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Friday, June 29, 2012

Cast Key: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week Review

Click here for the solution.

This is not the hardest puzzle in the world. But it's one of the most charming.

The object is to separate the two keys. If you like the Cast Bike puzzle, you'll like this too.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Perfect Tiling: puzzle app for iphone, ipad

Eric Paquet recently contacted me about his new puzzle app: Perfect Tiling. It's his first puzzle app.

The diagram above pretty much sums up what this puzzle is all about. Fit the pieces into the blue square above.

There are 10 different grid layouts.  One is a cross.  Within each of those 10 grids there is an infinite number of puzzles.

The puzzles are not easy to solve. Fortunately, you can get a hint in the form of 1 puzzle piece being placed in the correct position. I have solved 1 puzzle in each category.

 It's a bit like the recently reviewed Fish Crackers. If you like that, then definitely give Perfect Tiling a try.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Pushpop is a solitaire version which is similar to Crazy Eights and Uno.

Tap on any card at the top of a column. The next card must match the number or color. Try to get all the cards off the grid. Not terribly hard. Also, I'm pretty sure there are multiple solutions.

This is good fun for kids. 

I would like the graphics to move faster. T

Monday, June 25, 2012

Twin Beams: iphone ipad puzzle app Review

The object of Twin Beams: plant 2 trees in every park so that each row and column has exactly two trees.  Also, two trees cannot be adjacent to each other – vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

I've seen this type of puzzle before.  Most recently in '63 Logic Games' which is another puzzle app. They call that game Parks.

Nicola Salmoria contacted me recently about his new app Twin Beams with a really long explanation of everything: how much time he put into it, how he borrowed the concept etc.

Bottom Line: there are 10,000 levels: 2500 at each level.  The easy levels are easy. However, I couldn't stop playing them. My objective was to solve each in less than a minute. The addiction has set in, it's real.  My newest goal is to solve each medium puzzle under 2 minutes - but I'm not quite there yet.

The one qualm I have with Twin Beams is that the user can skip a puzzle, but not return to it very easily. I think you have to cycle through the remaining 2500 at that difficulty level.

 Look at the Statistics! This is the first puzzle I've seen that records how much time the user has actually played the puzzle.  Myself: I've played the puzzle for 9 hours and 41 minutes - so far. I expect to get at least another 50 hours of entertainment. Not bad for a couple of bucks.

Twin Beams absolutely joins the list of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

Great job Nicola!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cast Bike: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week Review

Click here for the solution. 

Cast Bike is part of the Hanayama collection. The object is to get the ring off the bike.

In terms of difficulty, this one is pretty easy. But there is a certain element that is so appealing. I won't give it away.

Also, the metal itself is really nice to have in the hands.

If you don't have this, add it to your collection.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BlockUnBlock: another ripoff of Rush Hour

I've lost count of the number of total ripoffs of Rush Hour. This is the worst. Why? Because it comes with just 27 levels.

Skip this crap and look for Blockado. It's a set of 4 puzzle apps that have some clever innovations to the Rush Hour theme.

NineOut: an update

I've written before about NineOut which is a point scoring puzzle app. I am now the all-time high scorer at 97,000 points. Oh yeah! I'll be famous.

Here's the note I got from the developer:

Incredible… here, take the gold medal. But be prepared, i want to get her back :-D

Congratulations and best wishes from switzerland


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kaleido 10: free puzzle app for iphone, ipad

The object of Kaleido 10 is to score points by finding 3 or more tiles whose sum is 10. When that happens, the tiles above fall down. Also, the surrounding odd tiles will decrease by 1

Some tiles are greater than 10 though! Double tap on them if they're even and they are divided by 2. 

Kaleido 10 has the potential to be a really fun puzzle. However, there are too many tiles greater than 10.

A better game is NineOut.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Clickmazes Boxup: puzzle app for iphone, ipad

The object of Clickmazes Boxup is to push the red C into the blue C. Think of it as a kind of sokoban.

Years ago I became a huge fan of Andrea Gilbert's website

One of my favorite puzzles was Boxup. It only had 12 levels. But I'm sure I solved them several times each.

Now, finally, Boxup is available with 110 levels. They are classified as: Trainee, Speedy, Quirky, Sneaky, Nasty and Beastly. I have solved all of the Trainee to Nasty levels.  Of the 20 Beastly levels, I've done 3 of them.

This is excellent fun. Well worth the money. Clickmazes Boxup easily makes its way onto the List of Best Puzzle Apps of 2012.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fish Crackers: puzzle app for iphone, ipad

Fish Crackers is another puzzle app from the prolific Grabarchuk Family.  The object is to assemble the tiles into each frame.  There are 100 puzzle levels.  I have to admit: I'm not a big fan of these types of puzzles. Nevertheless, this is a fine set of puzzles. I know that my 7th & 8th grade students would like this.

Without a doubt, you should also try their other puzzle  Sliding Tiles.

Strimko is another terrific puzzle app of theirs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cast Elk: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week Review

Cast Elk was one of many puzzles designed by Nob Yoshigahara.   The object is to take the 2 antlers apart.

When you solve it, it seems quite simple.  Then try again a week later and it's not easy any more!  Very inexpensive at $13.  Click here for the solution. 

