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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Binary Games by BAD THUMB LTD

Binary Games comes from BAD THUMB LTD.  How fast can you converth binary numbers to decimals and vice versa?
Interesting: there's a dictionary which translates letters and symbols to their assigned binary numbers.  At long last, I now know that '^' is the equivalent of 01011110.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Light Them Up by No Power-up FREE

Light Them Up comes from No Power-up. The object is to move the square mirrors to light up the bulbs.
There are 70 levels and I've done 26.

There's another laser puzzle app that I'm playing right now that's more interesting.  The graphics of the other game is better. The puzzles are more innovative. Which means I've stopped playing this one.
However, this game is very solid.

Friday, October 12, 2018

COLOR LINK! -brain teaser- by Yuji Kurita FREE

COLOR LINK! -brain teaser comes from Yuji Kurita. It's a 'stick 'em' puzzle. The object is to slide the squares around until everything clumps together.

However, there is a move-count limit for each level.

What's Particularly Good
On some levels, the blocks come in 2 colors, but must still be merged into one group. Tap on a block once and it changes color. This counts as a move. This is a new feature in 'Stick 'em' puzzles.

These are seriously good puzzles.

There are 45 levels, which is perfect! There is an option for users to make their own levels. At the moment, I'm on level 20.

Other Very Good Puzzles that have a sticky element (not quite the same though):

Denki Blocks I believe this was the original puzzle app that introduced this concept.
Tile'M All This version is crazy hard.
Blockoban - a must have
Move on Green
Blocky XMAS   from the prolific Bart Bonte
Push Blox from Andrew Duff

Thursday, October 11, 2018

vovu by Ugur Kubat

vovu comes from Ugur Kubat. The object is to tap on the big red circles to make little red circles rotate in order to free up the green circles. Where things get complicated is when there are multiple big red circles. Unquestionably, the overall design is very artistic.
It's a very calm game. Similar to Hook from 2015.
There are 70 levels and I've done 53. There are ads, but they are minimally annoying.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Read this article from the NY Times about Speed Cubing:

Loyal Blog Follower Robert Dancer has been on the lookout for puzzles that are getting major updates.
Hexologic has 2 new sets of puzzles.
Unpuzzle also has new features.  When I upgraded this, it wiped out my previous progress. Grrrrrr.

Oskar van Deventer has a hand in this puzzling Kickstarter thing:

Friday, October 5, 2018

Bring me Cakes - Fairy Puzzle by Aliaksei Huleu FREE?

Bring me Cakes - Fairy Puzzle comes from Aliaksei Huleu.  (He's from Belarus - where my great-grandmother was born.) This game was published in 2017. I skipped it for 2 reasons. First, it cost $2.99. Second, it looked too juvenile.  Recently, the price was reduced to FREE. I don't know if that's permanent. Either way, this game is very good, and worth paying for.
Bring me Cakes - Fairy Puzzle  is ultimately a route-finding puzzle.  Little Red Riding Hood must gather the doughnuts before getting to the exit. All creatures slide up/down, left/right until they hit an obstacle.
This game has great features.
In the Forest World, which has 44 levels:
1. The wolves will eat the doughnuts and LRRH.
2. The Bears will eat the doughnuts, LRRH and the wolves. Importantly: the bears will knock out the trees, which act as obstacles for the other creatures.
3. The Man with the Shotgun: he will kill the wolves, but will get eaten by the bears.
4. Lakes/Black Holes: LRRH will die if she enters these. However, these are good tools for eliminating the wolves & bears.

In the Mine, which has 48 levels:
5. The Railroad Cars can be pushed like the crates in a Sokoban. However, they only be pushed in one direction: either vertically or horizontally.
6. The Wizard can chop out the stalagmites and stalactites.
7. The green trolls only move 1 space at a time.
8. There are boxes of TNT. Use the trolls to explode what needs exploding.

