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Monday, December 18, 2017

Gerrymander: Rig the Election by Good Egg Games FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Gerrymander: Rig the Election comes from Good Egg Games. The object is is draw some lines so that each group has an equal number of people and that your political party will prevail in a majority of the regions.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
Note Puzzlers not in America: every 10 years the United States does a census. The purpose of this is to reallocate the number of representatives to the House of Representatives.  Let's say New York needs to lose 1 seat while Texas gains a seat.  The state government in each state will then redraw the district lines. Theoretically, this would be done logically. However, some democrats and republicans will be very craft to ensure that their party wins a majority.  The origin of the term Gerrymandering is also interesting.  See the link for the other game Districts.

I've solved about 15 levels. It's okay.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gerrymander-rig-the-election/id1314200834?mt=8

Districts is very similar and came out earlier this year.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sujiko (English) by Kobayaashi Studios $.99 and Sujiko2015 FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
Sujiko is a tough little puzzle. Assume that the top space is A. The middle row is labeled B, C & D

First equation: A + B + C + 4 =15 
Second equation: A + C + D + 6 = 21

From those we get that D - B = 4.  There are only 2 possibilities: B = 1 while D = 5   and B = 3 while D = 7.  We plug them in and go from there.

I don't think the image above is solve-able. The 30 should be surrounded by 6, 7, 8 & 9, and 6 is already used.

Below are the rules and the links to 2 versions of this game, made by the same people.

The playboard is composed of a 3 x 3 grid, with four circular spaces at the internal intersecting nodes of the grid. The objective is to "Place the numbers 1 to 9 in the spaces so that the number in each circle is equal to the sum of the four surrounding spaces." At least one number in the grid is filled in on most examples to ensure that each puzzle has only one possible solution.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sujiko-english/id1319373995?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2  $.99

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sujiko2015/id1027053814  FREE

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Knights by HIKARI SASU FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
It's been a while since we've played a new chess app game. Knights comes fromHikari Sasu. The object is to move all the knights from the bottom to the top. No capturing is allowed.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Interesting: some squares are 'no go'.  No piece land on them, or pass over them.

The puzzles start out pretty easy with all the other pieces being just rooks.  The difficulty rises at level 16 when a pawn is introduced. It can go up, and never down.

The graphics could be a lot better. The user interface is clunky: it's slow and does not record the number of moves.

Still, I was sufficiently frustrated by the puzzles themselves: they require careful consideration.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knights/id1264536362?mt=8
http://www.smartgamestudio.com/

Other chess-like puzzles that I've blogged about:
Solitaire Chess - my favorite from this list
Overgrown
Pirate Ring
Board: Chess Puzzle
Blip Blurp
Knight Trade
Troyis
Mate in 3? Ok!
Chess Puzzle of the Day
Chess Free 
Ruby Capture
ChessQuest
Blind Knights
Intersection
Chess Light - very good
No More Kings
March Simple Chess

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Waltzing Tiles by Boris Sokolsky FREE

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3
Waltzing Tiles comes from Boris Sokolsky. The object is to slide the rows/columns back/forth and up/down to un-mix the colors.

The easy mode is way too easy. We've seen this type of puzzle way too often.

The medium mode is slightly harder. Each tile has either 3 or 4 colors.

The hard mode is fantastic.  And very hard. As you slide a row across, each tile rotates 90 degrees. So there are 2 tasks: solving for the position of each tile and the orientation.  I've tried it only once and ran out of moves. 

iPhone Screenshot 1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waltzing-tiles/id1315369332?mt=8

https://sites.google.com/site/waltzingtiles/

Similar Games (This list is very incomplete.)
Slangle
Rubik's Block
Cryptic Cross
Digits Square Puzzle Game
iRectangle
Align It!
Cube 2D
Pixel Shift
Mezzo Puzzle
Flat Cubes a 2D Rubik's Cube

Monday, December 11, 2017

DropPocket FV by miho ito FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
DropPocket FV comes from miho ito. The object is to fill up all the spaces with tiles from the piles that have numbers on them. Slide them vertically/horizontally.

I think the directions from the App Store came from a translator.
It is a game that buries six stroke packing under all ditches. 
Packing begins to move by the automatic operation in that direction when the slide is done. 
The direction is changed, and packing jumps when it passes the sign. 
The figure of packing is a number of packing. The ditch is sequentially buried only in the number of figures by packing in the operation of one degree. 
If packing goes out outside the room or it undertakes the packing that cannot be passed, it becomes a re-doing. 
To collect the packing moved once, it ..packing of "0".. touches. 
The kind of the game is increased at any time, and look forward, please.
iPhone Screenshot 2
The first 30 puzzles go very fast.  Then some interesting elements are added. Curved arrows change direction. The 'go back' arrow sends you in reverse.

Look at the first image.  See the tile with the red symbol. It's surrounded by 1's on the left/right/bottom. If the 1 at the bottom passes over it going up, it will be enabled to pass over the tile with a 1 on it. Normally, this would be an illegal move.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/droppocket-fv/id1319742838?mt=8

Zhed is similar.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Disjoint by 2056516 Alberta Limited $2.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
I started Disjoint about a month ago. The object is to swivel triangles around each other on various pivot points so that all the triangles will fill up the shaded areas.  Some triangles are isolated. They have to be rescued in a chain-like way.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Then I forgot about this game. It's hard to get back into a game when so many new games are getting published every week.

