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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Relix 2: puzzle app for iphone ipad Review

Relix 2 is the sequel to Relix. The object is the same: slide the tiles to get 3 in a row and make them disappear. Relix 2 has 40 levels. And they're quite challenging. Right now I've solved 29 of the levels. There is a bonus round of puzzle levels from Glenn Iba. He created Monorail, which is another puzzle app that I really like. There is no way that anybody is going to solve both level packs in less than 5 hours. Very challenging, lots of fun.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

PathLink: free puzzle app for iphone ipad

PathLink is a topology maze type puzzle. Start at the star, and then cover all the squares moving horizontally and vertically. Look at the yellow area: do you see the two 2's? That means that those squares will be traversed twice each. There are 35 free levels. I've done them all - they're fun. After that, there are 80 paid levels. I'd like to remind you that an excellent version of this type of puzzle is Numeric Paranoia.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Square Time: free puzzle app for iphone ipad Review

Square Time is another topology puzzle. The object is to tap on the squares so that they all form one continuous string. You must start on one of the yellow squares. A red cube means that you're not going to include that space. There are 61 levels. I've solved them all. I'm not crazy about the graphics on this. I'd recommend Numeric Paranoia first.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jigglesaw: puzzle app for iphone, ipad

Matthew Hille recently contacted me about his new jigsaw puzzle app: Jigglesaw. The picture is constantly moving. Matthew says that they start to get hard at level 30 and that after level 60 they get really hard! So far I've done just about 60 levels. Yes, they're getting hard. Definitely fun.

Update (June 19, 2012): I've solved all 70 puzzles.  Never did I think that I would have so much fun with a jigsaw puzzle app.

There 4 basic themes in the puzzles: moving footprints; bouncing balls, squares and ladybugs; and seeds that sprout into flowers. The grid sizes get larger, which makes it harder. Now I think I'd like to see more themes.

Now I want more puzzle levels!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cast Dolce: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week Review

Click here for the solution. Cast Dolce is this week's Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the week. The object is to take apart the male & female symbols. I have no idea about the origins of these symbols. But I can tell you that the solution involves 4 or 5 steps. This type of disentanglement puzzle is more pleasant than the string and ring puzzles. Great price!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

NineOut: point-scoring puzzle app for iphone ipad

Sandro Baggattini from Zurich, Switzerland recently contacted me about his point-scoring puzzle app: NineOut. 1. The object is to place tiles from the bottom of the board so that: the surrounding 8 squares will add up to that #. Look at the diagram and place a 7 next to the 5 & 2. The 5 & 2 will disappear and the 7 will stay on the board. In order to really clear the board, you will need to get a whole lot of 9's to pop up. A 9 next to a 7 & 2 and they ALL disappear. I was stuck on level 1 because I did not see this explained in the rules: The gray squares have to be flipped over with a 9 next to them. Then they have to be vanished with another 9. When I first saw the video of this puzzle app, I was skeptical. Big deal, I thought. Then I played it & realized there was a time element. NineOut is a terrific little puzzle app that's a keeper! So far my top score is 62,200 which places me 3rd in the World Leaderboard. My mother is very proud. View this video of how to play.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lab Mice Puzzles: huge best seller for

Major thanks to everybody who is buying Lab Mice Puzzles from If you decide to buy more copies to give as gifts to nieces/nephews/grandchildren, please do it at night. I like the idea of making money while I sleep. CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Puzzle Bonsai: puzzle app for iphone, ipad Review

Kimmo Lahtinen recently contacted me about his new puzzle app Puzzle Bonsai. There are 3 versions of games here. The Numbers version: place the plus, minus, multiplication and division signs onto the orange circles to create an 'Order of Operations' equation that will equal the number at the trunk. The Word version is basically the same. Operations for this: 'swap left with right' and 'un-anagram'. While you're thinking, the tree sways gently back and forth and in the background are some Chinese characters midst a village scene. Quite nice artwork. It's a very serene atmosphere that contrasts radically from another puzzle app I'm playing now that has a frantic time element.

