Category Archives: Puzzle

'Million Onion Hotel' Review - Got a Million Onions but a Leek Ain't One of 'Em

When it comes to the noble hobby of video gaming, there are a whole bunch of tried and true concepts to build new products from. Not even one of those concepts involves mashing onions as quickly and strategically as possible in order to make fruits appear that you mash to rack up points while space cows trot across the bottom of the screen and little cartoon characters throw off their clothes and embrace passionately in the starry sky. But thanks to Million Onion Hotel [$3.99], we can finally live the dream, friends. This is a fast-paced yet strategic arcade-puzzle game, and if nothing else, I can say that you probably haven't ever seen anything quite like it before...

Whether you're reading articles on a dedicated mobile gaming website, or talking about newfangled smartphone applications with your elderly relatives, the Monument Valley [$3.99] series surely needs no introduction. After achieving literal world domination of both the mobile gaming scene and popular culture through rave reviews and a House of Cards cameo, ustwo's artistic puzzle title made people take notice of the App Store as a place for serious, boundary-pushing releases - and inspired numerous imitations along the way. At Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote, the long-awaited follow-up Monument Valley 2 [$4.99] was announced out of nowhere, and predictably flew up the charts to become a huge success. However, one of the most common questions amongst our community has been when the Android version of the game will rear its head. Thankfully, after many months of waiting, Monument Valley 2 is finally available to download on the Google Play store for $4.99...




The Room series on iOS and Android really needs no introduction. Within dedicated mobile gaming circles, and also amongst more casual users who may only download the rare title once in a blue moon, The Room [$0.99 (HD)] has made a name for itself with stunning graphics, excellent use of the smartphone's unique capabilities and a compelling universe full of secrets and surprises. After three incredibly well received entries in the franchise, developer Fireproof Games has repeatedly hinted at yet another iteration on the formula called The Room: Old Sins, and gave the game a tentative late 2017 release date when we first heard about it back in March. Sadly, the developers have today confirmed that the game will not debut on the App Store in the next two months, but have instead confirmed that The Room: Old Sins would launch on iOS on January 25th 2018, with an Android release shortly afterwards...

Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel's latest movie, is about to take over every movie theater on the planet, and Marvel Puzzle Quest [Free] couldn't stay out of the party. Starting today, a week before the film releases, the game will welcome a 5-Star Thor Gladiator and a new event called Sakaar Arena, both linked to the movies (which you'll know if you've seen any of its many trailers). The Gladiator Thor will, of course, look like the movie, and as a bonus, the event will also include Hulk (again, the trailer shows you why he's relevant). I don't know if the game will manage to capture the comedy of the new movie, though...

L Pop! [Free] is a relatively straightforward puzzle game that, like most puzzle games, is built around one main mechanic. In this case, it's the idea that where you can place your pieces is restricted to within a Chess Knight's move of wherever you placed your last one. It's not a bad hook to build a matching puzzle game around, and I'm not sure I've seen a game that did things in exactly the same way this one does. But while the core mechanic is an interesting one, L Pop! never quite takes off the way it feels like it should...

King's Bubble Witch Saga 3 [Free], the bubble-busting cousin of Candy Crush Saga, is celebrating Halloween with a first: during this live event, players can play collaboratively. Starting today and up until November 1st, you'll have to help Stella the witch (appropriate for Halloween) and brand new characters get their candy back from that bad kitty, Wilbur (although I'm sure he's actually more misunderstood than anything). In this new collaborative mode, you have to join forces with others to pop as many bubbles containing Halloween candy as possible, and the more treats you all gather, the more rewards you'll get. And if one player loses a level, a team member can recover those lost candies. No candy left behind for sure...

The app description for Campfire Cooking [$3.99] describes the game as being about the 'relaxing moments in nature'. However, don't let this claim and the game's cozy camp setting confuse you - Campfire Cooking is set to be yet another expansive, dense and highly enjoyable puzzle title from Layton Hawkes, and promises to provide some eclectic brain-teasing action in the developer's quite literally sizzling style. After how good Puzzlepops! [$1.99] was, it's no exaggeration to say that Campfire Cooking has been in the very upper echelons of my most anticipated mobile games, and thankfully the title now available to download on the App Store for only $3.99...

