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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Divide By Sheep: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
A lot of people have been telling me about Divide By Sheep. It's a math puzzle that requires very creative adding & subtracting. The object is to divide the sheep into 3 rafts, with specific numbers for each raft.  The dark humor comes into play with wolves that eat the sheep and electric grids that literally, divide the sheep into halves.
Each green island has either sheep, wolves or is empty. You must have them jump from island to island and then to the raft. The easy levels are straight forward. The harder levels require some very creative AHA thinking.
iPhone Screenshot 4

There are 120 levels and I've done about  40 levels. Perhaps my analysis is not fair. But I don't like this game.  Divide By Sheep has gotten rave reviews. But I'm not feeling it. To be fair, I can see why some folks love this.

Big Puzzle News: the International Puzzle Party is this week. Please hold your correspondence to me until next week.  Thanks.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sokoban Evolution: puzzle app for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1      iPhone Screenshot 3
My friend and Loyal Blog Follower  David Cole recently contacted me about Sokoban Evolution which he insists is quite good. Having solved thousands of sokoban levels, I was not itching to try it. But I trust David!

There's good and bad in this puzzle app game.

The Positives:
I like the submarine, helicopter and lunar rover pushing the blocks. Good graphics. Playful.
Something new: I think this is the first sokoban puzzle which has some targets hidden by blocks. In particular, I thought level 30 was quite challenging because there were only 2 targets and finding them was a preliminary challenge. I doubt whether anyone could solve that on a first attempt. Unless by pure luck.
The more interesting of the 54 levels have specific targets for specific tiles.

I downloaded the free version which offers 36 puzzles. Solved them all then paid $.99 or $1.99 for the next 18 levels. 

The Negative:
The author, Grettel Monteagudo Garc'ia, has taken some liberties. As I said at the top, I've solved countless sokoban levels in other games over the years. It's impossible to remember each one. However, Grettel has copied levels 37, 44, and 51. Howe do I know? Because I struggled on those mightily and had to truly study them. I believe those came from BoxWorld.

Level 54, I'm fairly certain, is original and good for Grettel. Grettel, don't be lazy! Remove those that aren't original and add new ones.

Other Sokoban Games:
Go to Gold - superb
Pepe Porcupine
Sokoban Cargo
Push Box Sokoban
Push Around
Boxed In - loved this.
Pengu Push
BoxWorld - awesome. I still remember struggling through levels 26 and 35 for days.
Fireman Arcade
Paper & Light
Square Push Square
Jewel Keeper - the only puzzle app that needlessly inserted a beautiful woman.
Professor Max
Puzzling Cubes
DJ Mole

Update on Value Maximum from Loyal Blog Follower Joel

I have something to add to your new blog entry about Value Maximum. 
This is a quite interesting game with unique rules. I haven't figured it out to 100%, but I think I understand the most of it. 
Here are some screenshots of the tutorial. 
You have to paste numbers from 1 to 4 on the grid. If there are two equal numbers in the same row or column, the numbers (and stars) between them will be added to one number, which appears at the place you have pasted your number before. The other part of the pair of numbers becomes a star. And if there are two stars in a row/column the numbers between them will be added in the same way as before (like the pair of numbers). 
After pasting a number on the grid, you are allowed to move one number to a star next to it. 
The game ends, when the score gets higher than the sum of the numbers (on the whole grid). 

I hope, you can understand my explanation. ;-) With this I reached a score of 73, which places me on rank 4 on the leaderboard.

By the way: I have send you a friend request on Gamecenter. I would be happy to have you on my contact list. :-)
image1.PNG image2.PNG
image3.PNG  image3.PNG

Addendum from Tom: I tried to copy those images from Joel, but could not succeed.  Sorry.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Opposites Unite: free puzzle app game for iphone ipad etc

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3
Victor Twigge's Opposites Unite is one of those: 'slide all the tiles as far as they can' and slide them all together at the same time. The objective is to unite the plus and minus symbols.

Note: the blue squares are locked in place. The green squares will travel and will help/hinder you.  Of course, there are some wormholes. In order for the plus or minus signs to use a wormhole, it must land on the ENTER square, not merely pass over it.

Most interesting: you can't tell at the beginning where the signs will unite.

There are 50 levels and at the moment I'm on level 44..

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Puzzotate: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Value Maximum: free puzzle app for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1

YinJian Li has created an interesting point scoring puzzle app. At least I think it's interesting. The rules are not described clearly.  I've played this game 5 or 6 times and I can't figure it out.  Perhaps you can.  If you do, and it turns out to be a good game, let us know and explain the rules.