Monday, May 21, 2012

iBall 38: puzzle app for iphone, ipad Review

iBall 38 is the virtual model for a puzzle that was known as Mozaika invented by Rudolf Destics. I bought Mozaika from Mr. Destics about 15 years ago. He sold it in various color schemes. You could get it half red, half blue. Or you could get it in 4 colors or 8 colors. This virtual edition comes in 4 colors. It's hard! The graphics and user interface are quite good. Scroll down to find 2 more puzzles by Dumitru Ban - posted in the last 3 weeks: iGlobe 38 and iDomino 18.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cast Square: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week

Cast Square is a terrific little puzzle at a terrific little price. The object is to take it apart, then reassemble. What's great about this puzzle is that it's virtually indestructible. Your non-puzzle friends and nieces & nephews won't be able to break it. Full disclosure: Vesa Timonen is my puzzle friend from Finland and he designed it. Here's the link.

Skyline Shadow: free iphone ipad puzzle app Review

Look at the icon to the right - cool and elegant. So I downloaded it. There are 15 puzzle levels. The object is to swap the gray bars with each other so they match the green bars above the reflecting line.

I've solved all 15 levels in about 15 minutes. Strictly for kids. Still, love that art work.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The object of Relix is to slide the tiles so that 3 of them line up to disappear. If 2 of them line up without the third, they will vanish & your stuck! I haven't played this puzzle in at least year because I did it on my ipod touch and the data didn't transfer over to my ipad. Suffice it to say, these puzzles are really good fun and challenging. I did not complete them. In fact I was convinced that some of the levels were impossible. 1 more thing: notice the white dots? That's a portal. Relix 2 has recently come out. I'll post a review about that in a week or two.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

63 Logic Games - Time Killers: puzzle apps for iphone, ipad

Andrea Sabbatini contacted me about 2 weeks ago about her puzzle app: 63 Logic Games - Time Killers. There are 63 different types of puzzles here totaling over 1500 puzzle levels. These types of puzzles come from the Japanese book publishing company Nikoli. My favorites: Lighten Up, Tatami, Snail, Hidden Stars, Branches. Masyu is the one I like the least. Some of these puzzles are available on the App Store under other names. Hidden Stars is also known as Jabeh. Lighten Up is also known as Lighthouse. Branches: this was offered on a CD-ROM game by Rubik's in the mid 90's and called Cover-Up. Landscaper is also known as Binary Sudoku. Calcudoku is also known as KenKen. Hidato is also known as Numbrix. (I'm not exactly sure if they're the same.) Loopy is also known as Monorail. So far I've solved about 175 puzzles from various games. I have not sampled all 63 puzzle games yet. There's no way anybody is going to complete all these puzzle levels any time soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unweb: free iphone ipad puzzle app Review

Unweb is a free puzzle app where you have to untangle all the cords by moving the points around. No lines can cross. As I've said before: this has been done before. I remember a colleague of mined named Karmel who first showed me this type of puzzle, maybe 6 years ago. Do a google search for planarity. It's okay.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hex-A-Palooza: free ipad iphone puzzle app

Doug Durkin recently contacted me about his new puzzle app: Hex-A-Palooza. Look at the aquamarine hexagons. They can turn in either direction. When they do, the yellow triangles travel with them. The object is to match the numbers on the triangles with the numbers on the hexagons. This is tough! They're similar to Doug Engel's circle and battlegear puzzles. There is a lite version, so give it a try.

Crossword/Chavez/Venezuela Plot CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Government critics, and even some supporters, are ridiculing a state TV host's allegation that a newspaper crossword puzzle may have had a hidden call for a plot to kill President Hugo Chavez's elder brother.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cast Baroq: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week Review

