iOS Puzzle App Lover


Photon Lab: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

 iPhone Screenshot 4             iPhone Screenshot 2

Photon Lab comes from Jonathan Kinnersley. It’s been sitting on my ipad for a long time now. As you can see from the images, it’s a laser puzzle app game that requires you to shoot beams of light – in this case – photons, and get them to their target.
We’ve seen numerous laser puzzles over the years. And I’m sure we’ll see many more.
What’s different about Photon Lab: when you place the mirrors and press FIRE, not only must you reach the targets, you must also make sure that each square gets illuminated.
The puzzles themselves are very good.  Here are my qualms: first, there are 480 levels. As I’ve said numerous times before: the ideal number should be between 50 & 150.
Also, the graphics are annoying. As you fire your lasers, they leave bubble trails behind. If your solution does not work, the bubble trails are still there. Supremely annoying.
I have not solved many of the levels, but I did do the hardest #114, which is the first image.
Let’s talk about the Leaderboard. There are over 3000 people playing the game. However, the game’s been out for a few months now. Yesterday only 8 people were playing it.
(When Apple came out with ipads 1 & 2, you could check your score with who’s playing today, or this week or forever. When Apple upgraded their software, they removed the feature of tracking who and how many people are playing today & this week, strangely. I have two ipad 2s. One of them has the latest software, the other has the old software. One of the reasons I’m not upgrading the software is because I track the popularity of these puzzle app games.)
Bottom Line: I do like Photon Lab. Definitely good for young puzzlers.

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Nulla by Logify LLC Free

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Nulla is a solitaire puzzle app game.  The object is to combine adjacent numbered tiles that are the same and whittle down to just 1 tile.

Look at the 2nd image.  Combine the two 11′s and they turn into a single 10. In this case move the left 11 over to the right 11 so that the resulting 10 is adjacent to the one that’s already on the board.

The puzzles are not hard. However, there’s a scoring system. Every correct move counts as 1 point. If you make a mistake, you back to zero.

My high score is about 200.

The graphics and overall presentation are very good.  I recommend this for novice puzzlers and for those who like peg solitaire games. Though it’s not quite the same thing.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

SnakekanS by Yuansheng Xu $.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

SnakekanS comes from Yuansheng Xu. It’s an unusual snake game.  The object is for the snake to eat all the animals, and then get to the yin/yang exit.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4

1. Any time the snake eats, it grows by 1 unit. The first levels: the only animal to eat is mice.
2. Eating the frog, the snake’s head & tail will swap places.
3. The Mantis must be eaten from the side or rear. The front is poisonous.
4. The Elephant: when the snake eats the elephant, it will just keep growing forever.
5. The Turtle: when the snake eats the turtle, the turtle will stay in its place on the grid.

iPhone Screenshot 5

There are 50 levels and at the moment I’ve been stuck on level 36 for about 10 days. There’s a hint button (bottom left corner) that indicates which 5 or 6 items to eat first, but not the precise sequence. I’m a little annoyed that I can’t just skip 36 and move on to the rest of the game.

There’s an inconsistent rule that’s been bothering me. When the snake eats an item, its head grows and the tail does not move. If the snake eats a turtle and it ends up coinciding with the end of the snake’s tail, the snake dies.  So here’s the part that bother’s me: why should the snake die, with a turtle at its end tail, if there’s food to be eaten next to the head? This is especially annoying when there’s a frog next to the head which would then place the turtle in a good position on the snake.

SnakekanS is really an excellent game, despite my complaints. $ .99 is a cheap price for at least 6 hours (so far) of fun.

Other Snake Puzzles: all winners.
Snaky Snake
Snakes Minimal Board Fill Puzzle
Eat A Way
Twisted Snake
Hyper Snake
Snake Slider
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Rubik’s Fifteen: free puzzle app game for iphone, ipad

iPhone Screenshot 1
Rubik’s Fifteen, the mechanical puzzle, came out around 1988 at the same time as Rubik’s Clock. Both are terrific because the mechanisms are quite clever.  However, both are kind of easy.
iPhone Screenshot 2
It may seem that Rubik’s Fifteen is double sided. Yes and no. Yes, both sides have numbers.  One side is red with Roman Numerals, the other side is yellow with regular numbers. The yellow side is harder than the red side because some numbers get hidden under the black frame.
I originally solved the yellow side by focusing on the red side where I could see all of the numbers, because a 7 on one side is still a 7 on the other.
Now you don’t have to buy the actual puzzle because the virtual puzzle is here and it’s free. But the virtual model is missing that tactile magic.

