## Tuesday, December 22, 2020

### Snavi by Billy Clack FREE

Snavi comes from Billy and Mary Clack. The object is to get Your Man, the snail, to pick up the stars and keys and get to the exit.
After playing the first 5 or 6 levels, I thought: yawn, another maze game where everything slides until they hit a wall.  But no!  Snavi has many interesting elements that make for some fun and very challenging puzzle levels.
Interesting Features;
1. The board can rotate 90 degrees.  See the first image.
2. The green rectangles can fall as the board gets rotated. Your Man can get crushed/killed. Be careful. See the second image.
3. Wormholes & electric fences. See the third image.
4. Magnets lock the green blocks in place. See the sixth image.
5. The purple squares with white trim: Your Man & Green rectangles cannot cross the white line, but can traverse those squares in the 3 other directions. See the fifth image.
6. The red & blue rectangles: they toggle on/off. When the blue rectangles are active, the red ones become invisible.
7. Lasers need to be blocked in order to get by. See the fourth image.
There are over 100 levels. I've done most of them. Many have taken repeated attempts.  Look at the first image. That's level 2-14. I've tried about 25 times and still have not solved it.

Billy & Mary: great job!

https://apps.apple.com/app/id1540408584#?platform=iphone

## Tuesday, December 15, 2020

### Unit 404 by Maxim Urusov \$2.99

Unit 404 comes from Maxim Urusov. Whenever Maxim publishes a game - you know it's going to be hard. Scroll to the bottom to see his other games.
The object is to get Your Man, the robot, to the destination.  The basic function is for the robot to walk onto a square. That square will be zoomed along a horizontal or vertical axis if there's another square on that axis.  Very similar to Luma Link from 2012, which is also fantastic.
Unit 404 adds a slew of elements to make things even harder. There's the purple arrow square which always advances one unit after it has been zoomed.
Not shown in these 5 images: one type of square grabs all the surrounding squares in a 3x3 grid and rotates them.
I've solved about 60% of the levels. That's about 4 hours of entertainment for just \$3. A bargain. On many levels, I probably had 20 attempts.

One very interesting feature: the robot will want to travel either right to left or left to right. Sometimes, changing his direction is part of the puzzle.

Unit 404 is a gem. There should be a Leader Board feature in order to see if/who has solved them all.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onemanband.unit404&hl=en_US&gl=US

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/unit-404/id1518191729

Max's other games:

the Sequence [2]

Hard Logic

## Friday, December 4, 2020

### Straight Lines 3D by Omer Faruk Hilal FREE

Straight Lines 3D is a 'minimalist' puzzle from Omer Faruk Hilal. The object is to  swap the lines to make connections.

I'm not sure how many levels there are. And I'm not sure if I completed them all. At the moment, the program is taking me back to the beginning.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/straight-lines-3d/id1539204591

## Wednesday, December 2, 2020

### Ball Slider: Fill Box Puzzle by XINGMING HUANG FREE

Ball Slider: Fill Box Puzzle comes from Xingming Huang.  The object is to slide all the balls until they hit a wall or into an empty space.
I solved about 60 levels in roughly 30 minutes.  After doing 3 or 4 levels, there is an ad.  Usually the 5 second type.
This game is strictly for beginning puzzlers who need to build some confidence.

Doing the last 25 levels I was curious: could I play it badly so that there would be a position that could not be solved? The answer is no!  Which means this game's main purpose is to generate ad revenue.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ball-slider-fill-box-puzzle/id1542183253

## Monday, November 30, 2020

### hocus 2 by gamebra.in \$2.99

Whenever Yunus Ayyildiz publishes a puzzle game, it's time to celebrate. Scroll to the bottom to see his previous games.
hocus 2 picks up from the original hocus (2016) but adds zesty elements.
The object is to roll Your Man, the red cube to pick up the various tokens.
The black bars expand and contract. The black Ls rotate. The pink bars shift locations. The gold squares rotate when Your Man lands on it.
I pre-ordered hocus 2 and was the first to get on the Leaderboard.  There are 66 levels

