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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Balls by Gamezaur: an update

About a month ago I was playing Balls by Gamezaur.  It's a point scoring game.

When my high score was 1800, I couldn't believe that anybody could do much better. At the time I was # 7 or 8 on the Leaderboard.

I came up with a modified strategy and now I'm at the top of the Leaderboard with 5600.

My tips:
1. Whenever you have a choice, always opt to score points with the balls that are caged in place.
2. Whenever you score points with 4 in a group, it eliminates 3 of them and leaves 1 with wings that can go anywhere.  That winged ball must always be used to knock out another piece. Never put it in a blank space.
3. Always try to get a group of 5. 4 will be eliminated. The 1 that remains will be a bomb that will wipe out a 3x3 area.  Make sure the bomb is activated in the middle, not on the edges.
4. When things get very crowded - you're in trouble. You may have a choice to eliminate 3 reds or 3 blues.  Choose the color that is more in the center. If your last holes are on the edges, it's bad news.
5. Once you've cracked 3000, then you've done everything right. The game can theoretically go on forever.  Take breaks.  I'm looking forward to my high score getting smashed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pentacle Pentagram Puzzle by Yukang Wu $15


Pentacle Pentagram Puzzle comes from Yukang Wu.  The internal mechanism is a 3x3. However, there are no edges.

Also, in order to turn the puzzle, the circles have to be lined up along one of the lines.

Scrambling and solving this puzzle is slow going! You may turn the top face once, but every turn thereafter requires constant orienting of the circles.

So far, I've solved it once.

This puzzle is extremely well made.  I got mine for about $15 on ebay.  Search Pentacle Pentagram.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Kickstarter Project of an acquaintance

Jordan Gold is a magician whom I know from attending the Gathering 4 Gardner conferences.  He's got an interesting new product.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maxtemkin/magic-puzzles?fbclid=IwAR25KkM4Mw_06xT7zJvpLjqjU8IpX5gAJedoy2oVnHvIpBZqvMvV1um4_v8

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Shape Fold by Domas Kazragis FREE

Shape Fold comes from Domas Kazragis. The object is to create/discover the hidden images by revolving parts along the curved orbits. The first two images show finished image/solutions. The last image shows how each puzzle starts out.
 Many of the pieces are connected via hinges.  Problems arise very quickly when pieces crash into each other.
I was not expecting to like this game.  I've done 80 of the 300 levels.

Nice job Domas!
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shape-fold/id1491412811

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Push It! FREE

 Push It! is extremely popular at the App Store.  The object is to fill all the spots with balls. The sequence of sending the balls is all important.
The graphics are very good. However, I immediately thought about the game Zhed (see link below).
I was hoping for some new element. Orixio is basically the same, and later came out with Orixio with wormholes.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/push-it/id1474482918

Similar Games
Drop Pocket  from 2017
Zhed from 2017

Orixio from 2019
Orixio Wormhole from 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

100×3 Logic Games by Andrea Sabbatini FREE



100×3 Logic Games comes from Andrea Sabbatini.  Once again produced a puzzle app that contains multiple puzzle genres.  This one has 14 games. 

At the moment, I am positively in love with the game called Picnic. See last image.
The concept of picnic: at the start there are picnic baskets. Each has a number on it. That number indicates where the blanket must be place.  Naturally, blankets cannot be vertically/horizontally adjacent to another. And no area of the lawn can be isolated from any other part of the lawn. 

I've spent about 2 hours on solving maybe 60 levels out of 300.  Did I mention that each game has 300 levels?

Andrea: you've hit another home run.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/100-3-logic-games/id1508571053?ls=1

Also by Andrea:
Park SeasonsHedgehog GardensPark Seasons
Parks and Landscapes

Monday, April 27, 2020

Six Match by Aaron Steed FREE

Six Match comes from Aaron Steed. The graphics are very 'old school'.  But the concept is very interesting.  

Your Man is the #6 tile. You have 6 moves -swapping with neighboring tiles - to create 3 in a row.  As soon as that happens, Your Man is re-energized back to 6.  If you cannot make a match - game over.

My high score is about 380. According to the Leaderboard, somebody has 29,000!  What are they doing?

Here's the deal: as you play the game, new features get added. Unfortunately, they are never explained. 

