Category Archives: Puzzle

'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...

'Disjoint' Is a Clever Puzzle Adventure With a Cute Story, and Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

It goes without saying that anyone writing about mobile games will see an obscene number of puzzle titles every day. While I'm generally a sucker for anything that looks like it can kill a few minutes on the daily commute, the majority of such titles differentiate themselves with subtle spins on a core mechanic, or some flashy or understated graphical design. I wouldn't exactly call this 'stagnation', it's evident that a formula for puzzle games exists on the App Store, and as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is why the upcoming Disjoint surprised me greatly from the very first sentence of its forum thread - being touted as a story-rich puzzle game is one hell of a claim, and the adorable tale of a man and his pig adventuring around a Super Mario World-esque overworld map is an extremely appealing concept. For an early glimpse of this intriguing puzzle romp, sign up for the Disjoint beta test on our forum thread...

Clever Co-Op Puzzler 'Our Ways' Will Be Looking for Love on the App Store on October 11th

While the benefits of a relationship sure are plentiful, their very nature necessitates a huge deal of challenge and commitment, and it doesn't take long to stumble upon some convoluted horror stories around the internet. Thankfully, Our Ways has all the qualities of a relationship but is, well, actually fun. Through controlling two separate lovestruck circles with different sides of the screen, you must use your reactions and delicate controls to unite the protagonists in temporary bliss - at least until the next level. It's an ingenious concept that has repeatedly impressed us on previous glimpses in the past, and today the developers have announced that Our Ways will be launching as a $1.99 premium release on October 11th, as well as sharing an official trailer that gives a nice impression of the adorable concept of the title...

One of 2017's best games came very early in the year when RAC7 Games released their terrifically unique puzzle platformer Splitter Critters [$2.99]to the App Store. The game had you trying to guide adorable roaming critters to their spaceship by slicing up the environment and then shifting the sliced pieces to create new pathways the little buggers could walk on. It was the type of game that felt like it was built for a touchscreen and not only did we award Splitter Critters our Game of the Week and give it 4.5 stars in our review, but Apple thought it was pretty great themselves and it earned a coveted Apple Design Award during WWDC this past June. So, with so much critical acclaim under its belt, where does Splitter Critters go from here? Into the world of augmented reality, that's where!..

Ever since Rolando redefined the expectations of what mobile gaming could offer, I've been inexplicably attached to cute, anthropomorphic blobs in video games. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for excellent character design within the industry, but despite how hypocritical it may sound, the purity of a smiling red circle just triggers something deep in my heart. This meant that the trailer for self-described physics puzzle venture Tales of the Tiny Planet [$2.99] was particularly appealing from the outset, as bouncing the titular spheres around deviously designed levels (with comical voices and sound effects upon an especially spiky demise) looked both charming and captivating. As puzzle games go, Tales of the Tiny Planet appears to be out of this world (pun fully intended), and is available to download from the App Store for $1.99 today...

The good folks at RareSloth have once again released an update for their fantastic puzzle platformer King Rabbit [Free]. This latest update is called the Diamond Collection and features 64 of the very best community created levels released in an official package complete with new leaderboards and achievements. The Diamond Collection follows the precious gem naming convention of the previous three expansions - the Emerald Collection, the Ruby Collection, and the Sapphire Collection. Each of those expansions were released for $1.99 apiece, and as a special bonus if you've previously bought all three of them then you'll receive the new Diamond Collection for free. Whee!..

Classic Reload: 'Beat Sneak Bandit'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where we time our walk to the tick of the clock. In each installment of this series, we take a look at a game from the App Store's past to see how it's holding up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, and to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Your only guide on this journey is me, an observer from your own time, taking the form of a hologram that only you can see and hear. I try to pick a balanced selection of games, but if you have something you really want to see, don't be shy! You can leave a comment below with suggestions and I'll add them to the master list for future consideration. The schedule is done quite far in advance, so you might not see them soon, but it never hurts to try...

Cosmic Express [$4.99], a fun puzzle game by Draknet — the maker of the awesome A Good Snowman is Hard to Build [$4.99] — is on sale for the first time today. The game describes itself as "a puzzle game about planning the train route for the world's most awkward space colony". That's quite accurate, really, as your job is that of space-aged transit planner. You visit a series of galactic outposts and must figure out how best to setup a train line to pick up a bunch of cute little alien folk and drop them off at their destinations. The aliens are either lazy or it is super dangerous to, you know, walk anywhere and they need door-to-door service. This is made more difficult by the fact that buildings and lunar rocks are already all over the place. It's a fun game with a ton of levels you can jump around to play, which is good, since it is also very challenging and easy to get stuck on a level for some time...

'Wayout' Is the Next Colorful Minimalistic Puzzle Title From Dropout Games, and Is in Need of Beta Testers

Developer Dropout Games have started to develop a reputation for simple, stylist and most of all superb puzzle titles on the App Store. I was particularly impressed with their latest release Neo Angle [$0.99], which featured pulsating and rhythmic navigation through numerous detailed levels with a beautiful 80's neon aesthetic. Not wishing to rest on their laurels, Dropout Games are straight out of the block with their latest upcoming title called Wayout, and it looks like yet another hit to stand next to their previous efforts. Featuring some colorful hand-drawn graphics, Wayout is all about clearing a board and turning all the tiles white. With the bold assertion that this is their trickiest game to date, Wayout should scratch an itch for those wanting a devious challenge, and the developers are looking for beta testers on our forums...

