Category Archives: Puzzle

Cooperative singleplayer puzzling is what Death Squared [$6.99] provides in its iOS release. It's not perfect, and has a few annoying factors and humor that doesn't really break a lot of boundaries, but it provides some fun puzzles to solve and a game design that works perfectly for either playing solo or with a friend on the same device. I've played Death Squared in some early builds in the past couple of years, so I was curious to see how it would come to iOS, since what I played was very much driven by cooperation with another player. However, the final release makes the story mode something that a single player can play by themselves. The puzzles don't require a lot of simultaneous movement, they just requre that players be able to mentally deal with two different characters...

Calling The X-Files just another science fiction show is doing it a slight disservice. It became a cultural phenomenon by mixing aliens and the supernatural, as well as mythology and standalone episodes, all while introducing iconic characters led by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Similarly, you can't really call The X-Files: Deep State [Free] just a hidden object game, seeing as it also has numerous other mini-games, dialogue-driven decisions that affect the story and much more. It's an intriguing mix of elements worthy of its source material, but it's plagued by a sinister array of free-to-play headaches as menacing as anything cooked up by the Cigarette Smoking Man...




Just prior to Halloween last year, we got the very Halloween-appropriate news that classic movie murderer Jason Voorhees would be officially coming to the App Store by way of a new game called Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle. Better yet, the game would be a revamped take on Blue Wizard Digital's Slayaway Camp [$2.99], an absolutely fantastic puzzler that was like an homage to those great '80s slasher flicks that folks like Jason Vorhees were known for. In fact, Friday the 13th seemed to be the biggest inspiration for Slayaway Camp, so the news that the team was now making an officially licensed Friday the 13th version was pretty exciting. Anyway, fast-forward to this week and seemingly out of nowhere Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle [Free] has slashed its way into the App Store...

'Slime Pizza' Review - Why Don't Doggos Like Slime? I Don't Get It.

'Slime Pizza' Review - Why Don't Doggos Like Slime? I Don't Get It.

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January 25th, 2018 1:32 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in 4.5 stars, Games, Platform, Puzzle, Reviews
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If you asked me what a typical Nitrome game is, I'd say it's a fun game with good pixel art, some rockin' chiptune music (provided you un-mute your iPhone) and a super generous free to play system that actually allows you to play through their games provided you have the patience to sit through lots of ads. Slime Pizza [Free] is the latest release published by Nitrome, but it was actually developed by Neutronized who have made a dumb amount of great games. (Which makes you wonder why they sign with publishers, given their track record?) Super Cat Tales [Free] and Drop Wizard Tower [Free] are two of my favorite games of theirs, but looking at their portfolio it's hard to even pick. Interestingly enough, Slime Pizza seems to be a pseudo-sequel spinoff of sorts of Slime Laboratory 2, a Flash-based browser games that shares a lot of visual similarities...

Joe Richardson's iOS debut game, Four Last Things [$3.99], is out. This is a port of a Steam game, but unlike most ports, this is the Dev's first foray into the land of iOS. At Touch Arcade, we love to see developers take big risks to reach gamers that want to play their game and there is rarely a better way to reach as many gamers as possible than to release a game on iOS. There may already be quite a few point and click adventure games out there, but I think after a little investigation you will find that Four Last Things is something completely different...

'The Room: Old Sins' Review: 'The Room' Series Continues to Amaze

Originally released all the way back in 2012 for the iPad, The Room [$0.99 (HD) / Free] was a delightful surprise. Using touch gestures you interacted with a puzzle box that was absolutely packed with secrets. When we first reviewed it, the main problem with the game was that while it was a great game it just abruptly ended in a way that felt like you had all this build up with no payoff. An epilogue update hit almost a year later which did a great job at not only adding some more content to the mix, but also giving the game a much needed ending. (My theory on all this always was that the developers at Fireproof Games really didn't expect The Room to be as successful as it was, so there never was much thought to making the game a series and how they'd need to link together.) The Room Two [$1.99] was released in early 2014, and as we explain in our review, it improved upon the original in every way imaginable...

When Level-5 released Layton's Mystery Journey [$15.99] back in July of last year, it was interesting for several reasons. First was that, at least outside of Japan, it was releasing exclusively on iOS and Android first, with a Nintendo 3DS version arriving a few months later. It's not often you see a big brand like the Layton series releasing a brand new game on mobile first. Second was that Layton's Mystery Journey on iOS and Android was a fully premium game, and although it was sold in piecemeal fashion with all of its additional puzzles and cosmetic items available as separate IAP purchases, if you ended up buying everything the price would equal what Level-5 was charging for the game on the Nintendo 3DS. Pricing parity is another thing you don't often see between console and mobile releases of the same game. In fact, I'd argue the mobile way of pricing Layton's Mystery Journey was superior as you'd get the entire base game for $16 and then could choose to buy or not buy any of the additional content as you saw fit. Nintendo 3DS owners had to plop down the full price for everything included whether they wanted those additional things or not. ..

