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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

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
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!

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Yellow (Game) comes from Bart Bonte in Belgium.  The object is to get the screen to be completely yellow.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
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.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Hard Wood Puzzle. Square by Ruslan Goncharenko FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2

Hard Wood Puzzle. Square It's hard to keep up with all the puzzles that Ruslan Goncharenko keeps churning out. I counted 100 on the App Store.  Hard Wood Puzzle. Square is the name of this game.

iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
The object is to rotate the propellers so that the colored pieces match the objective.  What makes these puzzles so hard is that two different pieces are shifting: the big squares and the thin rods.

There are 3000 levels split into easy, medium & hard modes.

I should also mention that the graphics are great, but you can tell from the images.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

TurnClockWise Logic by Alexandr Nichitin FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
TurnClockWise Logic comes from Alexandr Nichitin.  The object is to transfer the colored circles to their matching areas. This is done by rotating the wheels.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
We've seen this concept done many times in the past.

However, the graphics here are just perfect. In terms of difficulty, I suppose they get harder, but once you've done this before, you know the  algorithms to solve them.

There are 100 levels and I've done about 25.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Angry Cube by Cider Software LLC FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Angry Cube is a pattern puzzle game. The object is to manipulate the bottom square to match the top square.  This can be done by rotating the square and flipping it. Each level must be solved with a time limit.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
I really like the graphics.

The cube isn't really quite necessary, but it adds a dramatic effect.

The graphics of this game remind me of Monospace from way back in 2007.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
loolo comes from YOPEY YOPEY LLC. (It's unlikely to be confused with another company.) The object is to tap the sequence of colors that match the border before time runs out.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
It starts off pretty easy with just two colors.  But as you can see, 3 and 4 colors make things more hectic.

Obviously, this is not very intellectual, but it is challenging. We should all be playing this type of game every so often to hopefully ward off Alzheimer's.

There are 120 levels. I've solved about 60 levels. I haven't gotten up to the ones with 4 colors. Yet.