Getting back to that game Delta: I've updated the blog entry with Joel's help from Germany.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Area Quiz by Wasabi Applications

iPhone Screenshot 2

Area Quiz by Wasabi Applications is a series of geometry problems. Just find the area of the shaded region. I really like these. The diagrams are crisp and clear.  The problems themselves can be quite tricky.

There are approximately 120 levels and I've done 109. The program allows the user to draw on the figure, but there's really not a lot of space for that. That's the only minor complaint.

High praise: I'm going to copy some of these problems for my students.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Test Chamber: puzzle app for ipad, iphone

iPhone Screenshot 1

A lot of folks have been talking about Test Chamber. It appears to be a sokoban type puzzle. But it's much more.
iPhone Screenshot 3
The goal is to push the cube into the blue hole.
iPhone Screenshot 4
First of all, each level has a unique AHA element. There's also the very cool wrap-around world, which at first seems unnecessary.
iPhone Screenshot 5
I'm stuck on level 17. Without a doubt, Test Chamber is in the running for a PAGY Nomination. Check back on December 30.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Shuffle Islands

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Thomas Young has created a game where the object is to slide the monsters and trap them on the red targets. Kids will like the different colored monsters - 100 in all.

I've always liked these types of puzzles. Of course it's got wormholes. It's almost obligatory for this type of 'slide 'em until they hit a wall' game.

Important: you must solve the puzzles within a certain number of moves.

Two things I'm not crazy about: the graphics move too slowly for my impatient self. Also, a lot of the levels are very easy. Though some have made me think twice and even thrice.

There are 200 levels and I've done 49 of them.  Stuck on number 50.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random Puzzle Doings

1. Pinball Sniper: great simple game. Keeps your reflexes sharp. Most importantly, it's fun and you can listen to just about anything. My high score is now 560 which places me at 44 out of 700,000 folks. It would be nice for my boss to recognize this with a salary bump.

2. Luma Link: I blogged about this back in 2012. Every so often I play it. The hard levels are really outstandingly hard. Unfortunately, this game takes up a lot of memory 108 MB and it is with regret that I have to delete this.  (I have a crazy fantasy that Apple will come out with a 20 Terabyte ipad and I'll be able to store all these puzzles long after they've disappeared into the ether.)

3. Want to write a Guest Blog Entry? Pick a puzzle app game that I have not written about and send it off! Just make sure to use my last name.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hard Sudoku from Bram Cohen

Most people know Bram Cohen as the founder of Bit Torrent. To me, he's another puzzle friend who regularly attends the International Puzzle Party every summer. And it's fast approaching!

He created this Sudoku puzzle and describes it thusly:
My first attempt at making a sudoku. This one might be obnoxiously hard in a bad way.

I have not had a chance to try it. But I've always liked squiggly sudokus.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Transmission: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Transmission is an education puzzle app that combines a little topology with various technological gadgets. Essentially, you must draw links between certain devices: transmitters, receivers, transceivers, antennae. You'll learn about looping, signal types, signal swappers, signal blocks, base stations, and repeaters.

iPhone Screenshot 2
There are 69 levels, and I've solved 50 levels. I actually played this game about 2 months ago. And I must confess that I've already forgotten the abilities for each machine. Yeah I didn't retain much. But I do remember thinking the game was kind of fun.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Delta: It's All About 4: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1     iPhone Screenshot 2
Case Ertel is the author of Delta: It's All About 4.  Seems like another version of Threes!  But it' not.
The idea is to fill the screen with 4's.  You can combine adjacent numbers. Or you can split a number.
iPhone Screenshot 3      iPhone Screenshot 4
This game goes pretty fast.  A few levels are pretty tricky, like #81 which I needed extra moves.   Unfortunately, there is no way to go back and select any previously done level. At the moment, I'm stuck on 110. Which I think is impossible.

Each grid size is 2x4. Which is a shame because after a while the puzzles become too repetitive.  Maybe the grid size changes, but there's no way for me to find out.....unless I keep doing them.

Here's another thing that bugs me: when I select next puzzle, why do I have to then click 'play'?

Some things that work well: good graphics. Good concept.

Overall - play it only to see how fast you can solve them.  If you manage to do even 300 of the 1000, please contact me and explain if the game gets any better.

Update July 28:
Hello Tom,

I just tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it doesn't work. So I decided to write an email.

First I want to say: I'm reading your blog for a while and I really like your app reviews. How you can find so many great puzzle games? Keep it up!

Ok, now back to your blog post about Delta. I downloaded it and now I'm stuck on level 313. (Yes, I have "skipped" some levels with extra moves, too.)
And yes, I can answer your question (Does the game get any better?): Yes it gets better.
On level 255 the grid size gets bigger. Now it's 3x4 and you need more moves to solve the levels.
Although some levels are quite similar, I like the game. Thanks for your app review!


