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Best Android apps: Five free puzzle games

Give your brain the workout it craves

Android Market is a fantastic resource for free games, whether you want to shoot zombies or tend to virtual sheep. But if you want to give your brain a workout, here are our top picks.

Shoot Bubble Deluxe

Bubble Witch Saga fans, this one's for you. If you spend half your life bothering your Facebook buddies with news of your latest bewitchment, here's an alternative you can play on your smartphone without them knowing what you're up to. There's no witching going on here, just good, clean bubble-shooting fun. We all know the concept: shoot a bubble toward another of the same colour, and get three or more in a cluster to remove that section. It's a simple game to play, but gets increasingly frustrating as you work your way through Shoot Bubble Deluxe's more than 100 levels, across both Arcade and Puzzle modes.

Shoot Bubble Deluxe

Jewels Star

Jewels Star is one of many variations on another game that will be familiar to most of us. We enjoyed the match-three concept in Jewels, and Star goes one step further with extra challenges. Here, you must match gems until a star appears, then match enough gems that it reaches the bottom of the screen to move on to the next level. What could be easier, or more addictive? ITreeGamer is also developer of Aliens Invasion, a free Android shoot-'em-up that places an army of deadly extraterrestrials at your mercy. See Best Android Apps.

Jewels Star

Cheese Tower

Cheese Tower is a challenging puzzle game in which you play Jimmy, a clever cat with a military background, who has his orders to guard the tasty cheese from mischievious mice. The game is a bit like Jenga: you must remove the grey blocks from a cheese tower, without more than three blocks of cheese tipping over, wobbling around or generally falling to the ground. Cheese Tower calls for some very precise finger operation, for sure.

Cheese Tower

World of Goo

World of Goo is a multi-award-winning game for Wii, and in late November last year the lovable physics-based puzzle game finally made its way to Android. This free demo offers the first chapter of the game only, but it'll certainly leave you wanting more (you can upgrade for £2.99). If you can forget about this app's beautiful graphics for long enough to enjoy it, you'll quickly be tearing out your hair trying to work out how to build a self-supporting goo structure tall enough to reach an open pipe. It sounds easy, but gravity is determined to go against you. Read our World of Goo review.

World of Goo

Words With Friends Free

Zynga's mobile app has an enormous following, on Facebook, on the iPhone, and now Android. For the uninitiated, Words With Friends is basically Scrabble, but with a twist. You can play this turn-based game with up to 20 of your friends (or random opponents if you don't have that many friends). There is an in-game messaging system, and notifications let you know when you're up.

Words With Friends

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