Category Archives: Puzzle

As regular readers know by now, I like to get into games like Fable Age [Free] and basically go as far as I can without spending anything. It's an enjoyable challenge sometimes, like doing a solo or white mage run in Final Fantasy [$8.99]. Most of these games are actually very playable even if you don't want to kick in money or a lot of time, and Fable Age is no exception. Whether you want to pull off a little clever trick to get yourself a super-powerful character upfront or you just want to play it straight and slowly build up through persistance and a bit of luck, it's easy and fun to make progress in this game at a reasonable pace. As usual, after sinking some time into this, I've put together some tips and advice for anyone who's getting started with Fable Age...

Puzzle And Dragons [Free] is a scorching hot hit in many Asian countries, but while it's done quite well in Western countries, it hasn't had quite the same dominance. So, while Eastern publishers are scrambling hand over fist to try to catch a little lightning in a bottle with their own takes on the idea, we actually haven't seen all that many straight attempts from Western publishers. Enter Gameloft, one of the oldest and staunchest supporters of mobile gaming. It's been known for many things in its history: making, shall we say, heavily inspired homages to popular titles, pushing extremely high-quality production values, and recently, making free-to-play games and pushing mandatory online connections. Their latest title, Dungeon Gems [Free], is all of those things wrapped up into one neat little package...

'Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake' Review – A Scrumptious Treat

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake [$4.99] is one of my favorite games of the year. It's a puzzle game that's bright & colorful, but decidedly not just for kids. It's a game that has complexity without frustration, and takes place in a wonderful world that helps make it so much fun to just play again and again...

There are an awful lot of games involving cats on the App Store. Sometimes, their inclusion doesn't even make sense. Like most of the Internet, I love cats, so I'm not going to complain, but there are plenty of people out there who have a slightly more negative appraisal of the feline species, and I can only guess how many games they miss out on as a result. If that describes you, perhaps you've gazed longingly at Cat Physics [$1.99], the popular puzzle game released a few years back by Donut Games, wishing you could enjoy its physics-based puzzles without all that shedding on your freshly-laundered slacks. Well, person with an unusually strong hatred of digital cats, have I got a game for you. It's called Lightlands [$4.99], and although it has a few new ideas to freshen things up, at its core, it's essentially Cat Physics after TV's Alf has made the scene...

This is a slightly controversial opinion, depending on one's values, but I personally believe that video game fans have never had it as good as we have it now. Particular genres have ebbed to an extent, as they tend to in this hobby, but I feel like the overall spread of the market is broader and deeper than it's ever been. As the big companies have focused more and more on creating big, expensive productions that dazzle with their beauty and scope, indies have rushed in and filled just about every possible gap you could think of. On top of that, the popularity of deep discount sales across most digital platforms means that not only do we have more choices than ever before, but they're a lot cheaper than ever, to boot. It's truly a buyer's market...

'TwoDots' Review - Connecting Dots Is Still A Beautiful Thing

Joining the vast selection of exceptional iOS puzzle games isTwoDots [Free], the follow-up to Dots, one of last years smartest and hugely addictive puzzle games. Similar to the original title, which has racked up over 20 million downloads, the object of TwoDots is to connect dots of matching colors horizontally or vertically, and also like its predecessor, the best way to clear the level is to find squares of corresponding colors out of the game board in front of you...

With as many puzzle-platformers as there are on iOS, a title really need to do something to earn some limelight. Crescent Moon Games' Twisty Planets [$1.99] earns its attention in a couple of ways. Its world-turning element is well done and certainly adds a different perspective to the genre. Meanwhile its variety in levels and emphasis on gradual difficulty give players motivation to continue playing. It all leads to a fun platformer worth enjoying...

Many of the games in the puzzle genre of video games are evolutions of classic board games, with various alterations made to the rules to simply, complicate, or simply diversify. Of course, this is really just carrying on the work that was happening in physical board games themselves before video games came along and blew a huge chunk out of that market. For example, Reversi, or Othello as it's popularly known, is a simplified version of the ancient Chinese game, Go. The latest game from Synesthetic [$2.99] creator Alex Dantis, Polygon Evolution [Free], is also a variation on Go, simplified in some ways, complicated in others, and like its ancestor, a lot more fun to play against a human than a computer...