'The Room' Series Plot Guide - Here's What You Need to Know to Be Ready for 'The Room: Old Sins'

The Room: Old Sins is the latest release in a series that goes back to 2012, which I regret to inform you was more than five years ago. Wait, don't focus on the existential dread! There are games to play, after all. Now, the games in this series are puzzle games first and foremost. You're meant to enjoy the intricately-designed puzzles and the way everything connects before anything else. But there is also an intricately-designed, connected story going on in the background, and each game has revealed clues and plot pieces at a steady rate. Maybe you're excited for Old Sins, but you can't quite remember what happened in the last game, or the one before that. Well, we've got your collective backs, friends. Here's a spoiler-heavy summary of the first three games in the series for those who want a quick refresher...

One of the better puzzle games released last year was Swim Out [$2.99] from developer Lozange Lab, and now for the first time since its launch sale back in August it's currently available for a discounted price on both iOS and on the Google Play Store for Android, down from $2.99 to just $1.99 for a limited time. Swim Out is a turn-based puzzler that has you trying to swim across a body of water while not crossing paths or otherwise interfering with your fellow aquatics enthusiasts. With more than 100 levels, a dozen different types of swimmers, and a dozen different objects to swim your way around, Swim Out is a genuinely challenging and really satisfying puzzler that will keep you busy for quite some time...

After being mostly dormant for several years, it's sure been nice seeing developer Raptisoft getting active in the mobile space again. After releasing the excellent sequel Hoggy 2 [Free] in July of last year, Raptisoft went on to update two of the platform's best dual-stick shooters with iOS 11 support; Solomon's Keep [Free] in September and Solomon's Boneyard [Free] in October. And hey, while maybe not quite as high profile as their other games it's also quite commendable that Raptisoft updated their Mahjong Blitz [Free] with iOS 11 support last month, its first update since releasing in January of 2010! While we know Raptisoft is still working on a remastered version of Solomon's Keep which is destined for both mobile and desktop, they've also found some time to squeeze in another compatibility update for one of their classics, this time the incredible puzzle platformer Robot Wants Kitty [Free]. Here's the original launch trailer from 7(!) years ago...

Jigsaw puzzles are fun, but they're also kind of a pain in the butt. First of all you need kind of a lot of space where you can put them together, and if you're not going to finish a whole puzzle in one sitting then it's going to be taking up that space until you're finished. I remember not using our coffee table for a whole month as me and my roommates slowly pieced together a particularly difficult puzzle. Then there's the problem of losing or bending pieces, which can ruin hours of work. Similar to board games with their many pieces to keep track of, puzzles have benefited greatly from touchscreen devices becoming popular. Sure, it's not quite the same as doing a puzzle in real life, but you can carry dozens of puzzles with you in your pocket and you're never going to lose a piece. It's pretty cool. One of the best digital puzzle apps around is Zimad's Magic Jigsaw Puzzles [Free] which has been offering literally thousands of puzzles to players for several years now. This week they announced a partnership that piqued our interest as the latest update to Magic Jigsaw Puzzles adds in some of your favorite Cartoon Network personalities. Check it out...

'It’s Full of Sparks' Review - A Cracking Good Time

It’s Full of Sparks [Free] is the latest release from prolific App Store publishers Noodlecake and developer Dabadu Games, and it’d be understandable if there were lingering doubts about whether quantity would eventually come at the expense of quality, and if some titles would make less of a bang amongst the iOS community. Thankfully, It’s Full of Sparks lives up to its name - from the outset, Dabadu Games have made a game full of sparks, new ideas and an abundance of charm from start to end. While a ‘platformer’ in the loosest sense of the word, It’s Full of Sparks suits the iPhone and iPad perfectly with its simple but incredibly solid central premise, and inventive level design means it remains engaging even as the novelty begins to wear thin...

There is a good reason why each of the premium titles that were created by the Cube Escape [Free] developer bear the name Rusty Lake. Seeing this name should evoke the same sort of gut reaction upon seeing the words Twin Peaks. For those of you who are familiar with either of those names, you know you are in for a surreal cult series that is designed to bend the edges of reality. The tv show is a classic and broke new ground, and while Rusty Lake Paradise [$2.99] is only a sequel it does offer a lot of new story and of course new puzzles to solve as well...

