Category Archives: Puzzle

Deus Ex GO [$1.99] was one of the most highly anticipated releases of the Summer, and for good reason. The precedent set by Square Enix's other GO series games - with Lara Croft GO [$0.99] especially being one of the best games of 2015 - suggested it would be an essential download, and the Deus Ex series has its own pedigree, even if the recent console entry in the franchise didn't hit the same heights as previous titles. While we may have been somewhat disappointed with the lack of innovation in our review for Deus Ex GO last month, it was still an extremely entertaining experience, that took the elements of what makes the GO titles so perfect for mobile gameplay, and placed them perfectly into the Deus Ex universe. If anyone was on the fence regarding Deus Ex GO, it has today gone on sale for $1.99, which is a perfect opportunity for cynics, fans, or anyone short on funds to see what he game has to offer...

In June of last year, a phenomenal puzzle/action platformer named Furdemption [$2.99] took the App Store by storm. We loved it in our review, as did players in our community. It was easily one of the best games of 2015. Then in September, just over a year ago in fact, developer RareSloth announced that a level editor would be coming to Furdemption that would allow players to create and share levels forever and ever and ever! Well, due to various circumstances, that level editor got put on hold indefinitely in November. The silver lining was that in place of the editor, RareSloth instead would be bringing out a brand new sequel to Furdemption, called King Rabbit [Free], which launched back in March and, like the original, was simply fantastic. Well, things are coming full circle as today RareSloth has announced that the level editor is back on and heading to King Rabbit early next year...




Even though they are by no means scarce on the App Store, I'm always on the lookout for more relaxing and mentally stimulating puzzle games to play on long tube rides around London. Threes! [$2.99] is perhaps the most noteworthy example, so it's rather fitting that the next game that follows in such distinguished footsteps is from the developers that beat Threes! to our coveted Game of the Week award back in February 2014. makenines [Free], by Force of Habit, the people that created the aforementioned award winning and rather brilliant arcade shooter Toast Time [$2.99], describes itself as an 'ambient logic-puzzle game where you clear grids of numbers by making nines', and while this is a functional representation of what you can expect from the game, in practice it is so much more...

Strap yourselves in folks, as this is going to get confusing. Lumines Puzzle & Music [$2.99] launched last week, and while we recommended it in our review, developers Mobcast had promised an upcoming free version of the game in the weeks after launch. Today, Lumines Puzzle & Music Neo [Free] released on the App Store for free, however is neither a lite version nor a typical free-to-play experience. Instead, Neo offers all of the tracks in the original Lumines Puzzle & Music for free, except from the Classic Pack that contained the older skins from previous games in the series - and there is no option to buy this pack within the free alternative. Furthermore, Neo also includes brand new songs that are available to purchase as DLC, which will also allegedly be updated into the main paid game in the near future. To make matters even more complicated, Lumines Puzzle & Music Neo hasn't been fully localised, and while it is navigable, a lot of the text is still in Japanese, and there is currently no news as to whether English language support will be added anytime soon...

Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits [Free] is actually a couple of years old now, and only just arriving in more countries worldwide. In some ways, it feels its age. It's less refined than the usual spins on Puzzle & Dragons [Free] we see these days, giving it the feeling of something that was slapped together to cash in on a craze before the tide went out again. It initially comes off as crudely simple, but if you give it a little time, that basic simplicity gives way to a very satisfying set of mechanics. Unfortunately, one other way shows the age of this game. While many social RPGs have loosened up a little on the monetization squeeze in recent times, Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits has its boots firmly planted in the past. On your throat. What remains is a fun game that can get frustrating in a hurry if you're not willing to pay up...

