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Monday, April 6, 2020

Sudoku Evolved by Max Q Software LLC $.99

Daniel Greenheck recently contacted me about his game Sudoku Evolved. It's a 3-D version.  Each puzzle has 5 sudokus: front, back, right, left & top.  Important: he edges are shared. Which means all the puzzles are connected.
I solved 1 level at 'medium'. I thought it was easy - but still took a while to solve.

The next day I solved 1 level at 'hard'.  This took about 1 - 1.5 hours. I played this game on my small iphone (I have no idea which model it is.). Playing this game was very calming.

The graphics are very polished. A feature I particularly like: tap on, say 3, and all the 3's on that face get highlighted.

Note to Daniel: Good job. Thanks for the promo codes.  Check out the variations below for fun and inspiration.

Other Sudoku Variations
Sixy Sudoku Small grids - perfect for beginners
Sandwich Sudoku Positively love this. Hard
Kropk'i Sudoku  This is really a Latin Square with a couple of innovative ideas. It plays fast.
Quindoku Same as Logi5PuzzLogi5Puzz  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 levelsRollDoku - never even solved 1 level, so hardCohabit- played this on my ipod touch - before ipad was inventedFlowDoKu - one of my favorites. Will not delete this.Sudoku Mine combines Sudoku with MinesweeperSudoku 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 SudokuPokergreen Puzzles - a poker version of SudokuStar SudokuSudoku MazeSudoku SpinSudoku SweeperJoint Number PlaceFutoshikiSudoCubedRotadoku

Sudoku Octangles

Monday, March 30, 2020

Room Escape: 50 rooms I by S.henzhen Zhonglian Hudong FREE

Room Escape: 50 rooms I comes from S.henzhen Zhonglian Hudong.  
 It's very typical of the 100s of other room escape games published on the App Store.  Look around, pick up things, find clues, open drawers, lift up pillows etc.
 The game offers a few free clues.  To get more clues: watch some ads.
I went through 17 rooms in about 1.5 hours.  There is absolutely no plot.  I thought that it was unlikely that I would finish this game.  However, I did end up finishing the game in about 5 days. I did use the free clues a lot.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Zip Chip Sports

 Back in February I attended Toy Fair 2020 at the Javits Center in NY.  The guys who invented the ZipChip were kind enough to give me a sample. They also gave me a sticker that's very similar to the logos of the NBA and Major League Baseball.
 Prior to this, I had seen a video ad on facebook. I made a mental note to buy one.
The ZipChip is much easier to throw than a frisbee.  I cannot wait to go outside and throw this around.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The New York Puzzle Party 2020

The Zen Puzzler has a great blog. In this entry, he summarizes this year's NYPP.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Color Crush Puzzle by Ola Nilsson

Color Crush Puzzle comes from Ola Nilsson. The object is to tap on 1 or 2 of the circles, which will then fire bullets at the other circles, with the end result that all circles get destroyed.

We've seen this type of game numerous times in the past.  What's different? Diagonal bullets.

I've played about 20 levels.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

RECIPRO Sliding Box Puzzle by Masahiro Nakahashi FREE

RECIPRO Sliding Box Puzzle by Masahiro Nakahashi.  The object is to organize the numbers in order by swapping the circled number with an adjacent number.

The 2x3 grids go very very fast.  The 3x3 and 4x4 grids are obviously more difficult.

The best part of this game is the Battle Mode. This sets you up with a random player to see who can solve it faster.  This is an essential part of the game in order to graduate from the 2x3 grid and the 3x3 grid.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Untie the knots - Art of ropes by kun feng FREE

Untie the knots - Art of ropes comes from kun feng.  The object is to swap tiles in order to create loops among the colors.
This game is very similar to Hexa Knot which I reviewed in 2018.

According to the Leaderboard, only 61 people are playing this game.  I'm number 8 with 35 knots solved.  Only 1 person has solved all 111 knots.

This game is well done.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Road Puzzles by Mark Currie FREE

Road Puzzles comes from Mark Currie. The object is to move the cars to their parking spaces.

Along the way, cars must go to the car wash, pick up gold coins, grab passes in order to open gates etc.
One of the fundamental elements is changing the direction of your cars.

I was not expecting to like this game.  But it's got a certain charm. The graphics are great.  The steamroller just goes back and forth and requires patience to move your car.  Look at the last image: a a spaceship acts as a wormhole by transporting your car to a new location.