'Darkin' Review - Dungeon Raid: Breaking Dawn

Often imitated and never truly duplicated, Dungeon Raid [$1.99] is a near-perfect distillation of the puzzle-RPG concept and one of the better puzzle games around. To its credit, even three years after its last update, the game still functions properly on new hardware and updated versions of iOS, which sadly isn't the case for all too many older games. With that said, while it's still perfectly playable, the game is showing a lot of wear and tear from its abandonment. It doesn't fill out the screen on new hardware, the graphics don't take advantage of retina displays, and Open Feint still lingers in its icon and main menu in spite of that service having shuffled off the digital coil. We have to face facts, my friends. Someday, Dungeon Raid is not going to work anymore, and we need to find a replacement...

Pac-Man has worn many hats over the course of his nearly two and a half decade tenure. In addition to his popular top-down maze fashion, he's also starred in a runner, an adventure game, and even full-on 3D action titles. Now, courtesy of the Candy Crush and Puzzles & Dragons craze, he's the star of a Match-3 with heavy RPG elements called Pac-Man Monsters [Free]. And you know what? It's not half bad...

An action physics puzzler that illustrates life in a different form completely, Concolor Games’ Biosis [$0.99] depicts just what happens when everything you ever knew and loved is ripped away from you. Despite its alien-like setting and curious environment, Biosis tells a story that just about everybody can relate to. ..

Some puzzle games have such simple mechanics that just about anyone can pick them up and do fairly well without too much effort. Games like these usually rely on something external to the mechanics to add a greater challenge, such as a timer or giving you a penalty for making mistakes. Perfect Paths [$2.99], from Lums [$0.99] developer Hyperbolic Magnetism, is not one of those games. In the broad sense, the rules aren't that hard to understand. You've got a certain number of different colored blocks that each need to be moved to a matching-colored goal. You do this by drawing the paths each block should move, then press the button to execute your plan. If all goes well, you can enjoy watching each block make its way to its final location, all according to your brilliant strategy...

'99 Bricks: Wizard Academy' Review - An Excellent Twist On Tetris

Tetris [$0.99] is one awesome game. I personally consider it one of the best games ever made, and certainly one of the closest to pure perfection. While most other games are work-in-progress designs that eventually have to be snipped off, polished up, and released, Tetris's big coming-out releases on Game Boy and NES were essentially flawless realizations of the design's potential. Other than catching up with technology like internet play, what do you really add to Tetris to make it better? Every attempt to change the game in some way has resulted in, at best, a lateral move, and at worst, an absolute disaster. Well, 99 Bricks: Wizard Academy [$0.99] offers a few interesting answers to my question, and while it's probably not a better game, it's a more than worthy side-trip for fans of that classic...

While it has its share of problems, most of which are outlined in my review of the game, Bubble Witch Saga 2 [Free] is a pretty enjoyable way to kill a couple of minutes here and there. It's a bit of an oddball in King's lineup thanks to how strongly success depends on getting a lucky distribution of bubbles, but even when winning is futile, you can still sharpen up your skills for the next round. Having picked my way through all of the currently available stages, I've managed to put together a list of tips and advice for those of you trying to make your way through. Of course, if you've played the original game of this type, Taito's Bust-A-Move, or one of its many, many clones, you've probably already got a lot of great techniques in your arsenal, and I'll be going through a few of those here, but Bubble Witch has a few twists that require some specific strategies...

Candy Crush Saga [Free] creator King has a fairly extensive catalog of puzzle games it has developed over the last several years. Their iOS lineup is just a small fraction of what it has released, though it's fairly representative of King's strengths and weaknesses. I think it's fairly safe to say at this point that its games have very broad appeal, with people of both genders, all ages, and many walks of life having a great time playing them. I think it's also pretty well-known that its games are really, really hard, and sometimes it's difficult to tell if things are rigged against you just to sell you IAP or simply just randomly cruel to keep you from flying through the games. I think it's also widely-accepted that many of its games owe a very large debt to existing puzzle games. King's match-3 games, like Candy Crush or Farm Heroes Saga [Free], use familiar mechanics and add a few twists, with the result being at least as original as, say, Dr. Mario is to Tetris [$0.99]...

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