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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Sandwich Sudoku by Nick Carney $4.99

Sandwich Sudoku comes from Nick Carney. This game was popularized in the spring by Alex Bellos via his puzzle column in The Guardian. 

It's a standard sudoku with one significant difference: the numbers above the grid, and to the side of the grid, are the sums of the numbers that separate the 1 and the 9 in that column or row.

Puzzlers who have played Killer Sudoku (see link below) and Kakuro should be able to jump right in.

The game has only 40 levels, but that's okay! These games have been taking me a long time to solve.  At the moment I've solved 13 levels totaling about 6 hours of fun.  By that measure, $5 is cheap.

This game is fantastic.

My Solving Times
Level   Time
1          14:07
2          31:04
3          26:32
4          26:05
5          11:40
6          44:40
7          23:07
10        26:50
11        31:23
13        28:44
14        23:36
16        21:50
17        24:22

Other Innovative Sudoku Puzzle Apps
Kropk'i Sudoku  This is really a Latin Square with a couple of innovative ideas. It plays fast.
Quindoku Same as Logi5Puzz
Logi5Puzz  Same as NumDom. But NumDom has larger grid sizes.
Spindoku is totally different, but still very cool.
Hi-Lo Sudoku is one of my favorite variations.
Cryptdoku I played it so long ago, but it's cool. Long gone from the App Store.
Stimko Gold - outstanding version of squiggly Sudoku.  Handcrafted puzzles.
Kakooma - interesting for about 3 levels
RollDoku - never even solved 1 level, so hard
Cohabit- played this on my ipod touch - before ipad was invented
FlowDoKu - one of my favorites. Will not delete this.
Sudoku Mine combines Sudoku with Minesweeper
Sudoku Killer  combines Sudoku with Kakuro. I've spent a lot of time on this one. I can do the easy levels in about 10 minutes.
3Doku - a cubic version of Sudoku
Pokergreen Puzzles - a poker version of Sudoku
Star Sudoku
Sudoku Maze
Sudoku Spin
Sudoku Sweeper
Joint Number Place

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Path of Giants $3.99

Andrew Farrell  from Journey Bound Games sent me a promo code for Path of Giants. The object is to get Your 3 Men, to their targets.  About 50 times. 
Each level is a 3D maze filled with ladders, portals and all sorts of contraptions including pulley elevators various buttons that activate random stairs.  Sometimes paths rotate.
The key element to Path of Giants is that Your Men must rely on each other.  Mr Yellow has to activate his button in order for Mr. Blue to get going.  Throughout the levels, each character will need to climb on the shoulders of the others in order to ascend to a higher step.

The puzzles are not too hard. Though I did have to restart some because I was in an impossible position. (The program told me!)

The graphics are charming and well done.  This game must be played on a large screen.

I did the first half of the game while watching 2 programs on C-SPAN.  I finished the game in 3 days.

If you like Monument Valley, you'll like Paths of Giants.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Flow Fit: Sudoku by Big Duck Games LLC FREE

Flow Fit: Sudoku comes from Big Duck Games LLC  The object is to place the numbered pieces into the grid to form a Latin Square. (Technically, this game should be called Flow Fit: Latin Square.)
This game has over 2000 levels.  Many are easy.  Many are tough.

I particularly like the levels that have a question mark on one square.  It means that the value is not the same for both the horizontal and vertical.

This game is strangely addictive.  I think it's because the graphics are so good.

Monday, September 9, 2019

.Connect. by Kishor Berde FREE

.Connect. comes from Kishor Berde.  Recently I blogged about Kishor's other game SARKWO. I liked it so much I thought I'd try his other game.
The object is to swap adjacent marbles one at a time until similar colored marbles are all grouped together within a certain # of moves.

The first 20 levels were so easy and I wondered why I was still playing.  But gradually, new elements were being added and things got more interesting. 

The black squares with a marble: they're fixed.
The black squares with multiple colors (see the third image) can be rotated.
The connecting lines have their own button not attached: tap on it and the corresponding buttons will swap.

There are 170 levels and at the moment I've done 87 levels. I did these all on my phone while killing time. 

Advice to all puzzle app developers: Don't publish more than 100 levels.