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hocus-2/id1532229040

Yunus Ayyildiz's Other Games

hocus 2016

voi 2016

Puzzlement  from 2018

## Wednesday, November 25, 2020

### Logic Flow by Armen Grigoryan FREE

Logic Flow comes from Armen Grigoryan.  The object is to slide the rhombi to their targets.
We've seen many many games just like this.  At least that was the first impression.  Yes the game has wormholes and reflectors and blockers. But there are surprises.
Scrutinize the second image closely which describes all of the elements.
Very very interesting: the wormholes and bumpers can sometimes travel like the rhombi.

At the moment, there are 184 levels created by Armen.  Other users are creating their own levels and uploading them.

Logic Flow starts out very easy and gets tough very quickly. At the moment, I'm stuck on #52.

Fans of Lunar Lockout: this game is up your alley!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/logic-flow/id1540648480

## Friday, November 20, 2020

### Symmetrica: Minimalistic arcade game Semi Free

Symmetrica: Minimalistic arcade game is fun! There are 16 free levels. 36 extra levels cost \$.99.

Each level has multiple guns that must shoot targets.  Sounds boring! It's not because the guns are rotating slowly and often traveling around a defined path.  Sometimes the targets are moving too.

Yes it's a shooting game. But I would classify it more as an artistic game.

Sorry, no images to display. Trust me, this game is a winner. I completed all the levels over 2 days.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/symmetrica-minimalistic-arcade-game/id1102182044

## Monday, November 16, 2020

### Jelly Merge - Puzzle Game by Xin Peng FREE

The object of Jelly Merge is to swipe in all directions until all the greens merge and all the blues merge etc.

We've seen this type of game many times before.  The graphics are great. About 30 levels.  Not hard at all.  Unfortunately, ads.

Strictly for novice puzzlers.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/jelly-merge-puzzle-game/id1539371964

## Tuesday, November 10, 2020

### Really Bad Chess by Zach Gage FREE

Tired of regular chess?  Really Bad Chess truly shakes things up.  Imagine starting with 3 queens or with 7 knights.  I'm not sure I understand how the program does the ranking.  I played it maybe 3 times. It's fun in a comical way.

Zach's got some other games that I'm going to look into.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/really-bad-chess/id1109751921

## Monday, November 9, 2020

### Drop Drop! by Adem Kayirci FREE

Adem Kayirci has a long history of producing good games.  Scroll to the bottom to see his other games that I've reviewed. My favorite is cohex

Drop Drop! is a point scoring game. You have to match colors.  I played it last night and the game would not end!  Every time I was on the verge of losing, I would get good pieces that cleared the board.  I checked the leaderboard, and I was #1. I was also the only person on the leaderboard. Ha!

The graphics are very good.

Adem's other puzzles

eceo

## Friday, October 23, 2020

### New Point Scoring Game from Michal Gorny 'Mergetin' FREE

Michal Gorny recently contacted me about his point scoring puzzle app game. The object is to score points by exchanging tiles vertically/horizontally to create 3 or more of the same number.

When a match of 3 occurs, say three 6's, they turn into one 7. You get points and then more tiles fall down.  When there's no more room, you lose.

The image shown is my game via my laptop.  (One of these days I'm going to buy a new ipad & download this game.)

Link to the App Store

Google Play link

Play it on your laptop here

My high score is 19,320.

Michal's other games:

Hexa Knot from July 2018

Shape & Hue from April 2020

## Wednesday, September 16, 2020

### Erno Rubik's Autobiography

The Great Erno Rubik has written an autobiography:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/16/books/erno-rubik-rubiks-cube-inventor-cubed.html?referringSource=articleShare

## Monday, August 10, 2020

### Tiny Islands by David King FREE

Tiny Islands comes from David King.  The object is to place houses, churches, forests etc onto a grid, trace out 3 islands, and optimize your points.