Ever since Tetris was used to deploy tens of millions of Game Boys into households across the world, puzzle games and handheld hardware have had a tight relationship. You'd be hard-pressed to find a handheld launch without a puzzle game of some sort on offer, but virtually none of them have been as important to their hardware's launch than Tetris was for the Game Boy. If you had to find a runner-up, however, the original Lumines on PlayStation Portable would surely be it. On hardware that offered some of the best 3D graphics that you could fit in your pocket, somehow the shining star of the system's early life was a falling-block puzzler. Granted, it was an incredibly stylish falling-block puzzler with an outstanding soundtrack. I don't know many PSP owners who don't have some kind of nostalgia for the game...

Lumines Puzzle & Music [$2.99] has been one of the most eagerly anticipated iOS releases in recent memory, and for good reason - the series has such an integral part in the history of portable gaming, and is one of the major highlights of the PSP's turbulent ten year existence. Of course, this isn't the first time the series has reached mobile, and while 2009's disappointing Lumines Touch Fusion is better left forgotten, such a legacy has only raised expectations for Lumines Puzzle & Music to be a true representation of the franchise on iPhone. Thankfully, the wait is now over - Lumines Puzzle & Music has launched worldwide on the App Store, and is an essential purchase if you still harbor nostalgic memories of previous entries in the series, but also for anyone who may have not played a Lumines game before, as the music and puzzle gameplay amalgamation is as ridiculously fun as ever...

Nothing says ferocious superhero like a cute, cylindrical, plush toy, right? Or are you going to tell me that Disney's Marvel Tsum Tsums aren't ferocious. Ferocious or not, these cute Tsum Tsums have been a great source of revenue for Disney, and after getting Disney Tsum Tsum on mobile, today North America is also getting Marvel Tsum Tsum [Free], and let me tell you, those guys and gals look very cute. The game is only out in North America for the time being, with the rest of the world following "later this year." You get to play with superheroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man, Gamora, Star-Lord, Spider-Man, and many, many more. And, of course, we are getting the bad guys too: Loki, Ultron, Green Goblin, and Ronan the Accuser...

While receiving mobile ports of critically acclaimed games from other consoles is generally a good thing, there is always a risk that certain aspects won't make the transition smoothly to a smaller and more portable device. On the other hand, sometimes titles flourish on iOS, and Human Resource Machine [$4.99] is one such game. In my review back in June, I was taken aback by how well the relatively complex commands needed to manipulate your anonymous worker drone were adapted to the touchscreen device, and the portability of the iPhone perfectly suited the progression of the puzzles involved. These features, coupled with a significant amount of content, excellent audio and visual design, and a subtle satirical take on modern day corporations, resulted in a must have iOS title that was worth far more than its generous $4.99 price tag. Despite this, Human Resource Machine has today gone on sale for the ridiculously low price of $0.99, so anyone who missed the game first time around has no reason not to experience Tomorrow Corporation's latest App Store gem...

After briefly incubating in soft-launch, Puzzle Monster Quest [Free] is out worldwide on both iOS and Android. As is usually the case in Puzzle Quest games, you'll be matching tiles to move your hero around and take out enemies. In this version of the formula, you'll be navigating treacherous dungeons filled to the brim with monsters you can either battle or capture and befriend. And you'll be able to evolve friendly monsters (of course). When you fight against monsters, you'll be trying to match as many tiles as possible to launch stronger attacks. At the same time, different tile colors are associated with different element types that can buff or debuff your attacks...

'Lumines Puzzle & Music' Set to Launch September 1st Worldwide on the App Store

Lumines Puzzle & Music only soft launched on the App Store back in July, but that didn't stop excited forum members finding ways to circumvent App Store regional barriers to download it early, despite being a paid title. While the game has lived up to the lofty expectations of Lumines fans, for those of us not in New Zealand, Australia or Japan, or anyone who was too poor, lazy or ambivalent to somehow acquire it from their respective App Stores, the wait is almost over. Lumines: Puzzle & Music is set to launch worldwide on the App Store on September 1st for $2.99, and developers Mobcast and Q Entertainment have released a new trailer with some pretty graphics in preparation for the upcoming release. An upcoming ask-me-anything on Reddit on August 30th with the series creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi is the icing on the cake, and for a series with a relatively turbulent existence, it'll be a great opportunity for fans to ask him what's next, on both iOS and beyond...

