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Monday, November 30, 2015

Flow - Draw A Line - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad  Hey Puzzlers - buy my Lab Mice Puzzles and give them as gifts. You know, as one of those 'holiday' gifts for kids who are puzzle deprived. You'll instantly become 'the cool relative.'

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Flow - Draw A Line is one of those topology games where I say to myself - I'll just do a few of them. Some easy ones & some hard ones.  This particular game has 210 levels.  Having done thousands of other levels from the games at the bottom of the list, the only challenge would be: how fast can I do them all.

I started them Saturday evening. Finished Sunday morning.  In between, slept for 9 hours.

The graphics are good. I struggled with about 15 of them.  Every so often, ads would pop up.

Some other good topology games:
Lines Numeric Fun
Space Dots
Just Routes
Square Time
Numeric Paranoia
Number Painting
Water Colors
Colors the Addictive Game
Number Escape

Friday, November 27, 2015

Move Puzzle - A Funny Strategy Game, Matching Tiles Within Finite Moves: ipad, iphone puzzle game

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Move Puzzle - A Funny Strategy Game, Matching Tiles Within Finite Moves - yes that's the full title of this puzzle app game. The objective is to move each square onto the dots.  If a square has a 3 on it, that means that square must move - on its own - 3 times.  Of course, if another square pushes it along, that does not count for that particular square.

There are 120 levels and at the moment, I've done 82.  I've been doing them here and there. It's a fun game, but definitely not the type to obsess over. But it's good enough to not delete it!

Very similar games:
Movez  Came out earlier this year. Pretty much the same as Block Mania but it has 1680 levels. I've solved 592 of them. That's probably enough.
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.
Escapology, reviewed by Nicola Salmoria. He told me about this game ages ago. I played it and enjoyed it, but never blogged about it.

Block Mania

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ROTA - A Minimalist Puzzle Game - free for iphone, ipad

iPhone 屏幕快照 4

Erich Kohlweg's game ROTA reminds me a little of the World's Hardest Game, which I reviewed about 6 years ago.
iPhone 屏幕快照 3
The object is to shoot the red dots from the spinning black asterisks.   Naturally, there are obstacles, reflectors, wormholes etc. There are 50 levels and I did them all fairly quickly.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Clever Clocks

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object of Clever Clocks is to get all the dials to point to 12.  Each button has its own rule.  Look at the first image.  The 1st red button indicates that both the white & pink dials will move clockwise for each tap.  The second button indicates that the yellow will move counter clockwise while the pink will move clockwise.

See the third button that shows only purple?  This means that the puzzle is really about solving the other 3 colors, since the purple moves independently.

There are 3600 levels. They start out easy with just 3 clock faces and three buttons. They increase to 8 clocks with 8 buttons.  I did not get that far.  I did some with 6 clocks. I'm not really sure how many levels I've done.  The menu doesn't let me figure that out. On some puzzles, I score 100 points. Others - just 25.  Still others - 0. However, based on my score I know that I've done about 200 levels.

The graphics are crisp.  The concept is great. This game is really for puzzle purists who relish deep thinking to solve the puzzles with the minimum number of moves.  I should add: if you do 5 puzzles in a row - all in the least number of moves - you get a bonus of 250 points.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Foot Prints!

iPad Screenshot 1
Anas Najjar's game Foot Prints! is a game I almost deleted after  doing 7 or 8 levels. The objective is to get your man to pick up a key and then get to the green hexagon, which is the exit.
iPad Screenshot 3
I came back to the game about 10 days later and realized: whoa!  This is a hexagonal version of Pathz, which is one of the very best puzzle app games of 2015.

iPad Screenshot 4 
What's different:
1. It's a hexagonal version.
2. Some levels have a third man: the black dot. The black dot must also get to a green hexagon, but as he travels, he blacks out his foot prints.
3. The half-orange/half-blue man! Hate this guy!  He shows up around level 34. But at level 36, that's when you realize how annoying he is. I won't tell you what he does.
4.  Level 44 took me forever - I was overthinking it.
5.  There are 50 levels and according to Anas, I'm the first person to do them all.

