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Friday, January 19, 2018

Chessumo by Murray LLC FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Chessumo comes from Murray LLC. It's a point scoring puzzle game.  All pieces can attack any other piece.  Points are scored by pushing pieces off the board, just like in sumo wrestling.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Pushing 1 piece gains 1 point.
Pushing 2 pieces gains 5 points.
3 pieces nets 14 points.

After your piece makes a move, it is dead and can no longer move.  Unless, another piece pushes it within the grid, but not off the board.

It took me more time than I care to admit, that I figured these rules out.

At first, I did not like this game. Then I saw a monster score on the Leaderboard and tinkered more.

Chessumo definitely has an element of luck. Bad luck often comes when pawns and bishops appear.  However, this is a very solid game.  At the moment, my high score is over 500.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chessumo/id1265923253?mt=8

http://chessumo.com/

Other chess-like puzzles that I've blogged about:
Solitaire Chess - my favorite from this list
Overgrown
Pirate Ring
Board: Chess Puzzle
Blip Blurp
Knight Trade
Troyis
Mate in 3? Ok!
Chess Puzzle of the Day
Chess Free 
Ruby Capture
ChessQuest
Blind Knights
Intersection
Chess Light - very good
No More Kings
March Simple Chess
Knights


Thursday, January 18, 2018

13 Balls by Bimza LLC FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
13 Balls comes from Bimza LLC.  It's a dexterity puzzle app game.  The object is to drop balls from the top and watch them bounce around the bumpers. Kind of like Pachinko.

The number of dots in each bumper indicate how many times it must be tapped.

This game is hard! But it's also surprisingly fun.  I got to level 10 and gave up before the addiction set in.

Tomorrow's game is a winner.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/13-balls/id1329162354?mt=8

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Logic Dots 2 by Ayopa Games LLC FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Logic Dots 2 comes from Ayopa Games LLC.  The object is to place the dots in the grid to satisfy the number of dots specified for each row & column.  At the same time, the dots must form clusters that match the ones at the top of the screen.  See image #2 for an example.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
The App Store Gods highlighted this in their New Games We Love.  I do not love this game. Nevertheless, I've done over 100 levels. They're fast. But I must move on to something more worthy.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/logic-dots-2/id1160013432?mt=8
http://www.ayopagames.com/

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

PixelMaze by Juhapekka Piiroinen FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1   iPhone Screenshot 2
PixelMaze comes from Juhapekka Piiroinen. The object is to collect all the gems and get to the final checkerboard. It's a maze, but it's also a bit of a dexterity/time puzzle game.

There's a sokoban element in some levels.

Level 14 had me stumped.  I emailed JP for a hint. (Then I realized that I hadn't read the full description on the App Store!)  Subsequent to JP getting back to me, I realized there was a genuine problem.  He fixed it and the App Store people approved it within 48 hours.

There are 37 levels altogether. I definitely like that.  I've done about 19 levels.

There's an infinity mode where most of the grid is hidden. As Your Man travels, the immediate are lights up. This element was programmed very well.  Overall, this is fun.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pixelmaze/id1252617787?ls=1&mt=8
http://www.jppiiroinen.com/pixelmaze/index.html

Friday, January 12, 2018

New York Puzzle Party: Saturday 2/17

The annual New York Puzzle Party will be Saturday February 17, 2018. 9:30 - 4:00  

At the moment, there will be 7 presentations:

1. Best Puzzle Apps of 2017  Tom Cutrofello  http://gottasolveit.blogspot.com/

2. Making Optical Illusions on your computer  Charlie Deck  http://bigblueboo.com/

3. The trials & tribulations of successfully marketing your game  Michael Cahill  https://www.facebook.com/triviabluff

4. A Complete Waste of Computer Time  Bill Cutler  http://billcutlerpuzzles.com/

5. Escape Rooms  Lisa & David Spira  https://roomescapeartist.com/about/

6. Workshop: Making Flexagons  Ann Schwartz

7. Progress on solving the ClimbPro24 Sliding Block Puzzle  Glenn Iba  http://puzzles.baxterweb.com/images/full/01/IMG_5021.jpg

All puzzlers are welcome.  If this is your first time to attend NYPP, send me a note.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

My brother ate my pudding - escape room by hap Inc. FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
My brother ate my pudding - escape room comes from hap Inc. It's not really a room escape, but sort of.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There are 20 levels and they go pretty fast. I needed about 25 minutes to do it all. And I did use a hint.
The graphics are not great, but that's okay.  Some of the solutions are funny.  Definitely play this game for the last level!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-brother-ate-my-pudding-escape-room/id1257119820?mt=8

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tents and Trees Puzzles by Frozax Games FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Tents and Trees Puzzles comes from Frozax Games. It's an old concept from at least 1989. It first appeared in a Dutch puzzle magazine called Breinbrekers.  Leon Balmaekers was the inventor.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to place tents in the rows and columns such that:
1. Every tree must have a tent next to horizontally/vertically.
2. No two tents can be next to each other horizontally/vertically/diagonally.
3. The numbers at the top and on the side indicate the # of tents.

These puzzles are kind of easy. But they're fun!  I've done about 120 levels. I would have done more, except I have to earn extra coins by either watching ads or waiting 6 hours!  Of course there's an option to buy coins.  I've seen the same 5 second ad for 'slider fries' about 40 times now.

Frozax made the Thermometers game from 2 years ago and Mirrors & Reflections from 5 years ago.
https://itunes.apple.com/app/tents-and-trees-puzzles/id1279378379?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frozax.tentsandtrees
https://www.frozax.com/

Monday, January 8, 2018

Loopadot By Ralf Schubert & Joy King FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Loopadot comes from Ralf Schubert and Joy King.  The object is to slide the circles, one at a time, to get them to their correct spots.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Each level can be solved within a certain number of moves.  Powerups are an option, but not necessary.  Essentially, it's the old 15 sliding tile puzzle, but with duplicate tiles.

There are 93 levels. I've solved about 30 levels.

The graphics are very good.

This is Ralf's & Joy's first game.  I'm looking forward to their other games.

https://loopadot.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.develovision.loopadot&pcampaignid=MKT-Other-global-all-co-prtnr-py-PartBadge-Mar2515-1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/loopadot/id1236803167?mt=8

Friday, January 5, 2018

Quaddro 2 - Minimalist Puzzle by Hugo Pereira $2.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Quaddro 2 - Minimalist Puzzle comes from Hugo Pereira. The object is to slide the dots around to make squares - either 2x2 or 3x3 to remove all the dots.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Main Features
1. Some dots are fixed in place.
2. The big white squares can rotate and shift.

There are 80 puzzles, grouped into 8 categories.  The first category is symbolized with a baby bottle. Love that.

I solved all 80 puzzles. The last 10 were kind of tricky, but not ultra hard.  The graphics are perfect.

http://mentallab.com.br/quaddro2/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quaddro-2-minimalist-and-intelligent-puzzle-game/id1196846269?l=pt&ls=1&mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mentallab.quaddro2

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Cosmic Express by Draknek Limited $4.99

iPhone Screenshot 2
Cosmic Express comes from Draknek Limited. They came out with A Good Snowman is Hard to Build from about 2 years ago. That was a great game.
iPhone Screenshot 3
The object of this game is to find a route that will pick up the orange & purple people and deposit them in their boxes. If you played RGB Express from 2.5 years ago, you'll get the idea.
iPhone Screenshot 5
Cosmic Express definitely borrows the concept or RGB, but that's okay.  In many ways, this game is has some good innovations like wormholes.

Most importantly, Cosmic Express is tough! But with enough fiddling, they're all reasonably doable.

There are approximately 120 levels.  I've done about 40.