P.S.: Sorry for my bad English. I'm from Germany. ;-)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jumbl - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Nikolaus Banjo recently contacted me about his new game Jumbl. The idea is to swap letters to create words.  Suppose you tap on an E. All the E's will be selected and if you then tap I, all the E's will swap with all the I's. 
Jumble is okay, but as you Loyal Blog Followers know, I'm not much into word puzzles.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cube Escape: Arles - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1

Not too long ago I played Cube Escape: Seasons. Pretty terrific. The same folks made a much shorter game called Cube Escape: The Lake.  And now, there's Cube Escape: Arles. It's also pretty short, I solved it in about 1 hour.

Look at the image above: do you really need me to tell you what it's all about?

I liked Cube Escape: Arles - it's easy enough and has one very interesting operation that I won't describe.

These guys at the Cube Escape franchise have got a good thing going and I'm going to play anything that they release. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Colorazy: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Colorazy is a nifty puzzle app game where the objective is to create a single path from the one circle to the other. The path must traverse through every square cell.

Look at the first image: see the white lines? They indicate that there is no matching color between the adjacent cells. You must tap on the individual squares to rotate them.
iPhone Screenshot 3

There are 120 free levels and I've done all but 4 of them; they can get quite challenging. The first 80 are relatively easy. But it's fun to see how fast you can do them.

I'm thankful: look, this game kept me entertained for at least 2 hours. To show my appreciation, I spent $2.99 for the premium upgrade: no ads and two sets of new levels.  On one of them, the white walls are never shown.

Colorazy is in the running for a PAGY Nomination. (Check back here on December 30th.)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pegs N Holes- free puzzle app for ipad, iphone and windows phones.

 Pegs 'n Holes screen shot 0
Jordan Naftolin is the author of Pegs 'N Holes. The objective is to transfer the pegs into the holes, obviously.  The grid sizes range from 4x4 to 9x9.
I've solved a few levels at each grid size.  They go pretty fast.  On the 9x9 boards, my fastest time is 162 seconds.
Pegs 'N Holes has great graphics. It's not terribly hard, but it is fun. I highly recommend this for young puzzlers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NineOut II - point scoring puzzle app

Sandro Bagattini recently contacted me from Switzerland about his new puzzle app game NineOut II. You may recall that I was a huge fan of the original version NineOut.

NineOut II is similar. However, there's no time limit. Also, after every move you make, a new number or shaded number is added to the board. The red square moves around randomly and indicates where the next new number will be added. If you survive 15 moves, you will advance to the next level. However, at the next level, more numbers will be added.

It's actually difficult to describe this game. Suffice it to say, if you've played the original, then it's clear (I hope!)

My high score in the original is 301,000, which puts me 3rd out of only 2000 players.  In the past week, only 12 people have played it. Such is the life of a great game that's been buried.

On NineOut II, there are only 4 players and I'm #2 at 30,458.

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time
Four Straight Lines
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors
Put Number

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Walking Pictures - old Zoetroppe for your ipad. And other Miscellaneous Business.

iPad Screenshot 1
Have you ever seen a Zoetrope?  Here's an app that shows one and a couple of other old devices.

The Museum of the Moving Image has an incredible Zoetrope sculpture with a strobe light. The video is okay, but nothing like being there.

Miscellaneous Business:.
1. Are you trying to contact me? It's really easy: Use my last name though.

2. A bunch of you sent me emails about not posting this past Friday.  Sorry guys, I was on the road.

3. Roberto Canogar has posted his tips for getting a high score in SubaraCity.  Bravo Roberto!
4. Moral Dilemma: Jelly Blocks is no longer on the app store. However 100 Jelly Puzzle, which is a clone, is on the app store.  I still have Jelly Blocks on my ipad so was able to compare them.  Virtually identical. Except Jelly Blocks had 96 levels.  I should also note that 100 Jelly Puzzle stopped working around level 83 or 84. Just froze.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Put Number - Relaxing tile puzzle: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Put Number - Relaxing tile puzzle comes from TAKASHI TOKUDA. I confess, I saw the images and didn't think I'd like it. However, Japanese puzzle designers usually produce fun, innovative puzzles of all types. So I downloaded it.

Put Number's object is to score points. The second image shows the rules for collecting certain numbers. However, you can collect, six 4's if that happens.
Initially, the board is empty and you are given 3 sets of double tiles. Place them on the board wherever you like. Then 3 more sets of double tiles will be given to you.