I initially contacted Anas because my ipad 2 software version 8.4 found a bug. He responded that he's going to fix it and added 'I checked your blog, I was really speechless from the amount of puzzles you had solved  and reviewed  over the last 6 years ! Very happy that my game will be in such a great blog. Thank you again.'

Anas, we puzzlers thank you for making a fun, challenging game. (The 8.4 bug has been fixed.)!/id1045466163?mt=8

Thursday, November 19, 2015

[the Sequence]

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
There is no easy way to explain Max Urusov's newest puzzle app game [the Sequence] from the images above.

Here goes: the objective is to place some function devices on certain squares to extract balls from one square and transfer them to the destination.

The two main tools are: the one that pushes/pulls and the one that rotates it. During the Build mode, you place your tools on the grid.  During the Sequence mode, you test out your design.  Besides moving tools from 1 square to another, you can: change the rotation from clockwise to counter clockwise.  Or from pushing to pulling.

Things can get very complicated when one tool changes the position of another tool!

There are 72 levels.  I can easily see why some folks would love this game. I've done less than half the levels.

Hard Logic is Max's other game. I like it better.
If you really like [the Sequence], then you should definitely check out Perfect Paths.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Futoshiki game: free for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3
Tomas Rychnovsky recently contacted me about his puzzle app game: Futoshiki game. The objective is to create a Latin Square while making sure that the inequalities are true.

The game has 3 levels of difficulty. You can only play 3 games. After that, you have to purchase credits.

What's good: the graphics are very nice.

There's an old game called Hi Lo that is essentially the same thing. I played it about 4.5 years ago and really liked it.. this site lets you play on your computer.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Blocks & Shapes: Color Tangram

iPhone Screenshot 1    iPhone Screenshot 2
Andres Baksai's Blocks & Shapes: Color Tangram is not exactly a tangram puzzle.  The object is to fill a rectangular grid with different shapes.  Again and again via 1010 levels.
iPhone Screenshot 3
At the moment, I've done a few easy levels and a few expert levels.
Andres Baksai claims that his puzzle is the 'only puzzle with curved pieces'.  Hmmmm. I doubt that claim is true. However, I can't name another packing puzzle app that does have curved pieces. In any event, I find his curved pieces puzzles to be more fun than the others.
I think these are good puzzles, but the 1010 levels is a turnoff. How can I possibly make a dent in that?  This game would be much better if it had only 100 levels - then I probably would have done a lot more.
This reminds me of another puzzle app game that came in 2 versions.  The free version had 1000 levels, while the premium had 10,000.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Circuit Board - Go with the flow!

iPhone Screenshot 1
Circuit Board - Go with the flow! comes from von Lunagames Fun & Games.
iPhone Screenshot 2
It's exactly what you'd expect: circuit boards.
iPhone Screenshot 3
The last image says Tons of Puzzles, but I saw only 48 and solved them very quickly.  The last 10 were challenging. The whole game took about an hour. It's free!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Lost Qubixle: puzzle app game for ipad, iphone, android.

iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
Andre Breitenfeld recently contacted me about his puzzle app game Lost Qubixle.
His description: Do you ever ask yourself what happens when a star collapses? The Qubixle is a cube-shaped star which collapsed suddenly. Your task is to reconstruct the star with the guidance of the robot Qubie. But Qubie's memory is not the best and you only have three views to reconstruct it with as few cubes as possible. The Lost Qubixle is a perspective puzzle game based on voxels. Overcome the barriers of your perception and enhance your logical thinking by solving mind-blowing puzzles.

1. You are given a top view, a side view and a front view.  Your task is to place cues in the 4x4x4 space to match those views.
2. To earn 3 stars, use the minimum # of cubes.
3. There are 54 levels and I solved 28 of them.  They can get pretty challenging - in terms of using the minimum number of cubes.
4. The graphics are very very  good.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

+1 number: free point scoring puzzle app

iPhone Screenshot 1      iPhone Screenshot 2
+1 Number is a very good point scoring puzzle app game. The objective is to tap on any number to increase it by 1 so that there is a group of three or more identical numbers.

