Category Archives: Puzzle

If you think about it, WayForward Technologies is one of the original indie stars of handheld gaming. They first gained notice when some poor soul who was assigned to reviewing licensed claptrap on the Game Boy was playing some games based on Sabrina: The Animated Series and realized they were decidedly less bad than usual. A couple of years after that, they released their first game based on an original property, Shantae, which ended up being one of those games that sold far fewer copies on release than its eventual demand would call for. The game's charming presentation and ambition to actually make a decent Game Boy Color game won it plenty of fans. Combined with its relative rarity, its high quality gave it a near-legendary status and elevated its developer in the eyes of core handheld gamers...

DeNA continues their strange new pattern of releasing iOS versions of PC indie games under new names with Yet It Moves [$2.99], probably the most famous of the batch so far. Originally titled And Yet It Moves, it was first released on PC back in 2009 before making its way to WiiWare, of all places, in 2010. It received a fair bit of praise back then for its clever take on platforming and unique presentation. Here in 2015, it's not quite as unusual as it once was, but its strong level designs and good pacing make it a game still well-worth checking out...

'Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered' Review - My Kind of Nightmare

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy was recently rereleased on PC. Luckily, the developers also saw fit to port it over to iOS under the full title Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered [$9.99] as part of its decennial celebration. As a narrative-heavy action-adventure, Indigo Prophecy was excellent for its time and mostly makes a successful transition to Apple’s portable devices...

When Apple added widget functionality in iOS 8, it greatly expanded the kinds of cool things you could do with the lock screen on your iOS device. Most widgets have offered some sort of utility benefit, but there's a small number of developers who have brought gaming to the lock screen through widgets. First we had Overglide, which allowed you to play a simple cave flying game on your lock screen. Then there was the inevitable arrival of a 2048 widget. Widget functionality was even added to one of our favorite "non-game" games, Godville. Now, Overglide developer AA Mather is back with another widget game, and this time they're bringing a PC classic to the lockscreen with Minesweeper - Widget Edition [$0.99]. ..

If you were a Monument Valley [$3.99] fan who fell in love with Ida and especially the Totem (though a couple million of you drowned your poor Totem friend), then I have good news: Super Glyph Quest [$1.99] is getting an update this Thursday that adds the Monument Valley stars to the puzzle game. They're appearing as cameo characters in the match-3 puzzler, appearing in some of the quests that show up in the game. The characters show up in this new trailer, and you can catch a a glimpse of them in the Glyph Quest art style:..

Sometimes it's easy to forget just how young the App Store is, but then you think back to a game like Pixel Defenders Puzzle [$0.99] that released in 2012, and it feels like a million years ago. Pixel Defenders Puzzle is a cool game that combines the match-3 and defense genres. We enjoyed it quite a bit in our review, and the members of our TouchArcade forums loved it. The game saw several updates in the intervening years, including one that stripped out all of the IAP in the game, rebalancing it as a fully-premium game...

'Hero Emblems' Review - A Heroic Match-3 Adventure

As we mentioned in our Game of the Week post, there’s a certain amount of oversaturation that has hit the Match-3 genre on the App Store. Thus, the launch of Hero Emblems [$3.99] was met with some skepticism that it would be yet another Match-3 with nothing to differentiate itself. Thankfully that’s not the case with this gorgeous puzzler. Impressive strategic implications, beautiful visuals, and great RPG mechanics make this title worth checking out...

Some developers take a long time between game releases, making each one an often-painful wait between titles. If you're a Nitrome fan, you have no idea what I'm talking about. The pixel art aficionados and creators of Icebreaker [$0.99 / $2.99] have been on an utter tear on mobile in the last few months, with five games since August 2014, and three since December 2014, with the third being Gunbrick [$2.99]. Where Roller Polar [Free] and Platform Panic [Free] were both meant to be smaller arcade-style games, Gunbrick is a more fleshed-out, level-based puzzle-platformer. It's a game that's here and gone, though, being all too brief...

Mobile gaming certainly isn't hurting for clever puzzle games. Perhaps due to their natural fit with touch controls, puzzle games were one of the earliest genres to flourish on iOS. If you ask the average person to name off the mobile games they know of, chances are many of the entries will be from the puzzle genre. Candy Crush Saga [Free], Angry Birds [$0.99], Cut The Rope [$0.99], and similar fare are to many people the face of mobile gaming. Puzzle platformers, on the other hand, seem to have a rougher go of it. The puzzle part is usually fine, of course, but touchscreen platforming is a hard thing to nail down properly. Volt [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] tackles the problem by having you play as a little battery, who can't do much more than flop around on its own. Instead, it can generate beams of electricity to grapple onto various surfaces. It's like Cut The Rope meets Bionic Commando...

Framed [$4.99] feels like the first half of what should be a really good game. It's a title with a great premise: rearranging comic book panels both in order and rotation so that the protagonist in the scene makes it to the end without getting detected by cops or falling to their doom. The cops in the world of Framed were not the academy's best and brightest students, as they don't even turn around for the protagonist running through doors right behind them. "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" is the motto of the Framed Police Department, but good for the characters in this game, all trying to get control of a mysterious briefcase...

