Category Archives: Puzzle

'Seek: Find Your Friends' Offers Players a Lovely Window into a Vibrant, Mysterious World

Constantine Cavafy, one of my favorite early-20th Century Greek poets, once wrote that when you set out for a destination, you should hope that your journey is a long one. Why? Because once you arrive, you'll realize that the destination's only value was that it spurred you to undertake your journey. I've often found that unlike Cavafy, most game designers often privilege the destination over the journey by positing  level- or game-ending bosses as the moment when the hours a player has spent with the game acquire meaning. More often than not, the journey to the game's end credits is a blur with all elements of game design pushing with single-minded purpose towards that enemy waiting for you at the end. Yet, there are often exceptions to every rule, and Five Pixels' Seek: Find your Friends [Free] is precisely such an exception. Seek provides a literal window into a lovely, mysterious island and allows the players to blissfully meander inside the game world without inorexably pushing them towards a singular, rigid goal (despite the fact that the game does have an ending). This is definitely an island worth exploring if you, like me, enjoy savoring the journey and not just the destination...

'Test Chamber' Review - The Best Little Puzzle Game You Haven't Heard Of

Test Chamber [Free] is a gift for any game reviewer. The minimalist indie puzzler sneaked on to the App Store a couple of weeks ago with very little fanfare, and went largely unnoticed. But those who did play it discovered a wonderful logic game, with a unique physics twist and some excruciatingly tough but very satisfying puzzles. And now, dear reader, I get to share it with you, and you can discover its delights for yourself...




'Wedding Escape' Review - 'Til Match-Three Do We Part

I think that when the world ends and cockroaches roam the Earth in search of Twinkies, there will still be working match-three devices out there. People just can't get enough of the match-three puzzle subgenre (myself included), and even after playing hundreds of them, Wedding Escape [Free] still feels fairly fresh...

I could talk to you about Ustwo's Monument Valley[$3.99], which has just dropped to its lowest price ever, in so many ways. I could wax poetically about its illusory essence or its mysterious blank-faced protagonist. Or maybe just mention the game's abundance of awards, among them Apple's 2014 iPad Game of the Year, 2015 BAFTA for Best Mobile & Handheld, Apple's 2014 Design Award, or 2015 GDC Innovation Award. Or, of more interest to those who enjoy their TV shows, I could talk about how the fictional President Frank Underwood - of House of Cards fame - goes from blasting people on Call of Duty in the first season to pondering his next machination over a solemn game of Monument Valley. I could even talk about how its brevity actually enhances its originality. Or maybe just add a trailer for those who prefer the visual over the textual...

Well, that didn't take long: last week Capcom and Beeline Interactive were conducting polls and looking for beta testers for a licensed Ghostbusters iOS game. Today, Beeline officially announced Ghostbusters Puzzle Fighter, which sadly doesn't have anything to do with Capcom's amazing Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and everything to do with a free-to-play match-3 roleplayer...

'The Room 3' Will Stay Locked Away 'Til Summer, Says Fireproof Games

Bittsersweet news from Fireproof Games this week: the Guildford, England-based firm announced that The Room 3 is being delayed. Originally scheduled for a spring release, the upcoming entry into the incredibly popular hidden object series has been kicked back to summer...

To celebrate the release of Stealth Inc. 2 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows (via the Humble Bundle store), Curve Digital has slashed the price of it's iOS predecessor. For this weekend only, you can snatch Stealth Inc. [$4.99] for free on the App Store...

Yesterday was, for most Americans, the deadline to file taxes for 2014, and never has Jesus' admonition that "It it most blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35) rung so hollow. Not so for Joost van Dongen: today is the Dutch designer's birthday, and he's slashed the price of his tube-runner, Proun+ [$3.99] to celebrate. ..

'Shades' Review: A Strikingly Simple, Tetris like Puzzle Game

StarStarStarStarNone
April 15th, 2015 2:30 PM EDT by Ben Jarris in 3.5 stars, Free, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

Shades [$1.99];the notably unique Tetris like puzzle game came out late last year and flew under the radar. Since it’s launch the game has grown a huge following, been featured by Apple as their ‘Free Game of the Week’, and even been recreated within Minecraft by seriously dedicated fans. A recent major update of the game and the release of Shades Free [Free]; made me take notice and have a closer look. If you love sleek design and you’re good with color like me then you should definitely take on this challenge and give Shades a try. ..

Last Voyage [$1.99] joins the craze of abstract puzzle games that Monument Valley [$3.99] helped spark thanks to its massive success. And this game makes for a spectacular universe and artistic experience. Yet, Last Voyage winds up being less than the sum of its parts, as it tries to connect five different experiences as one package. Each part has value, but it doesn't do a great job at making the package into a cohesive whole. Its myriad forms of gameplay are fascinating, as its existence as a beautiful thing. But the story, narrative, and message parts of its existence fell flat for me...

'Gunpowder' for iPad Review - Explosive Rube Goldberg Play Sets

After first seeing the trailer for developer Rogue Rocket Games’ Gunpowder [$2.99] last week, I was instantly taken by the game’s Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, and more specifically, that of the old Wile E. Coyote episodes of "Looney Tunes". It’s a style rarely seen in today’s cartoons, much less in any video game, so it was a refreshing hook that baited me to pay attention to the game. Fortunately, Gunpowder is more than just a pretty face, and brings with it physics-based puzzle gameplay that balances on the fine line of accessible yet satisfying...