Next to your score - there's a letter C. That stands for clearing the board of a specific number.  This button cannot be used frequently. More like 2 or 3 times per game.

My high score is 4357, which places me second in the world out of 1182 other people. (My parents don't care.) (Also: congrats to Alewyn Burger for being first at 4887.) On that particular game I used the C about 8 times. I believe that for every 500 points scored, you get one C. But I have not verified that.

One of the good things about Put Number is that even though it's an 'endless' point scoring game, it goes pretty fast.

I really like Put Number and believe it's a contender for a PAGY award.

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time
Four Straight Lines
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Incredible Box Brainstorm Puzzle Game - free for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2
Incredible Box Brainstorm is a rolling box puzzle app. The object is to move it to the target area. If you look closely at the image above, you'll see a ghost image of the target.
The graphics are very good. You can rotate the playing board.
The puzzles themselves are well designed. I'm impressed.
There are 30 levels and I've done 14 of them.

Other Cube-Rolling puzzle apps
Cubot - really great
Dice Jockey
Qvoid - one of the best puzzle apps ever
Cubler - fantastic
ODMO - okay
Bloxorz - one of the originals

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Berry Puzzle: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 5
The object in Berry Puzzle is to fill the board with berries by forming one continuous path from start to end.  The key is to figure out which square is the starting point and your path will bounce off the insect walls.

We've seen this type of puzzle app numerous times.  Berry Path has nothing new to offer.

Similar Games

Filling - Much easier than Full Monster.
Block Path - essentially the same thing
Snake Walk - essentially the same thing
Mortal Coil - this is a much better version. For a variety of reasons.
Stroke! - this version is similar but adds a color matching scheme that makes it devilishly hard.
Full House Touch Basically the same thing but with arrows on the squares.
Full Monster Puzzle - basically the same thing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MatrixLines: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 4
MatrixLines looks very similar to another puzzle app from about a year ago.  LaserBox is the title.
Back to MatrixLines: there are only 20 levels and I polished them off very quickly. I should note that the user-interface is terrible.
What's different: the last few levels have clear squares: they act both as a reflector and as being transparent. Therefore, when the light hits it, two rays emerge.  Also, some squares add color to the beams which then means that some targets are red or green and must be hit with a matching ray.

The moral of the story: even bad puzzle apps that seem awful at first may end up being half-way decent.

Monday, June 29, 2015

MonoMerge: free point scoring puzzle app

iPhone 스크린샷 1       iPhone 스크린샷 2
MonoMerge is a point scoring puzzle app game. The object is to connect adjacent tiles - 1 at a time - if they are identical. For example: two 4's will merge to form a single 5.

MonoMerge looks like Threes! and 2048. It's really not because all the tiles stay in place, except for the merging ones.

Blank spaces are filled with only 1's & 2's.

This is where the game should be more interesting: the grid should be 5x5 and the blanks should be replaced with 1's, 2's & 3's.

The highest tile I got was 10. My high score is 3060 which places me 8th out of only 45 players.

MonoMerge is a decent game and should definitely be play-tested. Can Gulbol 제작 is the author.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

SubaraCity - crazy high score

Robert Canogar @RCanogar tweeted on June 20 his high score of 232,788,070.  Beyond amazing.

My hats off to him! And now a challenge: try to beat my high score in Tripevo and NineOut.

guess is that game took about 5 hours.

Embedded image permalink

Friday, June 26, 2015

SubaraCity: point scoring puzzle game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
The object in SubaraCity is to increase your city's population by merging smaller houses into bigger houses and really big houses into skyscraper apartment buildings.

Look at the bottom of the first image. See the brown apartments? The one on the left is an '8' and the one on the right is a '9'. Merge them to form a 10. Once a building becomes a 10, it then turns white.

Suppose you combine 10's: two of them will form a yellow 11.  However, you cannot combine any building over 10.  The key strategy to scoring BIG, is to get a super cluster of 10's and then merge them all at once.

SubaraCity was created by Ryuji Kuwaki. A typical game for me is getting 2,000,000 points and that takes about 15-20 minutes.  My high score is 32,927,440 which ranks me  at 4268 out of 144,509  players.  I got by combining fifteen 10's. It led to a level 24 building.  That particular game took over an hour.
So now I'm trying to beat my top score. Extremely difficult. Here's what's been happening: I get a cluster of twelve 10's and then am forced to merge them. The resulting 21 building (I know - why isn't it a 22 building?) becomes a dead space on the board. So I end up restarting the game. Which makes me despair a bit.

SubaraCity is in the running for a PAGY Award. (Nominations: check back on December 30th.)

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time
Four Straight Lines
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors