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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tiny Tile Escape by Dumadu Games Free

iPhone Screenshot 1
Tiny Tile Escape comes from Dumadu Games.  It's a maze puzzle app game. The object is to slide the red square until it hits a wall and eventually lands in the black hole.
iPhone Screenshot 3
We've seen this type of puzzle too many times to count.
iPhone Screenshot 2
What I like about this game is that there are only 40 levels. Yes there are ads after each level. But it's not the 30-second kind.  X-ing it out takes half a second.  I solved the 40 levels very quickly. Not very hard.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Numplussed - Connect Numbers in a Math Puzzle Maze by Ian Finch Free

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Ian Finch recently contacted me about his game Numplussed - Connect Numbers in a Math Puzzle Maze.  Long title, but it describes what to do.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to move the white dot in the maze to match the target number on top.
The White dot can retrace its steps.  Directional arrows force movement in 1 direction.
Passing through a diagonal line: that's not division. It means that that spot will become a wall.  Some parts of the maze must be traversed multiple times.

There are 125 free levels.   I've done about 40 levels. You can buy 300,000 levels. I'm not sure, but I think that could be a record. Of course, some puzzle apps generate an infinite number of levels.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

rvlvr. by The Frosty Pop Corps Inc. Free

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
rvlvr. comes from the good people at the Frosty Pop Corps Inc. The object is to rotate the individual circles to move the dots to the correct spots.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
It's not hard. The graphics are good. Good for novice puzzlers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Social Sessions Game by Nicholas Hester FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Nicholas Hester is the author of Social Sessions Game.  It's group therapy. You're the unseen psychologist trying to get everybody happy. It took me a while to understand what the objective is and the mechanics. I'll try here.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The objective is to get everybody in the room to be happy at the same time.
1. Everybody starts off feeling neutral.
2. Look at the first image. The girl on the left connects with 3 people. A blue line means that they like each other. A red line means they hate each other.
3. Same 1st image: see the blue and red squares?  If you tap on the blue square, the girl on the left will become happy. Her friends will become happy too. Her enemy will become unhappy.
4. Alternatively, if you tap on the red square, her enemy will become happy while the others will be unhappy, like her.

I had to undergo a week's therapy to finally get it.

This game is quite serious and needs a dose of humor.  How about this: electroshock therapy if everybody's happy except for 1 person. Lots of possibilities there.

The mathematics behind this game is deceptively cool. I'm not an expert on graph theory, but that's what's going on here.

Social Sessions is very unique and smart.  I solved all the free levels and moved up to the paid ones. Trying to get everybody happy using the minimum of moves requires thinking backwards. Definitely give this game a try. Stay sane out there.  Read Nicholas's May 25, 2016 blog entry.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Zip - Zap by Philipp Stollenmayer $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
I've become a big fan of Philipp Stollenmayer. His newest puzzle is Zip - Zap. It's a combination of a physics puzzle and a dexterity puzzle. The object is to get to the white dot. Sometimes there are two white dots.

iPhone Screenshot 3 
The only thing you can do is tap and un-tap. No swiping or tilting.  The puzzles are charming and fun. A lot of the levels - I solved on the first try.  The majority required multiple attempts. As many as 25 attempts to get the timing down just right. I found myself completely tensing up on 1 level.

There are over 100 levels.  At the moment, I've solve about 50.  Zip - Zap is great fun. Excellent graphics.

Philipp's other games

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cuzzle by GalacticThumb FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
Cuzzle is a sokoban type puzzle app game. The object is to push the white cubes onto their targets, then get Your Man, the red cube, onto its target. (Sometimes Your Man is blue.)
iPhone Screenshot 2
1. Some squares can only be traversed once.
2. Wormholes. Not sure if I've seen this feature in a sokoban game before.
3. Landing on a solid white square (on the harder levels) causes new black cubes to appear.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There are 90 levels. They are challenging, but not impossible.

There are over 50,000 players on the Leaderboard! Only 1 person has done all 90.  A slew of people have done 89 levels.  I've done about 50 levels.