I love puzzle games. Lucky for me you can't swing a dead Pokemon in the App Store without hitting several dozen. Not all of them are good, of course, and many are shallow copies of much better games. There are enough good ones, however, to keep me entertained and seeking more. Those moments when I come across something really compelling and get that "oh cool" feeling make the search well worth the effort. Glowish [$1.99], a recently released pattern-recognition puzzler, definitely gave me that feeling...

'Ant Hunt', a Colorful Creepy-Crawly Hidden Object Game, Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

With the amount of money being put in bombastic triple-A games resulting in some truly thrilling experiences with as many explosions as a typical Michael Bay film, it's nice to have a title that is a bit kinder to the senses. The hidden object genre is one in particular that fulfils my relaxing needs, and releases like Hidden Folks [$3.99] have only emphasised their qualities on mobile devices. The upcoming Ant Hunt, from developer Paco Labs, has its own approach to the hidden object formula, as you have to locate specified colored creatures amidst a cacophony of other insects and bizarre yet realistic ant behaviour. The early preview assets of Ant Hunt underline its status as a labor of love from a fledgling indie developer, and with a penned release date of October 6th on the horizon, Paco Labs are looking for beta testers to try out the title on our forums...

A few years back, I reviewed an enjoyable puzzle game called Circix [Free]. In that game, you had to connect circuits in the correct fashion to get past each stage. Setting aside the theme, the core puzzle of the game was in thinking about how each node had to relate to its neighbors. Well, the developer behind that game recently released a new puzzle game called Taps [$1.99]. On the surface, it's completely different from the neon electronics theme of Circix, but it follows a similar idea of building its puzzles around logical relationships. Taps feels more polished, more unique, and more carefully thought-out than its predecessor, and it's just as devilishly challenging once it gets going...

Whether it's a major triple-A release from a traditional gaming powerhouse, or a smaller gem from an up-and-coming indie developer, it's always a joy to write about iOS games for TouchArcade and contribute to the greater recognition of the platform within the gaming industry. However, there has been one unfortunate exception to this, with the impending 32-bit Appocalypse meaning many classic titles I quite literally grew up with are soon to disappear from the App Store. Super Glyph Quest [$3.99] was one such game, and featured as a particular standout in our recent guide of the best mobile titles that will die with iOS 11. However, thankfully it appears that our list has prompted the developer to ensure one of 2014's best puzzle games will soon survive the cull, as Super Glyph Quest has just had an update submitted for 64-bit compatibility...

As the days grow darker and the chilly Autumn weather creeps ever closer, it leaves games such as Swim Out [$2.99] to provide a small bit of respite from the impending gloomy 2017 months. The game's interesting combination of Hitman GO-esque puzzle solving with a swimming concept was quite literally refreshing, and we appreciated Swim Out's variety and substantial length in our review earlier this month. However, Swim Out was not without its minor issues, most notably its relatively unforgiving nature in forcing the player to restart from the very beginning of a level if a mistake was made. In an attempt to alleviate this, developer Lozange Lab has today released their first content update for Swim Out, which includes a more forgiving checkpoint system as well as some neat additional content to try out...

My two favorite things in the world (apart from cats as otherwise it's not a fair contest) are undoubtedly free things and minimalistic puzzle games. BorderLeap's colorful block-sliding game minimize [$2.99] fell firmly in the latter category when it released last year, and its intuitive core mechanic combined with how the levels evolve and slowly grow more complex based on a familiar pattern was an enjoyable mix. Finally, after almost eight months since it first launched, minimize is now completely free to download, offering some quirky sliding action for a seductive price of zero dollars...

'Reigns: Her Majesty', the Heir to App Store Classic 'Reigns', Set to Launch Later This Year

After numerous hints and teases, Reigns: Her Majesty has finally been officially announced as the sequel to 2016's excellent Reigns. Devolver and Nerial announced that they are working on a sequel to Reigns back in January, although details were relatively scarce. Today, we now have a full trailer, screens, plot details, and more for this intriguing sequel to one of last year's best releases. Reigns: Her Majesty lets you control your kingdom as the mighty Queen. Complex scenarios, betrayals, relationship issues, and more await you in the sequel to the much loved Reigns. Watch the trailer below: ..

As we learned back in May, AuraLab and Other Kind Games' surreal adventure game Karma. Incarnation 1. would be heading to mobile following its release on Steam in October of last year. Just a few days later the game arrived on Android via Google Play, with the iOS release set for some nebulous time in the future. Well, earlier this month it was announced that the iOS version was set to release on August 24th, and although it didn't quite make it in time for our weekly Out Now post, Karma. Incarnation 1. [$1.99] has finally arrived as of this morning. If you're familiar with the 2014 Don Hertzfeldt intro to The Simpsons, Karma. Incarnation 1. gives me that same sort of super weird, "I am on hallucinogenics right now" kind of feeling. Check out the trailer...

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