$4.99 is reasonable, considering it's led to about 4 hours of fun, so far.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cosmic-express/id1152474226?mt=8
https://cosmicexpressgame.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cosmicexpressgame

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 PAGY Nominees

Below is the list of nominees for the Puzzle App Games of the Year awards, known around the world as the famous PAGY Awards.  

It's very possible that there were other worthy puzzles that are not on this list.  Every week there are approximately 200 new games published on the App Store with a classification of 'puzzle'. It's impossible to scrutinize them all. But we did our best.

If you know of a great puzzle app that was overlooked: let us know in the comments section below.

Tomorrow, I will post the 2017 PAGY winners.

Galaxy Numbers Pro
Zquare
Jelly Doods Puzzle
Crosses Puzzle Unlimited Domino
Asymmetric
Solokus
Word Sudoku
Tilt Space
Zenge
Buckets
Tower Locked
The Lost City
Perfect Fit
Roofbot: Puzzler on the Roof
-Pila-
Moonball Infinity
Circle Pong
Symmetria: Path to Perfection
ROOM Δ -Room Escape Game-
Sphinx -Room Escape Game-
Panic Cube
Find the Road
Rebound Lite
Districts
Mirror Maze
Squares - Puzzle
atapgame
Combilock
Logistricks
HIT n RUN
ZeGame
Laser Glow
Pinball Star
Cubicks Free
Trail Puzzle Game
9 Moves: Ball game - Move balls in 60 seconds
Puppo!
Linia
Run Hit Number
Layer Merge
Switch It Puzzle
Pipe It
Omino!
Chinese-Puzzle
Cosmic Hare
Compel
Plus Fifteen
Blyss
KAMI 2
Rupiko
Loopine
Push It, Puzzle Edition
Train Mix
Norinori
rvlvr
Social Sessions
Zip-Zap
Cuzzle
Raytrace Lite
Not Not - A Brain Buster
AuroraBound
Zhed
Yellow (Game)
O--O ~ Turn the Lights
Happy Portions
Hard Wood Puzzle. Square
TurnClockWise Logic
Angry Cube
loolo
Fill the Hole
Color Combine Game
Blork
Paper Folders
Cubic Blocks
5+ (fiveplus)
DangoStack
Super Swipes
Tetraslide
Sudoku Spin
Mindroller
Factors Game
Tap the 3s
Ballz
Zenfold
Dots Pairs
Dotless
Flat Cubic
Snaky Snake
Make Square
Zame
Pushing Machine
Bubble Unblock
Triangle Flip
SuprinO
Tumbling Cube
Jellyban
Blokken
Piece Out
GyroCube
Zen Cube
Push It Sokoban Edition
SnakekanS
Count 60
Dyson Telescope Game
Splashy Dots
Mezzo Puzzle
Color Merge
Colorzam
Loopse
Box Home
Smashy 4
Roll the Dices
Colorist
Crossy Path Puzzle
oh no
Puzzle Dots Game
English Country Tune
YANKAI'S PEAK
Causality
Cube Escape: Theater
Boo!
Cubesc
Number Array
Divisor by G
Cubiques 2
Color 6
Mind Cache
Glowish
Cubiques
Slices
Flow Free: Warps
Sudoku Sweeper
Word Bubbles
Ten Monkey Challenge
La Palette Color Ballz
Campfire Cooking
Joints Puzzle Game
Nodulus
Typeshift
Octopuz
"PUSH"
21 Black
QB - a cube's tale
Swim Out
follow.trail
Sticks.
Gerrymander
Sujiko
Knights
Waltzing Tiles
DropPocket FV
Disjoint
Joint Number Place
Flat Cubes
Cube Escape: The Cave

Friday, December 29, 2017

"PUSH" by Maciej Targoni and Michal Pawlowski

iPhone Screenshot 1
When Maciej Targoni publishes a game, of course it's going to be wonderful. "PUSH" is Maciej's newest game. He and Michal Pawlowski made it together.  Maciej's other games are at the bottom.  I've been meaning to play test this game for about 2 months.  Back then, I solved the first 7 or 8 levels and realized that I might need to take notes about all the features.
iPhone Screenshot 2
The object is to push all the buttons in the down position. Nothing is explained. Everything is self-discovery. Every level has an 'aha' where you must discover what the correct pattern is.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Today I gave it a go for about 90 minutes.  I'm somewhere about level 45. No idea how many levels there are. I'll finish them tonight.

