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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Long Time by COTTONGAME $.99

 A Long Time come from COTTONGAME Network Technology Co., Ltd. They made Isoland which I reviewed earlier this year. 
Their new game is similar to Blockwick, which I reviewed back in 2013.
The object is to shift the rectangular shapes to create a path for the ribbon to go from left to right.

There is a story behind it: a puppet who is in love.  It's very poetic & philisophical. Probably all lost on me.  There are 30 levels, so it's a short game.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/a-long-time/id1450612495

Monday, November 18, 2019

SquareShift by Will Hain FREE

SquareShift comes from Will Hain.  The object is to rotate groups of squares of 2x2 tiles to eventually transfer the blue squares into the glowing blue targets.

There are 60 levels.

The first 15 levels - straight forward.
The next 15 levels - some squares are locked in place and cannot be rotated.
The next 15 levels - some squares have #s which indicate the maximum number of times that square can be rotated.  These are challenging.


https://apps.apple.com/us/app/squareshift/id1484781114

Friday, November 15, 2019

NABOKI by Maciej Targoni $.99

NABOKI comes from Maciej Targoni.  I'm a longtime fan of Maciej. Scroll to the bottom to see my reviews of his other games.
 Maciej is one of those handful of Puzzle App Designers who specialize in 'minimalist' games.  I've never seen an actual definition of this term as it relates to puzzle apps. Essentially: the game does not explain the rules or mechanics. It's all intuitive. (Michal Pawlowski is another prominent minimalist puzzle designer.)
 NABOKI is a series of 3D jigsaw puzzles that must be taken apart in the correct sequence.
 here are many elements that must be mastered and toyed with. What's most impressive is the ability to rotate the entire figure. Simply put, the graphics are outstanding.
I'm not sure how many levels there are. I did struggle on some.  I'm guessing it took about 1.5-2 hours to complete.  Perfect game to play when you're talking to somebody on the phone.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/naboki/id1473480040
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rt.naboki
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1177130/NABOKI/

Other games from Maciej that you must download.
"klocki"
"Hook"
oO
"PUSH"
Up Left Out

Thursday, November 14, 2019

MeiLong Polaris Cube $14.00

MeiLong Polaris Cube StickerlessMeiLong Polaris Cube Stickerless
The MeiLong Polaris Cube is a variation on the old and famous Skewb Puzzle.

In order to turn the cube, all the corners need to be rotated 120 degrees.  This will then align the axes and the puzzle will then turn like a skewb
I've solved this puzzle 3 times so far.  I bought my first Skewb around 1995.  It's one of the easiest twisty puzzles to solve.  I made up my own algorithms to discover which ones were useful.

I'm using those same algorithms on this puzzle. But this one has those little pieces which make it interesting.

The quality of the manufacturing is stellar.
https://www.moyustore.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/meilong-polaris-cube-stickerless

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Merge Green Squares by ying zhou FREE

Merge Green Squares comes from ying zhou. The object is to merge the green cubes without crashing into the white dots.
What I particularly like about this game is that there are only 15 levels.  The last 3 or 4 levels are pretty good.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/merge-green-squares/id1485197020

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sometimes You Die by Philipp Stollenmayer

Sometimes You Die comes from Philipp Stollenmayer. I'm a big fan of his games.  (Scroll to the bottom to see some of my other reviews of his games.)
In Sometimes You Die, you will have to die multiple times in order to succeed.  I won't spoil the fun.

Look at the last 2 images.  The 685....I think it means that I'm the 685th person to solve the whole set. (Update 11/13/2019: Philipp just informed me that the 685 indicates how many times I died! It's funny and mortifying at the same time.)

According to Philip's description, there are 80 + levels.  They go pretty fast.  And then you get stuck and give up....until you keep trying.

He also mentions that there are 'hidden' levels.  I have no idea if I got to them.  How would I know?

In a game, you die.
And imply that it has no effect on you.
You feel invincible in the realm behind the screen.