This game has so much potential. The graphics have to go. And there needs to be a tutorial.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/six-match/id1327790148

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Cube Escape: Paradox Rusty Lake FREE

 Cube Escape: Paradox is the 10th Cube Escape game from Rusty Lake.   This game came out in 2018, but I'm only now getting around to it, because, frankly, I had grown tired of Rusty Lake's creations.
 Their first game Cube Escape: Seasons, is simply fantastic.  Having played 12 of their other games, I got tired of some of the elements that in my mind, showed laziness on the Rusty Lake team.
 Examples: Having to find the 5 shattered pieces from a picture frame and fitting them together. Big yawn. Then there's the set of drawers that always has a knife in it and a book of matches. Each game is very good, but should be played not all at once.
 No more being negative.  Paradox is excellent.  Look at the second image of the brain.  That particular puzzle is so well done.  The Rusty Lake team hit a home run.
They must be swimming in dough, because they made an 18 minute live-action film that's really a trailor. High production, enticing, well-polished.

Whey you're done, there's a second version of Paradox that costs $1.99.  I've only just started it.

Watch the 18 minute trailor: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe1LNXl3yYWPNWeJT_AsP1w

https://apps.apple.com/app/id1372021096
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.RustyLake.CubeEscapeParadox

Other Rusty Lake Games I've played and reviewed:

Cube Escape: Birthday
Cube Escape: Case 23
Cube Escape: The Mill
Cube Escape: Harvey's Room
Cube Escape: The Lake
Cube Escape: Arles
Cube Escape: Seasons
Cube Escape: Theater
Cube Escape: The Cave
Rusty Lake: Hotel
Rusty Lake: Roots

Rusty Lake: Paradise

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cubether Lead the cubes to solution by Michal Barszczewski $1.99

 Cubether Lead the cubes to solution comes from Michal Barszczewski.  I stumbled on his game on twitter: https://twitter.com/mandigondo  and was immediately intrigued.
 Cubether is a 'minimalist' game. This moniker has become fashionable among very good puzzle app designers.  Essentially: play the levels and discover how the pieces move.
The object is to get the green pieces to merge and then get home. Green can only travel up/down.
The blues pieces can only move horizontally.
The orange pieces can move up/down & right/left. 
The pink moves diagonally only.
The key thing is that pieces can swap. A green, which is above a pink, can swap down.

Cubether is smart, sophisticated and pretty hard.  

Michal: your game is a home run!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cubether/id1486743100
http://mandigondo.com/press/sheet.php?p=cubether

Other 'Minimalist' games
Shapecraft
"klocki"
"Hook"
oO
"PUSH"
Up Left Out

NABOKI
Dotstep Minimalist
turn,
maze cube
cohex

-look-
SiNKR
Quaddro 2

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Balls. by Gamezaur FREE

 Balls. comes from Gamezaur. It's a point scoring game.  It reminds me of Bee Cells Lite from 2012.
The object is to score points by aligning the colored ball in lines or in squares.
Interesting features:
1. Some balls are locked in place.
2. See the red ball with wings in image 1? That ball can leap over and replace any other ball.
3. Bombs - when activated, they knock out the surrounding area of a 3x3 grid.
4. Because the grid is 5x5, each game goes pretty fast.

My high score is 881 which places me at #6 on the leaderboard.

Bee Cells: hexagonal grid. It tells you what colors the next 3 balls will be, but not the location.
Balls: the next 3 balls and their locations are always announced.

Gamezaur People: excellent little game. 
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/balls/id1496340087

Other games by Gamezaur that I reviewed:
Shapecraft
Ten Buttons
Sticks I believe this is no longer available.

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time (Some are no longer available.)
NumberMania
Four Straight Lines
Pushopolous
Stickets
Folt
Nineout
Nineout II
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors
HexAgony
Domino Drop
Put Number
Tripevo
Triple Town
Kindly  Colors
COLORswipe
SubaraCity
Virus Pop Smash
+1 Number
4 Way Puzzle
Merged!
Enso

Friday, April 10, 2020

green (game) by Bart Bonte FREE

green (game) comes from Bart Bonte. I'm a big fan of his games.  They're fun, fast and free.
If you've been a Loyal Blog Follower, then you've played his other color games. See links below.
Green continues the trend.  Hints come with ads. I confess that I did consult them 5 or 6 times.