'BBTAN2 by 222%' Review - Winter Break-Out

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January 3rd, 2018 10:30 AM EST by Shaun Musgrave in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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Developer 111% has been buttering their bread the last couple of years with their TAN series of games. They're simple games, many of them variants on the classic Atari game Breakout, with the most popular of the bunch being BBTAN by 111% [Free]. That game generally followed the Breakout formula, swapping out the familiar paddle at the bottom of the screen with a character who launches balls using a slingshot mechanism. It's a concept 111% has returned to once before with BBTAN: 7 YEARS [Free], and now they're back to it again with a sequel named BBTAN2 by 222% [Free]...

'Cinco Paus' Review - A Rosa By Any Other Name

One of the things that makes games from developer Michael Brough so great is in how much there is to discover in each one. They're densely-packed pouches full of Eureka moments, constantly dripping out new tricks, traps, and techniques for those who are patient and observant enough to notice them. His games don't just trust the player to figure them out; they challenge the player to do so. You really won't make much progress at all in his games if you're not willing to play along with this philosophy. It's a school of design I happen to enjoy, but I do so knowing that it's just as much of a turn-off for some as it is a joy for others. After all, there's a fine line between being obtuse in order to teach and being obtuse just to be obtuse. Where that line falls tends to come down to the player...

'Bridge Constructor Portal' Review - Remember When You Tried to Kill Me Twice?

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December 19th, 2017 11:34 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in 4 stars, Puzzle, Reviews
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Originally packaged as part of The Orange Box all the way back in 2007, Portal is easily among my all-time favorite games. The mechanic that powers Portal, if you somehow haven't played it by now, involves using a portal gun to fire blue and orange portals around a series of "test chambers." When you go in a blue portal, you come out of an orange portal and vice versa. It would've been a great puzzle game by itself, but the addition of the ever-present AI frenemy GLaDOS elevates the entire experience to an entirely new level. If you haven't played Portal, please, please do. Portal 2 was released in 2011 and built upon the groundwork laid in the original, with loads more world-building and a few new mechanics...

Threes! [$2.99] hit the App Store in early 2014 and was met with universal critical acclaim. (We loved it in our review.) About a month later, Ketchapp released 2048 [Free] and the rest is history. 2048 massively surged in popularity because it was way easier than Threes! and, well, it was free. The unbelievable success of 2048 caused two things to happen: Everyone and their third cousin twice removed released their own 2048 clone which then resulted in everyone who covers video games on any level setting up email filters to automatically delete any email with "2048" in it. Anyone who was a mobile gamer in 2014 undoubtedly remembers how bad it got. Everything was either Flappy or 2048, and most, if not all of these games were just objectively bad...

'Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!' Review - You Are What They Eat

Now this is how you do a remake. Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! [$7.99] is a rebuild of the original Oddworld game, Abe's Oddysee, and it doesn't do any of it by half-measures. The graphical improvements are obvious, but there's also a ton of new content and even some expanded mechanics in the game. While it's always a risky move to change things in a classic, you can tell the developers had a good sense of what worked and what didn't in the 1997 original. New 'n' Tasty! has almost all of the strengths of Abe's Oddysee and very few of its weaknesses, and its theme is (sadly) just as relevant today as it was two decades ago...

'Inside' Review - Try, Die, and Try Again

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December 14th, 2017 9:30 AM EST by Eli Hodapp in 4 stars, Games, Platform, Puzzle, Reviews
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For whatever reason, it seems like the fourth quarter of 2017 has been an absolute golden age of ports hitting the App Store. Playdead's Inside [Free] was just released, and we were lucky enough to be able to play through the game beforehand. As far as the iOS port is concerned, Playdead absolutely knocked this one out of the park. It's totally universal across the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, optimized for the iPhone X, supports MFi controllers, and has totally seamless iCloud save syncing. The touch controls are even well done, and it's a free download with a one-time $6.99 (as of this writing) unlock. If there's a box they're not checking with this port, I don't know what it is. Unfortunately, I'm just not sure if I really enjoyed the game that much... But, more on that later...

Along with tonight's absolute onslaught of new iOS game releases was a pleasant surprise: An iOS port of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty [$7.99]. Originally released on the PlayStation 4 in the summer of 2014, it seemed like New 'n' Tasty flew under the radar for whatever reason. It was a total rework of the Playstation classic Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, which when released all the way back in 1997 was in the running for numerous game of the year awards. Other entries in the Oddworld universe include the sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus which improved upon the original in a number of interesting ways, and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I never played Munch's Oddysee as it was released as a launch title on the original Xbox, which was a platform I got in on kind of late, missing most of the early games...

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