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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Number Runner: free puzzle app game for ipad, ipod touch, iphone Review

Number Runner comes from Lane Terasaki.

The object is to find strings of numbers: 1, 2, 3 or 2,3, 4 or 1,2,3,4 and swipe them to score points. The tiles can be in any direction and can even zigzag.

Harder levels: the numbers 1-5 are given.

I've play tested this and thought it was dumb! But strangely, I kept going. So it's either not dumb, or maybe I'm getting dumb!

It's free and surprisingly fun.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Snake Walk: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Snake Walk is a topology type puzzle app game.  The object is to start at any square, then travel in a direction as far as possible and hopefully cover all the squares. Except for the red squares which act as blocking walls.

We've seen this type of puzzle app many times.  Probably the best version is Mortal Coil which offers over 400 advanced levels.

Snake Walk has 50 levels with 'more coming soon.'  I've done them all. I like the puzzles. There's a good range of easy, medium & hard puzzles.  But the mechanics are a bit clumsy.  I do not want to tap on the next square to go either right or left. I want to swipe and I want the whole process to move more rapidly.

Those are minor complaints!  Snake Walk is quite good. I absolutely recommend it. Did I mention that Snake Walk is a FREE puzzle app?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Crystal Sliders: free puzzle app game for ipad, iphone

Surprisingly, it's rare that a puzzle app developer gives a great description of their app.  This is one of them, below.  I think it's unique and fun.  Am I addicted? No. But this is good! I've played it 8 times. I enjoyed it.
"Crystal Sliders is a deceptively simple but fun and challenging new puzzle game!  Your goal is to remove all crystals from a starting arrangement by selecting groups of two or more adjacent crystals of the same color.  The larger the group removed at once, the larger your score.  But there's a twist: the remaining crystals slide and form new groups depending on which of six directions you've rotated the board.  At the beginning of a level, you can have well over a hundred possible choices, affecting which groups you'll be able to remove later.  Choose wisely!
How to play video on YouTube
The game is easy enough for anyone to learn to play, yet deep enough to interest anyone.  Just touch a crystal to select all adjacent crystals of that color.  Touch again to remove the group, or rotate the board any direction you want first. Think ahead to see what new pattern your move will create. The easiest level has only two colors.   Later levels add more colors to increase the challenge.

You can immediately tell your friends when you beat your high score - or theirs!  You can Replay every move you made in the current game. Crystal Sliders also saves your top twenty high scores and allows you to Replay any of them later, showing every move you made from the beginning to the end."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

FlipFlipDuck: free puzzle app for iphone, ipad Review

FlipFlipDuck comes from: idea is to move your duck from square to square so that, when you land on a square, it flips to another color.

I downloaded the Lite version.  It's similar to other puzzles, but not quite. For one thing, there's a time limit.  Also, some squares are locked and cannot be traversed until all the squares on that side are that color.

Look at the 2nd diagram.  See the padlock on the green square? You must make all the squares on the right side green.

I did not get far in this game. The mechanics are not quite ready for prime time.

However, this game has potential. Would you believe there is a Classic stage, Rock and Lock stage, Blind Stage and Hard Stage.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Denki Blocks: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad Review

Recently I wrote about Tile'M All and Jelly Blocks. Both are rock solid challenging puzzle apps where the object is to get all the colored shapes together.

I've been told that the original concept was known as Denki Blocks.  It's not new. And it's a bit expensive at $4.99. But I think it's well worth it.  Most of the puzzles have 2 objectives: first to get all the colored shapes together. The second, more challenging goal is to make each final shape identical.

There are over 100 levels.  I have not solved them all. I've done about 70 of them.

There is a 'free' version. So give that a test spin. I'm pretty sure you will then get the full version.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chemin: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad Review

 Chemin is by Enrique Brandariz:

You are given numbered red squares - already fixed in the grid. Your task is to till the missing numbers so that there is a snake pattern from start to finish.  By the way, the word Chemin means road in French.
The grid sizes are 4x4, 5x5, 6x6 and 7x7.  25 levels per grid size. I raced through them and completed everything within 2 days.

The concept is not new. Marilyn vos Savant, supposedly the smartest person in the world, calls her version Numbrix. So I've been doing these for ages.

Chemin's user interface allows you to play this game very quickly. However, it does not allow you to place the higher numbers first. You must place the smallest numbers first.

Enrique Brandariz tells me that he's working on more levels and there will be an ipad version.

Did I mention that Chemin is free? Download this right away.

Monday, April 22, 2013

7 Planets: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad - Review

7 Planets comes from Tomislav Puzak of
The object is to slide the balls by rows and columns so that all the violet balls are at the top, then the dark blue, blue, green, yellow, etc.

When you swipe, all the balls in that row will travel as far as possible.

