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Friday, December 31, 2010

Pengu Push: iphone puzzle app review

Very similar to BoxWorld and other sokoban puzzle sets. Cool penguin though!

Boxworld: iphone puzzle app review

In 1995, this Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent spent $5 for Boxworld. It's sokoban. 100 levels. Took maybe 20 hours to solve. That comes to .25/hour. Compare that with a new film: $10 for 2 hours = $5/hour.

Level 26, see image below, solved after maybe 20 attempts!

Now it's available at the itunes store for your iphone/ipod/ipad for only $1.99. Guess I overpaid 15 years ago!

Jeng-Long Jiang produced the original Boxworld. Dat Pham Van produced the iphone version with the same exact levels. Let's hope they're friends!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mad Triad

Mad Triad was invented by Heng-Chun Ku. It is becoming very rare. But it at

or download the iphone puzzle app version. (See below.)

Note: the physical version of Mad Triad and Handy Mad Triad are a bit fragile. Don't let small children play with it because the twisting knobs will break.

Tessellate: iphone puzzle app review

Arseniy Banayev created this interesting app. He calls it a 2D version of Rubik's Cube. His version has over 4,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 permutations.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zealot Cube: iphone puzzle app review

Do you aspire to learn how to solve Rubik's Cube? Li Zhijian has produced a new iphone puzzle app to teach you! Very nice job!

Cube Wizard: iphone puzzle app review

There are innumerable Rubik's Cube app games on the itunes store. Recently Ingo Eichenseher, from Germany, produced this gem. Open the application with your unscrambled cube nearby. Transpose your real life physical cube's sticker colors to the virtual one. Press solve and the app will not only solve it, but it will do it super slowly so that you can restore your real-life physical cube to perfection.

Bravo! And it's free!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Intersection: iphone puzzle app review

Bobby Nakanelua has created an interesting version of the 8 Queens puzzle. The original 8 Queens puzzle: place 8 queens on a chess board so that they do not attack one another. In this version, the same rules apply but if a space is marked with an X, a piece cannot be placed on that spot.

50 levels for .99

Dots & Lines: iphone puzzle app review

Object: move the dots around and make the lines not cross any more. There is an online version called planarity.

Overall - good fun from Rosen Genchev

Monday, December 27, 2010

Super Flood: iphone puzzle app review

The object of the puzzle is to flood the board just 1 color. The top left corner is the starting point. If the neighboring polygons are blue, tap the blue icon and now that polygon has now been absorbed into the family. Like the Borg in Star Trek

One of the most popular free puzzle apps: Flood It. It's terrific. Now comes Super Flood by Yongkai Lee. Super Flood is a nice improvement with the addition of hexagonal and triangular playing boards.

Get Me Out: iphone puzzle review

Get Me Out is similar to dozens of 'Rush Hour' apps that are available. This version has a sleek interface. The 'Lite' version has 20 levels while the full version has 99 levels. See image above. The puzzles are not new. Of course, some are very challenging. $2.99 will net you about 4 hours of entertainment.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NY Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz

Will Shortz is interviewed, yet again, this time by his own employer.

Binary Sudoku Puzzle iphone puzzle app

Sudoku has become a phenomenon. Dozens of variations have been produced. Michiel Allessie has produce an appealing new version called Binary Sudoku. Only 0's & 1's are used. Each row & column must have an equal number of 0's & 1's. A number can never be used consecutively more than twice. So, if a row contains 0, blank, 0, then the blank must be 1.

The puzzles come in 3 grid sizes: 8x8, 10x10 & 12x12. On the ipod, the 8x8 is a manageable size. 10x10 & 12 x 12 would be better for the ipad.

Keep your brain sharp! Spend .99 & play this game while listening to music.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Game Magazine article

The February issue of Games Magazine is now on the newsstands. This Senior Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent has reported on the Mother Lode of Puzzle Designs.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chess Puzzles

The Huffington Post has expanded their menu. Yes it is pro-democrat & anti-republican.

More importantly, Ariana is educating/entertaining readers with these chess puzzles.
Click here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Puzzling way to mulitiply & divide

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rave Review of Lab Mice Puzzles

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blockoban: iphone puzzle app

Blockoban is an outstanding puzzle app that belongs on every serious puzzler's iphone/ipod/ipad. The object is to move the colored squares or open circles onto their matching targets. Think of it as a combination of Sokoban and Lunar Lockout.

But there's so much more. On some puzzles, squares will have a notch in the upper left hand corner. This means that they travel together. If one of them gets moved, they all move in the same direction.

Like Lunar Lockout, moved objects will travel until they hit a wall or another object. However, some puzzles have sticky squares.

If a square hits another square, it will stop in that position. However, if a square hits a circle, the square will stop normally, but the circle will absorb the momentum and keep traveling until it hits a wall.

Jean-Philipe Sarda is the brain child. You can create your own levels and then send them in.

