Archive for the ‘Logic’ Category

Strimko

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Strikmo

If you like Sudoku and want to try a similar logic puzzle with a clever twist, Strimko is for you. The way it works is that each column and row needs a full set of numbers, as well as each string (numbers that are connected by lines), with no duplicates. Many of the same Sudoku-solving principles apply for these puzzles, but it still manages to provide a fresh experience.

I’ve played through many of the puzzles from the Core Pack (100), the Bonus Pack (20 puzzles unlocked after finishing the core pack) game, the Lite Pack (9), and the mixed pack (60 puzzles available via DLC) and have enjoyed most of them. The numbers are color-coded for quick recognition and you can input smaller ‘number candidates’ to narrow down your options. The game has four difficulty levels (Easy, Medium, Hard, and Master), OpenFeint integration that provides a number of achievements that are fun to chase after, and the all-important pause and resume.

My only suggestion to the developers would be to remove the extraneous top bar, move the bottom bar up, then add a number line to replace (or compliment, if you prefer) the circular number entry. You never know where it will appear and it covers information necessary to determine your input. I know you can move it around, but that’s too fiddly. Sometimes simpler is better (almost always, when in reference to interface).

Anyway, it’s a great puzzle game for the intended audience and the included puzzles far outnumber the DLC, so you can play through them first, before making the call on spending extra cash.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Trixel

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Trixel

All the player has to do is flip the tile to match the solution in the upper left, either within a certain number of moves or within a certain timeframe. What makes this interesting, other than planning the correct flips, is a number of well-designed power-ups and obstacles that make you think; Counter, Nuke, Sequence, Wormhole, Rollback, and many others. The player is awarded a medal based on how many moves each puzzle is completed with. There is also a unlock-able Beat the Clock mode, in which a series of puzzle need to be completed. There are 100 different puzzles, with the grid size maxing out at 5×5. The whole effort is quite polished and the challenge is there.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Myst

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Myst

Myst is one of, if not, the most famous point-and-click adventure games ever produced. While some criticize it for being “just a slideshow”, respectfully, I think they are missing the point…and click. For its time, it was a brand new way of telling a story, one that included interaction from the “reader”. The player clicks through beautifully-rendered visions of a mysterious island, many with latent clues as to what went on there and why. Clues are sometimes subtle and don’t always make sense until you’ve explored more of the world, but that’s what makes it a compelling mystery.

Interaction consists of simple clicking and switch-pulling, in most cases, and while this level of interaction may seem limited (especially years later), it does serve its purpose to drive the story forward. While I don’t want to expose details of the story, I can tell you that the player enters various books that transports them to different “Ages”, each with their own riddles to solve.

Myst marks a milestone in game development, in which the sibling development team at Cyan, discovered and created a new form of gameplay. While it may not have been the first game to realize that the player could point at a hotspot and click, they did firmly grasp how computers could usher in a new form of storytelling and gameplay, and for that, it deserves recognition.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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CounterBalancE

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

CounterBalancE

This is a decent logic puzzle, even if “ur scared of numbers”, like me. Each red node on the graph has a number that indicates how many empty spaces, in the cardinal directions, are needed to turn them green, FTW. Easy at first, but it gets progressively harder. Art is kinda bland, but it is being updated.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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PathPix

Monday, March 16th, 2009

PathPix

Apparently, this is based on some Nintendo DS game that everyone has played but me, called PicPic. You draw a path between two matching numbers that matches that number. Wow, that’s poorly worded; just look at the screenshot. The swipe controls are perfect. I’ve only played the first few levels, so I can’t comment on the depth, because it’s been dead-easy so far. The later levels look humongous, though, so I’m sure it will be fine. Not to mention that it provides 169 levels (with the recent update). When you’re done with the puzzle, it turns into a picture, which for me, redefines anti-climactic.

Update: Wow, this game is still on my iPhone months later. I’ve played a bajillion levels now and understand the attraction to the game much better than I did, when I first played it. First of all, it’s relaxing. The feeling of just connecting the dots is so fluid, that the act itself is simply pleasing. Gamers like to be rewarded and, in this game, each swipe rewards you. It is the perfect game to have when you don’t want to strain your brain, but you like the feeling of progress. In addition, the levels do get more challenging. So much so, in fact, that a new title has been released by the same developer, called PathPix Pro (which is a no-brainer, if you like this one, because it provides 300 new puzles). I’m increasing my rating to a 5, due to the longevity of the title and for the calming effect it provides.

Rating: ★★★★★ icon
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Mastersoft Kakuro

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Mastersoft Kakuro

Kakuro is game that originated in Japan and it is billed as “Sudoku’s big brother”, with good reason. It’s basically a crossword puzzle using numbers. Each column and row is preceded by a number, which is the sum of the numbers that the corresponding column or row will contain. The player’s job is to full in all of the missing numbers, using pure logic. No number can be used twice in the same run (or section). It’s a great game and this iPhone implementation provides a number of features that are quite useful and sometimes necessary, such as potential candidate entry, breadcrumbs, and color-coding. The game is wildly popular in Japan and I see no reason why it couldn’t become popular here, unless as a people, we’re just too stupid.

Update: While I’m still a big fan of Kakuro and I love the features this version includes, the further I got into it, the less I like the Mastersoft’s puzzle design. I much prefer the design of the Kakuro puzzles included in Gameloft’s Platinum Sudoku (which is no longer available in the App Store, AFAIK) and Kakuro Mania. Rating lowered accordingly.