Category Archives: Puzzle

'Thomas Was Alone' Review - A Heartwarming Tale of Discovery & Friendship

Meet Thomas. He’s a curious rectangle who has continued his journey from platform to platform, and I’m not just talking in-game here. Thomas Was Alone [$5.99] was first released for PC and Mac back in 2012, and with the help of Curve Studios’, both PS3 and PS Vita version were released in early 2013, with brand new exclusive content. It was certainly successful, and created a lot of buzz, and now one year on creator Mike Bithell has teamed up with Bossa Studios to bring this BAFTA winning, bestseller to the App Store for iPad users to get a taste of just what all the fuss is about...

'Botanicula' Review - Nature’s Beauty

'Botanicula' Review - Nature’s Beauty

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May 15th, 2014 10:05 AM EDT by Eric Ford in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Adventure, iPad Games, Puzzle, Reviews
$4.99 Buy Now

In 2012, Amanita Design, developer of Machinarium (another game we absolutely loved) launched Botanicula on the PC, another great point-and-click puzzle that took the gameplay experience to a more natural setting. It’s taken nearly two years to hit iOS, but the wait is finally over for Botanicula [$4.99 (HD)] for iPad. Just as Machinarium benefited from a transition to touch-based controls, Botanicula is another fine example of a great game made better on the iPad...

Some games are so beautiful that even before you lay your hands on the controls, you want to love them. Last Inua [$3.99], a haunting adventure that takes place in the snowy arctic, is one of those games. The art design is striking. The wintery vistas provide a feeling of quiet isolation, an aspect that is bolstered by the restrained sound design. At the same time, the main characters are animated so well that you can feel their warmth and affection, and again the sound design backs that feeling up. The basic gameplay hook is well-tested and promising without having been overdone. You control two characters, each with their own set of skills and abilities, and must make use of the right skills in the right situations to see both of them safely to the goal. Think Lost Vikings, minus one viking, and you'll have the general idea, or at least what I think was the intended idea...

If you’ve ever wanted to play a game that’ll bring out the gremlin in you, this one will probably suffice. Gary is a rebellious fuzzy demonic creature who needs your help to get past the museum security in order to destroy its many valuable treasures. If you enjoy a good combination of physics puzzlers and breaking stuff, you’ll probably wanna give Lil Smasher [Free] a shot. ..

'Kiwanuka' Review - Simply Electrifying

Possibly the most exciting and intriguing game to emerge from the App Store this week, Kiwanuka [$1.99] is a beautifully designed abstract puzzler that manages to be electrifying in every way. There are countless words I could use to describe this game, but none of them would describe just how fascinating this game truly is. Whimsical, magical, and enchanting don’t even come close...

The other day, one of the fine members of our forums here at TouchArcade pointed out to me that we hadn't reviewed Blek [$2.99] yet and was wondering what was up with that. Yes, what is up with that? So, with all due apologies that this review is a bit late, I decided to give this game a spin and see if words would come out, and wouldn't you know it, they did. Anyway, there are lots of different ways for a puzzle game to succeed, but for me, the most interesting ones are the games that cause me to think in ways I usually don't. I like games like that because you can clearly feel your skills developing. You start off not really knowing what you're doing and just kind of blindly stabbing around in the dark, then you hit that moment where things click, and from there, you're off to the races. It's a euphoric feeling, and it's one that Blek captures quite well...

It feels like I've played a lot of word games recently, but I never quite seem to get enough of them. So, when the new releases go up each week, if I see the word 'spell' appear in a title, I am on top of it like a game reviewer on a bad metaphor. Generally, regardless of the other mechanics differentiating them, most of these games treat the actual spelling part the way Boggle does. You're presented with a board of letters, and it's up to you to find the best words you can to accomplish whatever goal you're after. Spellpix [$1.99] might look similar at a glance, but it's quite different, and the result is a game that feels like it has far more in common with the developer's prior work, Pathpix [$1.99], than it does with any other word game...

If you had a robot suit, what is the first thing you would do with it? If your answer is "jump around in small, contained rooms packed with things that can kill you with the slightest touch", have I got a game for you right here. Suited Up [$1.99] is one of those games that boils down to one simple mechanic, with levels built to progressively test your mastery of that mechanic. As is often the case with this kind of game, it starts to get a bit old before the levels run out, but Suited Up has an ace up its sleeve that extends the fun, provided you're on-board with the core jumping gameplay...

We've still got about five more hours to wait before this week's batch of new releases lands in the US App Store, but if you're feeling impatient and just have to get your hands on a new game right now, Backflip's new puzzler Dwarven Den [Free] has exited its soft-launch and–jumping the gun on tonight's new games–is now available worldwide. Here's the official trailer for Dwarven Den...

When Square Enix Montreal revealed Hitman GO [$4.99] this past February, it certainly received a mixed response. On the one hand, the long-running Hitman series has always felt like a puzzle game at its core, as you experimented to find out the best method for your character Agent 47 to take out his target(s) in each of the game's complex levels. Boiling that down into a true turn-based puzzle game for mobile seemed like a smart fit. On the other hand, this definitely wasn't the Hitman most fans knew and loved, and change can be a scary thing. Well, for the most part Hitman GO seems to have turned out just fine, mostly because it's a fantastic puzzle game in its own right, with or without the Hitman name...

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."..

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