ANOTHER cat based Android game this month!? Yes, yes, and a couple of word / number logic puzzles too!

#1: Word Salad

I’m a sucker for a new word game idea, and Word Salad is this month’s!


The gameplay is very similar to The New York Times’ “Strands” game, where the goal is to use up all the letters in a grid to form words. Unlike Strands, in Word Salad you’ll be told the level’s theme, as well as the length of all words in the grid.

The puzzles always feel fair, and solvable, with your own ability to think of appropriate words the only limiting factor! For example, a puzzle theme of “Shades of Blue” might take a few minutes to solve, whereas “Planets” can be done in under a minute.

Navigating around the game can be a little confusing, as there’s no “home” screen as such. Instead, you’re always in a puzzle, and can open an overlay menu to change settings or pick a new level. Completing a puzzle prompts you to play the next puzzle, so this isn’t much of an issue in practice.

There’s a “Selfie mode” which… seems to involve using your front facing camera and microphone to solve puzzles somehow!? I only opened this up to get the achievements, there’s no requirement (nor interest from my side). I couldn’t find a tutorial for this so… it’s a mystery. Edit: Asked the devs, it’s in case you want to record yourself playing for TikTok etc!

The game has quite a few unique additions like this, clearly showing the developers (Bleppo Games, Mark and Samuel) have creative freedom. For example, some puzzles have a recoloured “selection” line, such as European countries being yellow and blue (Ukraine).

Whilst you can “cheat” and get hints, these hints only provide a letter at a time, so are essentially a way to steer you in the right direction rather than outright solve. These can be purchased in packs, or a single advert watch gives a reasonable 5 hints.

In terms of level selection, you’ve got a daily puzzle (80 at time of writing), and all past puzzles can be completed too. Additionally, there are 300 free puzzles grouped into 3 categories, and 3 paid packs totalling 1000 puzzles, also grouped into 4-8 categories. I’ll cover monetisation in the next section, but considering each puzzle will take 1-5 minutes having almost 400 for free is a pretty good deal!


Monetisation seems pretty reasonable, with 4 techniques being used depending on your budget:

  1. Short 5-second adverts between every couple of solved levels.
  2. A $3-4 purchase to remove these intermission adverts.
  3. Hints obtained from watching an advert (gives 5), or in packs (25 for $1).
  4. Ad-free content packs, e.g. 500 “Natural World” puzzles, grouped into Mammals, Birds, etc, for $5-6.

Whilst having 4 approaches might seem like aggressive monetising, I definitely don’t see it that way. Instead, I see it as the core part of the game being free (with occasional adverts), and the ability to purchase complete DLCs. The hints absolutely aren’t required.

I suspect I’ll work my way through the free content, watching the occasional advert for hints then purchase 1 or 2 of the content packs. Credit has to be given for the actual gameplay not including any banner adverts, a distraction that often ruins logic games for me.


  • Since words can loop back on themselves, I find it helpful to look for words that are “roughly” correct, then try to figure out the path. Otherwise, you might accidentally mentally block off a letter you need next.
  • Focus on unique letters. If you have a J or a Z, what words include those somewhere?
  • Diagonally isolated letters are powerful. If you have a letter only connected by a diagonal, it must be the start or end of a word.
  • I find it helpful to look away from the board sometimes, and just try to come up with answers, then see which will fit.
  • The game is US-centric, so terms like “Recess” will be used. This doesn’t happen too often after the unfortunate “US states” tutorial puzzle!

Dev suggestions

  • I’d love a dark mode, the bright white screen makes it hard to play at night!
  • The ability to hide the timer would be appreciated, the time doesn’t matter (except for a few achievements) so it’s unnecessary.
  • Seeing an overall game complete % would be great, e.g. “20% current pack, 4% total”, and a motivator to complete all the DLCs.
  • Whilst I’m comfortable paying the small price for additional packs, others might be unable to (e.g. sanctioned countries, no digital payment methods, kids), so an alternate method of unlock might be useful. For example, a full length advert per level.
  • A user-submitted (free) pack would be great! Obviously there’d need to be a way to gather submissions.


All screenshots are from version 1.0.14:

Level select Themed puzzle Puzzle start
Word Salad level select Word Salad themed puzzle Word Salad puzzle start

#2: Meganum

Meganum is a slightly brain-melting maths puzzle game, with each mode almost behaving like a brand new game!


The core gameplay in Meganum is easy to understand, but very tricky to master. Essentially you need to “activate” specific board tiles to create the number at the right / bottom for every row / column. E.g. for the “addition” game category, all the numbers on activated tiles will need to add up to the final number. For multiplication category (image 4 below), they’ll need to multiply together.

This concept becomes slightly more complicated with subtraction and division (where the start number neds to be transformed into the end number), especially with the “combination” and “binary” categories unlocked later! All these game categories are playable in casual mode (easily the best!), expert (no undo / hints), timed, endless, and a tutorial. Additionally, when picking a game category and mode, you can choose the range of numbers included and the board size. A lot of options!

To summarise, you’re choosing the game category, mode, number range, and board size. Phew!

Anyway, once you’re in a game, and have managed to figure out what you’re meant to be doing… the game finally gets good. Every puzzle is solvable with logic, with blind guessing never the correct thing to do.

There’s a few bits of polish that clearly shows the developer played their game and made quality of life improvements. For example, you can long press a tile or column / row to “lock” it, avoiding accidentally undoing any tile you’re already confident in.

Whilst the maths puzzle gameplay is great, actually navigating to them can be surprisingly tricky! By default, my game had all labels turned off (they are re-enabled with the info button in the bottom right), meaning I was essentially blindly clicking icons trying to find some gameplay! Similarly, navigating back / next via bottoms at the very bottom (where my home / switch apps buttons usually are) is a tricky habit to get into, and various bits of text / UI sometimes get hidden behind my phone’s holepunch camera.