In the Ice Land, which has 44 levels:
9. LRRH will freeze to death at the end of 5 moves. However, if she lands next to a fire, she's recharged.
10. Big ice blocks are obstacles. LRRH can chop them out herself.
11. A black ghost can extinguish LRRH and the fires.
12. An angel can eliminate the black ghost. More importantly, the angel can ignite wood piles.
13. Once the angel kills the black ghost, she can no longer move.

I've solved all of the Forest & Mine levels.  Most of the Ice Land ones.  The game offers hints and bombs to remove anything annoying, but I'm not using them and I'm picking up every single doughnut. Bring me Cakes - Fairy Puzzle is a big winner. Fun fun!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

New Mechanical Puzzle

There's a new mechanical puzzle on the market called The Venn Puzzle.

It's a 3 piece coordinate motion puzzle. The object: put the 3 pieces together.  $75

From what I've seen on the Kickstarter webpage, it looks a lot like Kuku,which has been out for at least 7 years.  Sonic Games:
is the producer of Kuku. Kuku is going back on the market very soon and you can buy one for 150 pounds. (At the last International Puzzle Party, I sold my copy for $75 to an old friend. I told him it was a good deal!)

As coordinate motion puzzles go, The Venn Puzzle looks pretty easy. Line up the pieces carefully. Your dexterity is important! And voila.

Kuku is much better because it has 3 internal pins. You can solve it with 0, 1, 2 or 3 pins.

Friday, September 28, 2018

the Sequence [2] by Maxim Urusov $1.99

the Sequence [2]  comes from Maxim Urusov. Max has a history of producing very hard logic games. See list below.
The object in this game is to place various tools on the grid to get the red circle to the target 5 times.
1. The tools are push, pull and rotate.
2. The sequence is vital.
3. The orientation of the red circles is important when the rotation tools are needed, simply getting the circles to their targets is not enough; the circles must be rotated the correct # of degrees.
4. Very very important: some solutions require that one tool moves another tool. These particular puzzles are fantastic.
5. On/Off tools.  Tools can be programmed to run 'all the time', or 'On, then Off', or Off, then On'.
6. Points are awarded on the Leaderboard depending on how efficient one's solutions are.  But this is never explained clearly.

At the moment, I'm stuck on level 31 which I've tried at least 10 times.

The graphics are not attractive. Black/gray/red/white: needs to be brightened up.  Casual puzzlers will be intimidated very quickly.

Max, this game is another winner!  I think more numerous easy levels should be included to draw in more novice puzzlers.

Max's other games
The Sequence
Hard Logic

Perfect Paths is not from Max. But is extremely hard in a similar way.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Merge World: 3D Idle Game by Virede FREE

 Merge World: 3D Idle Game  comes from Virede. I've been playing the Animal World mode of this game for more several hours. The object is to merge twins to get to the next animal level.
 I completed all 48 levels, which shows a commitment of time, not necessarily skill.
This game is terrible. Why?  Because it's impossible to lose.  I thought that the game would end if the board filled up before combinations could be made.  I tried to lose, to end my suffering. Instead, I kept going, wondering what the next animal would be. And why all the animals are drawn as rectangular shapes. 2 of the animals, different deer species looked exactly alike. Ridiculous. Well, with a magnifying glass I noticed that the ears and nose were slightly different.

Animals appear every 5 seconds. Sometimes they're wrapped in gift boxes.  Those gift boxes always come with an option to upgrade. Either pay some real money, or watch a stupid ad to advance in this dumb game.

Truly, this is for kids. When I finished, I deleted it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Logic Path ! by Mindsense Games $.99

Logic Path ! comes from Mindsense Games. The object is to rotate the line segments to create a path for the white cube to get to its targets. Sometimes there are multiple targets.
There are 100 levels and I've done about 92.  They get tricky!

You should also play:
Hocus - the best of the bunch. Also the originator of this concept. The rest are clones, but still good.
Crossy Path Puzzle
Hocus Valley
Illusion Maze

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cube Puzzler by Rakesh Ranjan FREE

 Cube Puzzler comes from Rakesh Ranjan. The object is to push the blue pieces in a sokoban way to their spots.  Then to move all the red & green pieces, which travel together as a group, to their spots.

