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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Twisted Snake: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1            iPhone Screenshot 3

Alexander Morozov has produced another version of the modern classic game Wriggle. The object is to slide/wriggle the blue man to the exit. The puzzles themselves are actually pretty good. However, the graphics are not as fluid as they should be.

There are 48 levels and I solved them all except for these: #13, 15, 39, 40, 42, 46. They're pretty hard and I can understand why some people say: I hate puzzles.

Much better and very similar games that have more fluid graphics:

Quetzalcoatl       Choo Choo      TRUpuzzlE      Neon Snake         Snake Slider        Wriggle

Monday, January 26, 2015

Four Straight Lines: point scoring puzzle app

iPhone Screenshot 2
Four Straight Lines looks a lot like 2048, but it's nothing like it. Except for the fact that you must swipe the tiles in any direction.  If 4 of the same color make a line- vertically, horizontally or diagonally, they disappear & you get 4 points. After every move, a new tile will appear randomly.

My high score is 508. The top scorer on the leaderboard is ikkejessica with 1988. Very impressive.

Theoretically, one game, played perfectly, could go on forever, I think. Similar to Stickets. Although I think Stickets  is more elegant and sophisticated.
I should mention that Four Straight Lines is FREE.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays?

Barry Clarke is tackling one of history's greatest mysteries: Who Wrote Shakespeare's plays? 

At this point I must confess that I have not read even half of the plays. Probably because I spent too many hours in front of the television.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fullhouse Touch

iPhone Screenshot 1      iPhone Screenshot 2
Kevin White is the author of Fullhouse Touch - a free puzzle app game for the iphone & ipad. The black dots are walls. Your objective: place the red dot anywhere on the board and fill the board with arrows completely.

Look at the first image: the starting point was in the center, then down, right, up, left, down, left. This path is clearly wrong because there is  no way to get the remaining squares

Look at the second image. The red dot must travel to the left and will not stop until it hits a wall. Then it must go up, right, up, right, down and right to complete the puzzle.

The essential questions: where is the starting point and where is the endpoint? Sometimes, neither is evident. There's a lot of trial and error.

What's good: there are only 30 levels and the game is free! (I've done 24 levels.)

What could be better: there is no undo button. Which means you have to start all over again. Also, ads pop up after you solve each level, but not when you restart a level.

Similar Games
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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

'Brain Rush - Two Way' free 'test your reflexes' game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1       iPhone Screenshot 2
'Brain Rush - Two Way' is a  free 'test your reflexes' game.  It's one of many clones of another game. I have no idea what the original game was. Squares & Circles will come down the lines. Make sure that your home square & circle are aligned properly to catch the correct shapes.

In the 'One Brain' mode, the shapes come down staggered. In the 'Two Brain' mode, the shapes come down at the same time. Trickier.  You can play the Two Brain mode by yourself, or invite a friend.

We should all be playing these types of games to ward off Alzheimer's.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

COLORswipe: point scoring puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1          iPhone Screenshot 2
Tyler Ruetz recently contacted me about his point scoring puzzle app game COLORswipe. The object is to score points by combining adjacent colored tiles.
Blue + red = purple
Blue + yellow = green
Red + yellow = orange
Purple + orange = brown
Purple + green = brown
Green + orange = brown
Brown + brown = Black
Black + black = Diamond
There are a bunch more rules but, I want to keep this relatively short.  I've played this game about 12 times and really like it. I confess that I don't fully understand the scoring rules. But that's okay.
There are only 254 players on the Leaderboard.  I'm #2 with 100,389 points.  #1 is somebody named TylorTy with 8,715,582 points. That's right, his score is 87 times my score. He's a legend.
COLORswipe is free, so there's no excuse to not play test it.

Similar games:      Tripevo               Triple Town           Kindly  Colors

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cubot - The Complexity of Simplicity: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Nicolas Pierre-Loti-Viaud is the creator of Cubot - The Complexity of Simplicity, a terrific puzzle app game. As you can see from the first image, it's a rolling block maze. But with a great deal of complexity.
Focus on the first image. See the solid blue square? It must land on the big blue square. How to do so? First, the red cube must roll down to the bottom layer and land on the small red square. That will bring the red & white cube, which is an elevator, down. Next, get the blue square to roll on top of the now-down red elevator. Move the red cube off the elevator activator. And that will make the blue cube rise up to that level. Then, the blue cube must activate its elevator to get the red cube back upstairs.
iPhone Screenshot 4
Things get even more complicated. First of all, all cubes travel at the same time. The red cube travels 2 squares. The Green Cube travels 1 square in the opposite direction. The purple cube travels 2 squares in the opposite direction. Did I mention the teleporter? Or that a cube can change colors?

