Category Archives: Puzzle

Thinking back to the games that made a big impact in the very early years of the App Store and puzzle platformer Archibald's Adventures [$0.99] is right up near the top of the list. Developer Rake in Grass released the game way back in January of 2009, and updated it several times since then with new content and features. Its last update was in November of 2010, coming up on 7 years ago. With the 32-bit Appocalypse coming up, we've seen plenty of older games get brought back to life in an effort to bring them up to modern standards and keep them alive in the App Store. Given the lack of activity by Rake in Grass for the past several years, I was taken completely by surprise to see that Archibald's Adventures has received a new update today bringing with it all the modern conveniences like widescreen support, high resolution graphics, support for all the different screen sizes, and 60fps support. ..

Just over a month ago, Jam City announced that they had once again partnered up with FoxNext Games to bring another Family Guy game to mobile following 2014's immensely popular Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff [Free]. After a brief soft launch period that game, appropriately titled Family Guy - Another Freakin' Mobile Game [Free], is now available worldwide. Rather than city building, this time you'll be making matches as Peter serves Quahog's residents mix drinks from his mobile booze truck. ..




In the world of writing about video games, differing opinions are bound to ruffle some feathers. Such is the case with Red's Kingdom [$2.99]. This charming puzzle adventure is polished to the gills in terms of presentation, which is I think something everyone can agree on. But some of its design decisions left our own Carter Dotson feeling more lukewarm towards the game in his review. However, it did garner our Game of the Week nod upon release, and has found a ton of fans in our community, who voted it as Game of the Month for January. A major update last month added a bunch of new levels and several new features which looked to smooth out the game's rough edges, and according to this teaser posted today it looks like more new content is in the works for Red's Kingdom...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the first (only? WE'LL SEE) Musgravian Musings. I figured if Andy Fretz gets his own Zone, Tasos gets his own Principle, and Carter can Crater all day long, I could do a sort of editorial column of my own. But rather than share strong opinions on the issues, what I'd like to do is to use this space to do some short non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, these will be games that have caught my interest in some way or another. They'll also tend to be games that I didn't review in the first place. I'm going to kick things off by taking a look at two of the biggest recent releases, Card Thief [$1.99] from TinyTouchTales and Death Road to Canada [$7.99] from Rocketcat Games...

I don't think any one of you will be surprised to hear that there's a movie tie-in mobile game for Smurfs: The Lost Village. The game is called Smurfs Bubble Story  [Free] and is, as you can guess, a bubble popping game. As is the case with pretty much all bubble popping/matching games ever, you try and strategically match bubbles that then pop. When they do so, you get rewards and you can create your own collection of famous smurfs. You get to collect Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy, and all the other Smurfs you grew up with (if you have). There are also boss battles, with the infamous Gargamel waiting to, well, burst your bubble...

'Ellie & Max' Review - Some Doggone Perspective

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April 5th, 2017 10:23 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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I don't know what it is about a companion gimmick that makes me so invested. I mean most of the time you're usually controlling both as a single entity, so it's not like you have much attachment to either side of the equation directly, but the concept of going into something with a partner is inherently less stressful. Take something like Banjo Kazooie (or the more recent Yooka-Laylee), as you're generally controlling the former, and the latter merely acts as a power-up -- just the notion that you're not alone is enough to bring a smile to my face. Ellie & Max [$1.99] isn't quite as iconic of a pairing as the aforementioned mascots, but I got somewhat attached by the time I reached the final curtain call...

Slayaway Camp [$2.99] is a sliding puzzle game with an 80s horror theme that we really enjoyed in our review. Today, Slayaway Camp's developers decided to update the game with an eye to the squeamish, or the very young, among you. 1.1 update is adding a Puzzle Game (aka PG) mode to the game that acts as the best crime scene cleanup crew and removes every trace of blood and gore from the game. Now, some of you will wonder where's the fun in that, but you also have to remember the younger players out there. If you don't care about going all PG, don't feel neglected because the update also added a tons of extra kills scenes, with every murderer having their own custom Gorepack you unlock along the way...

