Archive for the ‘Puzzle’ Category

Mondrian

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Mondrian

Based loosely on the works of the famous De Stijl artist, Piet Mondrian, this unique puzzle game has the player creating symbolic representations of these rectilinear masterpieces in as few moves as possible. The components of each painting are broken down into colored squares that must be swiped into position in a set number of moves. The player is then rewarded with money, based on the number of moves used and the time it took to solve. This money, in turn, allows access to new areas of a geographical map that display where other paintings have been “hidden”. This is the only way to advance, which may present a problem for some players, because the puzzles can be quite challenging. By challenging, I mean stuff-your-head-in-a-blender challenging. Die-hard puzzlemeisters will love this to death, but I think it would have been accessible to a greater audience, if the difficult curve would have been flattened a bit (although an opt-in hint system midigates this issue somewhat). Several types of special blocks are present on the painting to help or hinder your progress. Static black blocks allow to maneuver your pieces into place, counter blocks have a counter that displays the exact number moves that must be obeyed, and fiendish grey blocks switch to the color they last touched, just to tax your brain even further. The graphical presentation is very clean, just like the artwork it is derived from, which is quite impressive. There are humorous cut-scenes shown between locations, spoken by a lively representation of Mondrian himself. The whole package is clever, polished, and very challenging; a true brain-burner.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Mystery Mania

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Mystery Mania

Guide this goofy robot through a decent-sized mansion, solving logic puzzles in each room to proceed. The humor is good, the puzzles are varied, and my wife loved it. In fact, she played the whole thing through in a couple nights, before I even finished 4 levels. My three-year-old loves it too, but some of the puzzles are out of her league.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Pocketball

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Colored balls drop from the top and must be directed into the corresponding colored box, by placing bounce lines between pegs that are static. Any two pegs can be connected by physics-appropriate rubber bands. When a ball crosses an arrow icon, it receives a nudge in the corresponding direction. It’s really polished and somewhat challenging, because the solutions are not always obvious and there are other obstacles not represented in the screenshot above. My only complaint is that deleting placed bands is unnecessarily difficult.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Cross Fingers

Monday, December 7th, 2009

From the developers of EDGE (which is awesome, but available infrequently, due to ridonkulous copyright battles). This is an interesting spin on tangrams, in which you slide the light pieces to properly fill the dark areas, but oftentimes needing to temporarily move the brown pieces, using multi-touch. I think it is one of the better implementations of this type of gameplay, although the snap-to-grid is sometimes wonky.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Squareball

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Interesting game. The player has to bash apart the colored blocks, Breakout-style and make it through each level without letting the ball go out of bounds. The ball stays centered on the screen and swiping left and right moves the entire level. Not much to look at here, but in practice, it’s pretty fun and somewhat challenging.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Puzzle Dice

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

This is the follow up to the follow up of Str8ts (the first follow up was Domino Dice, which had its issues). Basically, Puzzle Dice is Str8ts, with better art and I’m a big fan of Str8ts. They are sorting out some bugs right now, but once the update drops, it’s a recommendation for anyone that finds Sudoku-style games interesting.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Totemo

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

A nice little puzzler that has the player matching up groups of a certain size to move them from the board. If you leave a loner or more out in the cold, you’re done, kid.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Mixt

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Clever color-mixing game. The goal is to fill enough of the slots on the bottom edge of the screen with the appropriate colored paint blobs. The trick here is that you often-times have to mix two globs together to get the right paint color. There is no color-blind option, unfortunately, but the gameplay is solid, otherwise.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Dark Harvest

Friday, October 16th, 2009

This is a Bust-a-Move clone in which the mass of balls (say it 3x fast!) reacts to physics and spins. The artwork is really nice and moody, the story and theme is a nice change of pace, and the soundtrack is good. Unfortunately, for me, it just didn’t nail the fun factor. I felt that the role that skill played was too minor. It allows players to post bragging rights on facebook.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Wriggle

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

This really sets itself well apart from the average Rush Hour clone by the inclusion of worms that twist and turn through the map. Your only goal is to get the little blue guy out, but it can become maddening on later levels, of which there are ton. It’s one of the better puzzle games to come along in recent weeks.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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