The white squares are walls.

There are only 15 levels and I solved them in about 45 minutes.  Not too hard. But the puzzles are fun. 

Rakesh: good job. This game should have between 50 and 75 levels.  Looking forward to them.

Similar games (this list is incomplete):

Movez  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  What's different: there's a point of 'no return'
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 Similar to Movez
Move Puzzle - A Funny Strategy Game, Matching Tiles Within Finite Moves 
Vubu What's different: the vubu men have different powers. Very sophisticated, very intelligent. Possibly the very best in this genre.
Move: A Brain Shifting GameUnmind
Puzzle Dots Game
Box Home Love to play Hexagonal grid
Find the Way

Monday, September 24, 2018

Smallest < by Trevor Hansen FREE

Smallest <  comes from Trevor Hansen. The object is to quickly scan the grid and find the smallest number. The different colors are irrelevant. 
On the smallest grid, I'm #1 in the world (out of 9!) with 222.
On the 5x5 grid, I am second and second to last. At the same time.
I tried the 6x6 board, but the program crashed.
The 4x3 board: I did play it and got around 40. But the Leaderboard isn't working for that.

This is definitely the type of game that we should all be playing to hopefully ward off Alzheimer's.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Charge It - Cute puzzle by Andrey Khudozhidkov FREE

Charge It - Cute puzzle comes from Andrey Khudozhidkov.  The object is to swipe Your Man/Men to their targets until they hit a wall. 
We've seen/done this type of puzzle numerous times before. However, this game has some added new features:
1. Look at image #2. The back row can shift to form a bridge with the other island.
2. The escalator:  See image #4. Your Man/Men must first drop off a package at their respective escalators before going home.
3. The shift button must be landed on before the grid changes shape.

Right now there are only 24 levels with more coming soon.  I really like this game. The graphics are excellent. The puzzles are not too hard, so I can feel smart. They're fun.

Andrey: you simply must produce another 76 levels soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

God's Orbits by Alexandre La Boissonniere

 God's Orbits comes from Alexandre La Boissonniere. It's a physics/astronomy puzzle.  The object is to place the orbs so that they will complete 1 revolution around the sun.
Alexandre's description:
God has been making planets and stars orbit around each other for billions of years. But as any normal person, He now needs a break. So, as God takes a week’s vacation and goes to CancĂșn, you need to replace Him and do His job.

The game is a gravity simulation based on Newton’s law of universal gravity where you control the speed and direction of a single planet. You’ll need to find the precise trajectory of this planet to make it orbit around another celestial body.

A lot of features are offered to diversify the different challenges at hand.

• Every planet in our solar system
• Suns
• Antimatter stars
• Neutron stars
• Wormholes
• Black holes

The game contains a total of 60 levels (and more to come). The first 7 are free and all the others can be unlocked with one single purchase.

I've done levels 1-5. I'm stuck on 6.  It's all guess and check and then watch the orbs either collide or fall into the sun. I'm stuck on level 7 too. It's very cool though.

Of those levels, I didn't encounter antimatter stars or neutron stars or black holes.  I like the concept a lot. But it's not a pure logic puzzle.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Five 20 by Mike Lowe

Un-Scramble as many Five Letter words as fast as possible and beat the 20 second clock. Every Completed word resets the 20 second clock. You have 3 opportunities to skip a word if you just can't figure it out. 

What will be your highest score?

My high score is a mere 8. I showed this game to a group of 5 others and we made it a team effort.  We got 22.