Here's what happens: first, you score points. No idea what the formula for that is. Second, you get a bonus move.  The game ends when you run out of moves.

At the start of the game, you are given 5 moves. If you can't create a set, you lose a move. If you get a massive chain reaction, you'll get bonus moves, but never more than 5.

This game can go on for a very long time.  My high score is 204,170 which took about 25 minutes to play.   The leaderboard does not seem to be working for this game.  I like this game.

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

Most Similar games to +1 number:
Triple Town          
Kindly  Colors    
Virus Pop Smash

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Zerooo: free point scoring puzzle app for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Zerooo is a fast game. The object is to tap on the 1, 3 & 7 until the big number gets to zerooo. The game ends when time has expired, or you over subtracted into negative territory.

There's a time limit: when you succeed, you get a few more seconds.  My high score is 19.

The problem with this game is that for every game, the 1, 3 & 7 never change.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Illusion Maze

Capture d’écran iPhone 1                    Capture d’écran iPhone 2
Illusion Maze may be a bare bones puzzle app. But it is decidedly charming. The object is to get to the yellow square.
Capture d’écran iPhone 3                          Capture d’écran iPhone 5
There are 30 levels and the object in each is to get to the yellow square. The designs themselves are quite good. I did them all in about 1 hour.

There are 30 levels.  Not sure if this game is completely original, or even partly original.  There's another game called Hocus that's very similar.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Good Fences: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 4
When my friend Nicola Salmoria tweets about a good puzzle game, I pay attention. Craig S. Kaplan's Good Fences has made me actually enjoy a polyomino puzzle.
Description from the App Store:
Good Fences is a fiendishly difficult solitaire game that combines Sudoku-like logical deduction with geometric intuition and spatial reasoning. The idea is simple: build a Good Fence by surrounding a shape with copies of itself. Sound easy? Well, OK, sometimes we throw in a gimme to lull you into a false sense of security. But can you then completely surround a shape using the smallest possible number of copies? How about the largest possible number? And if you can do that, can you also build a fence around your fence, that is, a second level of surround? You'll discover that some of these challenges require persistence and ingenuity.

Good Fences is a virtual book of over 100 puzzle shapes, adding up to over 400 individual challenges. It will provide many hours of frustration, torment, mental exhaustion, stimulation, entertainment, and, ultimately, redemption. The interface is easy to use, and the colours are bright and friendly. The app doesn't display ads or otherwise consume internet bandwidth, and has no in-app purchases or upgrades.

My thoughts:
1. The first objective is to surround the piece with copies of itself. Reflections and rotations are fine.
2. The second objective is to surround the piece with the minimum number of copies.
2. The third objective is to surround the piece with the maximum number of copies.
4. I am very impressed with the mathematics and the overall presentation.
5. I'm not a purist. I'm perfectly content to solve puzzles without being perfectly efficient.
6. Some of them are quite hard.  I'm thinking of the shape that looks like a swan.
7. Good Fences is a strong contender for a 2015 PAGY nomination.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Double Juggle: free dexterity puzzle game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
As a lifelong juggler, I was intrigued by this game. Double Juggle is a terrific dexterity game that's just plain fun.  Tap on the bottom to create a paddle. Don't tap too early because it's only alive for maybe half a second. 

As the number of balls increase, it's hard to keep up. 

My high score is 43, but with practice, I hope to get up to 100.

Games like this are great for keeping one's reflexes and brain sharp and, who knows, may ward off Alzheimer's.  I'd like to see another version where the balls don't fall so quickly.

Other great dexterity games that I've reviewed over the years.

Brain Rush
Make Them Fall
Line Rush
Square Lines
Swipe the Arrows
Swipe Dash
Stop Crows
Don't Click Me
One, Two, Three
1 to 25 Number Challenge
Acuity Games
Slide to Unlock
Pinball Sniper
Pop the Lock
2 Cars

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Number Escape: free puzzle app game for ipad, iphone

SANG MOON JOO's game Number Escape is one of those Topology games that I've always liked.

The object is to trace a path over all the squares from Start to Goal. However, some squares will need to be crossed over multiple times.