Some of the features:
1. Pink sokoban cube theme
2. Axes that swivel and/or disconnect
3. Black/white ordering
4. Look at image 2. That level is a maze
5. Yin/Yang pairing
iPhone Screenshot 4
"PUSH" is featured by the editors of the App Store. Deservedly.

Update 12/30/17: I finished the game. There are 65 levels plus one spelling puzzle at the end.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/push/id1257416763?mt=8
http://pushpuzzlegame.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rainbowtrain.push
http://store.steampowered.com/app/676430/PUSH/

Other games from Maciej that you must download.
"klocki"
"Hook"
oO

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

21 Black by Bit Free Games FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
21 Black comes from Bit Free Games. The object is to score points by combining adjacent tiles to make 21. Two identical tiles never add when they merge. Two 6's will yield one 6.
iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 4
I've played the endless mode. This is an interesting game. The idea is great. The graphics are very good.

Where 21 Black falls short: if played perfectly, you'll never lose. You can even make a lot of mistakes and easily overcome them.  I stopped at 1000 points and then intentionally lost.

Another problem: the program does not always save your game mid stream.
https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/21-black/id1044373988?mt=8


Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

QB - a cube's tale by Stephan Goebel $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
QB - a cube's tale comes from Stephan Goebel. It's a maze game with obstacles.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to get Your Man, the black cube, to the black square.

Features:
1. Landing on a red square will destroy the square immediately forward. It matters whence you land on it.
2. The yellow towers must always be destroyed, by landing on a yellow square, which will fire a laser. Again, landing on the yellow square from the correct orientation is critical.
3. The blue squares enable you to jump 1 square.
4. The little black squares indicate that Your Man can only traverse that space once.
5. The green square: the forward and back squares will swap places. Very cool.
6. Not shown in these images: red/blue, red/yellow and blue/yellow squares. If Your Man lands on a red/blue square with red being up and blue down, it will act as a red piece. But will then flip upside down to act as blue the next time.
7. The green, white & black squares slide 1 space. They show up in the last 10 levels.

There are 60 levels (a perfect number!). There's a lot of trial and error. Some good 'aha' moments.

It took 3-4 hours, but I solved them all.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/qb-a-cubes-tale/id1289455886?mt=8
http://20edges.com/

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Swim Out by Lozange Lab $2.99

iPhone Screenshot 1
Mat Lozinguez contacted me back in August about his game Swim Out. He and his wife Ava are the team behind Lozange Lab. The object is to get the swimmer with the blue cap to the ladder without crashing into any of the swimmers with the red caps.
iPhone Screenshot 2
Swim Out has numerous features:
1. For some levels, you must retrieve an object that will temporarily halt another swimmer.
2. Most of the swimmers do simple back and forth laps. Unless there are 45 degree angle walls which force a 90 degree turn.
3. Avoid the ladies who sit with their legs in the pool.
4. Blue Boards: for those who can't swim, these 'swimmers' take up 2 square units. 
5. Boomerangs, kayaks and too many other things like waves, divers, and fins.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There are 115 levels.  I love the graphics.  The puzzles are challenging. Lots of trial and error. I've done about one-fourth of the levels.
iPhone Screenshot 4
Shuttle Shuffle is their old game, which I reviewed almost 3 years ago.
iPhone Screenshot 5
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swim-out/id1204231646?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lozangelab.swimout.googleplay

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.