This one is different.
In this game, you have to die.

∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ G A M E ∙ ∙ ∙
What is your motivation?
What do you expect from this game?
Do you want to beat it?
How do you know it can be beaten?

This game plays with expectation, illusion, and reality.


∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ P U Z Z L E S ∙ ∙ ∙
Think before you act.
Who knows what it means to die behind the screen?
Is it only a number that goes up?
Pixels that change their intensity?

Solve disturbing, surprising, and malicious puzzles.

∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ D E A T H ∙ ∙ ∙
Is it possible to go through the game
without dying even once?
Will you aim for it?

∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ D I F F I C U L T Y ∙ ∙ ∙
Some think the game is easy.
I think,
those haven't discovered the hidden levels yet.
80+ levels.
Hidden content.
Wow factor.
Epilepsy warning: One level includes fast flashing lights.


https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sometimes-you-die/id822701037

Some of Philipp's other games
okay?
Zip-Zap
Squaredance
supertype

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sausage Adventures by Ece Cansu Guler FREE

Sausage Adventures comes from Ece Cansu Guler.  The object is to drag the sausage onto the bun perfectly.  The bun comes in many twisted shapes.

I did 75 levels very quickly.  No idea how many levels actually exist.  This game is way too easy for me.  Good for young puzzlers.

Very Bad: some levels are repeated again and again.

Deleting this now.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sausage-adventures/id1485093733

Friday, October 25, 2019

One Line Weekly by Marcelo Pars FREE

 Marcelo Pars recently contacted me about his new puzzle game One Line Weekly

I'm a big fan of Marcelo's puzzles. See my reviews of his other games below.

The objective of One Line Weekly is to tap on the line segments to make one very long connection.

When I opened the app on my ipad, I was floored.  GIGANTIC AND OVERWHELMING. It's also very hard.  I've tried at least 5 times.....I had to give up.  It's just too big.

But you should definitely download this and see for yourself.  Most importantly, if you do solve 1 level, take a screen shot and send it to me. 

Interesting review and response from the App Store:


ToxicCheese,

Pointless and not fun

Where is the fun? And why does this start with one huge giant puzzle? Where is the slow ramp up in difficulty? No thanks.

Developer Response,

Thanks ToxicCheese. I can see your point but maybe I can explain my motivation for making this game. It was my wife's "longing" for the Sudoku in the Saturday newspaper. She can't wait for this difficult but sober puzzle moment. I also wanted to make a sober puzzle game (no color, no sound, no ads, no in-app-purchase) with a constant level of difficulty a puzzler can count on.
I'm taking a risk now, but I also made other games like this one (Loop Loop and Cage It!) which have the ramp up in difficulty you asked for. They also have color and a little music, so they are more in style with a "traditional" app. Maybe you can appreciate these games a little more than this one.

My own note to Marcelo:
All artists and puzzlers need to explore the boundaries of convention. I think your game will not succeed in popularity (like the vast majority of puzzle apps, sadly), but that's okay. You made something that is appreciated.  Like a Rubik's Cube with 33 x 33 x 33 dimensions.  Technically, not much harder than a 4 x 4 x 4, but a hell of a lot longer to solve.  Bravo for making this.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/one-line-weekly/id1480090253

Marcelo's other games
Save Planet Cube
Cube Loop
Cubicks Free
Cage It
Loop Loop

Friday, October 11, 2019

Stack Me Challenge by eDoc LLC FREE

Stack Me Challenge comes from eDoc LLC.  It's a point scoring game.  The object is to slide all the tiles up/down/right/left and not fill up the board.

In the beginner mode, only primary colors are used.

In the advanced mode, primary colors merge, and points are awarded for only secondary colors combining.  

In the beginner mode, I had to intentionally lose.

In the advanced mode, I'm in the middle of 1 game.  My score is 1800. I would be #2 on the leaderboard, but I think I have to lose for that to show up.