It's not hard.  However, young puzzlers should definitely feel challenged. There is a leaderboard to compare your time with the world at large.

I have not played the harder levels that have wooden blocks that are fixed in random places. But I have played it 4 times.  Probably the most interesting thing is the move counter.  If the balls are all randomly placed at the start, what is the minimum # of moves that will solve it? 

I learned about 7 Planets from Apps Gone Free. I don't know how long it will be free, so give it a shot.

Friday, April 19, 2013

TapGem: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

TapGem is a very interesting puzzle app game.  The object is to place 4 gems on each colored region and ensure that each row and column has the correct number of gems as indicated. See the left margin and the row of numbers on the top. 

If a number is in black, then you have satisfied the correct number of gems in that row or column. You can then white out the other squares because they cannot have gems.

There are 60 free levels. I've done all the easy and medium levels.  Here's what I don't like: many of these puzzles have multiple solutions: 2, 4 or even more solutions! Major ugh.

When you open a level: some gems are already given to you.

This concept was done not too long ago in another app called 63 Logic Games. Which I don't see on the iTunes store anymore.

I recommend Twin Beams. Much better puzzle app for a variety of reasons. 1. No clues are given. 2. The rules make the puzzles more challenging. 3. ONLY 1 SOLUTION PER PUZZLE.  4. Graphics are much better. 5. Statistics indicate how fast you can solve the puzzles. 6. You get a lot more puzzles for your money. 7. Twin Beams has a button to undo multiple moves. 8. When a row or column or area is complete, it does the mop-up work for you so you can solve them faster.

Back to TapGem: I've been doing the hard levels. What I really like is that the colored areas are split. For example the orange squares are not necessarily connected to each other. I have done 5 of the 20 hard levels. They're good. But still, some of them have multiple solutions.

Here's another way to explain my frustration: have you ever solved a logic problem with clues and a grid?  They go something like this: 5 people live in 5 different houses in a row, and have different dogs.  Mr. Jones does not live on either end but he does own the Dalmatian.  For those kinds of logic problems, there is only 1 correct answer - always. It would be maddening otherwise.

So that's how I feel about TapGem. But I still like it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Puzzle Blocks HD: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Puzzle Blocks HD is maze type puzzle.  The object is to move your red dot along the black squares to get to the open red circle.  Along the way, pick up the yellow stars.

White squares: can be traversed twice. Black squares disappear after you pass over them.  The blue squares act as a single wormhole. 

There are 20 free puzzles.  I've done them all.  After that, each set costs $.99.

I like this puzzle app.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

L-Game: free abstract strategy game for iphone, ipad

Edward de Bono created The L-Game in the 1960s. It's a very simple game to learn. Move your red L to any available spot on the board. You may rotate and flip your piece.  Then move either of the green pieces to another location so that your blue opponent cannot move.

Small board. Simple rules. This game can take a long time to play out. It's a great abstract strategy game for 2 people.

There was another version of this published on the app store. Check my blog from October 2012. That version has a better user interface.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

IQ Epilogue: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

IQ Epilogue comes from  This is the same people who made IQ Mission which had 7 or 8 sets of good puzzles.

You are given a map of 3 cities. Each has a set of unique puzzles. 

Look at the second image.  It's a very interesting maze. You are the coin and must get to the gold square. Notice the arrows? When you enter them, they will rotate.  Also the red tiles are connected. Anytime you rotate one red square, they all rotate.

There are 36 of these maze puzzles. Definitely challenging and fun. I'm stuck on level 13 or 14.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Century Puzzle: old time math puzzle, now an app.

Bakos Lucian recently contacted me about his new puzzle app game: Century Puzzle.  The object is to swivel the rings so that each column of numbers adds up to 100.

This is a very old type of puzzle. I have a paper version of this - it was hard to solve. But I did it. I'm not sure where it is, but I think it has 5 rings.

Century Puzzle has 6 rings - a lot more difficult!

There are 100 levels here. I don't expect this puzzle to gain popularity because once you've done 1, there's no urge to do 99 others.  Other shapes would add variety - triangles, maybe a Jewish star.

The graphics are really nice.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Abstract Free: puzzle game to test your speed

Abstract is a game to test your finger speed.  If you choose the color mode, your objective is to tap out all the blue shapes first, then the red, etc.

Alternatively, you could tap out the shapes first.

It's fun for a few minutes.  I think this would be good for old people trying to keep the mind sharp.

Hey, it's a free puzzle app.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Brain Twirler: puzzle app game for ipad, iphone

Nicola Salmoria recently contacted me about his new puzzle app: Brain Twirler. Nicola Salmoria came out with Twin Beams last year. Twin Beams made the prestigious list of Best Puzzles of 2012. Which I still play now and then.

Brain Twirler was inspired by Spin Mix by Ivan Vassilev. I reviewed that about a year ago.

