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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New York Puzzle Party 2017

Quintessence Pulsar 3d printed
Puzzlers, sorry about not posting anything Monday or Tuesday.  Toy Fair at the Javits Center was exhausting. This past Saturday was the annual New York Puzzle Party.  There were 7 presentations. Of those, 4 were added to the schedule in the last few days.
Henry Segerman was added to the agenda on Saturday.  He's a mathematician at the University of Oklahoma. He presented his Quintessence Puzzle. I had seen this on Shapeways before.  He let me play with his copy.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/Y8V2E6NL9/quintessence-pulsar?optionId=41054600

Friday, February 17, 2017

Circle Pong! by App Cow Free!

iPhone Screenshot 3
Circle Pong! is a dexterity puzzle app game. The object is to move the paddle to keep the black dot inside the circle.

Are you old enough to remember the original Pong? I used to play it at the local bowling alley. It was just as fun as the bowling.

Cirlce Pong! is okay.  Though I'd like to see the black ball move slower, at least at the beginning.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/circle-pong/id905229109?mt=8

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

75 Years of Crosswords at the NY Times

Unquestionably, crosswords are the most popular of all puzzles in the US and the world. The NY Times crossword puzzle gets gradually harder through the week. Monday's the easiest, Friday & Saturday are the hardest.  Sunday has the biggest crossword.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/crosswords/crossword-solving-search-for-connection-answers-psychology-emotions.html

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Symmetria: Path to Perfection by Platonic Games Free!

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Symmetria: Path to Perfection is game to test your reflexes.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
The object is to tap on the squares on the mirrored side to match the original image.

What's particularly good:
1. Sometimes the image is on the right, or left or up or down.
2. Multiple colors
3. The skulls - don't count them as part of the original image.
4. Countdown markers: every 5 or 10 seconds, the program will add fake squares to your image.

There's a lot to like about Symmetria: Path to Perfection.  We should all be playing games like this to ward off Alzheimer's.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/symmetria-path-to-perfection/id1173591563?mt=8

Monday, February 13, 2017

ROOM Δ -Room Escape Game- by Mani Morishita

iPhone Screenshot 1
ROOM Δ -Room Escape Game- by Mani Morishita has received so many positive reviews on the App Store.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Just a few days ago I reviewed another escape game from Mani: Sphinx.
iPhone Screenshot 2
I solved 95% of this game on my own.  The other 5% I consulted a youtube walkthrough. A problem with that: even watching it, I still didn't grasp the solution to the clock.

A major problem I have with Room Escapes is the absence of a plot. I just can't do these on a regular basis.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/room-d-room-escape-game/id991258188?mt=8

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sphinx -Room Escape Game- by Mani Morishita Free

iPhone Screenshot 1
Sphinx -Room Escape Game- comes from Mani Morishita.
iPhone Screenshot 2
It's like a lot of other room escape puzzles: pick things up, use them elsewhere and of course, solve strange puzzles.
iPhone Screenshot 3
This particular game got a lot of press.  Enough press that there are at least 2 walk-through videos on youtube.  Which I confess to watching. No guilt! Okay, I feel a little guilty.

The graphics are quite good.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sphinx-room-escape-game/id897099238?mt=8

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Panic Cube by Fishbowl Interactive Free

iPhone Screenshot 1  Cover art
Panic Cube has a stellar icon.   See 2nd image.  The colors are crisp, modern and enticing. The only piece missing is that the icon doesn't readily help explain the objective of the game.
  Panic Cube- screenshot thumbnail
The game is similar to the classic music game Simon. The program will quickly flash arrows in random directions.  Your task is to repeat them.

I like the idea.  But the arrows flash by just too quickly.  There should be a gradual increase in speed.

Note to all Indie App Developers: your icon must be fantastic!

http://www.fishbowlinteractive.com.au/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/panic-cube/id1168294196?ls=1&mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fishbowl.paniccube

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Find the Road by Magma Mobile Free!