This is an interesting game. However, the game is unending.  Multiple times I made a silly mistake and easily recovered. 

The #1 score is over 6000, which I'm estimating took at least 5 hours to play.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/stack-me-challenge/id1476944808

Monday, October 7, 2019

Drop Drop! S by Adem KAYIRCI FREE

Drop Drop! S comes from Adem KAYIRCI.  It's a point scoring game.
The object is to drag the 3 pieces onto the board to match colors and score points.  The pieces fall upwards from the bottom.  Each match yields points, the tiles disappear and you're ready for the next round.

Adem is definitely one of the more interesting puzzle app developers who is still going strong.  I particularly liked his game cohex (see link below).

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/drop-drop-s/id1472487835

Adem's other puzzles
turn,
maze cube
cohex
-look-
block dock!
eceo

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Sixy Sudoku by PZZL.com FREE



Sixy Sudoku comes from Peter Ritmeester at PZZL.com.  I know what you're thinking: Not another Sudoku variation!


This version has a lot of charm, because the grids are so small.

Also, I really like the element where each shaded region must contain 1-6.

There's a 'wacky' version which is similar to 'jigsaw sudoku' and is also known as 'squiggly sudoku'.

Best of all: each version has difficulty levels ranging from very easy to very hard.

There are 500 levels, but there is no system of checking off which ones you've done.

I've bought 3 of the puzzle books at Peter's website.  I've shared some of the puzzles with my math students.

Nice job Peter!

Update 10/7/2019: Peter informed me that there is an update to the game that includes level progress.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sixy-sudoku/id1471766658
https://pzzl.com/

Monday, September 23, 2019

Hanoi Stack by Sergii Nagin FREE

Hanoi Stack comes from Sergii Nagin. Th object is to flip rings and stacks of rings to eventually land on the pole is size order - largest on the bottom.
I did the first 25 levels in about 15 minutes.  They start getting interesting around level 50, as more rings are added to the grid.

Interesting:
1. Multiple rings of the same size are frequent.
2. When a stack joins another ring, it will invert completely.  Look at the last image. The green ring on top - that whole stack will flip onto the light blue ring.  That will leave the red, largest ring, on top. 

I have no idea how many levels there are.  I've done about 120.  The last 25 took about 20 minutes.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hanoi-stack/id1478998981

Friday, September 20, 2019

Rope Rescue! - Unique Puzzle by Coda Platform Limited

Rope Rescue! - Unique Puzzle comes from Coda Platform Limited.  The object is to get Your People from the top to the bottom safely while avoiding the red wheels and the lasers and various other obstacles.
This game came out in July and has 39,000 reviews.

This puzzle play pretty fast. I've solved about 90 levels over 2 days.  No idea how many levels there are. 

Important: you must turn off your wifi or you'll be bombarded with ads.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rope-rescue-unique-puzzle/id1474676263
https://coda.xyz/

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Sandwich Sudoku by Nick Carney $4.99

Sandwich Sudoku comes from Nick Carney. This game was popularized in the spring by Alex Bellos via his puzzle column in The Guardian. 

It's a standard sudoku with one significant difference: the numbers above the grid, and to the side of the grid, are the sums of the numbers that separate the 1 and the 9 in that column or row.

Puzzlers who have played Killer Sudoku (see link below) and Kakuro should be able to jump right in.

The game has only 40 levels, but that's okay! These games have been taking me a long time to solve.  At the moment I've solved 13 levels totaling about 6 hours of fun.  By that measure, $5 is cheap.

This game is fantastic.