There are 80 levels and I've done approximately 55 of them. Tough! The game costs $.99 which will provide you with a bunch of hours entertainment.

A very similar game is QVOID, which I reviewed almost 4 years ago.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blogic Puzzle Fee: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2      iPhone Screenshot 1
Blogic was one of a slew of good puzzle app games that got published at the end of 2014.  The object is to draw one continuous path that will cover every square.

What's particularly good: You must also figure out where the entrance and exit are.
Also good: there are plenty of easy levels to solve. The graphics are very good. The tutorial is helpful for novice puzzlers.

What's not as good: there's a weird system of earning stars that doesn't make much sense. Not that that's important anyway.
Also not so good: on the harder levels, you can figure out parts of the path.....but eventually you will have to do some guess & check.  When you do that and want to backtrack, there's no proper undo button; you may as well just start from scratch.

What's good and bad: Over 1000. levels. Perhaps you want that. Too many for me.

Friday, January 16, 2015

'Quick Route - A Puzzle That Requires Thought To Solve' - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1     iPhone Screenshot 2
'Quick Route - A Puzzle That Requires Thought To Solve' comes from Horis International Limited. Essentially, it is the famous Traveling Salesman math problem: given a whole bunch of cities on a map, what's the optimal route that will minimize the distance traveled.

I believe the Traveling Salesman problem was solved - sometime in the 80's.
'Quick Route - A Puzzle That Requires Thought To Solve', has a bunch of easy problems with just 4 points and 5 points. After that, it gets very difficult. There are 102 levels and I've solved 14 of them. Surprisingly, there is an addictive element to this puzzle game.

Very Cool: whatever route you draw, if it's not correct, the program tells you what % longer it is than what the optimal route is. I've drawn one route that was a mere .2% longer.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TimeCube: point scoring test-your-reflexs game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 4
TimeCube comes from Michal Syzmerski. It's a game that tests your reflexes. It's different from so many other games that test your reflexes.

You are the red hexagon at the bottom. It stays in place and never moves.  Various things shoot in from the top left with different horizontal speeds and a constant gravity speed. The objective is to not let the objects hit Your Man by slowing down and speeding up the horizontal speeds.

It's an interesting concept. According to the leaderboard, there are over 17,262 players.  I'm not very good at this game! I'm dead last of 17,266 players because I wasn't able to solve the first level. My consolation: somebody has to be last, and I'm still first on Tripevo.

Kickstarter for a 3D Puzzle Ship

This puzzle looks like fun.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MoveZ Puzzle Game: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1               iPhone Screenshot 3
MoveZ Puzzle Game is one of those 'move all the colored squares at once to get to their destination' puzzles. They go pretty quickly. Most can be solved within 9 moves.

Look at the first image.  See the empty square on the bottom left? There's a pretty good chance that you will want to move 1 blue square there - temporarily. 

See the second image? Now it matters which square goes where. A lot of the puzzles in the multi color levels actually are in the mono color section.

Ready for this? There are 1680 levels. Insane. But they go pretty quickly. Many levels are solved in seconds.
In order to advance to the next section of levels, you must solve 60% of the previous section. Each section has 120 levels.

According to the Game Center Leaderboard, there are only about 300 people playing MoveZ. I'm #2 with about 460 levels solved. Sounds crazy. But really, I've only spent about 20 minutes/day for about 10 days.

Very similar games:
Frozen Ice Cubes came out last year. What's different: there's a point of 'no return'.
Vubu came out 3 years ago. What's different: the vubu men have different powers. Very sophisticated.
Yet another game, reviewed by Nicola Salmoria. He told me about this game ages ago, but I forgot about it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

0h h1: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 4       iPhone Screenshot 3
One of my students pointed this game out to me recently. The objective is to fill the grid with red and blue squares. Each row must have an equal number of blue & red.  Also, there can never be 3 of one color in a row.

Here's what's good: the graphics are crisp & clean.
Here's what's not so good: on the 10 x 10 levels, there comes a point where you may have to guess.