720 easy levels
880 medium levels
420 hard levels
160 big map levels.
One of the best bargains in town.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dedalo: iphone puzzle app

Mama Mia! The Dedalo iphone app is red-hot in Italy right now. And the reviews are steller!

Dedalo is the Italian version of Lab Mice Puzzles

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Try Cube Iphone Puzzle App

Try Cube is a cross between MonoSpace (another great puzzle app) and Rubik's Cube.
Object: turn the layers to line up the blue cubes to match the pattern on the right.

96 levels in all

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NY Times Science Section

The entire section of the NY Times Science section is devoted to puzzles. This story could come from the pages of an Oliver Sachs book. Dr. Sachs is a neurobiologist and has written about his unusual patients. Do read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat! There's an incredible story about twin autistic savants with a penchant for prime numbers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stone Flood Iphone Puzzle App

Andreas Katzian has produced a nice, fun series of puzzles. 54 levels. The object is to make all the stones 1 color. The bottom left corner stone represents the starting stone. If the adjacent stone is blue, tap blue and your the stone becomes blue and it absorbs the neighboring stone. Like the Borg of Star Trek. 10 seconds to learn. Stone Flood is almost identical to Flood It - another iphone app.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good Puzzle Collector's Web Page

Gisela Wittingen, from the Netherlands, has a nice section in her puzzle web page of photographs. Check 'em out!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rubik's Slide: iphone puzzle app

Last month I met with the publicity staff of Rubik's Slide. They reported: while on QVC, they sold 40,000 copies in the first 10 minutes.

You have a choice: buy the actual electronic gadget puzzle for $15 or buy the iphone app for $2.99. Both?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Michelle Nataniel Yugie, Rubik’s Cube Champ

Seems like 99% of the time, Rubik's Cube Fanatics are male. This young lady is an inspiration!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hex Slide 10,000 Iphone puzzle App

This Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent completed all 625 Expert levels of Rush Hour. Relieved and sad that there were no more challenges.

And now, Michael Katz & Nick Hodapp have created 10,000 levels of a new version which they name: Hex Slide 10,000. Of these, 4000 are at the Advanced Level.

.99 C'mon, don't be a cheapskate. Buy it! This is the perfect bargain for people serving long sentences.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Puzzle for Pets?

Oskar van Deventer found this Stewart Coffin puzzle sold in his local pet food store. If your dog, cat or rabbit can't dismantle it and restore it - they can chew on it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monospace - Iphone Puzzle app

Daniel Lutz created Colorbind - one of the top 10 intelligent puzzle apps. Monospace is his encore. 60 levels. Impossible to describe. Just download it & watch the demonstration. This Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent has solved 59 levels and hopes to one day complete that last level.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Puzzle Friend in the News: Washington Post

In the puzzle world, Bill Ritchie is best known for his company ThinkFun (formerly Binary Arts). In his neighborhood, he's better known as the guy with the Texaco sign outside his home. "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Up! Iphone puzzle App

Csaba Tamas has created 20 levels of this interesting maze puzzle set. Each level consists of 3 or 4 puzzles.

Object: move your man from the bottom, to the door. As you move, your square will swap places with the new square.

Fast, fun series of puzzles. Maybe too easy. This Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent did the entire set in 36 minutes. 99 cents is a fair price.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lab Mice Puzzles - Mindware Game

Because the Lab Mice Puzzle books have sold so well, Mindware has adopted the genre and created 100 new puzzles ranging from easy to hard.

The puzzles are printed on laminated cards. The set contains dry erase markers.

Since the holidays are just around the corner.....why not buy multiple sets for everybody you know!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lab Mice Puzzle - book review in French Women's Magazine

This summer, a dear friend was en vacance in France. She was thumbing through her favorite magazine: Femme Actuelle. She saw my name, then turned the page and of course said to herself - wait a minute! Or maybe she said Sacre Bleu!

My 2 books, Lab Mice Puzzles Volumes 1 & 2 are now being sold in France. And the wise editors of Femme Actuelle have heartily endorsed them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rush Hour: The Iphone App

About 10 years ago Binary Arts, now known as ThinkFun, released Rush Hour. Its 40 challenge puzzles swept the world. 3 more versions were released, each with 40 new challenges. If you bought them all, the 160 challenges cost about $30.

Recently ThinkFun released Rush Hour as an iphone app. The app has 2500 puzzles: 625 easy, 625 medium, 625 hard and 625 expert. I did all of the expert puzzles. It took a long time. Since the app costs $2.99 I definitely got my money's worth and then some!

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Puzzle Article

The November issue features my article Tower of Hanoi and Similar Puzzles. It's not on the newsstands yet, but subscribers are receiving it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fermat's Room (2007)

This foreign film about mathematics is terrific. Reminds me of The Cube.

Can you name 5 films that feature mathematicians as the main characters?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Office Max

Office Max is running a 'Back to School' ad on TV. The ad shows a Rubik's Cube being solved. And yet, if you go the Office Max website and search for Rubik's Cube.....they don't sell them.