Altogether, this game took about 2 hours.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/green-game/id1502106711

Other Bart Puzzles:
Factory Balls - excellent
Boo! - a mini sequel to Factory Balls
Blocky XMAS - fun and at times hard

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Shape And Hue by Michal Gorny FREE

Michal Gorny recently contacted me about his new game Shape And Hue. It's a lovely visual jigsaw puzzle.  

 Your task is to swap individual tiles to reveal the mosaic image. At the moment, I've solved 10 of the 100 levels.  Each level, so far, has 1 piece that's fixed - usually in the corner.  I'm guessing that's not available in later rounds.

Michal made the game Hexa Knot, which I reviewed in 2018.


https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shape-and-hue/id1504053680

Monday, April 6, 2020

Sudoku Evolved by Max Q Software LLC $.99

Daniel Greenheck recently contacted me about his game Sudoku Evolved. It's a 3-D version.  Each puzzle has 5 sudokus: front, back, right, left & top.  Important: he edges are shared. Which means all the puzzles are connected.
I solved 1 level at 'medium'. I thought it was easy - but still took a while to solve.

The next day I solved 1 level at 'hard'.  This took about 1 - 1.5 hours. I played this game on my small iphone (I have no idea which model it is.). Playing this game was very calming.

The graphics are very polished. A feature I particularly like: tap on, say 3, and all the 3's on that face get highlighted.

Note to Daniel: Good job. Thanks for the promo codes.  Check out the variations below for fun and inspiration.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sudoku-evolved/id1488161437

Other Sudoku Variations
Sixy Sudoku Small grids - perfect for beginners
Sandwich Sudoku Positively love this. Hard
Kropk'i Sudoku  This is really a Latin Square with a couple of innovative ideas. It plays fast.
Quindoku Same as Logi5PuzzLogi5Puzz  Same as NumDom. But NumDom has larger grid sizes.Spindoku is totally different, but still very cool.Hi-Lo Sudoku is one of my favorite variations.Cryptdoku I played it so long ago, but it's cool. Long gone from the App Store.Stimko Gold - outstanding version of squiggly Sudoku.  Handcrafted puzzles.Kakooma - interesting for about 3 levelsRollDoku - never even solved 1 level, so hardCohabit- played this on my ipod touch - before ipad was inventedFlowDoKu - one of my favorites. Will not delete this.Sudoku Mine combines Sudoku with MinesweeperSudoku Killer  combines Sudoku with Kakuro. I've spent a lot of time on this one. I can do the easy levels in about 10 minutes.3Doku - a cubic version of SudokuPokergreen Puzzles - a poker version of SudokuStar SudokuSudoku MazeSudoku SpinSudoku SweeperJoint Number PlaceFutoshikiSudoCubedRotadoku

Sudoku Octangles

Monday, March 30, 2020

Room Escape: 50 rooms I by S.henzhen Zhonglian Hudong FREE

Room Escape: 50 rooms I comes from S.henzhen Zhonglian Hudong.  
 It's very typical of the 100s of other room escape games published on the App Store.  Look around, pick up things, find clues, open drawers, lift up pillows etc.
 The game offers a few free clues.  To get more clues: watch some ads.
I went through 17 rooms in about 1.5 hours.  There is absolutely no plot.  I thought that it was unlikely that I would finish this game.  However, I did end up finishing the game in about 5 days. I did use the free clues a lot.


https://apps.apple.com/us/app/room-escape-50-rooms-i/id1107507527

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Zip Chip Sports

 Back in February I attended Toy Fair 2020 at the Javits Center in NY.  The guys who invented the ZipChip were kind enough to give me a sample. They also gave me a sticker that's very similar to the logos of the NBA and Major League Baseball.
 Prior to this, I had seen a video ad on facebook. I made a mental note to buy one.
The ZipChip is much easier to throw than a frisbee.  I cannot wait to go outside and throw this around.

https://www.zipchipsports.com/#buy-now

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The New York Puzzle Party 2020

The Zen Puzzler has a great blog. In this entry, he summarizes this year's NYPP.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Color Crush Puzzle by Ola Nilsson

Color Crush Puzzle comes from Ola Nilsson. The object is to tap on 1 or 2 of the circles, which will then fire bullets at the other circles, with the end result that all circles get destroyed.