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Find the Road is a maze puzzle with a sliding tile element.  The object is to arrange the sections to form a path from start to finish. They start off pretty easy.  On some of the first batch, I may have stumbled on an alternate solution because it took a while to shift the pieces around.
iPhone Screenshot 3   Find The Road
There are some 250 puzzles, which is far more than I want to do. But I still like this game.

At the moment, I'm stuck on level 25.

Good graphics.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-the-road/id1191778703?mt=8

Monday, February 6, 2017

ReBound Lite by Hoon Nam Free!

iPhone Screenshot 3
ReBound Lite comes from Hoon Nam. It's a maze with rotating mirrors game.   The object is to get the little silver ball to collect all the big red balls and finally get to the white square as its destination.
iPhone Screenshot 4
We've seen lots of games like this in the past. They're fun. ReBound Lite has 15 levels. At the moment, I'm on level 9 or 10.
iPhone Screenshot 5
1. The graphics are okay. But the silver ball could be a larger.
2. If the silver ball has too many rebounds before all the goals are met, you lose.
3. Very Interesting: Look at the 2nd image.  See the black circles that resemble clocks? When the silver ball passes over them, certain reflectors change direction.  Most of the reflectors: you can change the direction by tapping. But not all.
4. Love This: You can pause the round midway to rethink how you're going to get the last set of red balls.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rebound-lite/id1194359128?mt=8

Addendum 2/7/17:
Level 9 I thought was impossible. Clever problem.
The paid version has 24 levels for $.99.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Districts by Chequered Ink Ltd. Free

iPhone Screenshot 1
Do you know what gerrymandering is? From Dictionary.com:
U.S. Politics. the dividing of a state, county, etc.,into election districts so as to give one politicalparty a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the otherparty into as few districts as possible.
And: 1812, Americanism; after E. Gerry (governor of Massachusetts, whose party redistricted the state in 1812) + (sala)mander, from the fancied resemblance of the map of Essex County, Mass., to this animal,after the redistricting
Every 10 years, there is a census in the US to determine the redistricting of congressional seats. Some states gain seats, some lose.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Districts is a puzzle that is all about gerrymandering. Each district must have the same number of constituents.
iPhone Screenshot 5
Look at the last image: the bottom shows how many districts must be won by red (3), blue (3) etc.

There are 72 levels and they go pretty fast. I solved them all.

1. The graphics are excellent.
2. These problems could be made harder. For example: every district must be won by a color. If a district has 7 squares, blue wins automatically with 4. However, it could also win with just 3 squares, if the remaining are 2 red and 2 yellow.

This is a good game. It's original, fun and free.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/districts/id1194527406?mt=8

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mirror Maze - A Different Kind of Maze Game by Silly Dog Games LLC Free

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Description from the App Store:
Are you ready for a new, fun, and challenging take on maze games? With Mirror Maze, your movements are mirrored as you try to complete mazes of varying complexity and difficulty. Packed with three maze collections containing 60 unique mazes, ranging from simple to complex. As if that weren't enough, four different game modes will add even more challenge.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
In the Casual Mode: I did all 20 simple mazes and 9 of the Complex ones.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mirror-maze-different-kind/id1177013336?mt=8

If you like Mirror Maze - A Different Kind of Maze Game, then definitely give MirriM a try.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Innecto by 45RPM Software $2.99/Free

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 4
Pascal Harris recently contacted me about his puzzle app game Innecto. It's a pipe rotating puzzle app game.

iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
We've seen this type of game numerous times.
What's different:
1. The power source - it can rotate. Usually, it's fixed in place.
2. There's a time limit and move limit.  For example, you have to solve the puzzle within 60 moves and within 2 minutes.
3. If you lose, a new level is generated randomly so you can't memorize anything.
4. Supposedly, something cool happens on levels 56 & 57.  But I didn't get that far.