Friday, September 6, 2019

SARKWO by Kishor Berde $.99

 SARKWO comes from Kishor Berde. The object is to slide the colored tiles to get to their targets.
It reminded me at first of an old java game that was a multi-ball maze.  This game goes pretty fast.  And then things get more interesting with wormholes.

The very last level took me a long time. I kept finding my pieces in the same unsolvable situation.  

My only regret is that I played this game on my tiny phone.  I would like to see some more levels similar to that last one!

(Hey!  You've probably noticed that I've slowed down my review of puzzle apps these past 2 months.  All is good. I'll try to post more frequently.)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Platonic Opaline by Sean McKean $1.99

Sean McKean contacted me months ago about his new geometry puzzle Platonic Opaline.  It's a very sophisticated 3D jigsaw puzzle.  Your task is to first choose what kind of solid you want to solve for. Then choose how many pieces it should be dissected into.  Then solve.    
Each Platonic Solid (Tetrahedron, Cube, Octahedron, Dodecahedron and Icosahedron) can be dissected from 3 to 16 pieces, depending on the difficulty setting. Add the first piece.  Then spin the big piece and little pieces to find a match.

Sean is obviously very smart & creative. Platonic Opaline is an artistic, geometric labor of love. (There is a demo version that is free!)

About 10 years ago I bought the All Five Puzzle from Wayne Daniel.  It's a treasure. Below is my review of it for Games Magazine. 

Apple App Store: Google Play Store: Youtube playthrough video:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pyraminx Duo by Shenzhen Magic iNet 3D Cloud Technology Co., Ltd. FREE

Pyraminx Duo comes from Shenzhen Magic.. It's a virtual representation of the mechanical puzzle that is also known as Rob's Puzzle.  Rob Stegmann came up with the idea of this puzzle and Oskar van Deventer then made it happen.

Of all the twisty puzzles, this could be the easiest.

You don't have to buy the Real McCoy, because this version is quite good.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Blue Donut by Just So FREE

Blue Donut comes from Just So.  It came up in the search of new puzzles on the app store.  

The object is to rotate and swivel up/down/around the gold figure in order to release the blue rings.

I solved 30 levels in about 10 minutes.  As a puzzle: this is for kids. But in terms of design and programming, it's elegant.

Deleting it now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Puzzle Ten Dark by Eugeniu Curcudel FREE

Puzzle Ten Dark comes from Eugeniu Curcudel. It's a point scoring puzzle game.  The object is to place the blocks to form rows and columns of 10.  There is a scoring system for getting multiples, but I haven't figured it out.
I've played this game 6 or 7 times.  It's good, but has a problem. 

Suppose you've place a 2/5 piece on the board.  It's the last of the set of 3 pieces.  Now you're given 3 new pieces and they're simply awful: 6/6 and 6/5 and 5/6/6. Click undo, watch a 30 second ad, replace the 2/5 piece and get 3 decent pieces.  Still not satisfied? Click undo again!

My high score is almost 800 and I confess, I clicked undo at least 10 times.

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

Thursday, July 25, 2019


Fit Maze comes from BIGFRAMES. The object is to slide each tile to an exit in the correct order. 
This is an interesting game because each exit can only be used once.
The first thing to determine: which tile will use which exit.  This has to be done backwards because the last tile cannot move until all the other tiles have exited.  The penultimate tile cannot move until all the previous tiles have exited. You get the idea.

I've done 29 levels.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Cham Blocks by Manolo Mazariegos FREE

Cham Blocks comes from Manolo Mazariegos. The object is for Cham to eat all the food. However, Cham can only eat food if he's wearing the same colored sock.
I'm surprised out how solid this game is.
1. There's a moves limit.
2. Blocks can be placed to hinder the bad guys.
3. Bombs cause havoc.
4. Teleports
5. Magnets stop your progress.
6. I haven't gotten to the slingshots yet

I've solved about 25 levels.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Logic Puzzle! by Artur Zhyvkovych FREE

Logic Puzzle! comes from Artur Zhyvkovych. The object is to get all the squares to be the same number.  

Your Man starts on the square that's outlined in black. Every time he steps on a block, it increases by 1.

This is not a hard game at all. But there's a time limit: how many can you solve without running out of time?  After each solve, a time bonus is awarded.

