Category Archives: Puzzle

The 32-bit Appocalype is a cruel and indiscriminate mistress, and while there may be legitimate compatibility concerns with the upcoming iOS 11 update, it's still been disheartening to see some classic iPhone games that I grew up with slowly blast off into the horizon. Thankfully, The Last Rocket [$1.99] has today escaped such an unfortunate fate, as developer Shaun Inman has updated his classic retro platformer with 64-bit compatibility to survive the upcoming App Store purge. For those of you who may not be familiar with the game, The Last Rocket is an incredibly clever puzzle title with a stylish GBA-esque aesthetic, and involves blasting off throughout numerous obstacles and traps to escape a ship before it collides with a star. I'm incredibly glad to see The Last Rocket receive its first update in almost exactly five years, and it's fantastic to have such a classic game secure on the App Store for many more months to come...

Beautiful Award-Winning Physics Puzzler 'Tiny Bubbles' Is Looking for Beta Testers on Our Forums

Last week, the turn-based bathing puzzle game Swim Out was announced for iOS, and I was impressed with how this game appeared to reinvigorate relatively tired gameplay mechanics with a fresh thematic approach. In many ways, the upcoming Tiny Bubbles takes a similar approach - and not simply because of its shared love of all things aquatic. At its heart, Tiny Bubbles shares many tropes that you may have seen before in the App Store, and its color matching and clearing core elements are ones that have been in puzzle titles for decades. However, as its name implies, the bubble aspect leads to some breathtakingly slick and creative action through the game's unique physics engine. The resulting amalgamation is a puzzle title that looks to be incredibly intuitive and soapy slick, and the developer is looking for a limited number of beta testers to try out Tiny Bubbles before its fall launch on our forum thread...




Guilds are big in games, they build a community and often keep players coming back long after the shine wears off. Angry Birds 2 [Free] turned two last weekend and decided to get in on the guild action with the recently released Clans update. The Clans update lets you team up with friends to attack new challenges and earn some rewards. The first such opportunity is the clan-streak challenge which rewards the whole group for completing win streaks and earning points. The more points earned, the better the reward. Humans being humans, there will undoubtedly be plenty of competition to climb the clan rankings...

'Linelight' Review - A Fine Line

'Linelight' Review - A Fine Line

StarStarStarStarStar
$1.99 Buy Now

In years to come, the App Store will be both commemorated and condemned for revolutionising the delivery of digital content, implementing the use of innovative gaming inputs, and instigating an industry-wide transition away from fully priced releases. However, one of the most profound impacts this emergent platform has had on video games has been its ethos of ‘show, don’t tell’. Monument Valley [$3.99], Sword and Sworcery [$3.99], and a number of landmark titles have fought against the limitations of a handheld device to completely immerse the user through pure aesthetic bliss. Despite not originating on the iPhone, Linelight [$1.99] is the next notable independent release that champions these values, through slick puzzles, accessible controls, and stunningly dynamic visuals and audio. The resulting concoction is an extremely memorable mobile experience that, while by no means perfect, is far grander than its subtle minimalistic design suggests...

'Swim Out', a Turn-Based Puzzle Game With a Refreshing Aquatic Theme, Is Diving Onto the App Store August 10th

While I am a big fan of puzzle games, but it's extremely evident that there is an overwhelming emphasis on the mechanical side of the action in the majority of titles, while immersive aesthetic design is left at the wayside. Games such as Threes! [$2.99] try and inject some character into their otherwise generic sliding blocks, while You Must Build a Boat [$2.99] and others add RPG elements to feel as if you're actually accomplishing some sort of swashbuckling feat through the puzzles - however the vast majority just rely on the mental stimulation of the challenge and leave it at that. As a result, Swim Out is an anomaly amongst its peers, as its complete intrinsic embrace of its swimming concept gives the game an accessible edge while also providing abundant charm. Amidst England's wretched wet and windy summer months, Swim Out looks like the perfect tactical escape into a lush digital paradise, and is set to launch on the App Store on August 10th...

Stylish and Simplistic Puzzle Game 'follow.trail' Goes Back to App Store Basics on August 10th

The App Store of 2017 is all about fine margins, and it's the tiniest details that can be the difference between success and failure. Is a core gameplay mechanic immersive enough to warrant repeated plays? Or is an interface slick enough that it remains intuitive and stylish whilst also being accessible to the everyday iOS user? In truth, it's quite hard to distinguish such knife-edge differences, although I'd wager that the upcoming follow.trail is close to nailing the precarious balance between design and distraction. As a hyper-simplistic puzzle title that requires you to navigate clearly marked domino-esque blocks in a certain order to clear the board, follow.trail is not exactly a new concept amongst its genre peers on the iPhone. However, its understated stylish presentation and intelligible swiping control scheme present a case for follow.trail to join my esteemed collection of one-handed App Store wonders when it launches on the App Store on August 10th...