The scoring system is fairly straight forward. I won't go into that here.

Very Interesting: for each move, you have the option of playing 1 of 2 pieces.

You can play the 'Daily Shuffle' game multiple times. Memorize the cards and then optimize your strategy.

Warning: this game is highly addictive.  Not for gamers who move quickly.  Take your time!

Play it online only - I think.

https://dr-d-king.itch.io/tiny-islands

## Wednesday, August 5, 2020

### New Rubik's Cube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u37b6poHzlU&pp=wgIECgIIAQ%3D%3D&feature=push-sd&attr_tag=uQkS5n8m7NTaT7SK%3A6

Interesting new puzzle. The inventor, Greg Pfennig has a long history of making fantastic twisty puzzles.

## Monday, August 3, 2020

### Steam as a puzzle platform

Hello Puzzlers,

I'm waiting for the new ipados to come out. The rumor is that it will be available on Sept 13.

At the moment, my ipad 4 is not allowing me to download new/current puzzles because it's not able to download the newest software. (I suspect Apple does this intentionally to force people to buy new ipads.)

So I'm on Steam.  The first thing I notice is that the prices for games are higher than on iOS. Why?

Another thing: are there games that are available only on Steam and not on iOS?

Most importantly: throw some puzzle recommendations in the comments section.

This game: https://store.steampowered.com/app/801380/MOVIT/  Movit is a total ripoff of a game called Deadlocked which I reviewed in 2011.  What I later learned is that the author of Deadlocked ripped somebody else off!

## Wednesday, July 22, 2020

### Three new twisty puzzles

Recently I ordered some new twisty puzzles from Lightake.com.  Here's the first batch.

## Monday, July 20, 2020

### Bambubbled by Parker Crist FREE

Do you remember ColorTrek from 2016? It was a color maze game that started out very simply and quickly became incredible complicated. Unfortunately, it seems to be no longer available. Bambubbled from Parker Crist is very similar but different.
The goal is to move Your Man, the bubble, to the star. Below the grid you will notice either 2 or 3 rectangles. Those rectangles will fill up with the colors that you acquire by landing on the squares with dots. If your rectangles are red and blue, that means you can land on red and blue squares.  However, the rectangle colors keep changing as you land on new dots.
Bambubbled has 100 free levels and 6000 additional levels for \$1.99.  I'm paid up!  I've been doing the 3x3 expert levels. In the 100+ levels that I've done, the number of steps is between 13 & 16.  Some of them: I thought they were impossible.

Parker: keep up the great work.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bambubbled/id1521782632/

Logisquares is Parker's very good puzzle app from 2013. It's no longer available.

## Friday, July 17, 2020

### 500 days in a row

Flow Free Bridges really is an outstanding game.  I've been playing it for a really long time.  The stars on the right mean that I solved each level using the minimum number of moves.

## Friday, July 10, 2020

### Newton's Cradle Puzzle Game \$1.99

Loyal Blog Follower Daniel contacted me about a month ago about Newton's Cradle Puzzle Game.
It's a 'minimalist' game. This means that the rules are never explained. Theoretically, I shouldn't describe them, so I won't. I'll just say this: it has mysteriously vanished from the App Store. But it is on Steam - a platform that I've stayed away from.
There are 32 levels and I'm stuck on #19. I think I've tried every permutation of moves!

The graphics are a bit out-dated. But that's not important here. The levels have been designed with utmost care.  I don't know who made it either! He/She/They did a great job.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1328410/Newtons_Cradle_Puzzle_Game/
https://apps.apple.com/app/newtons-cradle-puzzle-game/id1514440401

7/16/2020: Addendum: this game is available https://toucharcade.com/community/threads/newtons-cradle-puzzle-game-by-peter-hijma.409172/
The author is Peter Hijma.

