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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Book Review? The Puzzler by A.J. Jacobs

 

Last night I attended a Publishing Party for my puzzle friend A.J. Jacobs.  It was attended mostly by people in the publishing industry but a few core puzzlers also came.

A.J. Jacobs is funny!  I read his introduction on the train home.  I also skimmed what I think is the most important chapter: Rubik's Cubes & Variations.  I particularly liked page 39!

A.J. had very ambitious goals: there's a lot of history, a lot of new puzzles, and a lot of 'story'.  This is not the type of book to pore through in a week. Rather, it needs to be savored.

At the publishing party, there was a cake with icing depicting a Rubik's Cube. Yum. I had seconds.

Judith Newman of the NY Times wrote a great review.

I think this book is going to turn many semi-puzzlers into hard-core puzzlers.


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Linko - Relaxing Loop by Kyung-Hun Kim FREE

Linko - Relaxing Loop comes from Kyung-Hun Kim. It's one of those 'rotate all the lines, curves, hooks & nodes within each square and make everything connect.
What I like about this game are the hooks.  

I solved 64 levels in about 45 minutes.  But that included time watching ads. Yeah, these are not hard. But they're still fun. 

I'm guessing there are 100 levels.
 

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/linko-relaxing-loop/id1608997896

Friday, March 18, 2022

Meridian 157: Chapter 1 $1.99

Meridian 157: Chapter 1 comes from NovaSoft Interactive. The Prologue was free.
The mystery continues: you're on this abandoned lab on an island off Alaska.  Lots of 'point and click' things to do. Lots of puzzles which open desk drawers, safes etc.
Don't be a Puzzle Purist!  There are numerous walkthroughs posted on youtube. I was looking everywhere for a silly triangle block. I couldn't find it in the game room. It ended up being in the basement near the generator. Walkthroughs save you the time to find stuff.  In terms of solving the actual puzzles, it's still okay to use the walkthroughs.
This game is actually quite long.  I've completed the Prologue and now Chapter 1. So I'm moving on to Chapter 2. 

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/meridian-157-chapter-1/id1484024784

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Meridian 157: Prologue FREE

 

Meridian 157: Prologue comes from NovaSoft Interactive. 
It's a 'point and click' Myst-type puzzle.  The basic story is that You get to an island off Alaska and are in an abandoned lab.  Naturally, there are tons of little puzzles.  Interesting: you can set the game for easier/harder puzzles and with/without hints.
This first game in a series is free.  I've already completed this and Chapter 1, which isn't free.

Some of the puzzles are quite good.  Some exist only so that you can open a safe and find....a hammer.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/meridian-157-prologue/id1470338632

Monday, March 14, 2022

Strange Case: The Alchemist FREE

 

I don't know who Labeledman is but he's made an interesting game called Strange Case: The Alchemist. 

You are a detective and your mission is to find clues, pick up tools and of course solve puzzles.

It's not a very long game.  Maybe 4 hours.
Look at image #3 with the crazy man locked up.  I was predicting, based on the unused shackles in another room, that I would have to drag him out of the cell and hook him up to the shackles and then pull one of his teeth.  Alas, getting a tooth from him was much easier.
Overall, it's a fun game. It's free. No ads. Well, I did pay $2 to get rid of the ads.

I look forward to other games from Labeledman.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Bikit by Leon Keeley FREE

Bikit is an outstanding puzzle app from Leon Keeley. It's minimalist, which means the rules are not explained.


The object is to get the blue & green circles to their targets.  Look at the 2nd image.  You need to find 4 points that make a rectangle.  Connect them all at once and all of the circles will shift 1 space along the rectangle.

There are 35 levels. The first hard ones are 10 & 11. 25 took me about 25 tries!

Bikit has a 'I get the idea right away' feel to it.  But gradually, you start to realize that certain actions will lead to dead ends.


Yo Leon: I solved all the levels. Then I paid $.99.  Can't wait for your next game.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bikit/id1609104375

Monday, March 7, 2022

Puzzlums Free

 

Puzzlums is not a hard game. The object is to slide the marbles to the correct ring & sector.
If a ring is complete, it disappears and then it gets much easier. 
I was not expecting to solve almost 40 levels. It's not challenging enough. But it's well made and is very relaxing.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/puzzlums/id1602362970

Friday, March 4, 2022

Logic Wiz Sudoku & Variations FREE

 

Logic Wiz Sudoku & Variations has a wide variety of sudoku versions.
Each version comes with many levels in beginner, easy, moderate, hard mode.
My favorite version is Sandwich Sudoku.
It's free, comes with ads, but is very well done.   

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Milo and the Magpies $1.99

 Milo and the Magpies comes from Second Maze, the makers of Mitoza, which I blogged about this time last year. Here's the link.
Milo is a cat who has lost his way. Milo must get home by crossing the backyards of 7 or 8 neighbors.  Each backyard comes with its own set of unique puzzles.
The game takes about 2 hours to play.  $2 is cheap.
I heard about this game via the Rusty Lake people. 

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/milo-and-the-magpies/id1529462789


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Flood It Extreme FREE

Flood It Extreme comes from Nowvista LLC.  It's pretty much the same as the original Flood It, which I blogged about way back in 2010.  Here's the old link.

In this version, the grids start small and gradually get larger. At the same time, more colors are added for greater difficulty.