Friday the 13th is a day where all your frights come out to play, and if you grew up in the 80s and your frights included secluded camps with all kinds of murderers running around unchecked, then Slayaway Camp [$2.99] should be right up your alley. This game has been out for some time now, but it hasn't stopped growing in all kinds of creepy and gory ways, and its developers couldn't resist adding more free content for us on a day like today. There are new, free levels that take place in Hell Camp, the most banned movie ever (according to the developers, of course) where the murderer is a Holy Skullface with his "baptized" gorepack. There are also new killers (these are secret though but I'm sure they are fun), new kill animations, and much more...

We Bare Bears, the entertaining Cartoon Network show with a pretty big following—especially among the younger ones—is coming to mobile in the form of a game called We Bare Bears: Burrito Bash [Free]. The show, which is all about three bear brothers living among people as if nothing is weird about that, is quite silly in a good way, and it looks like that silliness is coming to Burrito Bash. In the game, Gizz, Panda, and Ice Bear (my favorite, of course) are dying to win an online burrito contest, so they decide to do what every bear would do: strap Grizz into a bumper car in an attempt to film the greatest action movie in history. What wouldn't bears do for a burrito, right?..

From the Forums: Is 'The Talos Principle' on iOS the Best Version of the Game Yet?

It certainly has been an exciting few weeks for iOS gaming. While 2017 has, on the whole, being an incredibly strong year for the platform, the onset of iOS 11 has resulted in a couple of huge surprise releases that have eclipsed everything else in their wake. The Witness [$9.99] brought Jonathan Blow's vibrant and challenging puzzler to the smaller screen in what can only be described as a phenomenal technical achievement, and this week The Talos Principle [$4.99] marked the latest - and hopefully not the last - major indie port for mobile devices. While there are hundreds of other reviews for the game that you can easily find online, as well as the official TouchArcade review hitting your screens soon, it's no secret that The Talos Principle is an excellent puzzle title that is more than worth the $4.99 from a gameplay perspective. However, the most pressing question for mobile gamers, and especially those who may already own the game on other consoles, is whether this iOS iteration is a fitting tribute to its incredible source material. To help, I've enlisted the assistance of the TouchArcade forums to share their thoughts on The Talos Principle on iPhone and iPad...

Ever since iOS 11 served as the first major shake-up to the App Store - and subsequently the mobile gaming ecosystem - since its inception in 2008, it seems some powerful force at Apple has been trying to capitalise on the latent potential of the platform by pushing through some ambitious acclaimed classics from consoles and PC. We first had The Witness [$9.99] - a true technical showcase for the power of the latest iPhones and iPads, let alone a brilliantly innovative experience - and it looks like The Talos Principle [$4.99] is the next App Store release set to push not only the boundaries of the hardware, but also the boundaries of what people expect of mobile gaming. From Croatian developer Croteam, and published by the prolific Devolver Digital, The Talos Principle is a stunning puzzle game set in a crossover of ancient and futuristic architecture, and is now available on the App Store for the phenomenal price of only $4.99...

Owing to the fact it feels like there are billions of games on the App Store at this point, it's understandable that many titles throw in a multitude of new features in an attempt to innovate and stand out from the crowd. This is all well and good, but sometimes it's best when games go back to the basics, and Tales of the Tiny Planet [$2.99] was a fantastic example of this when it released last month. Simple one-touch gameplay was complimented brilliantly by clever level design and adorable graphics, which resulted in a glowing recommendation in our review shortly after launch. Personally, I cannot recommend Tales of the Tiny Planet enough, and if you missed the game on its initial App Store debut, the title is now on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time...

As any dedicated disc golf fanatic would know, today marks the start of the US Disc Golf Championships in South Carolina. While this event is apparently the pinnacle of the disc golf season, the App Store serves as a year-long celebration of the frisbee-throwing sport, as mobile gaming and disc golf has resulted in numerous excellent arcade experiences over the past few years. Disc Golf To Go [$3.99], from solo developer Kelsey Doherty, marks the latest iOS disc golfing release, and serves as an especially impressive premium title with 40 meticulously crafted levels, 20 unique discs and continued support since its release in August. To celebrate the big US Disc Golf Championships, Disc Golf To Go is now on sale for the first time since release, and is $2.99 for a limited time...

Geostorm is an upcoming movie about a network of satellites designed to control global climate that go rogue and start attacking Earth, which of course allows the film to offer a variety of unnatural natural disasters. The movie is releasing later this month, and today we got Geostorm [Free] the game, a turn-based puzzle game tied to the movie. In Geostorm, huge natural disasters play a part in the puzzle gameplay. The story of the game revolves around three members of the Dutch Boy project, whose purpose is to gather and transfer essential data to the International Space Station. This data is the only thing that can stop the hijacked satellites from destroying the world bit by bit...