Meganum also has achievements (rewarding coins), which can then be used to purchase hints. I haven’t used hints at all, and really don’t think you need them. The puzzles are logical, you either know why a tile needs activating or not! There’s also unlockable colour schemes, but the default dark mode is my favourite.

So, the overall impression is of a fun game nestled inside a slightly confusing wrapper. This all makes sense when you discover… it’s a repackaged web game! Porting games to mobile can be fine, but it needs to be done with a bit more effort to fit into typical app behaviour for the platform.


There’s a short advert between every few levels, a very affordable $2.49 payment to remove all adverts, and microtransactions to purchase coins / hints.

This setup seems very fair, and I ended up paying $1.49 for a few coins to instantly unlock the “combination” and “binary” game modes. However, you could definitely save up for these by completing achievements.


  • Use tile / line locking! If you know a tile is correct, lock it so future-you doesn’t accidentally clear it.
  • You might be wrong! Even if you’ve locked a tile, I found that I’d missed something surprisingly often, so needed to unlock and redo past tile.
  • Solve the easy tiles first. This will vary by gametype, but all have scenarios where a row’s solution is immediately obvious. For example in division / subtraction, if the end result is the same as the start, deactivate all tiles. For multiplication or addition, if the target is zero, deactivate all tiles.
  • Trial and error is OK. For harder game modes like multiplication & division, the mental maths is impossible to realistically do. Instead, if there are unique numbers, and they cannot combine to form each other, trying each combination will work eventually.
  • Rows can be partially solved. For example, if you have 5, 4, 3, 3, 6, and don’t know if you need 3+3 or 6, you can still work out the correct state of 5 and 4 then lock them in!

Dev suggestions

  • The UI urgently needs improving. Button labels should always be visible, the device’s status & bottom bar shouldn’t be covered up, and content shouldn’t be hidden behind camera cutouts.
  • The achievements aren’t intrusive enough. Whilst the achievement “Finish every size and number range in Division - Expert” is good, it’s hidden away in the achievements menu, and progress needs to be manually checked for all 12 possible combinations.
  • Similarly, where’s the progression? I’m enjoying the puzzles, the achievements are a good addition, but what am I meant to be doing? Whilst the freedom of gameplay options is great, it can be overwhelming, and I’d love more guidance on what to play next. 6 categories x 4 modes x 3 number ranges x 4 sizes = over 250 ways to play!


All screenshots are from version 2.1.6:

Game types Game modes Combination tutorial Multiplication gameplay
Meganum game types Meganum game modes Meganum combination tutorial Meganum multiplication gameplay

#3: Bumbling Cats

Last month I reviewed Office Cat from TREEPLLA, and their latest game “Bumbling Cats” has just been released! It’s a very simple idle battler, but given the massive content updates their previous games receive, I’m optimistic for its future.


You’ll have seen essentially the whole game within the first 5 minutes of playing. Your cats endlessly charge towards giant enemy cats dealing damage, you upgrade your cat count, power, and speed to improve their chances.

The only active gameplay comes from the insta-killing attack enemy cats do every 5-6 seconds, requiring a swipe down to pull your cats back. If you’re too slow (or don’t bother), you’ll need to wait 7-8 seconds for all your cats to respawn and the cycle continues.

And… that’s it. There’s all the active gameplay.

Some depth is added through loot chests every few bosses, rewarding coins (for buying upgrades), relics (small boosts like +4% power), and gems (primarily for buying relics). These aren’t anything particularly new, and you’ll instantly understand them if you’ve played any other idle games.

I got lucky (I think) and unlocked the “Horn Cat” mercenary (helper), automatically withdrawing my cats every 15 seconds when fully upgraded. This removes most of the active gameplay, so progression just becomes how long I decide to leave the game open for!

Finally, there are “Boss Cats”, but these function exactly the same as regular enemy cats plus a time limit. They can be killed 2x a day for gems and coins, and they’re very, very easy.

In terms of progression, the visibility of past / future gameplay is very limited. For example, I thought I was close to completing the game’s progress after a few hours, turns out I just finished “Chapter 1”! Chapter 2 is identical, just with palette swapped enemies. However, I believe I’m close to the end of the game’s content after leaving it open for 5-6 hours.


The monetisation seems pretty standard, with the occasional optional advert for free gems, and the ability to purchase gem packs if desired.

Paying real money is definitely not worth it currently, with more than enough gems provided for free through normal progression. I’m surprised the lootboxes / relics aren’t purchasable with real money, since they’re the only non-coin progression later on.


  • Spend all your gems on 10x relic draws (1800), the passive boosts help.
  • Claim quests as soon as they’re completed.
  • Save up for extra heros when possible, since they provide a massive damage increase.
  • All enemies telegraph their big attack, you don’t need to time it, you can react in time.

That’s it! It’s too simple a game to provide many more tips.

Dev suggestions

Similar to my initial experience with their other games, Bumbling Cats is a great foundation to a game, and very polished, but is lacking the depth to be enjoyable long term. However, the devs have proven before that they provide ongoing content updates, so I’m optimistic!

  1. Primarily the gameplay needs more depth, in every aspect. A single occasional swipe to dodge damage isn’t enough to get properly “hooked”, and since your cats respawn quickly there’s little risk in just letting them die.
  2. I’d love to gain customisation for my cats. Hats, colour changes, anything would help.
  3. In addition to point #1, there’s just… not much to do. No minigames, no longer term strategy, no hard objectives to aim for, no achievements.


All screenshots are from v1.0.2:

Gameplay Relics Chest opening
Bumble Cats gameplay Bumble Cats relics Bumble Cats chest opening