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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Folt: update

iPhone Screenshot 2 
It's taken me a while, but I have finally finished all 175 levels of FOLT. This game is not for everybody because there's an element of luck involved. Regarding my high score on the Endless mode, others have surpassed me and now I'm down to 12th place or so.
Read my previous post.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Dots: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 3
If you look at the first image of TwoDots by Betaworks One, you'll think like I did: another connect the dots point scoring game.  Not exactly.
Look at the second image. If you can get 4 yellow dots to form a square, that will knock out all the yellow squares on the board. 
The object of the game is to solve the 130 levels. Each level will have a slightly different objective. For example, you may be given 20 moves to somehow eliminate 15 yellow dots and 15 red dots. The key strategy, almost always, is to get those square chains, which can be difficult.
At the moment, I'm on level 105 or thereabouts.
Is there a Candy Crush element to TwoDots? Yes, but because there is a lot of randomness and invitations to purchase more lives.
When I run out of lives on TwoDots, I switch to Folt, until I run out of lives on that game.
Both games have a much better than Candy Crush.
TwoDots is fun!

Monday, July 28, 2014

International Puzzle Party

I've received a bunch of emails regarding The International Puzzle Party. Here's the deal: it's a semi-secret organization that meets once a year. I'm going. I cannot reveal the dates or the location.

If you wish to become a member......well, that's a puzzle in itself. Can you figure out how to get an invitation?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Monsters: Survival of the Fittest: online puzzle game

A couple of years ago I played/solved all of the Cannibal Monsters challenge levels. It's a bit like peg solitaire where one Monster must be left.

In Cannibal Monsters - the physical game, and now Monsters Survival of the Fittest, the objective is the same. The rules of how one monster eats another is based on colors. A bit too awkward to explain without images. The last few days BlogSpot has been giving me a hard time with this.

Suffice it to say, just about everything Raf Peeters does at Smart Games, is challenging and fun!  Last month I reviewed their update of Titanic.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sword & Penguin

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
 Louis-Nicolas Dozois recently contacted me about his action puzzle app game Sword & Penguin.
As a puzzle game, you must move blocks around a la sokoban. Some blocks must be pushed onto blue buttons to maneuver the blue walls downward. Same for the red & green buttons/walls.

Other puzzles: you will need to push ice blocks onto the squares that have fire.  I should mention: the object is to first collect the key, then collect the egg. Other obstacles: the electric grid which must be turned off.  Some electric fields toggle on/off every second or so. So you must time your penguin accordingly.

Other features: some squares have cracks. You can traverse over them once, after that, you will fall to your death. Igloos: be careful bumping into them because polar bears will emerge very quickly.

The action part is the polar bear who roams around. You must avoid him. He walks randomly. Sometimes he throws snowballs at you across the grid.
Level 2-10 has a very Pac-Man feel to it. Since I was never good at that game, I skipped that level.
Once you get to level 33, which is Chapter 3, level 1, you will want to get finally pick up the sword in order to kill off the bears.

There's a lot to like about Sword & Penguin. Puzzle-wise, they're not very difficult. But the action element adds to the fun. There are 160 levels.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kindly Colors: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 5

Yan Fauriat contacted me recently about his point scoring puzzle app game Kindly Colors.
The object is to group adjacent colors by themselves or in pairs of colors to get points.

Look at the second image How to Play: you may group purple with red or purple with blue, but never all three at the same time.
iPhone Screenshot 2
See green plus in the third image? If you can group that with some green/blue or green/yellow, then it will eat up all the cells in the column and row.  Now, do you see the red vertical line just under it? Getting that will only eat up the column.

This took me a while to get: if you swipe the longest possible chain on the board, one of the new tiles will be a plus sign. 

My top score is 3900 which puts me in the top 20% of players on the Game Center. When your game ends, you can buy more moves. Which means that you can buy your way to the top.

Still, I like Kindly Colors and will play it some more.

Update 7/25/14:
A note from Yan: Just as a precision regarding the quote: "When your game ends, you can buy more moves. Which means that you can buy your way to the top."

Since the update 1.0.1, the "continue/more moves" option is free. Meaning the scoring competition is perfectly fair.