I've played this game once. I solved 47 grids.  There should be a leaderboard.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Snake Hobble - Maze Way Out by Nguyen Kiem FREE

Snake Hobble - Maze Way Out by Nguyen Kiem. The object is to have your snake eat up all the white dots without crashing into its own tale. 
I did 11 levels. Lots of ads and strictly for kids.  Deleting it now.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Chirp Books by Pubmark Inc. FREE

Chirp Books by Pubmark Inc. offers very good deals on popular audio books.  Much cheaper than Audible or Amazon.  Great for long car rides. But you must be able to connect your device to your car's radio via bluetooth.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Retro Island by Someshwara FREE

Retro Island comes from Someshwara. It's a dexterity game where the object is to move Your Man from the start to the end points without dying.
The World's Hardest Game is very similar, but better because the movement of Your Man could be done with the arrow keys on a keyboard.

I stopped at level 8.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rotadoku by Harry Lyons FREE

Rotadoku comes from Harry Lyons. The object is to rotate the 4 rings to form a solved sudoku.

The easy levels are not so easy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Polygon Flips by Leonel R Robert

Leonel R Robert recently contacted me about his new puzzle app game: Polygon Flips. The object is to tap the space in between 2 polygons - make them flip and get the overall pattern to match the one in the upper right hand corner.
I wasn't able to download this on my ipad.  But did get it on my phone. (I generally don't play games on my phone because the screen is too small.

Polygon Flips has 33 levels and is actually a very cool little game.
Some thoughts:
1. Is it possible to get all the polygons correct except for 1?  Yes!  But what's the algorithm for fixing it? (I think I've got it.)
2. Level 9 has squares with triangles. How does that change the algorithm?

At the moment, I've only completed 10 levels!

Polygon Flips is quite a serious puzzle game.  The game that is most similar that comes to mind is turn, which came out last year.

Monday, July 15, 2019

100² Logic Games-More puzzles by Andrea Sabbatini

 If you only had time to download and play 1 game this year, 100² Logic Games-More puzzles  by Andrea Sabbatini  would probably be it. There are 50 new games and each one has 200 levels.
I really like the game called Planets (see first image.) Each row and column must have a sun and also a cloud to block the sun.  Of those 200 levels, I've solved about 75.

However: at least 10 levels of this game had multiple solutions. But the program only recognizes one.

This game is a nice variation on Akari from 2012.

Please read the comments section for a correction on my end.

Andrea: fantastic job!

Also by Andrea:
Park Seasons
Hedgehog Gardens
Park Seasons

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

25 game by Bart Bonte FREE

25 game comes from Bart Bonte. I'm a big fan of his games.  This particular game is a point scoring game that is very similar to some other, more famous games.  Threes came out about 5 years ago. (It was immediately cloned and renamed as 2048 about a hundred times.)
Looking at the images if 25 game, I was prepared to hate it, for being another clone.  However, after playing it 6 or 7 times I love it.

The rules:
1. Combine two 1's to form a single 2.  Two 2's form a single 3. Etc.
2. You run out of room when the grid fills up.
3. After each swipe, in any direction, a new tile will emerge, either a 1 or a red tile.
4. Red tiles: this is what makes the game so unique because they're annoying, but also useful.
5. Red tiles will vanish when 3 are lined up.
6. Scoring: There is no significant reward for merging two 9's over two 5's.

Like the game Threes, there is an addictive quality.  My high score is 21,573. My highest tile was 11.  The game took just about an hour.

What could be better:
1. Threes has better graphics. The part I like most is the ability to swipe very slowly without making a commitment. This lets one see which tiles will merge.
2. There needs to be a leaderboard.  If my high score is not in the top 1%, then I'm going to continue to play.

Other Bart Puzzles:
Factory Balls - excellent
Boo! - a mini sequel to Factory Balls
Blocky XMAS - fun and at times hard

Monday, July 1, 2019

Tap Low by Technossion FREE

Tap Low comes from Technossion. It's a 'think-fast' game.  The object is to tap on the lowest number within 3 seconds.  Keep doing it.

Obviously this game doesn't have much repeated fun value.  But it's worth playing a few times to keep the brain sharp.

The program is a bit clunky; a few times I had to repeatedly tap the lowest number for it to register.