I solved 32 levels in about half an hour.  It's fun, but there are ads - fortunately they last 10 seconds.


https://apps.apple.com/us/app/flood-it-extreme/id1607169558


Monday, February 14, 2022

The White Door 12+ A Rusty Lake puzzle adventure $2.99

The White Door comes from the Rusty Lake people.  I've played almost all of their games.  This came out in 2019.

You wake up as a patient in a psych ward.  Solve a slew of puzzles for 6 days in a row.  Discover things about your past.  Etc.

If you've been following this blog, then you'll know what to expect in a Rusty Lake game.  $2.99 will yeild a solid 3-6 hours of entertainment.

Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-white-door/id1472184189

Google: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.RustyLake.WhiteDoor&hl=en_US&gl=US

Monday, January 31, 2022

Milo and the Magpies by Second Maze Studio $1.99

  • The good people at  Rusty Lake have been promoting Milo and the Magpies.  These are the same people who brought us Mitoza which I played last year.

In this game, the object is to get your cat home by crossing the backyards of various neighbors.

It's a relatively fast game. Maybe 1.5 hours.  Charming.  I liked it.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/milo-and-the-magpies/id1529462789

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Sliding Edge by Haraldur Dadi Thorvaldsson FREE


Happy New Year Puzzle App Players.

Sliding Edge: Total Sliding Madness comes from Haraldur Dadi Thorvaldsson.   The object is to get Your Man, the white cure, to the yellow cube.

However, the red cubes slide back and forth and will kill you.  The red cubes move horizontally, vertically and sometimes diagonally.



Definitely not a hard game. But some levels are hard.  I paid $.99 for the extra 100 levels. But only 25 are ready at the moment.

I think it's fun!

 https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sliding-edge/id1586881466

Monday, October 18, 2021

mf8 Fish-shaped Skewb $10

 

The 3rd image shows a normal Skewb puzzle.  The first image shows the 'Fish-shaped' Skewb.
The second image shows some kind of modern art when it gets scrambled.

This puzzle is extremely disorienting and I can't imagine anyone solving it without having solved the regular skewb many times. 

The 6 big squares on a regular skewb correspond to the 6 big corners on the Fish-Shaped.  The 8 corners on the regular skewb correspond to the 6 equilateral triangles plus the 2 small corners.

This puzzle is terrific.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Moyu Skewb Box cube $2.00

 





Above is a normal Skewb Puzzle.  Below is a skewb variation.

This rectangular shaped skewb leads to very disorienting shapes.  

How to solve: Look at a normal skewb and notice that there are 8 corners.  They correspond to the 8 equilateral triangles in the Box cube.


A normal skewb as 6 big squares or centers.  They correspond to the 4 big double triangles plus the 2 big squares at the end.  


If you've never solved a regular skewb before, don't start with this!

This puzzle is also known as The Container and it was invented in 1998 by the great Tony Fisher: https://twistypuzzles.com/museum/museum_showitem.php?pkey=887

This puzzle is a little gem.


Friday, August 6, 2021

Chessformer by Nam Nguyen Sy FREE

 

Chessformer is free and simply must be played!
Chessformer comes from Nam Nguyen Sy. 
From the App Store: Chessformer is a puzzle game . Having the best qualities of chess, Chessformer offers a grid-based board game experience using the familiar chess pieces you know and love. These pieces move as expected, but they fall down after moving and can't move again until they have stopped falling. The goal in each level is to capture the opposing king. But don't worry about losing your pieces to the king, who is lazy and never makes a move. Are you ready to be the latest chess prodigy?
There are 24 levels and I've done 23.  Stuck on #24!
Seriously, Chessformer is FUN. Lots of 'aha' moments.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chessformer/id1579290587

Other Chess Apps

Really Bad Chess 

Colour Chess

Chessumo - point scoring game


Solitaire Chess - my favorite from this list
Overgrown
Pirate Ring
Board: Chess Puzzle
Blip Blurp
Knight Trade
Troyis
Mate in 3? Ok!
Chess Puzzle of the Day
Chess Free 
Ruby Capture
ChessQuest
Blind Knights
Intersection
Chess Light - very good
No More Kings
March Simple Chess
Knights

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Erno Rubik interview via The Financial Times


 

https://www.ft.com/content/0f642371-42fd-4c74-aebe-51810fd82fc8?fbclid=IwAR20Q2RNUifdonChyVafXljTkw2RxrV_uc6ej_OlUdbQz8fmnzA-_FXDiOI

Not a great article but definitely a good photo-shopped image.  The interviewer seems more interested in the restaurant and food.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Parks Cantica ∞ by Andrea Sabbatini

 

Andrea Sabbatini recently contacted me about his new game Parks Cantica.  I've been playing his puzzle games since 2014. That's a long time in the puzzle app world.
In this game, the object is to place 1 tree in each park so that no tree is touching another in any direction and that each row & column has exactly 1 tree. For the larger grids, each park, row & column should have 2 trees.
The concept for this game is old. Twin Beams was an app that had some 5000 levels. Sadly, it's no longer available.

Parks Cantica has 120,000 levels!  At the moment, I've solved 89 levels. I know! At this rate I might finish in 2041.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/parks-cantica/id1568502080

Also by Andrea:

100 x 3 Logic Games
Park SeasonsHedgehog GardensPark Seasons
Parks and Landscapes