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Wappi Puzzle Game

iPhone Screenshot 2

Vakhtanh Machabieli is the author of Wappi Puzzle Game.  Thanks to Loyal Blog Follower David Cole for alerting me about this.  The objective is to get your man to the green H before Frankenstein captures you.
Every time you move to a square – one step at a time – he will move two steps.  You must use the fences to keep him at bay.

These puzzles are difficult.  Of the 100 levels, I’ve done about 10.

About 5 years ago Jason Fieldman came out with Theseus, which is basically the same thing. Though it seems more polished in terms of the graphics. I also had trouble with that one.

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Miscellaneous Ramblings

1. I’ve been playing Number Painting a lot recently.  There are 500 levels and a few levels had me stuck for too long. No advertisements and it’s free. The bad thing is that the game doesn’t allow me to go back and redo levels I’ve already solved.  On the ones that I found particularly hard, I took screen shots of the solutions.

2. Twelve – Hardest Puzzle really is a good point scoring game. However, it takes too long to play a single game – about an hour. Also, the board doesn’t really get crowded until you get your first 11. Which means that the first 15 – 20 minutes is mere busyness. Nevertheless, my high score puts me in the top 20 out of 36,000. I think I’m done with it.

3. Threes! – I promised myself not to play this. I got a new high score of 71,000. But not on my ipad.

4. Have you been trying to contact me via Google +, LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook, or Whatever – to tell me about your game? Please email me directly: my last name AT

5. Do visit my friend Nicola’s site: His site is similar to mine. But his focus is on the very very good stuff.

6. The List of Best Puzzle Apps of 2014 will be published on December 30th & 31st. Feel free to nominate your favorite puzzle apps and send them to me via email. Use my rule of 3: Is it fun? Do you play it a lot? Is it unique/clever?
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Crystalux. New Discovery by Dmitriy Vasin Free

Crystalux. New Discovery comes from Dmitriy Vasin. The object is to move the hexagons around to form a closed loop or loops.  I must confess that I almost gave up after doing a few levels because it seemed too easy. However, the patterns formed at the end of each level are quite nice. Think Celtic Knots nice.  The reward at the end: the gems glow.

There are 317 levels.  I’ve done 60 of the Basic Levels and 17 of the Advanced Levels. None of the Expert Levels yet.  I must admit, I’m stuck – for now. Crystallux is not addictive. It’s actually the opposite: just plain enjoyable.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Hexxy: board game for iphone, ipad

iPad Screenshot 1

Tim Derebenskiy contacted me, not recently, but a while ago about his board game Hexxy. It’s very similar to an old game whose name escapes me.  The object is to acquire more spaces than your opponent.  There’s an Othello feel to the game.

iPad Screenshot 2

Here’s what I particularly like about Hexxy: there are different board shapes. Also, you can play against somebody, or you can play against the computer.

Tim is still in high school!
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Zero+ by SaturnBoy, LLC Temporarily Free

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Zero+ came out in 2015.  I wasn’t intrigued enough to try it.  But last week it was listed as Free.


At first, I didn’t think I’d like it, however I was wrong!  The object is to slide your negative numbered tiles onto the positive numbered tiles to they turn into zero.

What’s Cool

1. There are blocks (the white X squares) and directional lines and curves.
2. Look at the last image. Look at the most middle white square. The right curve is darker: that is the active curve.  After a tile passes over it, it will toggle to the other curve.
3. Non Equal Tiles. A Negative 4 can go to a Positive 1. It will then become Negative 3 and then can change directions.
4. There is an undo button. Obviously, not a big deal, unless you’ve been playing games that don’t have this.
5. The graphics are very good and most importantly, the puzzles are at a perfect level of difficulty. That is: Hard Enough that I get stuck, but easy enough that I’ll solve it after 5 tries.

There are 120 levels and at the moment, I’ve done 60.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Book of Bad Arguments: free!

Wow, this book is short, well illustrated and well written. Good for anybody involved in debate.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles