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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Very Best Puzzle Apps of 2012

Announcing The Best of The Best Puzzle Apps of 2012. Also check out the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012 which I published Dec 30.  They are also worthy of your time.

In no particular order:

Twin Beams
Snake Slider
Arrow Command
Arrow Point
BeeCells Lite
Super Numbers
Akari 3D
Guide the Light
Luma Link
Vaccine Case
Magic Bricks
Chocolate Fix
Click Mazes BoxUp
63 Logic Games
Spin Mix
Sliding Tiles
Fuzzy Logic

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Best Puzzle Apps of 2012

These puzzle apps are actually the runner-ups to the Very Best Puzzle apps - published 12/31/12. The tuxedo image represents the formality and seriousness of this significant event.

Chain Solitaire
Gone Buggy
Color Pop Pro
Crazy Marbles
Woollyman Block Buster
Hexagon Puzzle
Puzzling Cubes
Blink Blox
Six Stax
Line's Life
DJ Mole
Eye Rollers
Number Zone
Relix 2
Moovin Up
Find A Way, Jose
Frozen Equilibrium
Sun Stones
Red Mix
Triple Town

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Senkai: puzzle game app for iphone ipad

Recently Paul Lapstun, from Australia, contacted me about his new puzzle app Senkai.

Senkai is a very challenging puzzle.  The object is to roll/shift pairs of cubes - either the top set, bottom set, right set or left set - until the white pieces form a circle.  Or the red pieces form a circle.  Yowsa, this is tough!

According to Paul Lapstun, the brain behind Senkai, there are 165,888 possible configurations.

I have not solved this.  Paul tells me that they're working on an easier version as in introduction.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Six Stax: free puzzle game app for iphone ipad

Six Stax is a game that is similar to Tower of Hanoi.  The object is to move the discs, one at a time, so that only a smaller disc can go on a larger disc of the same color and get all the towers organized properly.

We've seen this exact same puzzle app from another developer. Or maybe it's the same developer just using a different name. 

Besides solving the puzzles, can you solve them using fewer moves than other people?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Karyo: free puzzle game app for iphone and ipad

Karyo is a surprisingly fun logical puzzle.  The object is to clear the board of the tiles by tapping in the space between 2 very close, but not touching, tiles.  When that happens, one tile will disappear and the other will move to the space tapped.

There are 50 free levels. I've solved them all.

I like this puzzle game app.

Look for my list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012 at the end of the month.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vaccine Case: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Vaccine Case is a brilliant, original, FUN, puzzle by Wataru Nakano.

The object is to kill the viruses with the matching gases by opening and closing doors. When the virus is killed, the gas will disappear from that room Therefore, you may need to save some gas for down the road.

Previously, I reviewed the Lite version which has 12 levels.  The paid version is $2.99 with 100 levels.  Well worth the money.

Right now I've solved about 85 of the levels. Brilliant and fun.  Easily one of the Best Puzzle App Games of 2012.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Kings Can Fly: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Kings Can Fly is a puzzle game app where the object is to place fans on the grid so that when the ships leave the red barn, they will turn in the correct directions to get to their destination.

We've seen numerous games like this. Instead of windmills, the user must place arrows on the grid. 

Kings Can Fly has a nice 3D touch that kids would like.

The graphics are very 3D and will appeal to kids.

A more sophisticated version of this is called Arrow Command, which I reviewed in January, I think.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oball: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Oball is a point scoring puzzle app from Vlifect. Their webpage is down or defunct. However, the puzzle game is quite good.

The object is to get 4 balls of the same color into a cluster of 4 or more. When that happens, they disappear and you score points. 

Gameplay: tap on 2 balls and if they can trade places via an open path (no diagonals), they will swap.

You score more points by getting a cluster of 5 or 6. But that's not necessarily an optimal strategy. 

Right now, my score is about 16,000. That's from playing 30 minutes a day for about two weeks.

Oball is a darn good puzzle app game. However, it's a bit too easy. I've made mistakes that I thought spelled my doom. But I keep getting out of the jams and am afraid this one game of mine might go on for weeks or months.

A similar game that's much harder: BeeCells Lite.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Luma Link: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Luma Link is a series of 300 puzzles where the object is to slide the tiles around until the silver ball can go into the red hole. The silver ball can travel to an adjacent tile.

Tiles can move horizontally/vertically ONLY IF the selected tile has a matching colored tab with another tile on that same row/column. You'll notice that some tiles have tabs only at 12 o'clock & 6 o'clock: they can only move up and down, never side to side.

I have done all the medium & hard levels.  The presentation is slick. This is a free puzzle game app. It comes with video ads that take over the screen after solving 4 or 5 levels. Pay a buck to remove them and get an additional 300 levels.

There are also free daily puzzles. I'd like to see Luma Link as a puzzle that would allow players to create their own levels. Because I'm curious as to how hard they could be.

Bottom Line: Luma Link is mildly challenging, fun and definitely worth your time.

On December 30th, I will publish a list of the Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.
On December 31st, I will publish a list of the Very Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

What's the difference? The Very Best Puzzle Apps: I played them a lot more than the others.

Also, this blog is just about to get its 250,000th hit. If you're it, take a screen shot, send it to me and get a prize.

One more thing: this blog currently gets about 600 hits/day. But there are only 116 followers. If you sign up as a follower, you'll make my day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Netbound: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

The first image describes the rules, maybe a bit awkwardly.

We've seen many topology type puzzles like this before. Start at A, end at B. Go over each of the other circles - some of the circles must be landed on 3 or 4 times.

Look closely at the white dots around the A. They indicate where you may land next.

Netbound is smart, fun and well done. I have not solved all the levels yet.

On December 30th, I will publish a list of the Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.
On December 31st, I will publish a list of the Very Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

What's the difference? The Very Best Puzzle Apps: I played them a lot more than the others.

Also, this blog is just about to get its 250,000th hit. If you're it, take a screen shot, send it to me and get a prize.

One more thing: this blog currently gets about 600 hits/day. But there are only 116 followers. If you sign up as a follower, you'll make my day.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Line's Life: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Line's Life Pro is a concept similar to Lunar Lockout, Pike's Peak and Fling.

The object is to align the circles in pairs of matching colors - vertically or horizontally - then make them disappear by having 1 of them crash into the other.

There are 162 levels, and I was originally stuck on level 7! 

You're wondering: Tom, does Line's Life make it onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012? Probably. Check back at the end of December.

Click here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vaccine Case Lite: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Wataru Nakano from Japan has created a brilliant new puzzle concept called Vaccine Case.

The program does not offer written directions, so pay attention.

It is not easy to explain: the object is to kill the blue virus with the blue gas by opening and closing gates. If a room holds blue gas and you  open the door, that gas will fill up the remaining area and will disappear with the dead virus.

You will need to save some blue gas in another room.

Vaccine Case Lite has 12 levels - the last few are hard. I have solved them all.

Vaccine Case Lite easily moves onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

Next week I will report on the full version which has 100 levels.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Are you designing a puzzle game app?

Click here if you're in the process of developing a puzzle game app. It is a quick reference guide.

Puzzle App Developers: what worked for you when trying to promote your puzzle game?

Monday, December 10, 2012

DJ Mole: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

DJ Mole is a sokoban type puzzle.  The object is to get the DJ Mole to traverse the grid and pick up old albums.  If DJ Mole picks up a blue album, then his headphones turn blue and that allows him to push blue obstacles out of his way.

Other featueres: rainbow albums, teleporters,

One drawback is that you can't see the entire grid all at once. But that adds another element of complexity.

There are 15 free levels, and I've done them all.

Without a doubt, this concept is not entirely original. But the implementation of a Mole who is a DJ - brilliant!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Puzzles in the News: Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has an article about an exhibit at the MET in NYC that displays puzzle desks.  I have not seen the exhibit - yet. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Turnabout: free puzzle game app for iphone ipad

Turnabout is a point scoring puzzle app. The object is to tap on one of the gears to turn it. It will then turn other gears until it no longer connects with another gear.

There's not much here in terms of play/thinking. It's very similar, if not identical, to another puzzle game called Fun, which I reviewed ages ago.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eye Rollers: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Eye Rollers comes from It is similar to a tilt maze puzzle. (A true tilt maze: all the balls would roll simultaneously in the same direction.) Roll the balls one at a time until they hit an obstacle or go into the side pockets.

There are 20 free levels. I have solved them all, but not by using the minimum number of moves. Therefore, I will have to pay to play the other levels.

Of the 20 free levels: some of them are tough and clevely designed.  They don't include the Red Eyes that destroy walls. I have not play-tested those levels yet.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Akari 3D: puzzle game for iphone, ipad

Guillaume Ortega contacted me recently from France about his new puzzle app: Akari 3D.

Akari is one of my favorite pencil puzzles from Nikoli press in Japan. Describing the puzzle game is not easy. I would recommend that you first download and play Akari Free.

Black squares have numbers, or dots. That number indicates how many light beams to place on each of the adjacent faces. Not the diagonal squares. Those light beams will illuminate all the squares in the horizontal & vertical rows.

The object is to light up all the squares.