This game is well done. It's pretty much identical to Binary Sudoku, which I reviewed back in 2010.  Another version of Binary Sudoku I reviewed in 2011.

Monday, January 12, 2015

LogicCity Jr: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1

Description from the App Store: 'The goal of the game is simple, to fill the grid with shapes, without repeating a shape in a row or column (yes, like sudoku !). But wait - there's more ! You have to manage the colors and the shapes simultaneously - adding a whole new dimension to sudoku.

These puzzles have been developed by Michel Lyons and Arunima. Michel is the creator of several highly popular and highly rated board puzzle games such as Metaform, Architecto .. etc. He has also written math curriculum books with a focus on problem solving.'
 iPhone Screenshot 4

LogicCity Jr is very similar to ThinkFun's Chocolate Fix.  You'll note in the directions above that Michel Lyons developed Metaform & Architecto. Those are outstanding puzzle games produced by Foxmind, which has a long history of producing great puzzles.

There are 75 levels and I've done about 15 levels, including the last 5 hardest levels. These puzzles are great for young puzzlers. Lots of elementary schools have enrichment programs for gifted students. This is exactly what they should be doing.
The game costs $1.99 and there is a lite version.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Make Them Fall: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

   iPhone Screenshot 1             iPhone Screenshot 4
Make Them Fall is a point scoring puzzle app game that's really designed to test your reflexes and keep your brain synapses sharp.
The title 'Make Them Fall' is not appropriate for this game because your man is supposed to shift side to side within each colored region.

Look at the 1st image with the blue & red split image. The 2 stickmen are hugging the wall. The spikes scroll upward. You must tap the blue part to make the stickman shift to the opposite wall.
The dual screen is 'Normal' but tough and my high score is just 91.  There are 5 other versions. with more men to control. The hardest level is called 'Heart Attack' and has 6 mini screens.

Make Them Fall actually turns out to be a good partner game.  In the version that has 4 men, get a friend and each of you will control 2 men.  Better yet, get 3 friends and each controls 1 man for better control and a higher score. This is the easily the best partner/reflex game on the market. Though I don't think it was intended for that.

Here's what I don't like: on the Normal level, the speed increases too quickly. Nevertheless, it's still quite fun.
We should all be playing this type of game to ward off Alzheimer's.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Space Kitty Puzzle — family logical adventure: puzzle for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Alex Perezhogin recently contacted me about his puzzle app game: Space Kitty Puzzle. The objective is for your space kitty to travel through the maze to pick up objects, get to the exit and thus save the world.

iPhone Screenshot 1

Main feature: The space kitty will have to fire his laser gun to rotate the screen 90 degrees.
I have not played this game beyond 5 or 6 levels. Why? I'm more absorbed in some other puzzle app games. Nevertheless, these puzzles are interesting. But I'm not crazy about the graphics/theme.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Number Painting: update

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 5
About 2 months ago, I became obsessed with Number Painting a free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad:

A few days ago I completed all 600 levels. Crazy, I know. Having done thousands of these types of topology puzzles, I found most of the levels not too hard. But every so often a level would have me stumped for days and weeks. The last 100 levels I did in about 2 hours, on a plane ride.

So yes, I really like this game. However, at the moment, it's not possible to go back and redo any level at all. Unless I delete the program & then reinstall it.

Some other good topology games:
Lines Numeric Fun
Space Dots
Just Routes
Square Time
Numeric Paranoia

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MindArrow - Game To Train Your Brain: for iphone, ipad

Artiom Zayats recently contacted me about his point scoring puzzle app game called MindArrow.

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3
If you see a green arrow, swipe in the direction that the arrow is pointing and ignore the word.
If you see a red arrow, do the opposite: ignore the direction of the arrow and follow the word.
Swiping correctly gets you additional time. Swiping incorrectly - your time will be penalized.

I played MindArrow once and got a score of 348. Only 31 players are on the Game Center Leaderboard. I'm #10 at the moment.

I found MindArrow a bit too slow. But I still like the concept and think that we should all try these games out once in a while as a change of pace.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Shuttle Shuffle: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 
Mat Loz recently contacted me about his free puzzle app game Shuttle Shuffle. The objective is to slide the aliens to their ships. These puzzles are not too hard. However, solving them in the fewest # of moves is essential if you want to unlock the next level.