## Thursday, July 9, 2020

### Words for a bird: A little word puzzle game by Bart Bonte FREE

Words for a bird: A little word puzzle game comes from Bart Bonte. At the bottom of this page is a list of his games that I've played. I'm a big fan of Bart's.
The object of this game is to complete the sentence with the missing words. The letters below the tree will spell out the word. But not all the letters are necessary.

It's a very cute story. Kind of short.  And besides, it's free.

https://apps.apple.com/app/words-for-a-bird/id1515900670
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.bartbonte.wordsforabird

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

## Wednesday, July 8, 2020

### Lonely Line Puzzle by Marcelo Pars FREE

My puzzle friend Marcelo Pars has come out with Lonely Line Puzzle. The title is a bit sad, but the puzzles are interesting.  The object is to rotate the hexagons and pentagons to form one continuous loop.
Marcelo has explored this genre in depth. See the list of his other games below. What's particularly interesting in this game is that I don't recall another game using hexagons and pentagons. Also, some of the loops have two different strings to connect.

'Only 32 puzzle pieces give 892.616.806.656.000.000.000.000 combinations.' Fortunately, each level has 3 free hints.

There are 100 levels.  I've solved about 6 levels. They are not easy. However, this game is so much easier than his last game One Line Weekly.

Keep up the good work Marcelo!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1517001621
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.marcelopars.lonelyline

Marcelo's other games
Save Planet Cube
Cube Loop
Cubicks Free
Cage It
Loop Loop

One Line Weekly

## Trinagon 3D Intuitive Logic comes from Lucas Pradlwarter. The object is to swivel/rotate circles of triangles to create specific patterns.

Longtime Blog Followers may remember Mad Triad from 2010. This is a mechanical puzzle that operates on the same principle. The concept was first developed by Doug Engel in the 80s.
Trinagon has not only 2D, but also 3D puzzles.  The graphics are excellent. Last year Lucas made Trinagon Sample which was only 2D.
I have not played this game a lot. (I've slowed my puzzle playing a lot as you may have noticed.)

Lucas: great job!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/trinagon-3d/id1460708107

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Trinagon.BaseEdition&hl=en

## Thursday, May 21, 2020

### Balls by Gamezaur: an update

About a month ago I was playing Balls by Gamezaur.  It's a point scoring game.

When my high score was 1800, I couldn't believe that anybody could do much better. At the time I was # 7 or 8 on the Leaderboard.

I came up with a modified strategy and now I'm at the top of the Leaderboard with 5600.

My tips:
1. Whenever you have a choice, always opt to score points with the balls that are caged in place.
2. Whenever you score points with 4 in a group, it eliminates 3 of them and leaves 1 with wings that can go anywhere.  That winged ball must always be used to knock out another piece. Never put it in a blank space.
3. Always try to get a group of 5. 4 will be eliminated. The 1 that remains will be a bomb that will wipe out a 3x3 area.  Make sure the bomb is activated in the middle, not on the edges.
4. When things get very crowded - you're in trouble. You may have a choice to eliminate 3 reds or 3 blues.  Choose the color that is more in the center. If your last holes are on the edges, it's bad news.
5. Once you've cracked 3000, then you've done everything right. The game can theoretically go on forever.  Take breaks.  I'm looking forward to my high score getting smashed.

## Wednesday, May 20, 2020

### Pentacle Pentagram Puzzle by Yukang Wu \$15

Pentacle Pentagram Puzzle comes from Yukang Wu.  The internal mechanism is a 3x3. However, there are no edges.

Also, in order to turn the puzzle, the circles have to be lined up along one of the lines.

Scrambling and solving this puzzle is slow going! You may turn the top face once, but every turn thereafter requires constant orienting of the circles.

So far, I've solved it once.

This puzzle is extremely well made.  I got mine for about \$15 on ebay.  Search Pentacle Pentagram.