The thing that has made the Square Enix Montreal "GO" series so appealing is that the games have been so subversive, as well as being fun puzzlers. Hitman GO [$4.99] was a particularly absurdist take on Hitman, what with all the stealth kills and assassinations taking place as figures on a game board knocking each other over. Something about distilling the game down to that feels particularly amusing. Lara Croft GO [$0.99] was a bit more in line with the brand, but still felt like a unique take on the series with a Monument Valley [$3.99] esque aesthetic and the lower-polygon-count look, along with the fantasy environments in play. It was still rather fun to play, though. The concern with Deus Ex GO [$1.99] was whether Square Enix Montreal could deliver more fun turn-based puzzling, but what I think we were missing was whether they could cleverly subvert the themes of the Deus Ex series, and that's really missing here...

'Spectrum 6' Is a Cool Color-Mixing Puzzle Title, Launching August 25th

Considering virtually all my free time is spent commuting on the tube, the iOS games I tend to gravitate towards on these train rides are colorful and unique puzzle games such as twofold inc. [$3.99] and Threes! [$2.99]. Being able to immerse myself in a puzzle or two between stops is, in my opinion, the epitome of mobile gaming, and while enjoying a more expansive experience such as Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99] is great at home, nothing beats pick up and play puzzle games on the move. As a result, my interested has definitely been piqued by the upcoming Spectrum 6 from developers Dusky Drones, as merging block placing puzzles with a cool color mixing element seems to be a very interesting and intuitive blend (pun fully intended)...

'Quell Zen' Review - Peaceful Enough

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July 29th, 2016 5:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $3.99, 3.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$3.99 Buy Now

Everyone gets their zen from their own special place. For me, that's usually listening to the latest Kenna album, grinding away in an MMO and leveling up a new character. It's relaxing in a way that it's probably crazy to basically anyone else, but if you shared some of your methods, you'd probably sound crazy too. So when a game bills itself as a zen-like experience, it's usually dubious of the claim given the subjectivity of its nature. With Quell Zen [$3.99] though, it mostly does its job, providing a puzzler veneer...

I’m a pretty big mark for The Blacklist. It’s not amazing but it’s my kind of show. James Spader’s performance elevates the standard cool and suave genius character who always makes things go their way to something pretty unique and memorable with Raymond Reddington. The Blacklist makes sense to adapt as a narrative driven detective adventure game. While that isn’t what we have here, those elements are present. Some of the character dialogue comes off as super shallow and basic, but some of it could have honestly been lifted directly from the source material. I can practically hear Spader’s voice when Reddington talks. Unfortunately, all the good things this game has to offer are standing behind an FBI level freemium firewall that even Agent Aram with his L33T Haxxor skills couldn’t penetrate. This is The Blacklist: Conspiracy [Free]...

'Snakebird' Review - Is it a Snake or is it a Bird?

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July 29th, 2016 1:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in 5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

Some mascots are better than others. Bubsy didn't really work out so well. What did we see in him so many years back? Did we see anything at all, and were we just hungry for mascots? I don't know, but I feel like someone needs to apologize. Ratchet? He's done some fine work and has survived for many years. Crash? He's back from the dead it seems, even if one part of his return involves a cameo in a Skylanders game...

With wonderful titles like Triple Town [Free] and Alphabear [Free], Spry Fox is one of the preeminent developers of mobile games. But they make games for desktop and console, too! One of those games is a roguelike puzzler called Road Not Taken [$4.99], and although it took a couple of years, it has finally arrived on iOS. We first talked about Road Not Taken way back in May of 2013, when it was slated for release on desktop and "eventually" planned to release on mobile. Taking inspiration from Robert Frost's poem of the same name, Road Not Taken is about "surviving life's surprises" as you adventure around through randomly generated levels rescuing children who have lost their way...

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...

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