From the outset, Tumblestone [Free] pulls no punches in its app description, with the bold claim that it is 'the first original action-puzzle game of the past fifteen years'. You Must Build A Boat [$2.99], its predecessor 10000000 [$2.99] and the myriad of other inventive puzzle titles on the App Store might want a word with you, Tumblestone. However, such grandiose assertions don't detract from the fact that Tumblestone does look like a lot of fun - with an alleged 40+ hour story campaign and limitless randomly regenerated levels to try out, its positive reception amongst console gamers on its previous release is certainly less controversial than its App Store description. If you did miss out on its 2016 Steam release, Tumblestone is today available on the App Store as a free-to-play game, with an in-app purchase to disable advertisements...

'Layton's Mystery Journey' Review - Better Layton Than Never

Of all the possible games, series, and franchises that could have been ported to mobile over the years, one of the ones that made the most sense has been a no-show until now. Level 5's Professor Layton series of puzzle adventures, which debuted on the Nintendo DS in 2007, seemed like a great match for mobile both in terms of its game design and demographic appeal. For whatever reason, however, the platform seemed to get passed over for a mainline Layton game even as the occasional spin-off popped up. Well, no matter what the reason was, Level 5 seems to be ready to take a chance with the latest game in the series, Layton's Mystery Journey [$15.99]. This is a full Layton game in the traditional style, packed full of puzzles, a wild and woolly story, and plenty of tapping on everything for hint coins you'll never use...

Back in early May developer TheLastKind announced a beautiful new turn-based puzzle adventure called Eden: Renaissance and put out a call for beta testers. The game had a very similar vibe to Square Enix Montreal's award-winning Lara Croft GO [$4.99], but had a larger emphasis on story that included more than 30 minutes of cutscenes. The story follows a young archeologist named Ran who teams up with an otherworldly being named Eden who has a number of special abilities which will allow you to solve each of the game's 100+ levels. After announcing early last week that the game would be coming out at some point this month, last night Eden: Renaissance [$3.99] indeed popped up in the App Store...

Magic the Gathering: Puzzle Quest [Free] continues to keep up with all the Magic expansions, and Hour of Devastation isn't an exception. If you haven't been following Magic news, Hour of Devastation is the 75th expansion and the second in the Amonkhet block. The story of the expansion is about Nicol Bolas coming to claim his perfect Zombie army, the Eternals. In terms of MTG: Puzzle Quest, Hour of Devastation brings 149 new cards and three new card abilities: Eternalize, Aftermath, and Afflict. We are also getting new Planeswalkers, like Elspeth, Sun's Champion. She is a white Planeswalker that should synergize well with Hour of Devastation cards...

One silver lining of the 32-bit Appocalypse is that many ancient titles that have been left to collect dust on the App Store for years have had the opportunity to be revisited by not only new players, but the developers as well. While many such games just receive a mere compatibility update, others have been bestowed by some significant tweaks and additions that serve to improve titles that may have been written off by fans. Connectrode [Free] is firmly in the latter camp - releasing all the way back in 2011, Deep Plaid Games' App Store puzzle title was the recipient of a glowing four-and-a-half star review around its launch. However, the last time Connectrode saw an update on the App Store was in August 2012, and therefore the game was firmly on the chopping block when iOS 11 was due to roll into town. To rectify this, the developers have revisited their time-honoured title and updated it almost five years later, and have also made the game free for the first time in its history...

Latest Game in the 'Professor Layton' Series 'Layton's Mystery Journey' Hits the App Store

As promised, Level-5 have delivered a brand new entry in the popular Professor Layton puzzler series called Layton's Mystery Journey [$15.99] to the App Store. This adventure is the seventh game in the main Professor Layton series and it follows Katrielle Layton, the daughter of the titular Professor Layton. He has suddenly gone missing and it's up to Katrielle to figure out the mystery of what happened to him by way of traveling around famous London landmarks, interacting with colorful characters, solving puzzles, and generally doing Layton-y type things. ..

Kenny Sun has amassed a formidable catalogue of releases since his 2014 debut on the App Store. Ever since Spectrum [$0.99] underlined his eclectic design principles three years ago, the Boston-based developer has released a succession of quality mobile gaming hits, with Circa Infinity [$2.99] and Yankai's Peak [$2.99] being bizarrely beautiful but also impossibly immersive puzzle games that suited the platform to a tee. Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] is potentially the weirdest of Kenny Sun's games thus far, as its colorful, psychedelic graphical design combined with its compulsive triangle-based geometry gameplay resulted in what can only be described as the Sgt. Pepper of the puzzle game genre. We awarded Yankai's Triangle a glowing five star rating in our review last year, and today the game has been reduced to the bargain price of free for the first time ever...