Fun and fast game.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Push Blox by Andrew Duff $1.99

Screenshot Image
This game is a winner.
Screenshot Image
Andrew Duff contacted me 2 months ago about his new game Push Blox.  It's a 'stick 'em' puzzle. The object is to push all the red squares into one clump. The delay in reviewing this game is based on the fact that it took so long to get through some of the levels.
Screenshot Image
Your Man, the outlined black square, does all the pushing.
1. Black squares are solid walls.
2. Gray squares can be eaten.
3. Blue squares must also be clumped together.  When that objective is complete, all the blue disappears.
4. Gravity.  All red and blue pieces will fall to the bottom unless supported by black or gray cells. I believe that no other 'stick 'em' game has gravity as a feature. (See list below.)
5. Important concept: look at the second image.  See the lone red square on top? If Your Man eats the gray cell under it and then moves left/right, it will fall to the bottom, which is not good. The Move: slide left then right immediately and the red will shift to the right.
6. Red laser beams: don't let Your Man get killed.
7. Conveyor belts.
8. Keys must be landed on to open locks. More significantly, if there are 2 keys, then 2 separate pieces must stay on both of them in order to open the locks.
Screenshot Image

The graphics of Push Blox are fine. There's original music, but Loyal Blog Followers know that I turn off all sound to preserve battery life. I'm guessing the music is good.

The puzzles themselves are terrific.  There are 34 levels altogether. However, many levels have multiple 'aha' moments. I've done 29 levels, but feel like I've done at least 50 levels.

Level 3-5, also called Valhalla, took me forever to solve. I easily made 50 attempts before figuring it out.

Level 3-6, Rescue, wasn't as hard as Valhalla, but is elegantly designed.

What could be better:
1. The undo button is only good for a few moves and not useful if Your Man dies by laser.
2.  I stopped at levels 4-4 and 4-5 in part because the grids are so busy with so many elements.
These are minor complaints.

Andrew, great job! I really enjoyed your game but must move on. Everybody else: I spent more than a month on this game.  Multiple times, while driving my car, I would think of a new strategy for solving whatever level I was stuck on. The price is more than fair. Don't cheat yourself by avoiding the payment.

The Lite version:

Other Very Good Puzzles that have a sticky element (not quite the same though):

Denki Blocks I believe this was the original puzzle app that introduced this concept.
Tile'M All This version is crazy hard.
Blockoban - a must have
Move on Green
Blocky XMAS   from the prolific Bart Bonte

Thursday, September 13, 2018

1121 by Ming-Shiuan Yu FREE

 1121 comes from Ming-Shiuan Yu.  The object is to slide the tiles until they hit a wall and hopefully end up with a true sentence like 2 > 1. When that happens, the tiles disappear.
1. Arrows force the direction of tiles.
2.  Exclamation Points: landing on them is permanent.

There are 150 levels and I've done 26 levels.

Solid game overall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Slide Loop Puzzle by Sergey Kharitonov FREE

Slide Loop Puzzle comes from Sergey Kharitonov.  The object is to slide the rows and columns so that the bulbs will land on their matching energy sources and light up.  There are 51 levels.

We've seen this type of puzzle a few times in the past. See list below.

Similar Games (This list is very incomplete.)
Rubik's Block
Cryptic Cross
Digits Square Puzzle Game
Align It!
Cube 2D
Pixel Shift
Mezzo Puzzle
Flat Cubes a 2D Rubik's Cube
Shuttle Shuffle
Waltzing Tiles
Dir Square

Friday, September 7, 2018

Number Link - Link number dots by Kyung-Hun Kim FREE

 Number Link - Link number dots comes from Kyung-Hun Kim. He contacted me 3 years ago but I didn't see the email until recently. Yes, I feel guilty. Because this is a very good game.
The object is to draw a single path connecting the numbers in the order 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 etc until all are connected.  Lines cannot cross. The key piece is figuring out where the starting point must be. Or the end point.

If you liked Stroke! then you will like this game too.

At the moment I've done about 22 of the 450 Hard levels.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

LVL by Ertan Unver $1.99

 LVL comes from Ertan Unver.  The App Store Gods highlighted it as a great puzzle.  Essentially, LVL is a packing puzzle.
Each cube has 6 faces that contain some rectangular-odd shapes.  The yellow shapes on one face must pack into the square perfectly with the yellow shapes on the OPPOSITE FACE.  So there's lots of spinning the cube around and around to synchronize the top/bottom as one puzzle, the left/right faces as another puzzle, and the front/back as still another puzzle.