Click here for the solution
Puzzle Master sells Baroq and describes it this way: "This Akio Yamamoto creation consists of two pieces fashioned after the image of intertwining Bach melodies. Following the dynamic build up is an inspirational finale when the two pieces elegantly release from each other. You may even want to choose a somewhat luxurious and relaxing ambience when attempting this puzzle. The key word is 'music'." Myself: I had no idea there was a musical theme and I enjoyed solving it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

iGlobe 38: puzzle app for ipad, iphone Review

This is the second of Dumitru Ban's puzzle apps. About 15 years ago somebody gave me the physical version of this puzzle. You can slide the pieces along the equator and up and down the 2 longitudes to restore order in the world. The physical version was not too smooth; I got frustrated and never finished solving this. iGlobe 38 turns a lot smoother. It's also a lot cheaper than the physical puzzle. The graphics and interface are quite good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What is this App?: puzzle app for iphone, ipad

What Is This App? is the title of the app. You are presented with a series of images and have to solve them. Very similar to 100 Floors. What Is This App? is not exactly my kind of puzzle. But I can see the appeal for other puzzlers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Magic Bricks: free iphone ipad puzzle app

Magic Bricks is a super fun puzzle app! The object is to eliminate the bricks in the center by firing matching bricks from the top, bottom, left or right. A bit like Tetris. However, you only need 2 bricks adjacent to each other to make them disappear. Magic Bricks is challenging, frustrating and just plain fun. I've done 33 of the 100 levels and that took about 4 hours. For the record: I've never liked Tetris, but I love Magic Bricks. Truly. Note: the first 25 levels are free. Update: May 21, 2012. I am now up to level 75. I've skipped 5 or 6 levels. At this point, each level can take 1 hour. I'm thinking I need to delete this to remove the addiction.

Clever Driver: this week's ripoff of Rush Hour

Thomas McDonald of Games Magazine recently wrote an article about plagarism in the App Store. Seems like every week there's another version of Nob Yoshigahara's Rush Hour. Clever Driver is the latest.

Monday, May 7, 2012

100 Floors: free iphone ipad puzzle app

100 Floors just came out on Friday. The object is to somehow open the elevator doors to go up to the next level. Spoilers have already been published everywhere. Right now I'm stuck on level 25, which I'm finding really annoying because I know what to do. Implementing the solution is proving to be very tedious. However, I really like this set of puzzles.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cast Keyring: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the week Review

Click here for the solution.
Cast Keyring comes from Oskar van Deventer. There are 2 pieces which are almost identical. Or maybe they are identical. I'm not sure now. It's actually a maze disentanglement puzzle. It's very cool and clever and I've solved it numerous times over the years. My advice: buy 3 copies. 1 for yourself, another for a niece or nephew, another for an office grab-bag Christmas party.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

iDomino 18

Dumitru Ban from Timisoara, Romania recently contacted me about 3 puzzle apps he's created. The first one is called iDomino 18. The physical version of this puzzle was called Rubik's Domino. It was a commercial flop. When ebay came on the scene, the puzzle often sold for $200. I felt very fortunate to get a copy for just $15. Then I solved it. It's much easier than a normal 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube. But it's still tricky. This virtual version is stellar. The graphics make this puzzle super easy to manipulate. You don't need to buy the physical version now. Next week I'll post a review of another of Dumitru's puzzles.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Titanic by SmartGames: puzzle app for iphone ipad Review

Raf Peters recently contacted me about his new puzzle app: Titanic by SmartGames. Raf has created at least 10 puzzles for Smart Games. I have a bunch of them. The object of Titanic is to move the boats to rescue the people. Beware, it's the seat of the boat that must be adjacent to the person. Also, if a boat travels next to a passenger, it must rescue that person. When a boat is full, it drops anchor and cannot move. These puzzles are hard. There are 96 levels. So far, I've done 87 of them. The last 24 puzzles are very hard. SmartGames and Raf produced a physical version of this puzzle a few years ago, also called Titanic. That version had 48 puzzle levels. The app version has a completely new set of puzzles. Titanic easily makes it onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012. Congratulations Raf!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tank Maze: free iphone ipad puzzle app

When I saw this I thought: looks too easy. The object of Tank Maze is to get your tank to the star. Each intersection has a set of arrows that may or may not permit you to advance to where you want. These were more challenging than I thought! I solved 8 or 9 of the levels. The paid version has 39 levels! Great for kids!