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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.

Monday, October 26, 2015

One Touch Neon Glow Draw: Free Shape Puzzle Drawing & Connect Games (That's one long title.)

iPhone Screenshot 2
Some games need to be avoided. One Touch...Games is one of them. The graphics are good. But there are only 16 levels and an ad pops up after each one.

Is there a puzzle app game that you've played that's simply awful?
iPhone Screenshot 1

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Move the Stone: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
There are way too many clones of Game About Squares. However, Move the Stone is very good and worthy of your time.

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Here's why
1. Bombs. Activate a bomb to repel all adjacent objects 1 square away. Some solutions involve activating 1 bomb next to another.
2. Wormholes
3. Temporary arrows. Some squares have fixed directional arrows. Meaning, if your red square is moving to the left and it passes over an up arrow, then the red will go up of course.  The Temporary arrows disappear after the first square lands on it.
4. The graphics are just about perfect.
5. Challenging, but not impossible levels to solve.

There are 100 levels and at the moment, I've solved about half.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mr. Square

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
If you've been following this blog, then you know that I like Topology puzzles. The objective in Mr. Square is to find a path that will cover all of the squares.  When I did the first 9 levels, after 60 seconds, I thought: good graphics, but too easy. Should I waste my time on this? (I still haven't finished the expert levels of Mortal Coil.) However, JE from Germany recommended it. So I kept going and was glad that I did.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
What's different? Using 2 squares at the same time.  Totally new concept in this genre. On some of those problems, the square with the question mark on top will move in the opposite direction of where you swipe.

Other elements: directional arrows & worm holes - those have been done before.

Mr. Square has a lot going for it. Most importantly, the puzzles are well designed & fun.

87 levels - perfect number.  I've done 64.
Daniel Moreira is the author.

Similar Games
Mortal Coil - in the Puzzle App Hall of Fame
Stroke! - largely overlooked,  adds a color matching scheme that makes it devilishly hard.
Full House Touch
Full Monster Puzzle
Berry Puzzle
Eat A Way
Block Path
Snake Walk

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tile Tales - Charming number puzzle: app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 5iPhone Screenshot 1 
The good people at NordicEdu sent me a promo code to test out their new game Tile Tales - Charming number puzzle. I just assumed that it was a tangram-type puzzle.  Not at all.
iPhone Screenshot 3 iPhone Screenshot 2
The object is to start at the very bottom and zigzag your way to the very top to maximize your score. There is no backtracking!

Look at the third image, yes, there are negative tiles.  Other tiles make things even more complicated.
There are 50 levels.  I did the first 25 very rapidly.  I'm at 42 now.
I should mention: the music is very nice.  After you solve each puzzle, a nice mosaic pops up.

Monday, October 19, 2015

HexaChroma: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 
HexaChroma is an interesting puzzle game.  The objective is to eliminate the spokes by swiveling them around the hexagons against a matching spoke.

The levels start off very simply.  Actually, way too easy.

Very gradually, new mechanics are added.  White spokes can move, but they don't get eliminated. Black spokes can't move or get eliminated.

Other elements: spokes normally stay on their hexagons, unless they pass through a portal. Also, when a spoke hits a certain node, other hexagons will shift across the board, quite unexpectedly. Similarly, invisible hexagons suddenly appear.

I don't know how many levels there are. But I got up to 8-4. There might even be other game elements that I haven't gotten too yet.  Other games are beckoning.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Weaver: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
I positively love the games from Pyrosphere. Just the other day, Federico Prat Villar noticed that I  didn't mention The Weaver when I recently talked about Ribbon Puzzles. I had never heard of it.
iPhone Screenshot 4
Last night, I downloaded it & solved all 150 levels in about one hour. It's not hard. But the graphics & interplay are splendid.
The objective is to get all the ribbons to pass through a matching colored square in the bottom right or lower left side. Tap on the intersection of 2 ribbons and they will swap directions. That's where the graphics are magically wonderful.
Where things get more interesting: instead of having an orange square as the goal, that square might be a blue rectangle with a yellow rectangle. That means that either colored ribbon can pass through that space. That's where it gets a bit tricky.
My one qualm is my score for each level. On some levels, where I struggled and took a lot of time, I got 3 stars. On other levels which I solved effortlessly, I got only 1 star. As I've said in the past, I'm not a purist that needs to solve each level with the minimum # of moves.

Other Ribbon Puzzles:
Colorbind - outstanding
TAPES - almost as good as Colorbind
Woven - easy, but fun
Ribbon Puzzle - different from Colorbind and TAPES. Worth trying.