The graphics are outstanding.  There are 50 levels, which really means that there are 150 puzzles.

At the moment I've done about 25 levels. But I do not love this game mainly because I've never been a big fan of packing puzzles.

Very Interesting: Some individual faces are a puzzle within a puzzle. You might know exactly how to position the pieces to match the opposite side. However, shunting those pieces just on that one side can be quite challenging.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Mislead by Anthony Hilkmann $1.99

 Anthony Hilkmann contacted me a couple of months ago about his new game Mislead.  It's essentially a maze game. But it's deceptively so.
The object is to get Your Man, Bu, the Green Blob, to the big blue dot.

Look at the 4th image.  See the arrows? Bu will need to take 10 moves to reach the goal.  His first step will be down, then left, etc.  Before each move, you must eliminate one element from the board.
1. The yellow squares are simply walls.
2. The red spikes will kill Bu.
3.The purple circles are wormholes.

Very Interesting New Concepts:
4. The purple things have re-bounders. Hitting one of them will send Bu back 1 space away from itself.
5. The tilted yellow squares have tiny red arrows along its perimeters.  When Bu crashes into them, he's directed to the next column or row.

There are 84 levels and at the moment I've done about 60. (Update: I've done all 84 levels.) I like puzzles where I can solve all the levels in a couple of days.  83 & 84 were obviously the most cleverly designed.

The graphics are good.

What could be better.
1. Bu moves too slowly. Maybe I'm impatient.
2. There should be a leaderboard.
3. The price is too high. People don't think twice about spending $5 for a cup of coffee that takes 10 minutes to drink. But they balk at paying more than $1 for a game that's fun and will take 2 - 3 hours to play.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Snake VS Block by Voodoo FREE

 Snake VS Block comes from Voodoo. The object is to get your string of circles to increase while minimizing how many circles you lose as your snake crashes through the blocks.
 I saw somebody playing this game on the subway recently.  Looked fun, but hard. Fast reflexes and quick assessing are constant.
Voodoo has come out with a lot of similar games.  I like this one, but it's not the only dexterity game out there.

Other good 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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Favo! by Shumpei Hayashi FREE

Screenshot Image  Screenshot Image
Shumpei Hayashi recently contacted me about his new game Favo!  I liked his two previous games. See links below.  The object is Favo! is to score points by merging colored tiles.
Screenshot Image Screenshot Image
This concept is not exactly new. Merged! immediately came to mind.

Things are very different with Favo!
1. Merging a tile that combines 3 colors gets 4 times as many points.
2.  Very Important: when you've scored enough blue tiles, you will be issued a 'blue unification merger tile' (my phrase) that will enable you to consolidate all your blues and make room for more tiles.  The same goes for red and green.
3.  When your board has no room for new pieces, you are entitled to 3 sweeps that will consolidate all the colors at once.  However, these sweeps will cost you stars.

How do you earn stars?
1. By scoring high on previous games.
2. Watching ads.
3. By buying them.

Seriously, this game is great.  My high score is 35,000 which places me in the top 10 players.

Note to Shumpmei:

1. Great job.
2. You have listed 5 or 6 ways for players to spend money. Maybe this is very successful.  If it is not, I would change this to one small price of $.99  to eliminate the ads and to always allow the player to get 3 sweeps.

Note to everybody else:
1. There has been a significant decrease in the number of puzzle apps being published.  It's because players are not spending money.  Really: $1 or $2 is reasonable. Don't be cheap.

2. This blog has been on vacation most of the summer.  Back in full swing right after Labor Day.

Other games by Shumpei Hayashi

Levels Addictive Puzzle Game

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time (Some are no longer available.)
Four Straight Lines
Nineout II
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors
Domino Drop
Put Number
Triple Town
Kindly  Colors
Virus Pop Smash
+1 Number
4 Way Puzzle