We've been following the development of Project MALLOW [Free] for a while now, as its intuitive marshmallow-slinging mechanic combined with its abundant charm and deceptively sinister storyline looks like a sickly sweet winning formula. With over one hundred levels of rock-hard puzzle platforming to overcome in this obstacle-strewn candy factory, Project MALLOW aims to join the likes of Super Meat Boy and Downwell [$2.99] in the hardcore, retro and infuriatingly difficult gaming renaissance of late, and has today launched on the App Store as a free download, supported by an interesting lives-based monetisation system...

Ticket to Earth [$4.99] has been received quite well, with its most important accolade being the highly coveted TouchArcade Game of the Week, and now you can get it for $1.99, its lowest price ever. Ticket to Earth plays out on a grid, with you and your opponents taking turns either moving, attacking, or taking other actions. The tiles come in different colors, and you'll have to be matching them as you move across the board; longer matches give you bonuses, and different color tiles give you different abilities. While it does use a match-3 mechanic, the game is much more than just that, so don't let images of another Candy Crush clone scare you away. This is a very different game, and you can see that from the trailer below...

Devious Party Game 'Triple Agent' Set to Release July 20th on the App Store

While there are a few exceptions, tabletop games generally fail to captivate me in the same manner as actual video games on devices such as the iPhone and iPad. However, Werewolf, Mafia and all the derivations of the party group game formula that result in you deceiving those closest to you and severing all life-long friendships always go down brilliantly with lots of people, even if the multitude of elements can lead to some sessions going somewhat off the rails. The upcoming Triple Agent aims to address this age-old issue, as developer Tasty Rook has married the exciting formula from the aforementioned party games to create a rather impressive looking product. I can't wait to show Triple Agent to my Werewolf obsessed friends, and the developers have today announced that the game will launch on the App Store for free on July 20th...

I've been involved with the wild ride that is the iOS gaming community for some time now, and I'd like to think that not much can really surprise me at this point. However, upon my customary morning glance of Appshopper to hunt down the hottest deals to share with our lovely readers, one price drop in particular did manage to leave me speechless. Framed 2's [$4.99] highly anticipated release only a few weeks ago has been one of the high points for mobile gaming so far in 2017, and in our review we adored Loveshack's sequel to its incredibly stylish puzzler, as it made huge strides to improve on the original title. However, just under a month since its launch to much aplomb, Framed 2 has today gone on sale for $0.99, which is a true App Store bargain if there ever was one...

King Rabbit [Free] and its predecessor Furdemption [$2.99] have been two of my favorite iOS games of recent times, with the former managing to make my highly exclusive Best of 2016 list at the end of last year. The brilliantly executed puzzle mechanics of both games was perfectly suited to iPhone gaming, and managed to bottle the nostalgic charm of early mobile gaming while possessing a formidable amount of depth in content, secrets and modes that could be discovered. King Rabbit has been the recipient of a number of content updates since its launch in March of last year, and even with a brand new sequel on the horizon, Raresloth have today added a brand new Sapphire Collection level set, featuring 64 of the best community created levels...

So many modern games carry the 'sandbox' moniker without truly being endless havens of experimentation like the genre label suggests. Yes, Horizon Zero Dawn, I don't remember any invisible walls in any hypothetical sandboxes I played in as a child! That being said, The Sandbox Evolution [Free] has come the closest to the anything-goes chaos that I desire from games that put an emphasis on experimentation, and an upcoming update to Pixowl's mobile phenomenon looks to add even more mayhem to the app. Suitably titled the 'Disasters 2' update, the developers have added in eight natural disasters to complement the Lightning, Earthquake, Tornado and Nuke options that are already present in the game, and should be a fun and cathartic way of bringing about destruction to your world's inhabitants when it releases on June 28th...

Hidden Folks [$3.99] is a lovely game that really feels made for touchscreens, and after adding more content to the game yesterday, its developers also posted a fun article on how the game's art and gameplay was created. Apparently, every part of the game is hand-drawn and then scanned into sprite sheets. The developers used a pretty mediocre scanner for the project, and when they got a new one, they realized the art looked very different and had to go back to the low-budget scanner they initially had. The post goes on to talk about how the developers go about putting together each scene, organically growing each sub-area gradually while at the same time adding scripts to certain visuals to make them interactive...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.