iOS Puzzle App Lover


Posts Tagged ‘Games’

The Lost City by Fire Maple Games $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1

Are you a fan of Myst?  There’s been a slew of similar games in recent years published on the App Store.  The Lost City is yet another one.  It’s fine.

iPhone Screenshot 3

The most interesting feature in The Lost City, is that there are 4 seasons that must be activated. Which means that if you want to open the treasure chest, it will have to be done in the correct season.

iPad Screenshot 2

Fortunately, like Blackthorn Castle (link below) there’s a map that will speed up your travels if you forget where the cave is. Hints are available too.

Where the game loses its appeal is that there’s no plot.  After solving 1 puzzle, something slid open and revealed…..a hammer.  Of course the hammer is needed to smash open something else.  But seriously, I would have used a big rock.

Similar Games
Blackthorn Castle
Spooky Manor
Mystery Lighthouse short and fun. Play this game first.
Mystery Lighthouse 2
Dreams of Spirit: Fire Gate
Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Flow Free: Warps by Big Duck Games LLC FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 4

Loyal Blog Followers Robert Dancer & Marcelo Pars have convinced me to give the folks at Big Duck Games another chance with their Flow games. I was never not okay with Flow. Though I’ve always loved the concept. Their graphics have always been outstanding. I shunned their games because the puzzles were too easy. Some were so easy that not all the cells were needed.

Their hexagonal version was the easiest.  Their Bridges version was interesting, but still not very challenging.

iPhone Screenshot 5  iPhone Screenshot 3

Flow Free: Warps is a great leap forward. (Reminds me of an economic policy in China.) The object is the same. But there are walls and paths can to a wrap-around.

Unquestionably, these puzzles are the hardest and most fun.  I’m doing these while watching tv.

The section I like most is the Warpyard Park. Of the 150 puzzles, I thought the hardest were 109 & 145. In the Jumbo Jet Pack, level 123 remains unsolved.

Every cell must be filled. This fact actually offers many clues that I utilize.
Interesting feature: some cells can only be crossed with a specific color.
Minor complaint: there are 2 shades of red that are a wee bit too similar. Same for the whites.

Getting back to the whole Flow Family Puzzles: they’ve been downloaded over 250 million times. That alone helps turn non puzzlers into puzzlers.  Kudos to them for that, and this game Flow Free: Warps. This version has about 1200 FREE levels. Some go very fast. I am going to do them all.

High Praise: I paid $ 2.99, not to skip the ads, but to show gratitude. There are about 2000 levels. At the moment, I’ve solved about 1400 levels, plus all of the daily puzzles for 31 days in a row.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Games Magazine Story

In 2002, I hosted the first New York Puzzle Party. One of the attendees was Robin King. I had actually met Robin a year or two before, very briefly, at the New York Toy Fair.  The company that produces the card game SET, had a competition. Using their computer, how many sets could you find in 1 minute. I was in the lead. They told me to come back at 3:00 to claim my prize. So I did. I think I won a brand new deck of SET.  5 minutes later, Robin shows up and beats my record. But it was after 3:00. I saw her name on the badge and was very impressed with the company she worked for: Games Magazine.

After the NYPP in 2002, Robin invited me to play test some games with her husband John McCallion.  On the way there, I thought to myself: my sisters are going to be so envious because I’m entering the Games Magazine office to play test. In fact, we met at the Manhattan Fire Safety office on 32nd street. This, I learned, was John’s real job. It’s really one of the most boring offices I’ve ever seen. 20 desks with telephones. Everybody’s job: to sell fire extinguishers. I never actually saw anybody except John & Robin in the office, since I would always arrive at 6:00.

Over the next 10 years I would play test with John & Robin, usually on a Wednesday night. Typically, we would play 3 games for about 2 hours. All sorts of games: card games, board games, games with a thousand rules. John would always read the rules. About 90% of the time, Robin would win. During the night, John would lose his temper at me, or at Robin  or another play tester because we had forgotten an obscure rule. It was always amusing to me to see him so frustrated and him cursing – in a genteel way! - with his Irish accent.