I will forever admit to being a sucker for games with pixel art, and Sunburn [$2.99] had immediate appeal to me based on that, but also thanks to its unique premise: instead of trying to save everyone, the goal is to control the jetpack-equipped astronaut captain, trying to get a bunch of stranded astronauts together, and launch into the sun so that nobody dies alone. But there's limited oxygen, so there's some planet-hopping involved, fiery asteroids to avoid, and a chain of astronauts to string along, trying to make sure they don't suffer a solitary demise while trying to get to the collective goal. This means that death is an odd thing, because dying itself might not be the ultimate goal. It's about making sure everyone suffers a quick death, rather than dying alone in the middle of space. That's a new one! It's a clever and macabre concept for a space physics puzzler, and while the game has issues, the concept alone is well worth checking out...

Love it or hate it, Candy Crush Soda Saga [Free] has made a fairly predictable march up to the top of the charts since its release not too long ago. That means tons of people are playing it, and knowing King's games as I do, that means tons of people are getting stuck and wanting to toss their mobile device every time they hear that smarmy voice-over guy say, "Oooh". Well, as usual, I've spent a good bit of time playing the game since its soft launch in the sandy deserts of Canada, and I've got some advice to help you turn those "ooohs" into "ahhhs". Well, there isn't actually an "ahhh", but you know what I mean...

Brace yourselves, we're going to talk about some truly old-school gaming in this review. Before there was Clash Of Clans [Free], Call Of Duty, Tetris [$0.99], Super Mario Bros., or even Pong, a huge gaming craze swept the world. It was a puzzle game known to the western world as Tangrams, brought over in the early 19th century from China, where it had been around for several hundred years. Suddenly those months-long New Zealand soft launches don't look so bad, do they? If you aren't familiar with Tangrams, the puzzle involves using seven pieces to try to match a set shape. You would think this to be a pretty shallow affair, but there have been several thousand different puzzles made. I'm not sure if it's still the case, but books of Tangram puzzles were always a mainstay in gas stations and convenience stores when I was a kid...

As one of my favorite bands Iron Chic points out in the song "Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?", we're all on a giant blue rock that's spinning through space, falling in circles forever into the sun. It's a pretty morbid way to view human existence, and kind of depressing, but the one lyric that makes me feel better is "This once we all fall together." Hey, we're hurtling towards a giant fireball in space, but at least we're in it together, right? That's similar to the premise behind Sunburn! [$2.99], the debut title from developer Secret Crush that just hit the App Store this morning...

Viking's Journey: The Road to Valhalla [Free], formerly titled Lost Viking, exists in an odd place in that the game is physically fun to play, but the actual game itself winds up being a struggle. It's a puzzle-RPG from the creators of Dungelot [$1.99], with a remarkably slow upgrade system, gameplay that feels like it's stacking the deck against the player in most every way possible to the point that it delivers far less fun than it should...

Being the ever-watchful observer that I am, I've noticed a trend in paid puzzle games of late. Perhaps battling against the effervescent, candy-coated, pastel shine of King's free-to-play offerings, puzzlers from the little guys are turning to the dark side. First, it was Darkin [$0.99], and now, Muertitos [$0.99]. Two games make a trend, right? I'm going to go ahead and call that science. While Darkin gave Dungeon Raid [$1.99] a spin with creatures of the night, Muertitos does something both familiar and unusual with its setup. That little bit of innovation combined with its very stylish presentation is enough to help it rise above the dense crowd, though just barely...

'Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores' Review - Take Another Trip To The Valley

As I mentioned back when I reviewed Monument Valley [$3.99], it was bound to be a love it or hate it affair, and I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that most people felt as strongly about the experience as I did. It's a beautiful thing to play with, an artfully-constructed world that you can manipulate and bend around in ways that only a few other games have allowed. It was a gorgeous, pure experience, free of the flashing lights and urging pace that seems to be the general speed of things in this wonderful hobby of ours. It was also very short, with a mere ten levels to its tale, about a third of which were basically tutorial stages. By the time it turned up the gas even a little bit, it was soon finished. As an experience, it's hard to argue with it. As a mechanical game, it was a whole lot of potential with a somewhat wanting level of realizing it. Generally, it was very well-received, with most people left crying for more. So developer Ustwo got working on some more, and after several months of development, they've released an expansion for Monument Valley called Forgotten Shores...

'Candy Crush Soda Saga' Review - Poppin' Bottles in the Ice

'Candy Crush Soda Saga' Review - Poppin' Bottles in the Ice

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November 12th, 2014 4:44 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Free, Games, Puzzle, Reviews
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There's been a lot of super popular free to play games on the App Store, but the original Candy Crush Saga [Free] completely redefined the meaning of App Store success. The game was huge on Facebook, and the leap to mobile sent the popularity of Candy Crush to a level I'm not even sure the wildest dreams of anyone at King could have imagined. It's become part of pop culture to the point that the game is even referenced in unrelated TV commercials now, and it's almost rare to be out in public and not see someone playing the game...

We figured this week would be quite busy after the packed list of releases on Wednesday night, but there's still games sneaking out that didn't quite come out last night that are of particular note. Cosmic Crown [$1.99] is one of those games, and in fact it released totally under the radar last Friday. It's a curious game that seems to mix in any number of genres, perhaps a fusion of turn-based roguelikes with an endless runner. ..

In early October Everplay unveiled their latest game, a matching RPG hybrid called Adventure Age [Free]. It was only about a week ago that Everplay soft-launched the game in Canada to test things out, but apparently everything was going smoothly as as of late last night Adventure Age is now available worldwide. I didn't get in on the soft-launch version, but I've played around a little with the full release and so far I like Adventure Age quite a bit...

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