From me: I keep playing this game and cannot top my high score!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hexxy: board game for iphone, ipad

iPad Screenshot 1

Tim Derebenskiy contacted me, not recently, but a while ago about his board game Hexxy. It's very similar to an old game whose name escapes me.  The object is to acquire more spaces than your opponent.  There's an Othello feel to the game.
iPad Screenshot 2

Here's what I particularly like about Hexxy: there are different board shapes. Also, you can play against somebody, or you can play against the computer.

Tim is still in high school!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

G.O.A.T. - Mow it up: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 5
Lena from Yellow Dot Mobile recently contacted me about their new puzzle app game G.O.A.T. - Mow it up.

It's a topology type game. Your goal is to draw a path of carrots on the grid so that the goat will cover the whole field.

We've seen this type of puzzle app game numerous times. Here's what's new and very good: The final square will be one of 4 objects: a boot, sandal, tire or fish bone.

There are over 200 levels. I did the 40 Easy Summertime levels pretty quickly. But I did get stumped a few times. G.O.A.T. is a good game!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Numberino: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Mikhail Mitrofanov is the author of Numberio, a puzzle app game that looks a bit like Thress! and 2048. It's different.

The object is to slide numbers up/down/right/left and combine them with each other and then match the number in the white square.

Look at the third image. See the instructions in English? When I downloaded the game, my instructions came in Russian. No matter, the pictorial rules are straight forward.

You must slide the tiles and combine them to enter the white square. You can slide in all directions. However, the value of the tile which you are sliding will decrease in value. Look at the fourth image. See the 4? If you slide it down, it will become a 2, because it went down 2 squares.

iPhone Screenshot 3 iPhone Screenshot 4

I did the first 25 levels. They get hard!

Monday, July 14, 2014

SpinIn: puzzle app game

iPhone Screenshot 3
David Tzur recently contacted me about his new puzzle app game SpinIn. I actually play tested this game 4 years ago:  when I had my ipod touch device. David says that this is an improved version. I thought the old version was terrific.

The object of SpinIn is to tilt/swipe the pieces in 4 directions until the gem can find the exit. It's sometimes possible that another piece will slide out the exit first. This may be advantageous. It may also make it impossible to get your man out.

These puzzles are extremely well designed and quite challenging. Right now I've solved the first 60 levels.

Let's talk money. You can play the first 24 levels for free. After that, you must either wait a certain amount of time, or pay to get instant access.  This will happen every 12 levels. Very similar to the Candy Crush model. I am all for ios game developers asking for money! My sense is that it should be a one time shot of $1.99. Just my opinion.

Without a doubt, SpinIn is one of the best puzzle apps of 2014.

Update 7/25/2014

I have solved up to level 70. Stuck on 71.

David sent me an image of level 90, which I can't upload. It's a 4x3 grid and the minimum number of moves to solve it is 30.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stickets: update

Good news and bad news about the point scoring puzzle app game Stickets.

You may recall that I became the second highest scorer of Stickets.

My first blog entry:



I showed the game to my father last year and he's been hooked. He plays the game very slowly and super carefully.  When he's in a jam, he puts it down for a few days until he's got 100% concentration.

About 5 months ago, my father got a good start. He's been on that 1 game, still alive and kicking, all this time.  A few days ago he overtook me and became the #2 high scorer.  Would he overtake the #1 scorer? 

Tragedy struck: while recharging his ipad, the program did not save his game. Very mysterious and unfortunate.

I told him to download Folt and give it a try.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Colors Mix: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Colors Mix is a very hard game. Your task is to clear the board of all colors. 

When the game starts, the 4x4 grid will be partly covered with primary colors only: cyan, yellow and magenta. You may move a color to an adjacent  white cell. Or you may combine it with a like colored adjacent cell. That's good. Or you can combine it with a different color to get a secondary color.

See the blue squares with asterisks? The asterisk signifies that it's a secondary color. If you combine them, they get annihilated. Only secondary colors get annihilated. That's how to achieve your objective.

After you make two moves, a new primary color will pop up some place. Hopefully to your advantage. I played 1 game for over 30 minutes and got nowhere! Why? Because you can line up your colors just right, but that new color pops up exactly where you don't want it.