I believe there are 100 levels. I've done about 80.  At this point, each level takes a solid 5 minutes, so I'm taking a break.

In terms of difficulty, this is perfect for younger puzzlers.  Still, every puzzle designer should at least check out the graphics.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Grids of Thermometers by Frozax Games

Grids of Thermometers comes from Frozax Games.  I reviewed this game about 4 years ago.  It's been updated and is much better.

The object is to fill the grid with mercury (red). It's very logical, fun and addictive.  Embergram (see link below) is very similar and very cool.

I've spent a lot of time on this game.  One of the best features is the clock. Can you solve an 11 x 11 grid in 5 minutes?

Similar Games
Online Thermometers

Monday, March 16, 2020

Woody 99 - Sudoku Block Puzzle by Athena Studio FREE

Hello Fellow Puzzlers!

It's time that I got back into writing this blog. At this very difficult time in the world: we should at least find some time to play puzzles, right?

Woody 99 is only available on the app store. Sorry Android users.  It's a point scoring game recommended to me by someone who attended last month's New York Puzzle Party.

I was very skeptical about Woody 99. We've seen this type numerous times.  But I do like this.

The object is to score points by filling up rows/columns and the 3x3 grids.
1. Points are awarded for fitting pieces anywhere.
2. 10 points for completing a row/column or grid.
3.  If you can do two at the same time: 10 points for the first, 15 for the second and then, maybe 5 points if the piece you placed had 5 tiles.
4. Consecutive turns: 10 points for the row/column/grid. 15 points for the next turn. 20 for the one after that.  The longest streak I've gotten was wither 4 or 5.

Woody 99 requires patience! Which is something I lack.  Nevertheless, I did get one phenomenal score that put me in the top .1% of the leaderboard.  But I think I can do better.

Update 3/23/20: my high score is 14,582 which puts me at #369 on the Leaderboard our of 785,985 players.  I really must stop playing this.

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

TRUEChallenge - new mechanical puzzle

I just got this new mechanical puzzle at the NY Toy Fair.  The object is to spin the top hemisphere and the bottom in order to get all the magnets to be attractive to each other.

There is 1 turning axis.  Like the old Master Ball puzzle. 

The magnets are neodymium super strong. Designed by Ilya Osipov. This won an award at the International Puzzle Party 2 years ago.

When the layers spin along the equator the magnets go back and forth depending on the attraction. It's fascinating to watch the magnets move so quickly.  This puzzle has a great tactile feel.

According to a reliable source, Ilya says that a 'hard core' version will come out in 3 months.

As it is. I think this version is a bit too easy. I don't want to give it away though.  The title of the puzzle does not feel right. Something more descriptive would be more catchy.  Maybe:  The Crazy Magnetic Hemisphere Challenge.

The packaging is perfect.

This world needs more twisty puzzles.

Is it possible that all the magnets will repel?  I'm not sure.

Reminds me a little of the Turbo Mind Twister.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

SwipeTrix by Rakshak Kalwani FREE

SwipeTrix comes from Rakshak Kalwani. The object is to move Your Man, the rainbow square, to pick up the jewels without crashing into the death squares.
Harder levels include picking up a key first. Of course there are wormholes.

Look at the last image.  See the yellow thing on the bottom right? It travels in the opposite direction Your Man travels. He must be destroyed by crashing into him.

The graphics are very good.  The action is speedy.  100 levels. I did them all in about 90 minutes.  Some are tricky.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Shapecraft by Gamezaur $1.99

 Shapecraft comes from Gamezaur. It's a minimalist puzzle. Which means that the rules are never explained. Essentially, it's a packing puzzle and the dots on the pieces must fit onto the dots on the grid.
There's a lot to like about this game.
1. The graphics are outstanding.
2. Level 51 introduces a new concept: some blocks can change color.
3. Some colored pieces, say blue, are not directly connected, but they travel together.
4. The images show just dots, however there are also squares & triangles.
5. When the pieces are outside the grid, they're easy.  But when the pieces are on the grid, shifting them around can be a very crowded job. 
6. There are 84 levels, I did them over 2 days.  This is a very relaxing puzzle. A winner.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bubbles Pop 3D by Anatoly Maximov FREE

Bubbles Pop 3D comes from Anatoly Maximov. The object is to tap out all the balls connected by color.  Reminds me of Flood-It, from long ago.

