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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fuse5 by Selin Caliskan FREE

Fuse5 comes from Selin Caliskan.  He mad Omino! about a year ago. I liked that game a lot.

The object of the new game is to score points and collect stars by combining tiles of the same number.  1's become a single 2.  2's become a single 3 etc.  5's become a single star.  Stars can only be collected in a group.

As point scoring games go, Fuse5 is very solid. Unfortunately, a single game can last more than 1 hour.  Omino! is better.

Both have good graphics and are well executed overall.

I've collected 375 stars and 19,000 points which puts me in the top 50 out of 16,000.

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time (Some are no longer available.)
Four Straight Lines
Nineout II
BeeCells Lite
Kindly Colors
Domino Drop
Put Number
Triple Town
Kindly  Colors
Virus Pop Smash
+1 Number
4 Way Puzzle

Monday, May 21, 2018

Find The Way by Kexin Jin FREE

 Find The Way comes from Kexin Jin. The object is to move Your Men, the ghosts, to the portals.  Both ghosts travel in tandem.  Along the way: pick up the stars while avoiding the deadly bats.
We've seen this type of game numerous times. See list below.  I've solved about 20 levels.  According to the leaderboard, not many are playing this game.

Similar games (this list is incomplete):

Movez  Pretty much the same as Block Mania but it has 1680 levels. I've solved 592 of them. That's probably enough.
Frozen Ice Cubes  What's different: there's a point of 'no return'
Escapology, reviewed by Nicola Salmoria. He told me about this game ages ago. I played it and enjoyed it, but never blogged about it.
Block Mania Similar to Movez
Move Puzzle - A Funny Strategy Game, Matching Tiles Within Finite Moves 
Vubu What's different: the vubu men have different powers. Very sophisticated, very intelligent. Possibly the very best in this genre.
Move: A Brain Shifting GameUnmind
Puzzle Dots Game
Box Home Love to play Hexagonal grid

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Degboard by Hieu Nguyen FREE

 Degboard come from Hieu Nguyen.  The object is to create loops  so that all the tiles on the board are covered and each numbered square has that many paths emerging from it.
It's very straight forward.  Except for 2 things: Numbered tiles that happen to be next to each other cannot be connected.  Also, it's possible to fulfill the given parameters and not get a star because a loop is not connected to the other loops/tentacles.

I've done about 100 levels, which places me 3rd on the Leaderboard.  Out of just 28.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Laurie Brokenshire: puzzler

I first met Laurie Brokenshire when he attended a NY Puzzle Party and gave a presentation about puzzle vessels. He displayed a very impressive collection of those types of puzzles too.  The article below shows his collection.

I got to know Laurie better over the years. Nancy & I stayed at his and Ethel's house in 2014.

About 3 years ago the boys choir at my school chose this song to sing:  I wondered about the lyrics and asked Laurie for some analysis. I forwarded it to the chorus teacher who was a bit shocked.

Sadly, Laurie passed away last summer and this is his obituary in the Telegram.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Unblock lights by Evgenii Polomarchuk FREE

 Unblock lights comes from Evgenii Polomarchuk.  The object is to slide the red tiles right/left and the blue tiles up/down in order to clear a path for the lights.
This is a very solid game. The solutions are not obvious.  Trying to collect stars by minimizing the moves requires me to do them twice. First to get the solution path of the lights. Second to then minimize the block moves.

There are 900 levels, which is far too many.  But I definitely like this game.  Good job Evgenii!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Rotated by Antonis Panoris FREE

Rotated! looks like a lot of other point scoring puzzle apps. Merged comes to mind.

The number 1 drops down after every rotation (move) that you make.  1's merge into a 2, 2's get merged into a 3 etc. 

This is a decent game, not great; a Leaderboard feature would make things more interesting. I've played it 5 or 6 times and the highest tile I got was an 8. By mistake, I rotated right instead of left.  And that totally made me lose.

I'm curious about how this game would play with a 4x4 grid and if random #s dropped down instead of just 1's.
I like the graphics. 1 tweak to improve: tapping on the right/left sides of the screen as opposed to just tapping on the curved arrows.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Fire Up! by Voodoo FREE

Fire Up! comes from the good people at Voodoo. It's a dexterity/speed game where the object is to move your bucket in front of the smallest tile and fire at it until it disappears or Your Man crashes into it.

I saw somebody playing this on the subway. Looked like fun.  And it is. But the key thing is to quickly see which block is lowest and then shift.  I would prefer that there be a zoom out feature in order to plan ahead.

Also, I don't think this game runs well on older devices. Am deleting this now.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

SiNKR: A minimalist puzzle by Wahler Digital LLC $.99

When I saw SiNKR: A minimalist puzzle from Wahler Digital, I thought to myself: looks like a clone of Maciej Targoni's Hook from 2015.

Unquestionably this game has been influenced by Hook. However, SiNKR has added the feature of snagging the balls to the holes.

My favorite feature: hooks connecting to each other in a tug of war, which is necessary for retrieving the wayward balls.