Finally, today, I solved it!  It took 268 moves and just over 6 minutes.  I'm very happy!

Oh yes, I should also mention that that was the easiest of 3 levels. The other 2 levels are basically the same, just harder.

Give Colors Mix a try. I need your opinion as to whether it should join the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2014.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Digits: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Here's a description of Digits direct from the iTunes store. My comments are at the bottom:

"Digits is a hypnotic new numbers game.
Clear the board by decreasing all numbers to zero. Tap to decrease a number and the numbers around it. Be careful though because numbers in isolation cannot be decreased. Order of operations matters. (Yes, just like in school!)
And, you'll be solving puzzles along with a soundtrack entirely composed by one of Simple Machine's favorite artists, Mokhov.
Play the first 100 levels for free!
Then challenge yourself further by landing on the star tile.
If you like it, there are 500 more levels available as in-app purchases"

iPhone Screenshot 3
My comments
1. The game is similar in theme to Lights Out. Which is a great and fun concept.
2. Digits is almost the exact reverse of Logisquares which I reviewed last year.
3. I solved the first 15 levels in about 5 minutes. I think these puzzles are too easy. But that's because I really got into Logisquares which is harder for one significant reason, which I won't get into here.
4. The bigger grid sizes are harder, but they're still easy. My task was to solve all 100 puzzles as fast as possible. Altogether, I solved them all in about 25 minutes. Once you solve all the puzzles, you can redo them and try to get a star. A star will appear on a certain square and you will earn it if you make that square the last tap on the board.  Nice concept, but why not put that at the beginning?
5. I don't know who Mokhov is. I always turn the sounds off and listen to my own selections.
6. Give Digits a try. Then go to Logisquares.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Exodus Free! - Unique 2D Puzzle Game

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2 
Puzzle app friends: I am behind in my reviews. Exodus Free is a perfect example. I thought I blogged about it 2 months ago. An oversight.

Exodus Free is a 'slide your man until he hits a wall' maze puzzle game app. You must get the golden balls. Avoid the spikes. Use the wormholes.

You may recall another puzzle app game: Woodhead. It's very similar. Although Woodhead had some genuine good humor.  There are sticky squares that will halt your progress mid grid. Some blocking squares can be shifted right/left or up/down as many times as you like.

iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 3
Here's what I think is new and original in this concept: the squares that have numbers.  Look at the third image and you will see a 7 & a 6. Those squares can be moved 7 times & 6 times.

I have 1 minor qualm with these puzzles: you must swipe the arrow itself, as opposed to any place on the grid.

If you've enjoyed Quell, you will certainly like this game.  It's almost identical.  If you pass over a red dot, it will turn into an obstacle.
There are 80 levels. I was stuck on 42 for a long time and then forgot about this puzzle app. Right now I'm stuck on level 49 because it won't let me swipe in the direction I want. I believe there's a design flaw here.!-unique-2d-puzzle/id870049714?mt=8

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hedgehog Gardens: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2 iPhone Screenshot 3

Andrea Sabbatini recently contacted me about his new puzzle app game Hedgehog Gardens. This is a very original concept. There are 5 different versions and all of the images about the rules are referring to the easiest version called Back Garden. 

iPhone Screenshot 4 iPhone Screenshot 5

The hedgehog rotates from quadrant to quadrant going clockwise and always traveling in a linear direction.  Simply fill the numbers from 1-36.  It takes a few minutes to fully understand the controls, but one you get the hang of it, these go pretty fast.

The Orchard Garden is a little tougher. The hedgehog can randomly go counterclockwise, if he feels like it and then go clockwise.

The Forest is similar but now there are 9 garden squares.

The City allows the hedgehog to take a subway and travel to a diagonal garden, but he must land on a corresponding square. For example, if he's currently in the upper left corner, he will land on the upper left corner of that other garden.

Nitty Gritty: The Back Garden is way too easy. But I solved 40 or so levels, so I got into it.  The harder gardens are more difficult and I've spent 10 minutes solving just 1 level. Hedgehog Gardens will be loved by young puzzlers. But even accomplished puzzlers will find these to be fun.

There are some 1200 levels altogether.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014