There are 60 free 4x3 levels and 60 4x5 levels.  I did the last 10 of each.  The larger grids cost money.  From the list below, I would say that Pathle is the one that is most similar. However, in Pathle, you must figure out the starting and ending points.

Some other good topology games:
Lines Numeric Fun
Space Dots
Just Routes
Square Time
Numeric Paranoia
Number Painting
Water Colors
Colors the Addictive Game

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Virus Pop Smash Free - a cute popular matching puzzle game

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Lei Shan's Virus Pop Smash Free is a lot like Tripevo, Triple Town and SubaraCity. The object is to score points by combining 3 yellow creatures into 1 red one.  Then 3 red creatures into a green creature. Altogether, there are 13 creature levels.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
I really like the graphics.

There's one thing I'm not crazy about: the powerups.  Essentially, you can earn powerups and save them for 1 game down the road, Presumably if you maximize them for just that one game, who knows how high your score could go.  I'd rather there be no powerups.

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

Most Similar games to Virus Pop Smash:
 Tripevo               Triple Town           Kindly  Colors     COLORswipe       SubaraCity

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Go to Gold 2 - Chinese Puzzle: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Loyal Blog Follower David Cole recently alerted me to this gem: Go to Gold 2 - Chinese Puzzle.

iPhone Screenshot 3

Earlier this year I played the previous game Go to Gold and positively loved it. In this game, the first 18 levels or so are free. After that it costs money - I forgot how much I paid.  But it's worth it.  These puzzles are so well crafted.  I've done probably several thousand sokoban puzzles over the years.  These are simply fantastic. At the moment I've done about 59of the 72 puzzles.

What's new: One type of block can only get pushed either vertically or horizontally, not in both directions.

Timur Nigmetzianov is the author and he's hit a home run.

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
Sokoban Evolution

Monday, November 2, 2015

Infinity Loop: Blueprints - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
There are numerous puzzle app games that have the same objective as Infinity Loop: Blueprints - connect all the pipes & nodes to form one continuous loop.

Infinity Loop: Blueprint has an alternate objective: connect everything into multiple loops.

According to the developers there are hundreds of levels.  I did the first 55. They're fast, easy and there is an addictive quality to them, though the concept has been done countless times before.

This puzzle is definitely good for kids.

Just a week ago I reviewed another game of theirs Move the Stone.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sumaze! - free math puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
Dr Richard Lissaman from the Mathematics Institute at University of Warwick, UK, recently contacted me about his puzzle app game called Sumaze!

The object is to start with the blue number on top - Your Man - and get to the exit.  Along the way, you will change your value in order  to pick up keys and get to the exit. Essentially, Sumaze! tests your knowledge of Order of Operations, which is normally a pre-algebra concept.

However, things can get pretty complicated.  The game starts with easy stuff and gets to Logs, exponents, square roots and I'm not sure what.  (I haven't gotten to Fermat's Room yet.) Still, even in the easier rooms, there are a couple of challenging problems.

iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5

Sumaze! is one of those games that has some good puzzles, but will not be very successful. (The App Store has scores of those! One of my favorite puzzles made only $10.)

My recommendation is to overhaul the mechanics to resemble Qwhizzle. That game is similar: but is very successful because of its sparkling graphics, the element of time and the opportunity to compete against others.!/id1045060091?mt=8

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Factory Balls: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 5
Bart Bonte has created a bunch of games on the App Store. Factory Balls is a very charming little puzzle. The objective is to start with a white ball and paint it carefully to match the image on the box.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Various tools include: vertical belt, horizontal belt, glasses for the top hemisphere and for the bottom hemisphere, pliers to add a nose, an axe to cut out a mouth, ear muffs. Your ball may also need to grow grass and flowers. Use the different wool hats to create a spiked pattern

Right now there are 80 levels and I've done all but 5.  My mistake was taking a break.  You really need to do these non stop - methodically.

(My grandfather's brothers were in the stencil business. They created stencils for toys so that when they needed to paint certain parts, the colors would be correct. I think they would have liked this game.)

Big thanks to Loyal Blog Follower David Cole for informing me of this little gem.