'Kami 2' Review - 2 Kami 2 Furious

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March 31st, 2017 10:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 3.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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Say what you will about other aspects of gaming, but one area where mobile games can frequently go toe-to-toe with those on other platforms is in their style. Games like Monument Valley [$3.99], Sword and Sworcery [$3.99], and Prune [$3.99] are as much about taking the player on an audio-visual journey as they are about pushing their gameplay mechanics. 2013 puzzle game Kami [$2.99] might not be as famous as some of those games, but it's certainly done well enough for itself. It has made the jump to multiple platforms and now has a sequel to call its own. Unfortunately, Kami 2 [Free] runs into a lot of the same troubles that puzzle game sequels usually do, and with much of the novelty of its gimmick worn off, its fundamental issues shine through a little too brightly...

Okay, look. Regular readers know that I am of the Canadian persuasion, and if you are a Canuck of a certain age, you probably have a moderately unhealthy appreciation for Sailor Moon, the highly influential series of anime and manga about a magical teenage girl from the moon, her talking moon cat, and a useless guy in a tuxedo who shows up when the heroine is in a pinch and offers only platitudes as support. I'm not going to apologize or make excuses. It's silly trash and I constantly skipped out early for lunch in high school so that I could go home and watch it on YTV. Taped the whole series onto VHS tapes and everything. Even made a custom box to keep them in. Printed a picture for it just to give it the authentic look...

Earlier this March, Fireproof Games announced the shock reveal of the upcoming and much awaited next iteration in The Room series. Ominously subtitled Old Sins, details on this newest entry in one of iOS's most beloved franchise were relatively scarce beyond a tentative 'late 2017' release date and a cryptic teaser image, however this didn't stop fervent anticipation amongst the mobile community as to how Fireproof's latest game could replicate, or deviate from, the tried and true formula essentially perfected in The Room Three [$4.99]. Today on their official Twitter account, the Guildford-based developers revealed three preview images from The Room: Old Sins, depicting a mysterious dollhouse as well as a teaser for a more malicious disappearance plot within the title...

'Wilful Kitty' Merges Cats, Pixel-Art and Puzzle Action, and Is Looking for Beta Testers

My three favorite things are unequivocally pixel art, video games, and cats. Combine them all together and you have a direct ticket to my perpetual adoration and praise, and that's exactly what Unexpect3rd have done in their upcoming game Wilful Kitty. Through puzzle gameplay reminiscent of Triple Town [Free], you're tasked with merging numerous cat-related ingredients together to feed your feline companion, with bowls and cat food becoming a feast for your friend, for example. With more items appearing, including mice and cotton reels, and the ability to earn coins to adopt even more cats, Wilful Kitty looks like an eccentric and enjoyable time-waster. Fans of undoubedtly the best animal in the world should keep their eye out for Wilful Kitty when it launches on the App Store later this April, and the developer is also looking for beta testers on our forum thread in the lead up to its impending release next month...

'DROP NOT!', a Reaction-Based Puzzler From the Creators of 'Power Hover', Is Rolling Onto the App Store on April 6th

One of my favorite parts of writing about iOS games is seeing those titles that consistently receive support in the form of content updates, normally for many months after the base game initially launched. Even though many of the best App Store titles do launch as complete packages without the need for many further additions, it's great to see developers take an active role in our iOS community to discuss and take on ideas for future plans, and Oddrok's Power Hover [$3.99] was one such release that impressed me greatly over 2016. As a result, I'm incredibly excited by DROP NOT!, the next game from the Finnish developer which is set to offer reaction based puzzle action - for the sweet sweet price of absolutely nothing - when it launches on April 6th...