We've seen this type of game numerous times in the past.  What's different? Diagonal bullets.

I've played about 20 levels.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/color-crush-puzzle/id1462207511

Thursday, March 26, 2020

RECIPRO Sliding Box Puzzle by Masahiro Nakahashi FREE

RECIPRO Sliding Box Puzzle by Masahiro Nakahashi.  The object is to organize the numbers in order by swapping the circled number with an adjacent number.

The 2x3 grids go very very fast.  The 3x3 and 4x4 grids are obviously more difficult.

The best part of this game is the Battle Mode. This sets you up with a random player to see who can solve it faster.  This is an essential part of the game in order to graduate from the 2x3 grid and the 3x3 grid.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/recipro-sliding-box-puzzle/id1494257948

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Untie the knots - Art of ropes by kun feng FREE

Untie the knots - Art of ropes comes from kun feng.  The object is to swap tiles in order to create loops among the colors.
This game is very similar to Hexa Knot which I reviewed in 2018.

According to the Leaderboard, only 61 people are playing this game.  I'm number 8 with 35 knots solved.  Only 1 person has solved all 111 knots.

This game is well done.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/untie-the-knots-art-of-ropes/id1488211501

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Road Puzzles by Mark Currie FREE

Road Puzzles comes from Mark Currie. The object is to move the cars to their parking spaces.

Along the way, cars must go to the car wash, pick up gold coins, grab passes in order to open gates etc.
One of the fundamental elements is changing the direction of your cars.

I was not expecting to like this game.  But it's got a certain charm. The graphics are great.  The steamroller just goes back and forth and requires patience to move your car.  Look at the last image: a a spaceship acts as a wormhole by transporting your car to a new location.

I believe there are 100 levels. I've done about 80.  At this point, each level takes a solid 5 minutes, so I'm taking a break.

In terms of difficulty, this is perfect for younger puzzlers.  Still, every puzzle designer should at least check out the graphics.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/road-puzzles/id1490120557

Monday, March 23, 2020

Grids of Thermometers by Frozax Games

Grids of Thermometers comes from Frozax Games.  I reviewed this game about 4 years ago.  It's been updated and is much better.

The object is to fill the grid with mercury (red). It's very logical, fun and addictive.  Embergram (see link below) is very similar and very cool.

I've spent a lot of time on this game.  One of the best features is the clock. Can you solve an 11 x 11 grid in 5 minutes?https://apps.apple.com/us/app/grids-of-thermometers/id1071003654

Similar Games
Embergram
Online Thermometers

Monday, March 16, 2020

Woody 99 - Sudoku Block Puzzle by Athena Studio FREE

Hello Fellow Puzzlers!

It's time that I got back into writing this blog. At this very difficult time in the world: we should at least find some time to play puzzles, right?

Woody 99 is only available on the app store. Sorry Android users.  It's a point scoring game recommended to me by someone who attended last month's New York Puzzle Party.

I was very skeptical about Woody 99. We've seen this type numerous times.  But I do like this.

The object is to score points by filling up rows/columns and the 3x3 grids.
1. Points are awarded for fitting pieces anywhere.
2. 10 points for completing a row/column or grid.
3.  If you can do two at the same time: 10 points for the first, 15 for the second and then, maybe 5 points if the piece you placed had 5 tiles.
4. Consecutive turns: 10 points for the row/column/grid. 15 points for the next turn. 20 for the one after that.  The longest streak I've gotten was wither 4 or 5.

Woody 99 requires patience! Which is something I lack.  Nevertheless, I did get one phenomenal score that put me in the top .1% of the leaderboard.  But I think I can do better.

Update 3/23/20: my high score is 14,582 which puts me at #369 on the Leaderboard our of 785,985 players.  I really must stop playing this.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/woody-99-sudoku-block-puzzle/id1487766983
https://athena.studio/

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time (Some are no longer available.)
NumberMania
Four Straight Lines
Pushopolous
Stickets
Folt
Nineout
Nineout II
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors
HexAgony
Domino Drop
Put Number
Tripevo
Triple Town
Kindly  Colors
COLORswipe
SubaraCity
Virus Pop Smash
+1 Number
4 Way Puzzle
Merged!
Enso