Category Archives: Puzzle

In October of last year, Simogo did what they do best and turned everything I thought I knew about literature, video games and my own imagination and turned it on its ear with their digital masterpiece Device 6 [$3.99]. Is it a gamebook? Is it an adventure game? Or a visual novel? All of those things? None of them? Device 6 is definitely many things at once, and the only thing I can say for certain is there's nothing else quite like it on the App Store. It was worthy of every bit of the 5 stars we gave it in our review, and then some...

So, who here can't build a simple circuit without somehow starting a fire? Just me? Unfortunately, I am quite well-known for my frankly shocking ineptitude with anything involving the guts of electronics, which is remarkable given my many hobbies that involve them. You know that kid who started a fire in tenth grade science class? That was me. Luckily, nobody was hurt, which means we can all look back and laugh as we read this review only tangentially related to that anecdote. You see, Circix [Free] is a puzzle game that is skinned to look like circuits. While I'm terrible with circuits in real life, I'm quite good with puzzle games, so I figured I would give this one a try. I have to believe that there's a much smaller risk of anything being enveloped in flames when it's just a game on my phone...

The topic of cloning can be broadly broken into two periods: before Michael Keaton's banner work of art, Multiplicity, and after. Oh, sure, in those heady days before 1996, we had some ideas. Waves were made by a sheep named Dolly, Spider-Man discovered that he looks good in a hoodie, Thomas Riker had shown us that a Riker's power is directly proportional to the size of his beard, and George Lucas had certainly written something about clones on a coffee-stained napkin. However, it wasn't until The Keats showed us all how it was done that cloning became truly appreciated as a fictional device, and we are all better for it. Video games have never been shy about dragging clones into the works, mostly because it was a good excuse to reuse art assets while creating a memorable boss fight. One of the best examples from the early days of gaming was in Prince of Persia [$1.99], where an encounter with a mirror created a doppleganger who would go on to help you with a few puzzles before you had to face off with him...

With our present knowledge of how well puzzles mix together with dragons, it's almost tragic that it took gaming so long to bring the two together. Fortunately, if there's one thing the video game business is good at, it's making up for lost time. The brilliant mash-up of puzzle and RPG in Puzzle Quest was pounded into a more specific shape by Puzzle & Dragons [Free], and with that game's success, the floodgates opened. Generally, games following that blueprint tend to come in with either a variation or replacement of the puzzle element, or an interesting new theme. Occasionally, you get a game that does both. Fable Age [Free], from Blue Tea Games, brings a bunch of new twists to the sub-genre, but the most prominent one is cosmetic. Instead of the "mythology plus Batman, Angry Birds, and whatever other cross-overs we can swing" approach of P&D or going with wholly original characters like Brave Frontier [Free], this game uses characters from fables such as Goldilocks or King Midas...

I haven't really met anyone who doesn't like Monument Valley [$3.99], ustwo's stylish architectural puzzler which launched to critical acclaim earlier this month, but just about everybody I've talked to agrees the game was quite short and they'd love to see more of it. Well, more levels are in the works according to ustwo's Neil McFarland in an interview with The Guardian. However, the studio isn't just cranking out more levels for the sake of it. According to McFarland, "We are making some more levels, but the reasons we're doing it are artistic reasons: there are some ideas that we didn't get to work so didn't put in there, but which we'd like to see work. There are some other things we'd like to try."..

'Hitman GO' Review - A Surprising Hit Puzzler

'Hitman GO' Review - A Surprising Hit Puzzler

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April 17th, 2014 11:20 AM EDT by James Paterson in $4.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Strategy
$4.99 Buy Now

Hitman GO [$4.99] is not what you’d expect from a title bearing the stealth series name. And at first glance, you’d probably dismiss the game as being a cheap cash-in...

The genre our hobby labels as "puzzle games" has got to be one of the broadest categories in entertainment. As such, the variation we see within that genre is massive. Sure, wherever there is success, there will be clones, but outside of naked attempts to imitate something great, it's fairly unlikely for any two random puzzle games to resemble one another, even in broad strokes. I'm not sure if it will prove to be a blessing or a curse for developer Radiangames, but it's certainly a bizarre bit of kismet that their new puzzle game, SideSwype [$1.99], a game about swiping blocks around on a grid, has landed just after the phenomenal Threes! [$1.99], which is also a game about swiping blocks around on a grid. There's absolutely no way this was cobbled together in the brief period of time since the release of Threes!, as it's incredibly polished and well-thought out, so we're left with one of those situations where we have to marvel at how interesting life can be sometimes...