I never met the man who owned/ran Manhattan Fire Safety, but I noticed that he left sarcastic memos around the office.

On and off I would tell John & Robin that they should write more about mechanical puzzles. One day, Robin suggested to me that I give it a shot. My first article for Games Magazine appeared in the February 2006 issues. 6 pages called The Puzzling World of Oskar van Deventer. I was off and running and gave myself the title Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent. I wrote 27 articles.

But it’s all come to an end. Last year, around Thanksgiving, Robin passed away during a lung transplant. I knew she had been in the hospital for months, and felt guilty about not visiting her. Then I saw John on the 7 train. He told me that she had gotten the transplant and it was a success. He was overjoyed. Unfortunately, it was not a success and Robin passed away the very next day.

My editor at Games Magazine, Wayne Schmittberger, was recently fired. The entire magazine has been downsized. It may even stop publishing. John has quit. What I’ve learned is that when things fall apart, they do so very rapidly.

Below are some links from Drew Davidson. I play tested with John & Robin and a bunch of others. I don’t think I met Drew.  Perhaps I have. Robin & John always had a thank-you dinner at an Indian restaurant at the end of the year for all the play testers.  Drew’s 3 part story is better written and more comprehensive than mine.

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Conde Deluxe by Evil Indie Games $.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Conde Deluxe is a pipe connecting puzzle app game.  The object is to use the pipes to get the electricity to each of the nodes.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5

Pieces can be rotated, but not flipped.
There are 42 levels and I’ve solved 23.  This is a good game!  Thanks to Loyal Blog Follower Joel for pointing this out.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Best Puzzle App Games of 2014: The Nominations

Puzzle App Players & Designers,

Below is the famous List of Best Puzzle Apps of 2014.  I have play tested all of these extensively. My biggest regret is that I am sure that I’ve omitted many good games. I try to go through the new puzzle apps published weekly. People send me recommendations. I don’t get to them all.

What are the qualifies of a good puzzle app game? Fun is most important. Originality is a close second. Graphics and overall presentation are third. Finally, and most obviously, is the difficulty: is there a tutorial? Are there easy levels to get your feet wet? Does the game have 100 levels or a 1000? Less is more sometimes.

Some of the games listed below are not strictly puzzles, but they often get lumped into that category by the authorities at the iTunes store. Specifically, I’m referring to the point scoring games and the games that test your reflexes. You’ll find both types of those here, but not a lot.

If you scrutinize this list very closely, a couple were published in 2012 and 2013. The reason I included it now – I missed those games back then. If I missed your game this year, send me a reminder! You’re eligible for 2015.

Quell Reflect +
Puzzle Chain Reaction
Sudoku Mine
Quell Memento

Sudoku Killer
Astro Mined
Titanic By SmartGames
Two Dots
Fold the Adventure
Number Painting

Park Seasons
You Have One Box
Colors – The Addictive Game
Point to Point
1 to 25 Number challenge
Connect Infinite
Amid Worlds
The Impossible Dodging
Square Push Square
Stop Crows
Colors Mix
Flip Puzzle Game
21 Dice
Atoms HD
Color Shape Tile Puzzle
Twelve Hardest Puzzle
Andy’s Trains
Fruit Dating

Tip & Tumble

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

The Best Puzzle App Games of 2013

Ladies & Gentlemen: here are the Best Puzzle App Games of 2013. Tomorrow’s list will be ‘The Very Best Puzzle App Games of 2013. 

What’s the difference? The Very Best Puzzle App Game: I’ve played them a lot more.

Judging all these puzzle apps was subjective. During 2013, I played every one of these. And a lot  more that did not make the cut.

The order of these puzzle apps is based on approximately when they came out.

