Category Archives: Puzzle

tinyBuild Games' Divide by Sheep [$0.99] was definitely an interesting little puzzle game when it first released, straddling the line between being a casual math puzzler with a cute look, with challenging puzzles and a surprisingly-gory macabre theme. If you haven't checked this one out yet, and you've been meaning to, well, now's as good a time as ever, as the game has just gotten its 5th world in the latest update, along with a cool $0.99 sale price...

Most puzzle games don't necessarily have an impactful message. I mean sure, some of them encourage critical thinking and educate youngsters, but you usually don't see anything meaningful in your puzzle soup. The Path to Luma [Free] switches that up a bit however, as the entire affair is sponsored by NRG (a clean energy company), and deals with themes such as solar and wind power. Thankfully, the actual game is pretty good, so the message doesn't fall on deaf ears...




While paid games are certainly not the way to make money on mobile, there's still hope for deelopers looking to, you know, sell a game up front. The developers of Prune [$3.99] have reported that they've sold over 100,000 copies since release – and at $3.99 per copy (before Apple's 30% cut), that's a great performance for a small indie team of two people that worked on the game. Certainly, it's a positive sign for paid games...

Did anybody around here play DrawQuest? It was kind of like Draw Something [Free] but without the pesky game parts getting in the way. Each day you’d be tasked with a new quest (something like “Who crossed the road?” or “Publish a novel”), and you had to make a drawing based on it. You’d earn coins if other users liked your work, and it was incredibly satisfying to craft the perfect picture and have it rewarded with heaps of adoration and fake money. Furthermore, perusing other people’s drawings could be just as much fun (if not more so) than making your own, and the creativity on display could be truly astonishing at times. It was eventually shut down and removed from the App Store when it failed to turn a profit, which unfortunately is not an uncommon tale. The good news, though, is that iOS basically sees an unlimited supply of new games week after week and odds are something else will come along that can scratch the same itch...

And just like that, Pokemon Shuffle Mobile has landed in the Japanese App Store. If you haven't played the game, The Pokemon Company's Pokemon Shuffle Mobile is a puzzle game where you match three or more Pokemon to battle against wild Pokemon. In other words, yes, this is a Match-3 kind of game. According to the game's description, you can play the game casually, but you can also battle, collect, and level up Pokemon, a feature that perhaps makes the game deeper than most casual Match-3 games. The game appeals to both beginner and expert players, always according to The Pokemon Company. Pokemon Shuffle Mobile is F2P, and has already been released in the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS...

It's a well-known fact that spiders are the most vile, disgusting, and completely unnecessary creatures to ever grace our planet. Literally nobody likes spiders, and if they say they do, they're just lying to themselves. Snakes? Not a problem. Rats or mice? Totes adorbs if you ask me. Scorpions? Total bad asses. Spiders? Kill them all with fire. Now, my dislike of spiders has definitely gotten better over the years. I no longer cower at even the sight of a harmless daddy long legs, and playing as a spider in Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor [$1.99 / $1.99 (HD)] has never been that big of a problem for me, though I do find it a bit icky. ..

'Manowar' Review - Ship For Brains

The term “manowar” can refer to a lot of very different things. It’s a metal band from New York that at various times held the Spinal Tap-esque title of "World’s Loudest Band". It’s the name of a famous horse in the '20s that is considered by several prestigious organizations as the greatest racehorse that ever lived. And my personal favorite: the Portugeuse Man o’ War, a truly bizarre jellyfish-like sea creature made up of a whole colony of smaller animals with one hell of a painful sting. The original meaning of the phrase comes from British warships from centuries past that had tons of cannons and other murder-y things like that, and it’s this definition that the game Manowar [$1.99] by Lachlan Nuttall uses as a jumping off point for a series of maddeningly clever puzzles...

Back in April, Capcom and their casual games division Beeline Interactive announced an… interesting crossover game for mobile. The iconic Ghostbusters would bust some ghosts by matching gems Puzzle Fighter style. Yeah. After several months of soft-launch and an artwork makeover that put the female characters in the game in some less-revealing clothing, and Ghostbusters Puzzle Fighter [Free] is now ready for primetime and out worldwide...

Tiny Rebel Games' hit puzzle game Doctor Who: Legacy [Free], which features so many Doctors and companions that it's absurd, has just gotten another big update, this time featuring two big new storylines. "Sonic Adventures" doesn't mean you gotta go fast with the Doctor, instead, it's a brand new storyline that leads into the Series 9 storylines that the game will have. This storyline is led by the First Doctor, with new "sonic" (as in sonic screwdriver, not the blue hedgehog) versions of characters like Jack Harkness, and the introduction of Third Doctor companion Jo Grant, and the First Doctors's Signet Ring. This is the first paid expansion for the game. $9.99 will unlock the 30 Sonic Adventures levels, and over 20 guaranteed rewards...

NRG, a pioneer in developing smarter energy choices (as per the company's website), has given us a lovely, free game, The Path to Luma [Free], that promotes sustainability by having you play as SAM (short for Sustainability Augmentation Model) as it travels to save the galaxy. The game plays out across 20 worlds filled with all kinds of puzzles, all the while reminding you that the device you are holding (which has been made using barely any renewable resources) can act as a messenger for a cleaner, more sustainable future. The game has a great art-style and lovely music and, despite my slight sarcasm earlier, does try to send a message through its gameplay, which is never a bad way of going about trying to change hearts and minds...