There are 60 levels and I've done 26.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Qroon by Yuuma Sakata FREE

 Qroon comes from Yuuma Sakata. I believe he's from Japan.  The object is to use the blue balls to align them to trap the red balls in between them to destroy the red balls.
This is a fun little game!
Some features:
1. The blue balls cannot get trapped in between the red balls.
2. The blue balls always travel together, making it a kind of double maze.
3. The red balls sometimes travel back and forth which adds a timing/dexterity element.
4. The yellow blocks with squares: they can be pushed a la sokoban.
5. The yellow blocks with cracks: the force of the magnetic balls will go through them and crush them into oblivion.
6. Starting on level 21, there is a reverse button which trades all red & blue dots.
I don't know how many levels there are.  The graphics are okay, they could be better.  What's important are the actual puzzles; some are quite clever.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Rusty Lake: Roots $2.99

 Last week was Rusty Lake's 3rd birthday and they offered Roots for $.99.  Oh yeah. But the price is back to $2.99.
 I've played almost all of their games.  Roots follows the Vanderboom family through generations - all living in the same house.  Of course, there are supernatural & horror elements and nobody lives happily ever after.
 There are 33 levels and each is a mini room-escape. Sort of.  The Rusty Lake people are still using the same elements in all of their games: the drawers that have a knife or scissors or a key.  The pieces of a puzzle that are hidden behind portraits. Yawn.

However, the story of the family is never dull. It's similar in intensity to the last half of Rosemary's Baby.
The puzzles are not too hard. I consulted a walkthrough for 3 of the rooms.

Other Rusty Lake Games I've played/reviewed:

Cube Escape: Birthday
Cube Escape: Case 23
Cube Escape: The Mill
Cube Escape: Harvey's Room
Cube Escape: The Lake
Cube Escape: Arles
Cube Escape: Seasons
Cube Escape: Theater
Cube Escape: The Cave
Rusty Lake: Hotel

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Dragonwood by Gamewright $14.99

Dragonwood comes from the good people at Gamewright.  Like a lot of games produced these days, the instructions are complicated and require very careful reading.

I was reluctant to 'get into it.' However, this is a game of probability and is essentially a gambling game.  It's fun and fantastic.  I've played it twice in a group of 3 players and have thought hard about good strategy.

It'll take 20-30 min to go through the directions.  Then 30 min to play 1 game.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Hexx: Merge by Danny Birch FREE

Hexx: Merge comes from Danny Birch.  It's a lot like Kami 2 (see link below).  The object is to tap regions to change colors and eventually get everything to just 1 color.

There are 102 levels.  The first 30 are free.  I did them in about 15 minutes.  After that, the rest cost $.99.

I really like the graphics!

Similar Games
Color Zen
Super Flood
Color Contagious
Kami 2

Friday, April 27, 2018

Save Planet Cube by Marcelo Pars FREE

 Last year I reviewed Marcelo Pars' game Cube Loop. His new game Save Planet Cube is not just another version with different puzzles.  Oh no.  The new game is so much more.

There are 38 levels and each one is entirely different. Something bizarre happens on almost every level. I won't spoil it.

 But I must say that I particularly liked level 20 (see the 6th image) where the perspective is from inside the cube.

Furthermore, there is a science fiction story being told, bit by bit, after each level.

Marcelo - you hit a home run! Excellent programming & graphics.



Announcement: It's Rusty Lake's birthday today. They are offering discounts up to 50%

Thursday, April 26, 2018

CONNECTION By WebAvenue Unipessoal Lda FREE

 How many times have we seen a puzzle app game where the object is to trace a path that covers all the squares?  So many times. CONNECTION is another one with some nice features.
1. Some grids need to covered with 2 or 3 different lines.
2. Some spots can only be traversed with one color.
3. Some spots must be covered twice. It can be the same color, twice.
4. Wormholes
I started this game on my phone (iphone 4 small screen). Way too small a screen.  I did about 50 levels in 30 minutes, which included ad time.  And there are too many ads. So turn off your data & wifi and the ads seem to disappear.

Overall, the graphics are good, but the puzzles are not that hard.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Pluszle: Brain Logic Game by Huckleberry BV FREE

Do you remember the game Qwhizzle? I loved it! Unfortunately, it's no longer available. Hopefully, if you're a Loyal Blog Follower, you downloaded it.

Recently Eljo Bosman contacted me about his team's new game: Pluszle: Brain Logic. It's another math puzzle.
The object is to highlight numbers in the grid so that the selected numbers add up to the numbers on the right and the ones down below.

What I particularly like is that each level can be solved in 6 degrees of difficulty. 
(This concept is not new. Tower Locked comes to mind.)

Pluszle has an excellent feature which makes this more manageable & fun: one button adds up only the numbers already selected.  Another button adds up all the numbers which makes it easier to see which numbers must be eliminated.

At the hardest setting, I need about 10-15 minutes.  At level 5, I'm gotten my time down to 3-4 minutes.

At the moment, I've done about 35 levels.