Other Good Sokoban Puzzles
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build Charming
Go to Gold - superb
Go to Gold 2 - I hope a third version comes out.
Pepe Porcupine
Sokoban Cargo
Push Box Sokoban
Push Around
Boxed In - loved this. First in a series of 4.
Pengu Push
BoxWorld - awesome. I still remember struggling through levels 26 and 35 for days.
Fireman Arcade
Paper & Light
Square Push Square
Professor Max
Puzzling Cubes
DJ Mole
Sokoban Evolution 
Test Chamber - brilliant
Duck Roll surprisingly very good
Color Labyrinth - excellent 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Raytrace Lite by Andrei Galkin FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
Raytrace Lite comes from Andrei Galkin.  It's a lazer with mirrors puzzle app game.
iPhone Screenshot 2
As you can see from the images, everything is 3D.
iPhone Screenshot 4
At first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to play this because I've done lots of other laser puzzle (see list below).
iPhone Screenshot 3

I'm glad I did play it because:
1. When laser beams intersect, they form a single diagonal beam.
2. Tunnels allow a beam to go through it, but block a perpendicular beam

Raytrace Lite has 120 puzzles and I've solved about 40 levels. It's harder than I thought it would be.

Other Laser Puzzles (Not a complete list!)
Laser Maze 2015
Shoot & Reflect 3x3
Photon Lab
Amid Worlds
RouteOut - not a laser game, but uses mirrors
RouteOut 2
Neon Connect
Mirrors & Reflections
Guide the Light
Lasers Free
Laser Logic
ReflecTs DS
Laser Glow

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Not Not - A Brain Buster by Alternative Shift FREE

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Not Not - A Brain Buster is by Alternative Shift. It's a game that simultaneously tests your logic and your reflexes.
iPhone Screenshot 3 iPhone Screenshot 4
Your Man is standing on top of the black cube. You have about 2 seconds to swipe him to another face. 'Not Left' means you can go anywhere except Left.  'Not Not Right' means you must go Right.

Challenge Packs come in groups of 30 or 40 sets of instructions.

The graphics are stellar. The game is fun. The bonus: it's good for your brain. I've said it before: we should all be playing these types of games to help ward of Alzheimer's.

Alternative Shift has a sense of humor:
Alt Shift is not responsible for any of the following consequences triggered by a not not game session:
  • Mobile damages due to a drop or any other violent contact or hard surfaces, including, but not limited to, tables, walls, floors, ceilings, the bottom of your foot when you stomp on it while screaming in frustration, or friends’ faces.
  • Loss of mobile resulting from throwing it, intentionally or not, out of windows, into the ocean, garbage dumps, the fiery pits of hell where you might think it comes from, or at friends’ faces.
  • Social isolation, episodes of hysterical crying, and/or nervous breakdowns.
The Endless Mode tests your reflexes and that's the only category that has a Leaderboard.  There are some 150,000 people who have played this.  My top score is 102 which places me somewhere around 300.

Monday, May 15, 2017

AuroraBound by Daniel O'Byrne FREE

AuroraBound Screenshot Portrait 1  AuroraBound Screenshot Portrait 2
Daniel O'Byrne recently contacted me about his new puzzle app game AuroraBound. The visuals as you can see, are stunning.
AuroraBound Screenshot Portrait 3  AuroraBound Screenshot Portrait 4
It's an edge-matching puzzle. The object is to place the tiles into the blank spaces of the grid so their edges match their neighbors.  Some tiles can be rotated.

I've done a lot of edge-matching puzzles of all types. Some were hexagonal.  Unquestionably AuroraBound is the most attractive and colorful.

There are thousands of levels.  I've done the first 10 'worlds' which comes out between 50 - 70 levels.

Friday, May 12, 2017

ZHED by Ground Control Studios FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
Zhed is from the team at Ground Control Studios. (I'm guessing they're fans of David Bowie.)
iPhone Screenshot 3
The object of Zhed is to build a path to the white square. It's a bit like plank puzzles, but not exactly because once the path has been laid, you can't pick it up to reuse.