Sliding a row makes all the aliens travel together. That's really the key. While I was playing this game, I kept saying to myself: this reminds me of another game, but which?!
iPhone Screenshot 5
The harder levels have death holes and wormholes. When I solved level 24, which is the last of the free levels, the board was completely filled, I realized which game this reminded me of. There are actually a lot of games which often bill themselves as 'the 2D version of Rubik's Cube'.

If you get into Shuttle Shuffle, you can develop your own levels.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Quebix: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1       iPhone Screenshot 2
Glen Morris contacted me almost 2 months ago about his puzzle app game Quebix. It seems very similar to another puzzle app game called MatCube. See my review of that.

Quebix is more similar to Head Spin a game I reviewed about 4 years ago. That was terrific, but is no longer available.

Quebix is easier than MatCube and Head Spin. I can do these, and fairly quickly. The objective is to swipe horizontally & vertically, until your cubes match the pattern at the top/middle.
Of the 25 Beginner Levels, I did 7 of them.
I skipped the 30 Apprentice Levels.
Of the 28 Master Levels, I did 6 levels
There are 30 Expert Levels, I did all 30. I did them pretty quickly. However, I definitely did not solve them using the fewest number of moves.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pokergreen Puzzles: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 4 

Ronald Stewart recently contacted me about his puzzle app game Pokergreen Puzzles.
The objective is to fill the grid with the cards to make specific poker hands.

Look at the image shown. The tiles that are already in the grid can NEVER move. You can only move the grayish cards.

The first 13 levels are free and I enjoyed solving them. I have not played the harder levels. I'd venture to guess that they could get really hard if certain poker variations are enacted like: deuces wild.

If you're into Sudoku, then take a break from that and play Pokergreen Puzzles. 2015 is off to a good start, I'd say.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best Puzzle App Games of 2014: The Nominations

Puzzle App Players & Designers,

Below is the famous List of Best Puzzle Apps of 2014.  I have play tested all of these extensively. My biggest regret is that I am sure that I've omitted many good games. I try to go through the new puzzle apps published weekly. People send me recommendations. I don't get to them all.

What are the qualifies of a good puzzle app game? Fun is most important. Originality is a close second. Graphics and overall presentation are third. Finally, and most obviously, is the difficulty: is there a tutorial? Are there easy levels to get your feet wet? Does the game have 100 levels or a 1000? Less is more sometimes.

Some of the games listed below are not strictly puzzles, but they often get lumped into that category by the authorities at the iTunes store. Specifically, I'm referring to the point scoring games and the games that test your reflexes. You'll find both types of those here, but not a lot.

If you scrutinize this list very closely, a couple were published in 2012 and 2013. The reason I included it now - I missed those games back then. If I missed your game this year, send me a reminder! You're eligible for 2015.

Quell Reflect +
Puzzle Chain Reaction
Sudoku Mine
Quell Memento

Sudoku Killer
Astro Mined
Titanic By SmartGames
Two Dots
Fold the Adventure
Number Painting

Park Seasons
You Have One Box
Colors - The Addictive Game
Point to Point

1 to 25 Number challenge

Connect Infinite
Amid Worlds
The Impossible Dodging

Square Push Square
Stop Crows
Colors Mix

Flip Puzzle Game
21 Dice
Atoms HD
Color Shape Tile Puzzle

Twelve Hardest Puzzle
Andy's Trains
Fruit Dating
Tip & Tumble
Photon Lab
Light Weaving
Space Crystals
Game About Squares
Click the Button
Paths of Light
Kindly Colors
Exodus Free!
Perfect Paths
Frozen Ice Cubes

Andy's Trains: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPad Screenshot 1 

Andreas Gunther recently contacted me about his new puzzle app game: Andy's Trains.  Essentially it's an old fashioned 'shunting' puzzle. Basically, your objective is to move the trains forward and back on the track, dismantle, reconnect and eventually unload the cars in the correct color sequence.
iPad Screenshot 2
Years ago, I saw an old film made by Thomas Edison where the objective was to shunt the trains. As I recall, it was a little kid who figured it out. I tried finding it on youtube. No luck. However, Edison did make a slew of train movies.
iPad Screenshot 4
Andy's got something like 36 different puzzle levels. You can see from the images, some are easy, others are quite complicated.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tip & Tumble: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1      iPhone Screenshot 4
Bill & Andrea Mitchell recently contacted me about their new puzzle app game: Tip & Tumble. Andrea & Bill have a very long history of making extremely interesting maze puzzles that are quite unique.

