Category Archives: Puzzle

Beautiful Puzzle Title 'Blyss' Launches on the App Store Tomorrow

While the pop-culture phenomenon may show no signs of slowing down, it's extremely refreshing to be able to put down Pokemon GO [Free] for a while and enjoy some new and exciting iOS games that are releasing this week. Blyss, by developers Dropout Games, is finally launching on the App Store tomorrow after over seven months of hype on our forums, and merges an interesting puzzle mechanic with beautiful and calming aesthetics to stand out from the crowd amongst the cacophony of games within the genre...

There's nothing finer than when a great game from years past gets an update out of the blue. That's the case today with the fantastic Picross game Paint it Back [Free], which originally launched way back in October of 2013 and hasn't seen an actual content update in nearly two years to the day. Developer Casual Labs rewrote the entire game in Unity and released it on Steam in October of last year, and this update is essentially that improved rewritten version, minus the Workshop level editor portion. That means that you can now play in Master difficulty in addition to Normal and Pro. As the puzzles in Paint it Back get larger, Normal would break them up into smaller 10x10 chunks, or 15x15 chunks in Pro. Master means that you'll be solving the whole enchilada all at once, none of that chunk business. Despite the cute graphics and overall charm of the game, the puzzles get absolutely brutal in the later portions so Master should be a nice incentive for the hardcore Picross solvers among us...




Few genres have made the jump to free-to-play monetization models quite as smoothly and successfully as puzzle games have. That's why I was a little surprised when Mobcast and Q Entertainment announced Lumines was returning to iOS in both paid and free-to-play versions. The market is so different now compared to the period the last Lumines iOS game released, and to be honest, that version of the game didn't go over great to begin with. Lumines VS, the free-to-play game, is still a ways out from release, but Lumines Puzzle & Music, the paid game, has launched in a few countries ahead of its wide release this September. Since one of those countries is Japan and I love Lumines enough to keep buying it wherever it appears, I figured I'd give the game a go and let you all know how it turned out...

'LUMINES PUZZLE & MUSIC' Soft Launches in New Zealand, Australia and Japan

Lumines on iOS has always hypothetically been a perfect fit. The compulsive amalgamation of high score breaking action of Tetris, with one of the best soundtracks in a puzzle game ever, was incredible on the limited portability of the PSP back in 2005, and would be even better given a proper release on smartphone devices. While it may not be the first game of the series on iPhone (a rather half-hearted rushed effort released back in 2009, but we don't talk about that anymore), we finally have a title that is truly deserving of the Lumines name. LUMINES PUZZLE AND MUSIC has just soft launched in New Zealand, Japan and Australia and, despite being a paid title, it is certainly one worth buying for any fans in these regions - or anyone who can circumvent the region restrictions of the App Store...

Tests can be stressful. I mean, that makes sense when you're not confident about the material on the test, but sometimes tests that cover things you know very well can be even more nerve-wracking. You shouldn't fail something if you know what you're doing, right? Now imagine the test you have to pass is checking your humanity. You can pass that test, surely. Most of our readers have been human for a while, after all. That's the premise behind Able Black [$3.99], an interactive fiction game where you play a freshly-booted android who has to pass his citizenship test before he can join society...

I’ll just be upfront about it and say that I adore the Uncharted series. There are plenty of design decisions that I can and do criticize, from overuse of long climbing/platforming sessions that don’t provide much challenge to certain narrative criticisms. But the games are always gorgeous, with amazing set pieces, charming characters, solid gunplay, and memorable moments. I’ve even always enjoyed the multiplayer, often criticized as tacked on. It is among my top franchises. So it should come as no surprise that I wanted to review the mobile tie in puzzle game, Uncharted: Fortune Hunter [Free]...

The practice of cloning is troublesome for many reasons. There are the obvious problems, but beyond those, the fear of a game being perceived as a clone stifles the natural process of building on a great idea. We've seen some pretty shameful clones in the App Store's history, but perhaps none of them have been as harmful to the original game as 2048 was to Threes! [$2.99]. A marketplace battle took place, and I think it's safe to say a lot of people felt the wrong game won there. I'm not sure if the cloud hanging over that has kept more developers from taking a crack at ideas inspired by Threes!, but if it has, more's the shame. Still, we see the odd swing at doing something interesting with the compelling swiping and combining mechanism that Threes! introduced so well. The latest is Dungeon Tiles [Free], from developer Takashi Iyoda...