My advice for this game - as well as many others - let players jump around. Puzzle Gamers don't have time to play everything, nor every level of every individual game.

The graphics are good.  And, there is a free version. If you've never played a pipe rotating game, give this a try.

https://www.45rpmsoftware.com/innecto.php
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/innecto/id1081381133?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/innecto-free/id1176669051?mt=8

Monday, January 30, 2017

Zquare by Nick Kotowski $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
I downloaded Zquare when it was free. But there is a lite version to try. I was immediately intrigued by the visuals. So what's going on?  All of the colored L's, T's and Plus signs: consider them just dots.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
Look at the first image.  See the circles? Tap on them and the dots around it will rotate 90 degrees. The objective is to get each row to be one color.

We've seen puzzles like this in the past.

What's cool:
1. The higher levels have rectangular shapes, which obviously makes it harder.
2. I did the first dozen levels pretty quickly, but I've tackled this genre before so I knew how to approach it.
3. I skipped to 100 and really liked the strange shapes. But still solved it fairly quickly.
4. Then I jumped to 150: very tough!
5. Love the graphics.

http://www.zquare-game.com/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zquare/id1190127738?mt=8

Friday, January 27, 2017

Jelly Doods Puzzle by Ankit Kanjariya Free!

iPhone Screenshot 1
Jelly Doods Puzzle comes from Ankit Kanjariya. It's a 'slide the pieces until they stick' type puzzle app game.
iPhone Screenshot 2
There is a limit to the number of moves in order to get 3, 2 or 1 stars.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There are 50 levels and the difficulty is perfect. I've gotten stuck numerous times
The graphics are charming.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jelly-doods-puzzle/id1191333220?mt=8

Other Very Good Puzzles that have a sticky element (not quite the same though):

Denki Blocks I believe this was the original puzzle app that introduced this concept.
Tile'M All This version is crazy hard.
Jelly Slide
Blockoban - a must have
Impossibru'sBlockoban
Move on Green

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Crosses Puzzles: Unlimited Domino Free!

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 4

Crosses Puzzles: Unlimited Domino comes from Yufeng Long. The object is to get all the crosses to become white. Each cross can be in 1 of 4 positions: Red (right), Green (down), Yellow (left) and White (up).

When a green cross becomes yellow, if it points to another cross on its left, then that cross will rotate too. Solving 1 cross can lead to the un-solving of its neighbors because there is often a chain reaction.

There's a lot to like about Crosses Puzzles: Unlimited Domino. The graphics are nice. The puzzles start out easy and gradually, I was able to come up with a system.  But then the harder questions made me rethink that. 

I especially like that there are only 60 levels.  Of those, I've done 29 and am stuck on 30.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crosses-puzzles-unlimited/id1094198433?mt=8

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1 Minute Egg - Brutally Difficult! by Ken Watanabe Free

iPhone Screenshot 3
1 Minute Egg - Brutally Difficult! by Ken Watanabe is a dexterity puzzle.
iPhone Screenshot 2
The object is to keep your egg from falling off the edge.  I played this game twice for total of about 55 seconds.  That was enough for me.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1-minute-egg-brutally-difficult!/id1144809776?mt=8

Ken made another game called Solokus which I liked.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Boat Elimination by Shang Shi

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Boat Elilmination from Shag Shi looks very similar to Levels - Addictive Puzzle Game.  
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
It's essentially a clone.  Here's the link: please click on it and write a review stating - 'this is a clone!'
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/boat-elimination-fantastic/id1193118349?mt=8

Monday, January 23, 2017

New Cockroach Smasher by Nitin Chauhan Free

iPhone Screenshot 1
I've killed many cockroaches in my life.  But now I can say, virtually, that I've killed hundreds of them within 2 minutes.

Just out of curiosity, I later searched the App Store for cockroach and found at least 2 dozen other puzzles dealing with manual extermination. Some have images of individual fingers squishing all sorts of Blattodea.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/new-cockroach-smasher/id1195796063?mt=8