Let’s talk money. Nobody has paid me anything.  A lot of these puzzle apps are free. None cost more than $ 3. Please download these.

The Angel’s Cube
Word N-Puzzle
Book Tower
Nonogram Style Lite
7 Planets
Snake Walk
Put The Dot
Find the Mafia
Make Me Blue
Zen Sand
Quantum Game
Super Bubble Crush
Block Path
Dizzy Squares
Temple Trap
Flip Stones
Brain Twirler
Amigo Pancho
Blinkys Escape
Paint It Back
Tip Tap Overlap
Dice Jockey
Super Squares
Mystery Lighthouse
Critter Fitter
Arrows XD
Move Dots
Spooky Manor

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Flud. By Appsolute Games LLC $.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Dmitry Chalovskiy contacted me – months ago!- about his puzzle app game FLUD.  It’s a topology game.  The object is to flood (FLUD) the board.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4

Look at the first image. The 3 white dots at the top indicate how many moves are left.  The 2 white dots on the top right indicate how many arrows you may place.

Once you’ve placed your arrows, you can tap on any square and swipe in any direction.

Dmitry sent me a promo code to download his game. (Thanks Dmitry.) (I didn’t realize it was a beta version. For the record, I try not to play-test beta versions only because it’s too time consuming.)

The graphics are good. FLUD is HARD. I don’t remember how many levels I solved, maybe 20?
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Kubic By Appsolute Games LLC $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2

Kubic has been on my mind for a while.  Description from the App Store:
kubic is a unique optical illusion puzzle game based on M.C. Escher’s art, impossible objects and other geometric designs. The object is to construct the goal configuration from a number of pieces.

Presented in a simple, clean design and minimalistic art, kubic is a premium game with 60 escher-esque puzzles.

When you click on a piece, it pops to the front-most layer, and may overlap other pieces. When you combine the pieces, they do not merge. If there are extra pieces, you may hide them behind the others. If you are stuck on a puzzle you can simply skip it and re-visit at a later time. Rest assured, all puzzles can be solved.

If you truly get stuck, there is a in-game hint system. You can use it to get started or even get the whole puzzle solved.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 3

I’m not sure how many levels I solved. I played this during the summer. I’m guessing about one-third.  They get pretty tough!
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Slide!! by Red Chain Games Ltd FREE FREE

iPhone Screenshot 3

Slide!! is one of those many puzzle app games where the object is to get the colored tiles to their targets by sliding them until they hit an obstacle.

What’s different? 

1. There’s a timer. In order to get your time low, you must slide multiple blocks simultaneously.  
2. I’m stuck on Easy Level #5! Obviously I’m missing something. Because the credits indicate that 25 people have play tested this game. This Puzzle App Blogger is often humbled.

The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles

Blackthorn Castle by Lone Wolf Games, LLC $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1

Recently Blackthorn Castle was listed as free.  It’s similar to the famous Myst.

iPhone Screenshot 2

Your task to to wander around, pick up things, utilize them in other places and solve random puzzles.

iPhone Screenshot 3

There didn’t seem to be much of a plot.  And the puzzles themselves weren’t too hard.  No need to consult a walkthrough.

iPhone Screenshot 4

Interesting: there are about 65 different scenes.  At any time, you can ask for a clue and it will reveal which scene to go to.  The map on the bottom right lists the location for each scene which is very helpful.  If you pick up a horseshoe, you could wander around and around and try to remember exactly where you might use it. Or you could save all that time with a clue to the location. The game still takes at least 2 or 3 hours to play.

iPhone Screenshot 5

The artwork is good. Navigation is a bit awkward in some locations: tap on the bottom center to reverse.

At the very end, I was surprised because solving a certain puzzle and getting the object inside was no different from 20 other puzzles.

Mystery Lighthouse is very similar. There is a bit more plot. The ending is wonderful.
The Best iphone, ipad Puzzle Apps and Mechanical Puzzles