One of the unique phenomenons of the App Store ecosystem is the sudden and inexplicable rise of certain games. While the holy grail of creating an app that skyrockets to the top of the charts was merely a pipe dream for the vast majority of developers, it was also a reason why the iOS gaming scene became so popular - especially in the early days. Perchang [$1.99] - with its current position at #3 for paid apps in both the UK and US at time of writing, and #1 of all paid games in the former - joins the extremely exclusive club of chart toppers that don't feature a bird motif, and appears to have achieved overnight success purely through creating a beautiful premium experience that has caught the eye of everyone from App Store veterans to those who rarely use their mobile devices for gaming...

Philipp Stollenmayer, aka Kamibox, is the creator of Sometimes You Die [$1.99], a minimalist platformer that turned out to be much more than it appeared on the surface and through clever platforming mechanics it also delivers commentary on the genre itself, video games as a whole, and even life as we know it. It's a very powerful and thought-provoking experience. He also made Pancake - The Game [Free], a game about flipping pancakes. It should say a lot that both of those titles, while spanning a wide gap of what people expect a game to be, are among my favorites on iOS, and Kamibox has consistently put out highly playable and interesting games for years now. The latest is called Squaredance [Free], which arrived yesterday and is a minimalist puzzler that uses a swipe-the-whole-board-at-once mechanic similar to Threes! [$2.99 / Free]. This isn't a high score chaser though, as each level has a different board shape which makes your goal of combining all like-colored squares in order to remove them that much more difficult...

'POLYFORGE' Brings the Zen Back to the App Store This July

The App Store and mobile gaming in general can have a legitimate claim to pioneer many aspects of the medium that are, in 2016, taken for granted. The obvious ones may be popularising touch screens, gyroscopic controls or the freemium/IAP focused monetisation system, however personally following the iOS scene for so long has shown to me how video games can be more of a transcendental experience. Zen Bound [$2.99] and its sequel by Secret Exit were the key examples of this - a soothing musical score coupled with calming yet stimulating gameplay and visuals created something that was more than the sum of its parts. POLYFORGE - A Symphony of Shapes, Sound and Color by Impact Blue Studios appears to be aiming for a similar experience, and the developers have released a trailer showing off its unique style and mechanics:..

'Mighty Match' Merges Match 3 and Dungeon Crawling on iOS, Coming Soon

Amidst the ever increasing influx of free to play games that are riddled with timers and in game currency, there has been a backwards reaction from fans and developers alike rejecting this culture and desiring an experience that is immediate and complete from the moment you download it. Even though there are some excellent freemium games such as Clash Royale [Free], and such a pricing model normally has its merits, publisher Playmium have decided to make their own stand. They have pledged to only produce games with zero IAPs that are completely sponsored, meaning you will never have to pay for their releases. Mighty Match is the newest game from the developers, and despite its interesting monetisation, it seems like a very interesting app in its own right...

Winner of $25,000 Apple TV Design Contest 'Dungeon Tiles' Launches June 29th, Also on iOS

It's no secret that the expectation of Apple TV becoming a fully fledged gaming platform that Apple outlined so enthusiastically back in October 2015 has not ended up being a reality. While the initial surge - with titles such as Guitar Hero Live - was particularly strong, it has tailed off to a point where apart from the occasional Apple TV compatibility update there aren't any massive compelling reasons to consider purchasing one of the magical black boxes purely for gaming purposes. However, things are looking up for the Apple TV, with news of the ability to require the use of game controllers as outlined at WWDC and also upcoming games such as Dungeon Tiles, which has even managed to win mobile marketing company AppLovin's $25,000 'Apple TV App Challenge' prize and launches on Apple TV and iOS for free on the June 29th...

Never Alone: Ki Edition [$4.99] is a game that seems to set out to do at least two things. First and foremost, it's trying to deliver an atmospheric puzzle-platformer game. It mostly succeeds at that, though it certainly makes a few mistakes that we see fairly often in this sub-genre. Never Alone also seeks to educate the player, at least a little bit, on the folklore and culture of the Inupiat people, and in this aim, it's a considerable success. The game doesn't force any of this on you, but rather focuses on the core gameplay and stunning visuals. It's an enjoyable game on those terms, but if you choose to delve into the extra content, you'll be able to appreciate Never Alone in a new light...

'Human Resource Machine' Review - Sine of Greatness

Any video game which attempts to include educational elements has to run a very fine line or risk alienating a significant proportion of their potential userbase. Make it too simple and people who already understand the concepts will likely not find any enjoyment - however if it’s too difficult, it may be too overbearing and tedious for the average gamer to pick up. Most of all, however, it has to be an enjoyable experience, and Human Resource Machine [$4.99] manages to provide something for everyone while being a deceptively difficult yet rewarding initiation into coding...