Marvel Puzzle Quest [Free] is celebrating its 4-year anniversary (how time flies, doesn't it), and it's adding new characters and introducing new events to the game. Specifically, we are getting a new 3-Star Modern and 5-Star Classic Gambit starting October 5th. In addition to this new character, the developers are adding Anniversary events starting on the 5th as well and ending on the 15th of October. As is always the case, if you log in during that period, you'll get a free Anniversary token. And all events will give players double Iso-8, again as is usually the case during events like this one...

You may read about Cubiques 2 [$0.99], the latest entry in Dilmer Games' minimalistic puzzle series, and wonder "but I only just finished the first game - how is a sequel coming so soon?". You certainly wouldn't be misplaced in your confusion, as we previously wrote about the release date of the original Cubiques [$0.99] a mere three months ago back in June. However, it's a testament to the hard work of the one-man development team that the sequel was programmed and designed all within 35 days, and while Cubiques 2 does not appear to be some sort of major mechanical shake-up, more of the same with an even greater emphasis on atmospheric aesthetic design is certainly a good thing. After such a short turnaround time, Cubiques 2 is now available to download on the App Store for $0.99...

'IOTA's Journey' Is a Clever Turn-Based Puzzle Title, Releasing October 26th on the App Store

If you go into IOTA's Journey expecting some profound, epic adventure, you may be slightly disappointed. Yes, the game tells the story of the titular character and his first few steps into an uncomfortable new world, but IOTA is not a boy, an animal, or some sort of superhero. Instead, IOTA is a number of minimalistic, circular white blobs, and his journey is actually a pretty novel set of one-handed swipe puzzles. I'm not sure whether the pretence of a story through the game's four chapters is satire or simply a way to make IOTA's Journey a little more sentimental, but either way its classy presentation and interesting enemy-dodging mechanics look perfectly suited to on-the-go gaming. IOTA's Journey should be another solid puzzle addition to the App Store, and is set to release next month on October 26th...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Stay', an Atmospheric Adventure Game

With mobile phones and tablets practically becoming everyday tools for many, they present a unique narrative opportunity for certain types of games. We use our mobile devices for all kinds of things: making calls, sending texts, checking the web, watching videos, listening to music, and more. They're a window into the larger world, and with that being their established role in our lives, there's no reason they can't also be a plausible window into a fictional world. We've seen some games play with this concept already, from games like Republique to Lifeline. The upcoming release Stay, from Appnormals, looks to build on this idea with an even greater level of immersion. I was able to give it a spin at the Tokyo Game Show and record it for you...

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

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September 21st, 2017 5:00 PM EST by Rob Funnell in $9.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$9.99 Buy Now

From the outset, The Witness [$9.99] is a video game that defies convention. After a loading screen that suggests ‘for the best experience, use headphones’, you immediately awaken in a dimly lit underground tunnel, amidst deafening silence. No title screen, no contextual introduction, no long-winded tutorial - in The Witness, you’re simply left to your own devices, and the curiosity that such a brazen start instills in the player serves as the primary catalyst to explore its luscious, vibrant and expansive environments. This core ethos permeates into every inch of The Witness, whether it’s solving puzzles, navigating complex terrain or attempting to work out how to access a seemingly out of bounds point of interest, and its respect for the user is one reason why the game received such universal critical acclaim upon its console release in 2016. However, the hands-off approach that is fundamental to The Witness’s identity is also its biggest source of frustration and, because of Thekla, Inc.’s impressive efforts in emulating the experience on mobile devices, a flaw that is as prominent as ever in the iOS iteration of the game...

'Tales of the Tiny Planet' Review- A Refreshingly Simple Physics Puzzle Game

The App Store has come a tremendously long way since its humble beginnings in 2008. It was the first time that Apple had officially introduced the distribution of third-party applications on its platform. It was an exciting time and many developers were taking their first steps in exploring the possibilities of gaming on iOS devices. I can recall numerous games from this time that had extremely simple mechanics, yet their simplicity was their greatest strength. Since then, the App Store has continued to acquire an insane amount of games, especially in the physics puzzler genre. Physics puzzle games may have gradually become more complicated overtime, but Tales of the Tiny Planet [$2.99] hearkens back to the aforementioned era of physics puzzle games that were purely simple and fun...

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