The object is to swivel the rods around the white dots so that the red bar can get to the top. Puzzle 1 takes 1 move, puzzle 2 takes 2 moves... puzzle 50 takes 50 moves.  Puzzles are unlocked in progression, but there are always 4 puzzles unlocked, so if one gets stuck on a puzzle, they can try the next one.

It will be free with ads, with the option to buy hints through in-app

Right now I've solved levels 1-25, but I've skipped 2 levels.  Level 25 I did in 87 moves - way over the minimum. This is a very challenging set of puzzles!

Brain Twirler comes out today on the App Store. Nicola sent me a demo version. One of the perks of being a world famous puzzle app blogger! Oh yeah.

Brain Twirler easily makes the List of Best Puzzle Apps of 2013!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

KubeZ: free maze puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

KubeZ comes from Michael Scherwin. It's a series of 90 tilt maze puzzles. The object is to get the blue square to the blue arrow.

I did all 90 levels very quickly. Maybe 25 minutes. But I've been doing tilt mazes since forever.  This game is definitely good for young puzzlers.

Hey, it's a free puzzle app!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Troyis: free chess puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Troyis is a Knight's Tour type of puzzle.  The object is to land on all the white squares as quickly as possible.  Other squares cannot be landed on.

Check out the image of the horse with an attitude.

Many years ago, while taking a boring course, I did the knight's tour for grids 5x5, 6x6, 7x7......14x4.

Troyis is a free puzzle app.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mate in 3? Ok! - free chess puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

'Mate in 3? Ok!' is the title of this chess app.  The program has 210 problems. There are 10 free levels and I've done them all.  The next 200 levels cost $1.99. Which comes to 1 penny per puzzle.

I know lots of people are reluctant to make such a purchase but are perfectly happy to spend $4.50 on a cup of coffee that lasts 15 minutes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Nun Attack: shoot 'em up game for ipad

Nun Attack is not a puzzle game app. However, I decided to download it to see what all the fuss was about.

I played the game for about 15 minutes and was able to lead my nuns to shoot and kill monsters.

It's not my cup of tea.  But I did like the concept of nuns toting guns. 2 of the nuns also have a certain sex appeal.  The whole thing is funny.  Reminds me of Grand Theft Auto 2.  I remember trying to steer my car correctly and discovered I got points for crashing into buildings, cars and people.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tile'M All: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Tile'M All is a free puzzle app game for the ipad and iphone.  It comes from
Dimitry Bogaevsky.  It is not easy!

Look at the first image. The object is to slide the squares around to unite the colors.  The solution to this is easy: slide the green up - it forms a rectangle immediately. Then slide the yellow left - there's another rectangle. Then slide the green left to form the L. Then slide the red up. 

The whole concept seems easy. But I've only been able to do 4 levels.

You can buy the 'hints' which will reveal the end picture.  I haven't done that yet.

If you've played Jelly Blocks or Denki Blocks - this is very similar.

You must give this a try.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Khalou: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Khalou comes from Aurelien Wenger. The object is to turn all the stones white.  To do this, you may reverse the color by swiping a row. Or a column. Or a square 2x2 group.

Khalou is challenging. Hey, it's a free puzzle app game.  Give it a try.

The instructions are in French though.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pentapuzzle: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Morten Skrubbeltrang recently contacted me from Denmark about his new puzzle app game: Pentapuzzle. 

It's a packing puzzle: fit the pieces into the shape.  I must confess, I have not really play-tested this. But that's because I've done so many packing puzzles in the past.

Hey, it's free! You may enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cannibal Monsters: puzzle game of 48 challenges

Cannibal Monsters comes from the prolific puzzle inventor Raf Peeters of
The object is to assemble the red, green and blue monsters onto the grid and then make the monsters eat each other up and end up with 1 big stack.

Scrutinize the feet of the red monsters and you will notice that they fit snugly only on the blue monsters. The blue monsters can fit on top of the green monsters. And to complete the cycle, the green monsters can eat the red monsters.

It's hard to describe. I would just say that Cannibal Monsters has more of a Lunar Lockour feel than a Sudoku feel. At the end you will end up with 1 big stack.  I've enjoyed analyzing the possibilities.  On some, it's possible to determine which monster will be at the bottom, which means he's the only one that never moves.

Of the 48 challenge cards, I've done the first 28. At the moment, I'm stuck on #29.

In recent years there has been a trend of publishing puzzles like this on the itunes store as puzzle apps.  I'm hoping that happens. Still, the tactile feel of these mechanical puzzles are fun!

Click here to purchase.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Polymer: puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

Polymer comes from Whitaker Blackall.  The object is to slide the rows and columns to form big, complete chains.  The bigger the chain, the more points you get. When your polymer is complete, tap on it to collect the points.

There is a speed mode: get the most pts until time runs out.

Polymer has a nice artistic feel to it.