Look at the 2nd image, which is level 21.  The solution: the bottom right 4 shoots to the left. That allows the bottom 3 to move up. Because it travels in front of that middle 4, that middle 4's path gets extended just enough to cross the 4 at the top.  The 4 at the top comes down, just in the path of the 2, which can then reach the white square.
iPhone Screenshot 5
Many levels: I've struggled thinking that the solution is to move up or down Lexington Avenue. Only to realize that the true path was to move west on 34th street.

There are 100 levels and I aim to do them all. At the moment I'm stuck on level 36.

Zhed is fun and free. Download it now.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Yellow (Game) by Bart Bonte Free!

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Yellow (Game) comes from Bart Bonte in Belgium.  The object is to get the screen to be completely yellow.
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There are 50 levels and each one has a unique solution. Hints are available for each level.
iPhone Screenshot 5
I solved all the levels! Confession: on a few of the levels - I'm not sure what I did to solve them.

Other Bart Puzzles:

Factory Balls - excellent
Blocky XMAS - fun and at times hard

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Games Magazine Free (Sort of)

iPhone Screenshot 1
From 2006 to 2013 I freelanced for Games Magazine. I wrote about mechanical puzzles and eventually got a business card with the title 'Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent'.   I stopped writing for a variety of reasons. Chiefly:
1. My editor was fired.
2. The two people who reviewed new games: one died and the other quit.

Games Magazine now has an app where you can download old issues. They cost $ though.

Also, the current issue, June, is on the newsstands. And I have an article, co-written with Nancy Ray Taylor.  The article is about Eric Fuller who runs this website.  Eric is offering a 30% discount on some puzzles to celebrate the article and his escalation to being famous.

If you buy any of his puzzles, tell him it's because you read the article! Even if you didn't.

Simon Broggi who made Cosmic Hare is trying to get on Steam.  Please help out.
We're currently trying to get Greenlight on Steam with Cosmic Hare, Would be great to get your vote and a comment!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

O--O ~ Turn the Lights by Lan Ho FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Recently I blogged about Lan Ho's other game Layer Merge, which I found quite challenging. O--O ~ Turn the Lights is his new game.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
This game is a laser light version of connecting pipes.

1. Each circle must be illuminated. But there is a requirement for how many should be blue or red etc.
2. The graphics are excellent.
3. There are 100 levels at Easy, Medium & Hard.  The easy ones go pretty fast. I've done about 60 of them.  The hard ones have giant grids. Only did 3 or 4.

I like this game.  It's FREE!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Happy Portions by Scott Barker & His Kids Free!

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Scott Barker recently contacted me about Happy Portions. It's an abstract strategy game designed by his kids and himself. From their webpage: Twins, Finn and Amelie invented Happy Portions on a restaurant menu while celebrating their 8th birthday. Helped by younger brother Alec, after some later playing about with a whiteboard they perfected gameplay as it now stands. Possibly the youngest game developers in the world.
iPhone Screenshot 3 iPhone Screenshot 4
The game is based on Tic Tac Toe.  Each player will place his color, first choosing a circle, then choosing a sector of that circle.  When all the sectors have been filled in, the winner is the one who has the most 3 in-a-rows.

1. The # of sectors seems to keep growing!  I've played the game with 2, 3 and 4 sectors.
2. Each player has the power to rotate 2 circles per game.  Once a circle is rotated, it's locked in place. This action could subtract an opponents 3 in-a-row and add to their own.
3. You can play against the computer or play against a friend sitting next to you.

There's one thing that could be improved.  After I make a move, the computer makes a move very quickly and I would like to see that animated in some way. Because I'm not sure where the computer made his move.

Happy Portions could be the next Dots & Boxes.  Scott, Finn, Amelie and Alec: this is a very good abstract strategy game. Be proud of yourselves!  Everybody else: it's free, so download it.