You may not love the free to play "games as services" model, but one thing that it does allow is a more constant revenue stream which can enable the steady flow of updates over months and years that we've come to expect from our mobile games. Bad Piggies [Free / Free (HD)] originally launched as a paid title much like its sibling Angry Birds, and despite one freebie promotion way back in 2013 it's remained that way ever since. However, that one-time dollar entry fee seems to not be covering Rovio's ambitions of keeping the game constantly updated, so today they've rolled out a huge version 2.0 update to Bad Piggies along with a price switch down to free. ..

As we all know, love it or hate it, freemium is a concept that is never going away. That said, there is a very specific subset of freemium that I like to call freemium fan service games. When a popular franchise or intellectual property wants to cash in on their loyal fan-base, slapping together a freemium game set within that world seems to be the way to go. But you know what? I love it sometimes. I’m pretty susceptible to some good fan service myself, and sometimes; not often, but sometimes, it makes the whole game worthwhile. Games like Star Trek Timelines [Free], while largely disliked by our community, still appealed to me as a huge trekkie, and the fan service within that game was fantastic. Well, if you’re partial to the ‘Tales of’ franchise of JRPG’s, then Tales of Link [Free] is the freemium fan service game for you, and has nothing to do with The Legend of Zelda if that’s also where your mind immediately jumped...

Seemingly out of nowhere this morning, a port of the PC game Human Resource Machine [$4.99] was released on the App Store. From the developers who brought us indie classics such as World of Goo [$4.99] and Little Inferno [$4.99], anyone who did not play the original game on Steam can be assured it's both an excellent puzzle title and a very solid port to boot. While appearing to be a simple puzzle game, Experimental Gameplay Group have added an interesting educational aspect to the title as it demonstrates how the inside of a computer works, but with their signature art style instead of an endless list of binary, which certainly would not be as fun to play. Here's a launch trailer from the original PC release to help get your head around the gameplay:..

'Mekorama' Review - Mechanical Valley

'Mekorama' Review - Mechanical Valley

StarStarStarStarStar
May 26th, 2016 11:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

Isometric puzzle games pretty much have me at hello. There's something about the lovely god-like viewpoint that gives me a sense of wonder, in addition to a strict sense of control, that I really dig. Monument Valley [$3.99] is pretty much the king of the mobile space when it comes to those experiences, yet a number of games have risen to the call and have cemented themselves as worthy adversaries. While Mekorama [Free] isn't as attractive when it comes to its art style (the base game clocks in at just 8MB!), it makes up for it in charm, and a pretty nifty level editor...

Back in March we told you about Mekorama, a slick new puzzler from developer Martin Magni, who brought us last year's hit puzzle platformer Odd Bot Out [$3.99]. Over the weekend, Mekorama [Free] officially launched in the App Store and so far it's been creating quite the buzz in our community. Mekorama is similar to the hit Monument Valley [$3.99] in that you're guiding your character along a 3D structure to a specific end point. Levels don't necessarily have impossible perspectives like that Escher-inspired game, but there are various moving parts and puzzle-like elements to pass on your journey. There are 50 pre-made levels included but the real heart and soul of Mekorama is in its fantastic level editor and sharing levels online with the world...

'Amidakuji Knight' Review - Choose a Path

StarStarStarStarNone
May 12th, 2016 11:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $0.99, 4 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
99¢ Buy Now

Many years ago, I encountered a really cool boss in a game called Mega Man X. As one of the last encounters leading up to the final fight, players were locked in a room with a giant robotic spider, with multiple metal "webs" hanging from the ceiling. Every few seconds the webs would change, and create new pathways for the spider to travel. The rules were simple -- it had to follow the journey of least resistance, and turn down every path it could. It was interesting because players could deduce where the spider would fall with any given pattern, but they had to be fast enough to figure it out before he landed on you. That concept is basically how the entire game of Amidakuji Knight [$0.99] works, to great success. The concept not only translates perfectly to a touchscreen, but the developers also extend it a bit with a full-on level-up and gear system. After a quick setup that involves a heroic knight and his quest to locate a valuable talisman across three chapters, players are off to the overworld, where they're presented with a number of choices, represented with paths. Each board has five in all, which will lead you to an end goal -- whether it's an enemy to fight and gain experience from, gold, or an item...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.