Donut Games has been around the iOS scene for quite a while now, and while they might not be the first name you think of when it comes to big hits on the platform, they've actually been quite successful with a number of their games. One of their first games, Monkey Flight [$1.99], proved to be a pretty big hit with its combination of gassy monkeys and gameplay somewhat reminiscent of Angry Birds [$0.99], and has enjoyed many updates in the half decade it's been out. Beyond the fact that monkeys are generally a pretty big crowdpleaser and that flinging animals at things is something of a national sport for mobile gamers, Monkey Flight also gave buyers a great value for a reasonable price. There are a ton of levels, and updates only added more, along with new modes of play...

'Eets Munchies' for iPad Review - Comfort Food

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April 3rd, 2014 6:17 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4 stars, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, Puzzle, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

Puzzle games come in all shapes and sizes on the current marketplace. Some of them are more action oriented than others, but often times the most rewarding puzzler is one that lets you really sit and think before acting. In other words, a game that truly tests your wits and mettle in ways that faster-paced titles couldn't, forcing you to really dig deep down and bust out every bit of critical thinking you can muster. Like the classic Incredible Machine series, Eets Munchies [$2.99 (HD)] does just that -- but with an adorable (and sometimes creepy) rabbit mascot...

'Monument Valley' Review - In Which An Uncanny Valley Is Reviewed

In my time playing video games, I've noticed that games tend to break down into two different types, broadly speaking. There are games that lean more on giving you interesting play mechanics and challenging you to master them in order to overcome some sort of challenge, and there are games that lean more on the side of giving you an experience. You get rare cases where the line is straddled fairly evenly, but for the most part, games are going to do one of those things very well and give less attention to the other. Both types have their fans, and many gamers love both, but when a game comes along that strongly favors one type and does it well, you often see confusion from the opposite camp. I say this because even though I expect it to get a lot of well-deserved praise, a lot of people aren't going to like Monument Valley [$3.99] very much. Like last month's Tengami [$4.99], it is intensely focused on delivering an experience, and it does so spectacularly well. Its specific game mechanics have been done already, and done better to boot. The mechanics guys and the experience guys are going to have knife fight over this one...

'Tiny Space Adventure' Review - Lost In Space

Point-and-click adventures don’t really fall under the descriptors “action-packed”, “fast-paced” or “adrenaline-fuelled.” Yet very often great games are singled out as so for these reasons alone. So when it comes to a decent point-and-click game, the factors are largely different. This can be anything from how the game looks, to the story it tells, and even the puzzle designs used within the game. Tiny Space Adventure [$1.99 / Free] is an example of a game that combines all of these elements; but what aspects in particular make this game such an enjoyable little package? ..

'CLARC' Review - How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Truly, block puzzles are one of the unsung staples of gaming's history. They're an essential part of many great games across a variety of genres, a figurative Kit-Kat break between fighting Ganon's minions or dealing with a sarcastic rampant AI. Even though we cherish them as a tasty spice on some of the biggest games around, games built solely around block puzzles have had to settle for being niche products since almost the beginning of the hobby itself. A lot of that, I think, comes down to their repetitive nature. Once you've nailed down a few key strategies, even large puzzles become a sequence of rote actions. That's fine for something you're going to pick up and play here and there for a few minutes, but it's not well-suited to a big adventure. CLARC [Free / $3.99] is, at its heart, not much more than a block puzzle game. If you absolutely hate doing that type of puzzle, you're probably not going to be convinced otherwise here...

The App Store is, as a rule, wild about visually-pleasing puzzle games for the iPhone. iPad-only puzzle games? Not so much. After admitting that sales of Shapist [$2.99 (HD)], an iPad-only block-sliding puzzle game, haven't been as strong as hoped, developer Ori Takemeura announced on our forums that he will be re-releasing the game for iPhone "shortly," complete with new levels and difficulty tweaks. "Work is progressing nicely," he writes later in the thread...

Glitch Games have been working hard these past few months. Not only did they release the unconventional but fun Ferris Mueller’s Day Off but they’ve been working hard on their most recent release Cabin Escape: Alice’s Story [Free], a short iOS adventure game that stands as a prequel to the fantastic Forever Lost series. To tide fans over between the second and third episode for fans eagerly awaiting its impending release, this albeit brief but fantastic entry in the Forever Lost series is a glorious “bite-sized” offering, packed full of exciting puzzles each designed to challenge and stimulate the mind...

'Mount Olympus' Review - Return The Gods To Their Glory

One of my fondest memories back in elementary school was learning all about Greek mythology and greek gods. I also am a bit of a Percy Jackson fan, but that probably makes me more of a dork than anything else. When I first noticed Mount Olympus [$1.99] I couldn’t resist downloading it and seeing what this intriguing point and click adventure had to offer...

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