The Long Siege [$1.99] clicked with me when I first saw it, despite my vocal distaste of match-3 games in general. I feel like the genre is just overplayed. But sometimes, a little bit of familiarity isn't a bad thing, and I actually do enjoy the unique aspects of this one, though it is definitely an imperfect game. This is a match-3 RPG of sorts, though to call it an RPG feels inaccurate. It's a match-3 game with an upgrade system. You fight an enemy army, trying to destroy their base, by summoning 3 types of units, repairing your base with utility tiles when the enemies destroy your unit generation, getting currency by matching specific tile types, and using cannon tiles to attack the enemy. ..

A couple of weeks ago, we learned via animated .gifs that the wonderful, adorable, and twisted puzzle platformer Furdemption [$3.99] was set to get a huge expansion called The Widow's Den. Since that time, developer RareSloth has created a proper trailer to showcase the new content and features in The Widow's Den, and announced that the update will be available next week on August 13th...

'Shibuya Grandmaster' Review - I Left My Heart In Shibuya

A long time ago, by App Store standards anyway, a unique puzzle game named Shibuya released on iPhone. Said to be inspired by the neon lights and the tall buildings of Tokyo's famous Shibuya district, it also seemed to be following in the footsteps of stylish puzzle games like Lumines and Meteos produced by Q Entertainment. The game got a lot of acclaim and a few updates, but it eventually fell behind the times and was pulled from the App Store. I had kind of thought we'd seen the last of it until I got word from the developer that Shibuya was returning, better than ever. Shibuya Grandmaster [Free] is a well-crafted update to the original, bringing modern features and style to the game while still offering up a strong and unusual twist on falling block puzzles...

Angry Birds 2 [Free] is finally out in the world, which is kind of ironic considering there have been at least a dozen Angry Birds games released over the years. However, this one really does feel like a sequel. Rovio has definitely shaken up the tried and true Angry Birds formula this time around, in some ways for the better and in some ways for worse. One of the changes I hear talked about negatively a lot is how each level in Angry Birds 2 is randomly generated, meaning it's slightly different each time you play. Not drastically different mind you; the basic level layout remains the same but the pig structures are setup in a slightly different manner, the pigs themselves are often in different locations on those structures, and your lineup of available birds is shuffled. Here's an example of what I mean...

Last week Armor Games shared their most recent take on the match-3 genre. Battle Orbs [Free] is a game that mixes puzzle mechanics with limited 2D adventure elements along the lines of Puzzle Quest 2 [$2.99], Hero Emblems [$3.99] and the recently reviewed Guardian Sword...

Well I guess this shouldn't really come as a surprise, but Angry Birds 2 [Free], the official proper for-realsies-this-time sequel to the blockbuster mobile hit Angry Birds has already been downloaded over a million times just 12 hours after becoming available. Now, that's impressive and all, but there are a couple of caveats to this particular statistic. ..

'Prune' Review - Let it Grow on You

I must admit, Prune [$3.99] snuck up on me though it probably shouldn't have. Made by ex-AAA developers out of Madison, apparently the game had been floating around the midwestern games scene, and I somehow missed it until I got an email about it a couple days ahead of launch. And holy heck, do I wish I had seen this sooner, because Prune is a gorgeous and unique experience...

Thanks to the massive success of Rovio's Angry Birds [$0.99] during the formative years of the App Store, physics-based puzzle games are probably one of the more, shall we say, over-represented genres on the App Store. At this point, I'd imagine most people have plenty of them in their purchase histories, and as a result, it takes something really special to make any actual waves in the genre. An initial glance at Earth Vs. Balloons [Free], which in screenshots looks very much like something that's been done again and again on iOS, isn't likely to turn anyone's head. But after seeing the name of the developer, I had to check the game out. This game comes to us from Mangobile, the developer behind the equally plain-on-the-surface Kingturn [Free] strategy games. They're probably never going to win any awards for presentation pizazz, and while the Kingturn games certainly have their twists, they don't get by on innovation as much as they do from immensely solid construction and clever scenario design...

It’s hard to turn any corner in the app store without bumping into a match three game clad in plate mail, wielding a sword, slinging some spells and grinding experience these days. Block Legend [$1.99], 1000000 [$2.99], Hero Emblems [$3.99], Dungeon Raid [$1.99], and even Puzzle Quest 2 [$2.99] back in the day. It’s hard to stand out in this genre, but shockingly, each of the games I listed is very different from the next, and there is a crazy amount of flexibility and variety in what you’d call a match three RPG. Guardian Sword [$2.99] from Picsoft doesn’t look like much at a glance, but under the surface lies a deep and strategic experience worth checking out...

'To-Fu Fury' Review - Soy Milk Ninja

There's been a resurgence of games featuring tofu in the past year or so, but not all of them are necessarily worth checking out. Naturally, I gravitated towards a recent release called To-Fu Fury [$1.99], featuring piece of ninja tofu. I mean, when have ninjas ever let me down, right? While you won't be running on rooftops and taking down rival daimyos in epic combat, you will be flinging yourself across the screen and collecting pieces of Chi. It's more of a zen-like ninja experience, and that's completely fine with me, given how great the control scheme is...

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