Ryleh Industry’s Chromaticon [Free] is a challenging experience that relies heavily on tilt mechanics and color coordination. In fact, it’s probably one of the more difficult games that I’ve played in a while and borders on being too hard for some players. However, it succeeds in making accomplishment a very cool experience and, when combined with great visuals and cool music, make it a game worth checking out...

'Lettercraft' Review: Think Through the Pressure In a Finely-Tuned, Timed Wordsearch Game

If you loved Loren Brichter’s classic multiplayer word game Letterpress, but for some reason you want a single-player version of it, then Italian developers Marco Torretta and Stefano Figurelli have something to show you: Lettercraft...

'REBUS - Absurd Logic Game' Review: Buy Coins To Solve Over-Hard Puzzles

StarStarStarStarNone
March 30th, 2015 12:30 PM EDT by Andrew Smith in 3.5 stars, Free, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

The name won't mean anything to people in many countries, so to explain, rebus are words or phrases represented by pictures. Historically they were used to represent surnames on coats of arms, but nowadays you're more likely to encounter them as obscure puzzles, also known as dingbats...

'Breath of Light' Review - A Boundary Pushing Zen Like Puzzle Game

StarStarStarStarNone
March 27th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Ben Jarris in $2.99, 4 stars, Puzzle, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

Breath of Light [$2.99] is a meditative, zen like puzzle game that is beautiful, distinctive and fun to play. It's not a prototypical puzzler; it's a relaxing and unique experience which is currently rated the best new puzzle game in 92 countries by apple. The game centers around manipulating a captivating particle flow of light to pass life-force from one white lotus flower to the others by moving stones, filters, mirrors and other objects in a futuristic zen garden. The graphics are intensely beautiful, the sound track is immersive, alluring and transient. Most importantly the puzzles are challenging, surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable to solve...

'The Trace' Review - Tracing Clues and Taking Names

'The Trace' Review - Tracing Clues and Taking Names

StarStarStarStarStar
March 25th, 2015 8:16 PM EDT by Tasos Lazarides in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Game Center, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$3.99 Buy Now

One of my favorite gaming experiences back in the late 1980s was playing the fantastic Police Quest series by Sierra Entertainment. I had perhaps too much fun playing the cop and roaming the streets as an incompetent instrument of justice. So, I was quite happy that The Trace [$3.99], the new game by British award-winning games developer Relentless Software, out now for iPhone and iPad, brought me back to my glorious crime-solving days. As Detective Sam Pearce of Baltimore PD, you get to follow a long trail of bodies in the hunt for a killer. Relentless Software has developed the game from the ground up for tablet and mobile devices, and it shows both in the game's influences and its controls. If you've been gaming on mobile devices the last few years, you'll easily recognize the genres that make up The Trace...

It's an exciting time for Martin Magni, developer of Odd Bot Out [$1.99]. Just two months after his game's release on iOS and Android, the cutsey sci-fi puzzler has sold enough copies to cover its development costs, and has made Martin a darling of the indie scene...

'SwapQuest' Review - An Excellent Genre Mashup

When done correctly, I feel like there’s no better mix of genres than the puzzle/RPG combination. Adding character progression and some exploration elements to a good puzzle mechanic has the potential to really turn a neat game into a full-on adventure. SwapQuest [$2.99] has managed to do just that by combining classic Pipe Mania gameplay with some great RPG mechanics. Add in some cool retro visuals and awesome music and SwapQuest is an experience that shouldn’t be missed...

'Odd Bot Out' Review - One Man's Unique Puzzle Platformer

StarStarStarStarNone
March 20th, 2015 11:56 AM EDT by Ben Jarris in 4 stars, Puzzle, Reviews
$1.99 Buy Now

One man, 1000+ design sketches and 1 years round the clock sweat and tears, has produced an intriguing puzzle platformer that's blown me away in terms of ingenuity and uniqueness. You can see why Apple chose to feature the game; the magic comes from the lego style constructions with blocks, characters and other objects. Each level is short and smart, providing just the objects you need to make it to the exit. Blocks and characters can be stuck together or pulled apart, and everything in game can be stacked on top of each other, or stuck to the side of other objects to increase their abilities and usefulness. It makes for varied solutions from fewer objects, requiring true problem solving skills...

'TouchTone' Review - Tricky Puzzles, Touchy Tone

StarStarStarStarNone
March 18th, 2015 11:30 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

It's been a few years since we've seen a new iOS release from Mikengreg, the developers behind the hit Solipskier [$0.99]. Mike Boxleiter and Greg Wohlwend gave the label a bit of a rest while they worked on other things after Gasketball [Free (HD)] didn't catch on quite the way they'd hoped. Notably, Wolhwend ended up teaming up with Asher Vollmer to create Puzzlejuice [$1.99] and Threes! [$2.99], both excellent puzzle games with strong visual designs. Well, the band is back together again, and perhaps somewhat informed by their experiences had apart. TouchTone [$2.99] is a striking puzzle game, the sort of thing we've come to expect from Wohlwend's recent projects, but it's also a compelling politically-charged statement on modern America, something both Boxleiter and Wohlwend have strong ideas about. While these two sides of the game don't blend together as well as I might like them to, they're individually strong enough that if you're only coming to the game for one, you'll likely find the other to be quite enjoyable...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.