Pyrosphere's other puzzles:
Chess Light

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hard Logic

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Maxim Urusov published Hard Logic last year and somehow I missed it.  Nobody mentioned it to me.
The object is to get the squares to the dark square dots.  It is not sokoban!

Look at the first image. If you tap on the square in the 3rd column, it will activate its gravity to move squares in its row and column toward itself 1 space.  That's basically it. However, when a square merges with another square, both squares lose their gravity powers. Unless one of them gets dislodged via a third square.
iPhone Screenshot 3

Very tough. This game really needs an undo button because it's easy to make a mistake and then keep making that same mistake. But I understand why there is no undo button.

120 levels. The first 25 are free. After that: $.99.  I've done about 50 levels. Not sure because I've been swamped recently with other very worthy puzzles.

Hard logic reviews from the App Store

Alright first off this app is difficult I'm not going to lie but it has built-in guides to help walk you through some of the processes and first few levels will help you develop a skill to advance to the upper level. It's basically a touch and items move type app where you have to use your brain and mind in order to decide what move comes next what is going to be the outcome and decipher between those to determine your next move. It's hard but plain fun and it will make you smarter.
True to the title

It's really hard guys. This game will keep you thinking for a long time. But it is so satisfying to finish that level you have been stuck on for a while.

Fantastic logic based puzzler, shame many people will avoid this due to the lack of amazing UI and or graphics, their loss really.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Numoly: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Lloyd Vincent's Numoly has me hooked. The object is to fill the entire grid by following 2 simple rules:
1. Each color contains each number once.
2. Identical numbers cannot be connected. However, identical numbers can be next to each other. There can also be multiple 4's, or any number, on the same row or column.

Numoly reminds me a bit of Strimko Gold. If you like one either game, then you'll like the other.

I've solved about 80 levels so far. I paid $1.99, not to skip the ads, but as a token of appreciation. (According to the Leaderboard, there are only about 100 people playing this game and I'm guessing that only 20% of them paid $1.99.)
I particularly like the 4x4 & 5x5 levels - can I solve them in 30 seconds?!
I've only done one 8x8. Took about 15 minutes. In part because everything is too small to read.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

TheChooChoo - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
TheChooChoo seems to be a ripoff of Choo Choo Puzzle from It's an online puzzle game that you can play with your old fashioned mouse.
iPhone Screenshot 3
TheChooChoo's game mechanics/user interface seem clunky to me. Skip the app, play the online version.
I've got great games to report for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I promise.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Orbit - Playing with Gravity

iPhone Screenshot 1
Chetan Surpur's game Orbit - Playing with Gravity is simply delightful.
iPhone Screenshot 2
The object is to launch multiple planets around the black holes.
Level 1 is fairly simple: just get 3 planets to orbit - very elliptically - around the black hole. Cool: they can go in different directions.
Level 2 Get 5 planets around a black hole with greater mass.
Level 3 Get 3 planets to 'infinity orbit' (my term) around 2 black holes.
Level 4 Get 3 planets to orbit (somehow!) between 3 black holes. That's where I got stuck.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There are 18 levels and the images are simply wondrous. Kind of like the old Spirograph game.
Orbit - Playing with Gravity is FREE.
If you solve level 4 and other levels, please take a screen shot and send them to me.

By the way, according to Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time, time slows down for anybody riding a on a planet into a black hole.

Update 10/14/15
Go to JE's site:
He completed all of the puzzles and posted wonderful photos.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ribbon Puzzle - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 2
Irmantas Rojus's Ribbon Puzzle is very much like the game Woven. Which I reviewed 2 years ago.
The object is to drag the ribbons from the top and from the left to satisfy the conditions.

See the very small colored squares in the intersections? Those are the conditions.  They indicate which ribbon should be on top. But they're too small for me!
iPhone Screenshot 1
What's better about Ribbon Puzzle? You must select the ribbons from the envelope and figure out which column or row to place them. There is also a time limit.

I did the 2x2 levels and most of the 3x3 levels. Never got to the 4x4 or 5x5 or 6x6

The Best Ribbon Puzzles

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Circulate Dots: free point scoring puzzle app game

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 5

Janardhana Guptha has an interesting point scoring puzzle app game called Circulate Dots.  The objective: start at the green dot and get to the red dot by landing on it on your 6th turn.

The second image shows this nicely. The starting point was on the left (it doesn't count) and the final 6th move will certainly on the red dot.

Where it gets tricky:
1. Tail of your last 5 lines is always present, like a snake. And you cannot retrace that path. Though you may cross it.
2. There's a timer. The better you get, the less time is given to you.