 I knew Nob casually via the International Puzzle Party. He was quite a character. He performed a magic trick at one of our banquets. The trick involved giant cards placed in envelopes. He never touched anything. In the middle of the trick, he told me how simple the trick was. I don't think anybody figured it out.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Moskeez: free puzzle app for iphone, ipad

The object of Moskeez is to match numbered tiles. Two 1's will form one two.  Then two 2's will form one 3. The tiles must be aligned horizontally or vertically. The number of spaces between the tiles is irrelevant.

Keep doing this until only one tile remains.

The Lite version comes with 60 puzzles. I solved them all in about 1 hour. Moskeez reminds me of Lunar Lockout, Fling, and Monster Joe with a numerical element.

You should definitely download Moskeez. It's fun! I will certainly buy the level packs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cargo-Bot: puzzle app for iphone, ipad Review

Cargo-Bot is a programming puzzle. Your task is to pick up the colored crates and re-stack them. More than one of my 'followers' has pointed this out to me. I've solved 18 of the levels. My solutions were not efficient and I got mostly 1 star each time. I like Cargo-Bot, but I'm not feeling the addiction.

Lab Mice Puzzles: Award winner!

So many people have sent me emails saying how much they & their kids enjoyed Lab Mice Puzzles. Thank you!

 Click here to read about the Silver Award from Parents Choice.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tripevo: Awesome puzzle app

I have posted 2 or 3 entries about Tripevo. Today I set a new record for the highest score in Tripevo history at 3.3 million.  If you break my record, I will send you a prize.


2Fuse is a point scoring app. You are given 60 seconds total.  Tap on two red 1's and they turn into a single red 2.  Then tap on two red 2's and turn them into a single red star. Then tap on two red stars. The blues are the same.

 Think fast, tap faster. Not a great puzzle app, but it's free and fun.

Biggest Number: truly dumb puzzle app

I don't know why, but Biggest Number is listed as a free 'puzzle' app. This app is beyond stupid. The object: click start and watch your score increase by 4 every two seconds.  Just watch the number rise. And when you're totally bored (after 10 seconds or 3 days) post your number on Facebook.

Oh yeah, you can buy the upgrade where your number will rise at 10 times the rate, or 100 times the rate or even 1000 times the rate. This could be the stupidest 'puzzle' app of all time.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bounzzle: free puzzle app for iphone and ipad Review

Bounzzle is a jigsaw puzzle where a ball is constantly bouncing/moving and you have to figure out where the pieces go. The grid size is always 4x4. I've done all 16 levels. It's good. And it's free.

For my money, I'd also go with Jigglesaw which has different themes and bigger grid sizes.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cast Key II: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the Week Review

Click here for the solution.
The original Cast Key is quite nice. This version is completely different. It's not hard, but it's good for guests, and non-puzzle friends. Reminder: these Hanayama puzzles are all inexpensive and very good quality. Buy multiple copies and give them as gifts.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mind Game: free puzzle app for iphone ipad

Mind Game is an edge matching game with hexagons. We've seen this type of puzzle many times in the past. This particular version is a bit skimpy on the graphics. If you're looking for a sleek mechanical version, check out Zoki. Not sure if they're still in business though. Also, check out Hexchange: a much better, very similar puzzle app.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Numbercross: free ipone ipad puzzle app

Numbercross is a free puzzle app fro the iphone, ipad. The goal is to get the correct number to the top of the grid. 1 can swap with 2. 2 can swap with 1 or 3. 3 can swap with 2 or 4. Get the idea?
There are 38 levels. I've done them all. It's fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Swtich Candy: free puzzle app for iphone, ipad Review

Switch Candy is a Lights-Out type game. Try to get the whole board to be one color. Tapping on 1 cell switches that tile and the surrounding cells. We've seen this type of puzzle many times before. The graphics are okay. But I'm not feeling the addiction.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Touch To Push: puzzle app for iphone & ipad

Ivan Vassilev recently contacted me about his new puzzle app Touch To Push. The object is to get the red circle to the red ring. How: touch on an empty cell, and all the colored tiles will slide away as far as possible. There are 400 levels. I did the first 50 and the last 50. Touch To Push is a very respectable puzzle app, but I'm not feeling the addiction. I prefer Ivan's other puzzle app: tJam, which is almost a masterpiece.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cast Medal: Hanayama Mechanical Puzzle of the week: Review

Click here for the solution. I first got this puzzle 7 or 8 years ago at the International Puzzle Party. It was designed by James Dalgety. The title was something different. Something like St. Mungo's Fish. At the time, I think I paid $30 or $35. This version is cast by the great Hanayama puzzle company and costs about $13. Why did I pay so much!?

Magic Bricks: update of this puzzle app for iphone and ipad

Scroll down a couple of weeks to see my review of Magic Bricks. I had gotten up to level 80 and then suddenly - all my progress was lost. Most of it anyway. The program indicated that I had only solved 40 levels. Needless to say, I was shocked and outraged. I thought about writing to the developer to complain. Then I realized how sad and pathetic that would sound. Right now, everything seems to be okay. My progress has been mysteriously restored and I completed levels 96 & 97.