This game is extremely colorful. But after doing maybe 10 levels, I didn't really see a challenge.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Destroy Blocks by KAYAC Inc.

Destroy Blocks comes from KAYAC Inc. The object is to fire the torpedoes in the correct sequence to destroy all the blocks.

Love this concept.  But I see only 4 levels.  Hopefully they'll be a fix.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Cup Puzzle 3D by bugra bayrak FREE

Cup Puzzle 3D comes from bugra bayrak.  The object is to stack all the cups.

1. The Red Cup is Your Man.  As Your Man travels from space to space, he flips.
2. The arrow: slides Your Man 1 space without flipping.
3. The yellow circles: flip Your Man
4. Multiple Red Cups: travel in the same direction. Be careful, one may travel while the other pushes a blue cup over the edge.

There's no information about how many levels exist.  I've done about 30.  Not too hard.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Sort It 3D by Oz Maharshak FREE

Sort It 3D comes from Oz Maharshak. The object is to sort the balls by color into the cans.

I've done about 10 levels. This game is too easy.  Strictly for kids.  The reviews that were posted were mostly very positive.  But I'm deleting this.

Monday, January 6, 2020

2048 Stack by RedLine Games FREE

2048 Stack comes from RedLine Games. The object is to place the random cubic numbers at the bottom of the screen onto the 4 stacks.  Hopefully, you'll reach 2048.

I played this game once.  It's actually not bad.  But I was very annoyed that I could not undo a blatant mistake.
Also, there's no Leaderboard, which this game desperately needs.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Orixo Wormhole by Logisk Studio Inc. FREE

 Remember Orixo from last year? The Logisk Studio has a sequel called Orixo Wormhole.  The object is to fill the entire grid by sliding the numbered tiles according to their values. This is a very polished game.  The graphics are crisp & colorful.  The challenges are fun. The price is right too. Though there are ads.
There are 128 Easy levels. I did half of them very quickly.
There are 128 Medium levels. Again, I did half.
There are 64 Expert levels. At the moment I've done 45.
There are 32 Insane levels. I've done a few.

Similar Games
Drop Pocket  from 2017
Zhed from 2017

Thursday, January 2, 2020

WoBoRoW Rock-paper-scissors puzzle

 Mikko Hannikainen recently contacted me about his new puzzle game WoBoRoW.  Essentially, it is a 'Rock-Paper-Scissors puzzle on a grid.
I was not able to download this on my ipad.  So I played it on my phone.  This game is tough!  I've only solved about 10 levels. 

There are 4598 levels. This is a big no-no. A great game should have 100 levels.  200 at most.

Other Games with a Rock Paper Scissors Theme:

Puzzle Janken came out in 2012
R.P.S. 25  came out in 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2019

ColorFold 2 by Martin Pluisch $.99

ColorFold 2 comes from Martin Pluisch. Last year he published the first version ColorFold.  I really liked it. 
 There are 150 levels.  They are much much harder than the original game.  I only solved 47 levels.
All the levels are split into 9 Acts.  So I got to sample the various elements.

If you're a Ribbon Puzzle fan, add this to your device.

Other Ribbon Puzzles
Ribbons Puzzle Game
The Weaver
Ribbon Puzzle
TAPES - similar to Colorbind. Excellent
Woven - easy
Colorbind - the first of its kind. Genius
Twisted Lines - very hard
Spreadset Easy til you get to level 7 or 8

Solitaire Logic by Mark Mainwood FREE

Solitaire Logic comes from Mark Mainwood,  The object is to place the 9 cards in the grid above by using the clues at the bottom.  It's very similar to ThinkFun's Chocolate Fix.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Parks Landscapes - Logic Game by Andrea Sabbatini FREE

Parks Landscapes - Logic Game comes from Andrea Sabbatini. Andrea has a long history of publishing very good puzzle apps.

In this game, the object is to place 1 tree in each park, each row and each column.

On the harder levels, each park, row & column will have 2 trees. This concept was expertly done in Twin Beams from 2012. Sadly, that game is no longer available (But it's still on my ipad!)

Parks Landscapes has 1000 new levels spread out over different landscapes.  I prefer the desert landscape.

Also by Andrea:
Park SeasonsHedgehog GardensPark Seasons