Kindle Apps Blog

    Unofficial and unbiased reviews of Active Content for Amazon Kindle

    Browsing Posts tagged oak systems leisure software


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    The two biggest advantages for the Kindle version of Chess are portability and that it is good for beginners.  The instruction manual is very thorough.  It takes you step by step through the rules and the explains the role of each chess piece.  For a complete novice like me, this was very helpful.

    As for portability, having Chess available on the Kindle makes it easy to play on long car rides without worrying about losing a bunch of pieces.  You can play with the Kindle or a person.

    As I play Chess more often, I will definitely need to keep the instruction book handy to help me remember what all of the pieces do, and what directions they can move in.  Want something simpler?  Try Checkers.  there is a great Kindle version of Checkers available, and it is also made by Oak Systems.

    The graphics are pretty decent.  The pieces are black and white.  White always goes first.  There are ten difficulty levels.  So, the game can be fun for players of all levels.  If you need to pause or abandon a game, you can just resume it right where you left off when you come back.

    The only major drawback to the Kindle version of Chess is that the board has to be so small to fit the screen.  So, it is harder to keep up with all of the pieces and the different directions they go in.  You also don’t have full control on what pieces you can upgrade to.  I think that is an issue with most computer and electronic games.  If you want full control over every aspect of the game, it is better to play it on the actual board.


    “Here are some things to consider:

    Good things:
    1) If you leave a game in the middle and put your Kindle to sleep, it remembers and gives you the option to resume the game the next time you open it, which is a nice feature.
    2) It doesn’t seem to suck up very much battery on my K2, which I was worried about.
    3) It has a good display at the bottom which shows the pieces taken by each side and the moves in standard notation.
    4) You can ‘take back’ moves which is good if you’re a beginner. (OK, I cheat sometimes too when I’m fooling around trying different tactics.)

    Poor things:
    1) It doesn’t seem to have book openings, as other reviewers have said, which is slightly annoying.
    2) It likes to exchange pieces, even when losing (which is not a good tactic, and typical of some chess programs).
    3) When you advance your pawn to the 8th rank, it automatically gives you a Queen instead of giving you an option as per the rules of chess (there are certain times when you don’t want a Queen, such as when it results in an instant Stalemate). ”






    Word Search

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    Word Search is part of the Puzzle Pack 1 collection created by Oak Systems Leisure Software.  But, they’ve also included separate games for each of their puzzles. Word Search itself has more than one volume.  So, if you solve all 50 of these puzzles, don’t worry, there are many more available.

    I’ve always liked solving Word Search puzzles.  I did a bunch of them when I was in school.  Oak Systems uses unusual words and names, so it shakes things up a bit.  Volume 1 includes 50 puzzles with a variety of fun themes.  It is a great game for all ages.

    When you first start, Word Search takes you to a tutorial page that explains how to play.  This is very helpful and this way, you can just get going pretty quickly.

    To find the words in each puzzle, you use the Kindle’s 5-way toggle button to select the beginning and end of the word.  Once you do that, it will strick out the word and mark it off the list.  The words can go horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and even backwards.  That definitely shakes things up a bit.

    The puzzles will give you a chance to learn more about the theme it features.  I tried one that involved airports.  So, I got a chance to learn the names of the airports in the US.

    The graphics are very clear and easy to see.  The Kindle platform works great for the set up of Word Search.  The 5-way toggle button behaves well too and doesn’t lag at all.  The newer Kindle toggle buttons can just zoom all over the board.

    You also have the choice of playing at your own pace, or against a timer.  Timers stress me out, but for others its a good way to work up your speed.


    “This version is ECONOMICAL compared to purchasing the $3-4 hard copy at the store. The timer challenges me to focus and toevaluate far better than finding words manually”

    M. Kolenc

    “I’ve been waiting for quite some time for a word search Kindle game. I’m a big fan of word searches. I absolutely love them. I was so tickled to find this. I bought it and began playing right away. You simply use the five way controller to select the first and last letter of the word. Very user-friendly! They do time how long it takes you to complete the puzzle but there is no deadline. I think this is a great feature – to be able to see my progress and improvement. I couldn’t have asked for a better word search game. I can only ask that they make more volumes. I just can’t get enough! This is a great game for a great price!”


    Puzzle Pack 1

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    Puzzle Pack 1 includes a good variety of word games to choose from. I think it is is a good set of games to learn on since the puzzles are not too hard to start off with, and the whole game is only a dollar.

    Puzzle Pack 1 includes eight games that range in difficulty from easy to challenging.

    The games are: Sudoku, Word Search, Cryptograms, Compass Point, Crosswords, Symbol Block, and Criss-Cross

    I like how this pack uses less familiar names or words. For example, in Criss-Cross, it used countries such as Estonia and Tobago.

    Coming into the game, I was not very familiar with Symbol Block and Compass Point. Both are fairly easy to grasp. With Compass Point, you need to know your directions and fill in letters accordingly. Don’t be like me and get your East and West mixed up!

    With Symbol Block, you’ll have to move a selected block around to cover a set of symbols that are all different. It takes a bit of maneuvering with the cursor to figure out where the set of unique symbols are, but I had fun with this one.

    Then of course, you have your most common games: Sudoku, Word Search, and Crosswords. For avid players of thee games, I suggest that you go for the Kindle games that focus on each of these games. They include a broader selection of the individual games and include more difficult levels.

    I especially liked having all of the games together in one pack so I could flip through them easily if I get tired of one and want to try another.

    The graphics are okay. They could be crisper, but that is probably just a difference with the Kindle 2 and 3 models. For the purpose of this particular game, they work fine. When you first start each game, you’ll find helpful instructions to guide you. With these instructions, I was able to catch on pretty quickly.

    Of course, you have hints if you need them. However, you lose points if you use them or give up on a game altogether.

    I thought it was really easy to navigate with the 5-way toggle. button. That can’t be said for all Kindle games.

    And to sum it up…

    Jessica D

    “If you like word games like this – these are great. The navigation is simple, there are tons of puzzles included (over 100), and the app doesn’t drain the battery. Perfect for long car trips or plane rides! “