Whereas Qwhizzle had me very hyped, Pluszle has a more calm feel to it. Definitely a fun math puzzle.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Math Puzzles - IF, THEN... by Viacheslav Komarivskyi FREE

 Math Puzzles - IF, THEN... comes from Viacheslav Komarivskyi. The object is to look at a set of numbers, find the pattern and then prove that you have cracked the code.
There are 30 levels and they get hard pretty quick. I spent way too much time on level 11.

At the moment, I'm somewhere around level 18.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dir Square by Zhuoliang Fu FREE

 Dir Square comes from Zhuoliang Fu. The object is to slide the tiles up/down & left/right so that all the colors line up either in rows or in columns.

We've seen this type of puzzle many many times. It's often described at a 2D version of Rubik's Cube.

What's different? To make a row shift right, there must be an arrow that's pointing right. Alternatively, if there's no such arrow, tap on an arrow that's pointing to the left.  This concept is definitely cool. But it does not make these puzzles much harder than the other versions.

The grids go from 3x3 to 7x7. According to the Leaderboard, I'm the only person who's done them all.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cotrio by Bartosz Bialek FREE

Bartosz Bialek's game Cotrio is pure math. The object is to get each of the 6 circles in the big triangle to be colored. To color one circle, it must be the sum of 2 other numbers, provided that all 3 circles form a triangle.

Each round consists of 33 moves. Each round consists of just 3 numbers. Image #4 shows an example.

Solving for the extreme circles is easiest because they are part of the Big Triangle. One rule that is important is that no two adjacent circles can have the same number.

Cotrio is a very serious, yet simple to learn, pure math puzzle.  I've done only 12 levels but will certainly do more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stack & Crack by Jambav, Inc. $.99

 Stack & Crack comes from Jambav, Inc. The object is to slide the tiles around the grid and stack them into 1 pile on the glowing endpoint.
When 2 pieces are stacked, the tower moves in the direction of the tile that's on the bottom. That's a bit awkward.
The puzzles are well designed.  The graphics are good too. 
Landing on certain squares makes your tower invert.

There are approximately 100 levels.  I have not done many, but I do like this game.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Andre Almeida FREE comes from Andre Almeida. The object is to get your snake to avoid collisions with others while gobbling up the remnants of dead snakes to make your tail grow longer and score points
I caught 2 students in a class playing this game. Instead of being remorseful, they wanted to know if I'd give it a try.
 This is definitely an interesting game. But it's hard to stay alive for more than 5 minutes.  10 minutes is like an eternity.
Interesting: you can kill your opponents by snaking close to them.  If you do, your speed increases and you can cut across in front of him. Apply defensive maneuvers!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Erno Rubik Attends Gathering 4 Gardner RIGHT NOW

I've attended the Gathering 4 Gardner 3 times. It's a bi-annual event.  The last time in 2012. I stopped going because there wasn't enough puzzling going on and I do get my fill via the International Puzzle Party, which meets every year.

My puzzle friend Tanya Thompson posted this photo of herself with Erno Rubik.

I was given a Rubik's Cube for Christmas in 1980. I fiddled with it for about 2 weeks.  One Sunday, I woke up and declared: Today is the day that solve this.  9 hours later: triumph.  For the last 20+ years, I've been teaching my students how to solve the cube during a 3-week mini term course.  I teach them my method. It's not the fastest, but it works. We have a solving competition with a winning time of about 2:30.

I can't believe I'm not at G4G.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mom locked me home by fei li FREE

Mom locked me home comes from fei li. It's a series of 50 puzzles that pass as 'escape room' puzzles.

The puzzles are actually okay.  I watched video ads to get hints every so often. Sometimes the hints didn't materialize and I had to rewatch an ad.

My brother ate my pudding is similar but better. It also has more charm.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Flipominos by Ultramegatronic FREE

Flipominos comes from  Ultramegatronic. It's a rolling cube maze puzzle with lasers that turn on/off and restrict movement.
 What's different is that the shapes are not 1x1 or 1x2 pieces.

This game is quite good, but because there are over 4 billion levels, my urge to do even 100 is diminished.

I've done about 40 levels.  They start getting hard around level 20.

From the developer:
A procedurally generated puzzle game with infinite levels! (Actually only about 4.3 billion, but who’s counting?) Move the cube structure so its base matches the marked area and move onto the next level. Can you make it to the last level? (Unless you are immortal, you cannot.) Watch out for lasers!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Huetopia by ZealTopia Interactive $.99

 Huetopia comes from ZealTopia.  It's a shunting puzzle.  The object is to pivot the individual pieces so that the circles lie on a matching area. Pieces can only be rotated in a clockwise manner. They can also slide forward and back.
I contacted Eko Mirhard who is the brain behind Huetopia.  According to him, there are 99 levels. I've done 77 levels, which is more than enough. This game is hard!

Zealtopia also made Noda which I liked.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Lotus Romance by Boltfish FREE

 Lotus Romance comes from Boltfish. The object is to place the lotus flowers onto the grid to match ones on top and eliminate all of them.  Some lotus flowers are multi-colored and this often leads to a chain reaction.
 Behind the individual puzzle levels are little boats.Tap them to collect the letters and discover the romantic plot behind the game. (I didn't get that far.)
The puzzles themselves are generally not too hard. But they're fun.  Very calming too.