Let's talk about Tip & Tumble, their latest puzzle app game. There are 90 puzzles. The objectives are sometimes different. In the first image, get the balls to the correct homes. The second image: collect all the markers. Be careful that you don't fall into an inescapable loop.

iPhone Screenshot 2      iPhone Screenshot 3
The third image: get the red balls into the hole.
I've solved all 30 easy levels. 28 of the 30 medium levels and about 15 of the hard levels. According to Bill: 'Even Andrea, despite being her own designs, struggled to remember some!' I feel better now.

Without a doubt, Tip & Tumble jump onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2104. The full list will be released December 30 & 31. Stay tuned.
Definitely download Wriggle,  and Clickmazes BoxUp

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dwelp: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 2
Alex Blaj recently sent me a promo code to review his new puzzle app game: Dwelp.
His description: Dwelp is an elegant little puzzler with a brand new game mechanic. To complete a puzzle, just link all of the same-colored dots by placing them one near another. There's a catch, though... Once you have connected two dots, the others of the same color become locked in their place.

It's so simple to understand, yet it opens up a whole world of possibilities! Why "only" 100 puzzles, then? Because they were carefully selected from hundreds of others, in order to offer you only the best of the best.

Each puzzle has more than one solution (and some have thousands). Will you find the one that requires the least number of moves? That’s the real challenge! Should you complete it, you will be treated to a select number of puzzles that are bordering on impossibility. But the satisfaction of solving one of those can't be described in words…

My thoughts: 100 puzzles is exactly the right number. Offering 200 is too many. The puzzles start to get quite tricky at #20. The graphics are crisp. The concept is very unique, clever and fun. In terms of classification, Dwelp seems to fall under the category of a packing puzzle.

At the moment, I have solved about 70 levels and collected 60 stars, (you get a star by solving a level in the fewest moves.) There are some bonus levels where the objective is a bit different. But very elegant.

Here's what you need to know: these puzzles are handmade/crafted with the equivalence of a fine wooden box. One level has a minimum solution of just 4 moves. How hard could it be? HARD!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fold the Adventure: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 3
Puzzle app fans, I've been away for a week. Thanks for the emails. I'm back.
Sometimes I feel guilty. I start playing a new puzzle app game, then get distracted by other new ones and forget to finish play testing and then blogging.
Fold The Adventure has a very unique design. Look at the first image. Your task is to cut some of the lines and fold other lines to create something like image 2.
iPhone Screenshot 2
Then, your man, Nezo, can climb up the step ladder configuration to collect the stars and head for the exit. The graphics are very nice. There are 40 levels and I started to get stuck at just level 7.  At the moment I'm stuck on level 19.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fruit Dating: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1

Tomáš Rychnovský recently contacted me about his puzzle app game: Fruit Dating. It's a tilt/swipe maze. The object is to get the two red fruits next to each other. When that happens, they disappear. Then do the same for the yellow faced fruit.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There's good and bad. Let's start with the negatives. I don't like the graphics. The border is not necessary. The green squares are stationary. What moves during tilts? Cars, barrels and other things, sometimes unidentifiable, at least by me.
Now for the positives. Tomas has added some interesting things. Some levels have arrows on the grid. A fruit can never go against that arrow. Next, most tilt mazes - you know exactly where to get your man. In Fruit Dating, where the pairs match is part of the puzzle. Finally, some of the harder levels have aardvarks that will slurp up the fruit if the fruit rests in it's direction.  Be protective of your fruit! (At first, I thought it was a laser gun to shoot the fruit down.)
Other levels have puddles - cars can go over them, but not fruit, of course.
The final levels have a hedgehog - don't crash into it.

There are 63 levels and I've done them all. All together, I spent about 1 hour on this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quetzalcoatl: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2      iPhone Screenshot 4
Quetzalcoatl is a new snake slider puzzle that's very similar to Snake Slider, WriggleTRUpuzzlE, and Choo Choo Puzzle.  Those are all great. And so is Quetzalcoatl.  The object is to slide the snakes so that the colored circles match the colored squares. (Quetzalcoatl is named after the Feathered Serpent, the most important god in the Aztec mythology.)

iPhone Screenshot 5 iPhone Screenshot 1
There are 180 levels and I've spent a lot of time on these. Probably 5 or 6 hours to solve about 145 levels. They can be very challenging. $1.99 is the price and that comes to about 25 cents per hour.