According to the leaderboard, there are just 77 people and I'm #2.
Circulate Dots is not brilliant, but it's different and it's fun.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

No More Kings: free chess puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1    iPhone Screenshot 2
Christian Montoya has a new chess puzzle called No More Kings. Fans of Solitaire Chess should like this game.

The objective is to:
1. Capture all the pieces with the king being the last piece. 
2. The red piece is the first piece to move.
3. When it moves to its new square, it disappears and becomes the new piece. For example, in the second image, the bishop could move to the rook's position and become the rook. Or it could move to the knight and become it.
4. No More Kings feels just as much as a maze puzzle as it does a chess puzzle.

There are over 100 levels. I've done about 20 levels.
What could be better:
1. The graphics could be sharper.
2. Start with smaller board sizes.

Overall, I like No More Kings, but I don't love it. But I'm not a chess fanatic.

Other chess-like puzzles
Solitaire Chess - my favorite from this list
Pirate Ring
Board: Chess Puzzle
Blip Blurp
Knight Trade
Mate in 3? Ok!
Chess Puzzle of the Day
Chess Free
Ruby Capture
Blind Knights
Chess Light - very good.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kerfuffle: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Jeremy Rayner recently contacted me about his puzzle app Kerfuffle.
His description:
Aim: You need to complete every row with matching colours.

The puzzle starts in the solved state, and you have to scramble it up and then solve it yourself.
Kerfuffle will remember where you got to each time you start playing, so you can take your time if you like.
Kerfuffle comes with two puzzles built in, one is a bit harder than the other because you have to also ensure that the pieces are all rotated in the same direction.
As you put your finger on a piece, the game will indicate available moves. Simply swipe the piece to where you want it to go.
The tricky part is that whenever you move one piece a few others will move as well!
If you watch carefully, you can see how each piece moves along the grid underneath, and you can always move the piece in the opposite direction to undo your move.
Combine sequences of moves together to make small, predictable and useful changes to the puzzle.

My thoughts
Kerfuffle is unquestionably one of the hardest '2D Shift the Colors' type puzzle. This game cannot be done while watching the news or having a conversation. It demands your full attention.

If you solve it, come back and leave a comment and tell us how long it took and any thoughts you'd like to share.
More from Jeremy: Kerfuffle is completely isomorphic with the '3x3x3 Cube' twisty puzzle, same number of visible pieces, same algorithms, so it is certainly something to pay attention to while solving.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mutale - free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Mutale by Jetberry 000 is a very cool maze puzzle game app.  The object is to get the small square to the destination by shifting your square, stretching your square and positioning it very carefully.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4

The rules for how your square gets stretched and moved are difficult to describe. Especially when you have 2 squares on the same row and you're sliding to the right or left.

There are 80 levels handcrafted by Jetberry.  After that, others have created their own levels. Of course, you can do the same.  Of those 80 levels: 16 are fairly easy.  The next 16 have 2 targets. The next 16: you can break down walls.  The next 16: you can add walls.  The final 16: mixture of everything, including 3 targets.

Of the 80 puzzles, I've solved 56, scattered throughout the 5 sections.
Mutale is definitely in the running for a PAGY Award (Puzzle App Games of the Year). Nominations: December 30.  Awards: December 31. I played the first 5 levels on this site using the arrow keys. Not sure if the entire game is available here.
Thanks to @edderiofer for telling me about Mutale. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Escape Alcatraz - Devious Escape Puzzler: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
They say that nobody ever escaped from Alcatraz, also known as The Rock. Years ago, there was a Clint Eastwood film, where he escaped. It was actually kind of boring.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
At the moment, there are 8 puzzle app games - all dealing with escaping from Alcatraz.  I decided to play Alcatraz - Devious Escape Puzzler - only because it's brand new
iPhone Screenshot 5
There's a slew of very random puzzles to solve. Some are tricky, some are annoying.  Sorting the library books - I once actually had a job in a library and my solution/s did not work.  My 10 year old niece found the solution for me! 

Look at the 3rd image of the lock - that 'puzzle' is incredibly lame. The strangest puzzle involved opening an accordion and then solving a dexterity puzzle.

My 8 year old niece seems to really like this game. She enjoyed stealing a pair of scissors from the barber. However, we were stuck for a while on how to get the scissors through the metal detector.

I'm almost done. Right now, I'm stuck on the roof. I can't figure out how to shimmy down the drain pipe. I'll have to watch a video ad to earn a hint for this. Joy.