My Solving Times
Level   Time
1          14:07
2          31:04
3          26:32
4          26:05
5          11:40
6          44:40
7          23:07
10        26:50
11        31:23
13        28:44
14        23:36
16        21:50
17        24:22

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sandwich-sudoku/id1476116705

Other Innovative Sudoku Puzzle Apps
Kropk'i Sudoku  This is really a Latin Square with a couple of innovative ideas. It plays fast.
Quindoku Same as Logi5Puzz
Logi5Puzz  Same as NumDom. But NumDom has larger grid sizes.
Spindoku is totally different, but still very cool.
Hi-Lo Sudoku is one of my favorite variations.
Cryptdoku I played it so long ago, but it's cool. Long gone from the App Store.
Stimko Gold - outstanding version of squiggly Sudoku.  Handcrafted puzzles.
Kakooma - interesting for about 3 levels
RollDoku - never even solved 1 level, so hard
Cohabit- played this on my ipod touch - before ipad was invented
FlowDoKu - one of my favorites. Will not delete this.
Sudoku Mine combines Sudoku with Minesweeper
Sudoku Killer  combines Sudoku with Kakuro. I've spent a lot of time on this one. I can do the easy levels in about 10 minutes.
3Doku - a cubic version of Sudoku
Pokergreen Puzzles - a poker version of Sudoku
Star Sudoku
Sudoku Maze
Sudoku Spin
Sudoku Sweeper
Joint Number Place
Futoshiki
SudoCubed
Rotadoku

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Path of Giants $3.99

Andrew Farrell  from Journey Bound Games sent me a promo code for Path of Giants. The object is to get Your 3 Men, to their targets.  About 50 times. 
Each level is a 3D maze filled with ladders, portals and all sorts of contraptions including pulley elevators various buttons that activate random stairs.  Sometimes paths rotate.
The key element to Path of Giants is that Your Men must rely on each other.  Mr Yellow has to activate his button in order for Mr. Blue to get going.  Throughout the levels, each character will need to climb on the shoulders of the others in order to ascend to a higher step.

The puzzles are not too hard. Though I did have to restart some because I was in an impossible position. (The program told me!)

The graphics are charming and well done.  This game must be played on a large screen.

I did the first half of the game while watching 2 programs on C-SPAN.  I finished the game in 3 days.

If you like Monument Valley, you'll like Paths of Giants.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/path-of-giants/id1475781647

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Flow Fit: Sudoku by Big Duck Games LLC FREE

Flow Fit: Sudoku comes from Big Duck Games LLC  The object is to place the numbered pieces into the grid to form a Latin Square. (Technically, this game should be called Flow Fit: Latin Square.)
This game has over 2000 levels.  Many are easy.  Many are tough.

I particularly like the levels that have a question mark on one square.  It means that the value is not the same for both the horizontal and vertical.

This game is strangely addictive.  I think it's because the graphics are so good.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/flow-fit-sudoku/id1475678781

Monday, September 9, 2019

.Connect. by Kishor Berde FREE

.Connect. comes from Kishor Berde.  Recently I blogged about Kishor's other game SARKWO. I liked it so much I thought I'd try his other game.
The object is to swap adjacent marbles one at a time until similar colored marbles are all grouped together within a certain # of moves.

The first 20 levels were so easy and I wondered why I was still playing.  But gradually, new elements were being added and things got more interesting. 

The black squares with a marble: they're fixed.
The black squares with multiple colors (see the third image) can be rotated.
The connecting lines have their own button not attached: tap on it and the corresponding buttons will swap.

There are 170 levels and at the moment I've done 87 levels. I did these all on my phone while killing time. 

Advice to all puzzle app developers: Don't publish more than 100 levels.  
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/connect/id1416467796

Friday, September 6, 2019

SARKWO by Kishor Berde $.99

 SARKWO comes from Kishor Berde. The object is to slide the colored tiles to get to their targets.
It reminded me at first of an old java game that was a multi-ball maze.  This game goes pretty fast.  And then things get more interesting with wormholes.

The very last level took me a long time. I kept finding my pieces in the same unsolvable situation.  

My only regret is that I played this game on my tiny phone.  I would like to see some more levels similar to that last one!

(Hey!  You've probably noticed that I've slowed down my review of puzzle apps these past 2 months.  All is good. I'll try to post more frequently.)

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sarkwo/id1462867280