Developer Zach Gage has a knack for putting together simple, accessible games that you can play for hours on end. He's been involved in a number of high-profile iOS games, but one of his earlier hits was the word game SpellTower [$2.99]. That was one of those games that seemed to transcend the usual crowd that played mobile games, appearing on the devices of the most unlikely of people. And why not? Word games play well with a large audience for a variety of reasons, and SpellTower was a very good one. Gage is back at the genre with TypeShift [Free] , but I can't help but feel this is aimed at a very different sort of player. It's an attractive game with an enjoyable primary mechanic, but there are a few things that keep it from reaching the heights of Gage's previous tower...

Great news for fans of the terrific Orphan Black TV show; Orphan Black: The Game [$1.99] has just quietly made its way to the App Store. Orphan Black: The Game is a turn-based adventure puzzle game that deals with the same issues the TV show does, namely the adventures and misadventures of a group of female clones at the center of a global conspiracy. If you haven't watched the show, it's a dramatic series, with plenty of comedic moments, that raises questions around who owns the human body and explores the nature vs nurture debate—do your genes or your upbringing make you who you are...

'Golf Zero' Review - Jump and Shoot

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March 23rd, 2017 11:15 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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I learned golf from the NES, and the SNES changed my perception of how far the concept could go. One of the most engrossing games I've ever played was Kirby's Dream Course on the Super Nintendo. I waltzed right into a Blockbuster Video one day and picked it up just because of the cover, and three days later I wasn't ready to return it...

While the last open-world puzzle adventure I reviewed had the torches and pitchforks out for me, I do love the concept of like, a Metroidvania style puzzle-adventure. Take Pan-Pan [$3.99], a weird little game that has you crash-landing on a strange planet. The parts of your ship that can be used by your crew to repair your jalopy and get back into flying are scattered all about. So, you have to set out and discover just what's going on, solving weird puzzles along the way in an open world. It's a game that is rather charming, and can be a bit frustrating due to some design decisions, but it's a fun experience to check out...

I must have played billiards a hundred times as a kid before I truly understood what it was about. The mathematical calculations that go into each shot, the finesse and nuance involved, it blew past me while I was hitting a fun looking ball with a stick. Like a lot of sports the finer points were actually taught to me by way of video games, which highlighted the trajectory of the cue and where it would bank. It was an enlightening experience for sure, and one that I would apply to countless amounts of real life and digital games over the course of my lifetime.Incidence [$1.99] might look artsy, but at its heart it's basically a fancy version of pool or mini golf...

Puzzle Strategy Hybrid 'Ticket to Earth' Riding to the App Store on March 15th

Almost exactly a year ago to this day, we first experienced Robot Circus's interesting puzzle and turn-based strategy mash up Ticket to Earth at GDC 2016, and while the game was still in a relatively early stage, the promise of this unique amalgamation of mechanics was clear to see. While its tentative release date of late 2016 came and went, a later showing at PAX Australia in November got us particularly excited after a substantial year of development under its belt. After much fervent anticipation, Ticket to Earth is finally launching this Wednesday, and has a brand new release trailer that showcases the inventive gameplay elements and futuristic sci-fi setting in action...

This one's for all the Barbie fans out there, both those who flaunt it and those who hide it. As part of Barbie's 58th birthday celebration, Mattel has just released Barbie Sparkle Blast [Free], a game that combines your typical match-3 gameplay with the ability to dress Barbie to your liking. The coins you earn when playing the match-3 part of the game can be used to unlock and collect outfits, which is a good way of drawing in players interested in different things. The outfits aren't just cosmetic; each of them has power-ups that affect the match-3 part of the game, which is a cool gameplay loop...

Video games are the best form of artwork there is, because the unique aspects of the form create for interesting works. Like, Milkmaid of the Milky Way [$3.99]. It's a point-and-click puzzle adventure by solo developer Mattis Folkstead that pays homages to the initial heyday of the genre in the 1990s. And he does so in a game about a milkmaid in 1920s Norway that has to save her cows from aliens. While all the dialogue is written in rhyme. Oh, and the story has a certain melancholy to the whole affair, about time passing and losing loved ones. Also, you ride a hoverbike. Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a unique affair...

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