possibly simply a matter of users trying something besides reading on their Kindle for the first time, but it would be impossible to dismiss this out of hand without more information.

There isn’t much elaboration that can be made on this.  More people claimed that the interface was perfect than complained about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s fine for everybody.  May well be related to the control issue I mentioned above.

One disappointed Canadian user stated that as of this moment the game is not available internationally.  Definitely something to be aware of for many users.

Owners of multiple eReaders sharing one account, and therefore libraries, throughout their household may be disappointed at first here as well.  One reviewer points out for us that it seems to not be possible to share the application among multiple devices as one might expect.  Further reading and comments, however, lead me to believe that this reviewer simply didn’t know what he was doing, as follow-up comments indicate licensing for up to six Kindles.  It might just be a bit more of a pain to manage than usual.

As of the writing of this article, the favorable reviews of this application outweigh the unfavorable by more than two to one(17=4-star+, 8=3-star-), even leaving in those reviews by people misusing the space on the product page to ask questions, complain about unavailability, and generally contribute little to the understanding of the product.

It simply looks like a good deal right now, if you’re like me and enjoy word games.  It’s a gross generalization, but I’d say that likely encompasses the majority of Kindle owners.  Definitely a smart move on the parts of Amazon and EA.  Personally, I’m really looking forward to getting this thing on my DX when I get home.  Any version is likely great, but this just cries out for a larger, crisper screen to me.  If anything happens to alter my favorable outlook on all this, I’ll let you guys know.  Can’t wait to see what apps hit the store in the next few months now that there’s a precedent to work with.