Once you've played Akari Free, you'll be ready for Akari 3D. I happen to love it! There are 54 levels: 18 with a small cube, 18 with a medium cube and 18 with a gigantic cube.  I've solved all of them and now feel a bit sad that there are no other levels to play.

Some of the puzzles have multiple solutions which makes solving a bit trickier sometimes. Sometimes easier.

Look for the end of year Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

Click here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Nova: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

The object of Red Nova is to tilt the screen so that the red square will travel until it hits a wall and then eventually go into the black hole.

There are 40 levels. I did the first 20, which were free, in about 20 minutes. 

This Puzzle App Correspondent has seen this type of puzzle at least 25 times.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ma3e: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Ma3e is a free tilt-maze puzzle game app. The shapes are not necessarily cubic.  I played 2 of these levels, it's not quite my thing. But there is a a definite element of fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bored: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Bored comes from Patrick Q. Kelly. Fans of Lunar Lockout and Pike's Peak need no explanation.

The object is to send your man to the center without falling off the board. A man can travel vertically or horizontally, until it hits another object.

Solution for the Nickel: move nickel to the left. Move the top left penny to the right, then down. Then move the nickel to the right.

There are 5 or 6 different backgrounds to choose from. I like the coin one.

There are 520 levels. Seemingly, they are all unique. But that's not exactly the case. #75 & #90 are virtually the same.

 I did the first 100 levels in about 20 minutes. Then I did the last 20 levels.  All of the levels are kind of easy.

I was looking for a serious, fun challenge. Unfortunately, this is really for casual puzzlers.

Monday, November 26, 2012

TetragonoS: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

TetragonoS is a free puzzle game app that's similar to sudoku and Latin Squares.  You are given a Latin Square: each row and each column has different numbers. You must color 4 tiles blue making sure that each blue tile gets all 4 numbers.  Basically, you can't have two blue tiles using the number 3.

I think kids will like this.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Maestrosities: Coolest Band Ever

Click here to see the Maestrosities pilot tv show.  About 6 weeks ago I saw the premiere which was about 24 minutes and quite funny.

Rod Kimball, who is a juggler and puzzler friend is in the band. He is also a member of The Flying Karamazov Brothers.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

iCube: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

iCube is a set of 3D cube mazes from UNNYHOG. They also made Lookout Blizzard, which I happened to love.

There are a series of 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 cubic mazes. Roll the ball to the end.

Over the years, there have been numerous cubic mazes made in physical form. iCube does an admiral job of showing the ins and outs. In the past,  I decided not to purchase some cubic 3D mazes because it was too difficult to see through so much plexiglass. iCube incorporates a very good shading system for the walls that makes the puzzles quite doable and not frustrating.

The free version has 9 easy puzzles. I've solved them all. The paid version has 81 levels.

Pavel Ignatov is the puzzle designer. No idea if he's related to the famous juggler who first juggled 11 balls.

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. See you on Monday. Also, if you're a regular reader of this blog, please sign up as a follower.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Number Zone Next: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad, ipod

Number Zone Next comes from Hideaki Hashimoto who created the original Number Zone, which is another good puzzle app.

The object of Number Zone Next: some of the balls have numbers. Tap on one of them and swipe that number of balls to make them disappear.

Number Zone Next has 100 levels. I did the first 20 in about 10 minutes. Then I jumped to the last section of 20 puzzles. I'm stuck on #88.  These are tough, fun, and hey, free!

Number Zone Next quite possibly makes it onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.  That list will be released on December 31. The excitement is brewing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anti Virus: free puzzle game for all computer users!

Raf Peters contacted me recently about Smart Games' new set of on-line puzzles based on their board-game puzzles. Raf designed the concepts and challenges for most of them. 

This weekend, I play-tested Anti-Virus. It was designed by my puzzle friend Oskar van Deventer. The object is to slide the pieces around, along the grid lines to get the red piece out at the top left corner. The concept is similar to Rush Hour. But the pieces are weirder.

There are 120 levels. Of the 30 Expert levels, I've done 27 of them. The image here is one of the ones that has me stumped - temporarily. See the white dots? Those pieces cannot be moved.

Raf tells me that all of the puzzle games have been designed using HTML5, which means that you can play them on any computer. Even on ipads. I'm hoping they appear as apps later on.

You can play all of these puzzle games for free! But you have to register. So, get on the bus, Gus:

One more thing: about 6 months ago, somebody actually published an exact copy of Anti-Virus on the App Store. Naturally, I alerted the Smart Games people and their legal department took care of it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dominosa Free: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad Review

Years ago I used to buy Dell's Math & Logic Problems. It came out sporadically, maybe every 2 months. They had a domino puzzle just like Dominosa Free.

The object is to put the dominos to match the grid.  In the diagram, notice the 3 red tiles? They're red because only one of them can be 3 - 0.

Dominosa Free can generate an infinite number of these puzzle at much harder levels than the one pictured.

Does this make it onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012? No. But it's still good.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Starcoaster: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Ryan Gorer has developed a most interesting series of puzzles.  You are given a pipe with a star on it. You must slide the pipe and bend it so that the star lines up perfectly on the blank star. That's the easiest level.

On the harder levels, your pipe will have multiple stars.

There are 100 levels. I've done 33 of them. Some of them are quite tricky.

One qualm I have with this puzzle: suppose you tap on the pipe to bend it. It may bend to the right instead of to the left. If that happens, double tap on the joint and hopefully it will unbend and then bend in the direction you really want. That part is clumsy.

Starcoaster is a novel type of puzzle that could make it onto the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cross Caps: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad Review

Cross Caps is a hexagonal peg-jumping solitaire puzzle.  The free version has 20 levels. Not hard at all. What's a little weird is that all the jumps are taking place on an imaginary hexagonal grid. And yet, the background is a square grid.

The full version has 35 levels.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unites: free puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Unites is a shunting puzzle. The object is to move the red 1 into the red square and the green 2 into the green square, etc. 

At the bottom of the screen you are given a limited number of arrow moves to go up, down, right & left.

Squares that have a white X: no piece can go inside.

Unites comes from Japan: when you solve a level this message pops up: "Clear. Next, does it progress?" Click okay.

The puzzles are supposed to get progressively harder, but that's not exactly the case. # 29 & 30 were easy.

Another problem:  you cannot clear a level unless you've used all of the arrows. I solved a bunch by using fewer. Then I had to use the rest up to 'clear'.

This could be a really challenging set of puzzles. I'm hoping the next version will be better.

There are 30 puzzle levels. I've done 25 of them.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Boats: the latest ripoff of Rush Hour

Seems like every week there's another ripoff of Rush Hour.  Magma Mobile is responsible for this one. They have another ripoff called Car Valet.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Update on Woodhead: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Matthew Klundt contacted me yesterday about his puzzle game app Woodhead.  I reviewed it 2 or 3 months ago. Scroll down through this blog to read about this 'Terrible Game.'
The Lite version contains all new puzzles, and the full version is also getting an update which includes those new levels.



CitiBlox: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad ipod: Review

CitiBlox comes from AdAir Mobile. The game is virtually the same as Dots and Boxes. The object is to complete more squares than the computer. Completing a square means that you have tapped on the 4th side. It doesn't matter if your opponent tapped on the other 3 sides. Completing a square gets you that point.

Before you move, the computer is already blinking his next move. That's a little weird. Notice the different colored dots at the intersections? I have no idea why they exist at all and if there is any significance to them being various colors.

If you win the game, the hidden image is revealed.

I've played the game a few times. It's okay.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tilt Ball Free: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

When I was a kid, my mother bought us several dexterity maze puzzles. Challenging and fun.

Recently, the developers at sent me a promo code to play test their game.

Tilt Ball Free has 100 levels. I've done about 75 of them, including the last 25.  I did them on the easy settings where the ball doesn't roll too quickly. 

Tilt Ball is definitely fun. I think it's geared more for younger puzzlers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Magnets Puzzle Free: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Magnets Puzzle Free is the name of this free puzzle app game from Wiseguy Sharp LLC.

The object is to place magnets into the slots and orient them correctly. A + can never be next to a +. Also, the numbers on the sides indicate how many +'s and -'s exist in that row or column.

Tricky: some rectangular tiles will have no magnets at all.

I've played this game only on the easy level to get the hang of it. It's interesting.

I'm not sure, but this type of puzzle may have been originally published in Japan.

Hey, it's free!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Swisch: puzzle game app for iphone, ipad

Swisch is a series of 80 tilt maze puzzles. You are the red circle and your object is to get inside the green U.  I have done so many Tilt-maze puzzle apps, that I've completely lost track.

Swisch has lots of extra features, most of which I've seen before: wormholes, arrows that force your direction, unlocking doors, etc. Interesting feature: the wooden blocks need to be hammered twice before disintegrating. I don't think I've seen that feature before. This is quite interesting.

The 80 levels: 11 training levels. Puzzle Pack #1 has 25 levels - kind of easy. Puzzle pack #2 has 33 levels. Puzzle pack #3 has 11 levels - they are tough! I have solved them all.

Does Swisch make it onto the list of Best Puzzle App Games of 2012? Quite possibly.