There's a lot going for this game. The puzzles are clever. The graphics are crisp and clean. After each chapter there is a picture story about a pig and a man looking for wisdom.

I've completed the first 2 chapters, which totals 24 levels, I think. I'm definitely coming back to this game. This game needs more attention.

Somewhere on their webpage is this: IF WE HAD ANY AWARDS, THEY WOULD GO HERE

Which reminds me, I have to get going on the famous PAGY (Puzzle App Games of the Year) Awards. The nominations will be December 30. The Finalists will be December 31.

disjointgame.com
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1225775112
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.copperbrain.disjointrelease&pcampaignid=MKT-Other-global-all-co-prtnr-py-PartBadge-Mar2515-1

Other Triangle Puzzles
Triangle Flip
Yankai's Peak

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Videos to Watch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5p2A5mazEs&sns=em  Amazing spirals & sculptures. John Edmark is a genius.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqJC3YxfcyM&sns=em Do you recall my mentioning Oskar van Deventer's world breaking 17x17x17 cube?  That was almost 7 years ago.  Greg Pfennig has created a 33x33x33 cube. Definitely check out his other twisty videos.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Joint Number Place by Yuki Fujimoto FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Joint Number Place comes from Yuki Fujimoto. The object is to form a Latin Square such that: each row and column has numbers 1-n. Also, each colored area has numbers 1-n. 

Each black line connects consecutive numbers x and x + 1. Kropk'i Sudoku (see link below) had a similar feature.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
There are 25 levels in each grid size from 4x4 through 9x9.

These puzzles are fun and challenging.  I've solved all the 4x4's, half the 5x5's and some 6x6's.  I tried the 9x9's: no progress - yet.

The graphics for Joint Number Place are overdone. There should be no white or tan squares.  The background should be black.  The connecting lines should not have two colors. These are minor complaints.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/joint-number-place/id1312632074?mt=8

Other Latin Square Puzzles
Sudoku Sweeper
Futoshiki  also known as Hi-Lo Sudoku
LogicCity
Kropk'i Sudoku
Logi5Puzz
TetragonoS

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Flat Cubes: a 2D Rubik's Cube by Christophe Scholly FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Flat Cubes: a 2D Rubik's Cube comes from Christophe Scholly. How many times have we seen puzzles described as a 2-dimensional Rubik's Cube?
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to slide/transfer the colored tiles onto their targets.

Interesting: not all the rows/columns can slide.  Only the ones that have the black borders can slide.
iPhone Screenshot 5
There are 100 levels and I solved the first 25 in about 30 minutes.  Last night I solved the next 40 levels in about 45 minutes.

If you've never done this type of puzzle, then definitely give this a chance. The graphics are really very polished.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flat-cubes-a-2d-rubiks-cube/id1303173025?mt=8
https://www.chrisscholly.com/

Similar Games (This list is very incomplete.)
Slangle
Rubik's Block
Cryptic Cross
Digits Square Puzzle Game
iRectangle
Align It!
Cube 2D
Pixel Shift
Mezzo Puzzle



Monday, December 4, 2017

Cube Escape: The Cave FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
I've been a fan of the Rusty Lake people for a while now.  See the list below of their games that I've played. The artwork is good. The puzzles are generally fun. And there's usually a creepy element.
iPhone Screenshot 2
Cube Escape: The Cave continues the horror-story/puzzle-room experience.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Bonus Points: See the man in the Fedora hat? He's been a fixture in these puzzles: always give him a drink. Or two!  I'm not sure if he's been in every Rusty Lake game. He should be though.
iPhone Screenshot 4
Demerit Points: the puzzle with the key is the same as in The Mill. A mold of the key is given and you must pour molten ore to make a copy.
iPhone Screenshot 5
Weird: in the submarine portion of this game, I was fiddling with the controls at random and moved the sub to a spot that led to my skipping a whole section.

The Cave is an okay game. Not nearly as good as Seasons, which is their masterpiece. What's definitely missing is one of those 'what the hell is going on?!' moments like the ones in Birthday and Arles.
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1209468207
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.RustyLake.CubeEscapeTheCave

Sometimes it's okay to consult a video walkthrough!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d80AQGv7BfE  Part I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCkc-nMAKa4  Part II

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

Cool visuals & 1 Mechanical puzzle

Puzzlers: I'm way behind in posting about good puzzle apps. Sorry.  Check out these cool things. Back on Monday.


https://m.imgur.com/tWq3D7l


https://twitter.com/bigblueboo/status/935166326074732544

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RIEOOvcTFN0  Tony Fisher is bringing the Astrolabacus back.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Strimko Book 1 $2.57


Did you download Strimko Gold when I told you? It's no longer available. However, you can now buy this very cool, colorful version of Sudoku from the famous Grabarchuk family. They're quite prolific when it comes to producing puzzles. See links below. For this volume the specific authors are: Helen, Tanya, Peter & Serhiy.

But let's talk about Strimko here. These puzzles are really not sudoku. They are actually a variation on the famous Latin Square where each row & column has the numbers 1 - whatever, depending on the grid size.  But each string must also contain the same sequence of numbers.

There are 150 puzzles and the grid sizes go up to 7x7.  They're fun!  My only qualm is that it's printed in black and white.  When the app existed, the colors enhanced the overall appearance.   And the Grabarchuks have assured me that the app will reappear soon.

Of the 150 puzzles, I've done about half of them.

https://www.amazon.com/Strimko-Book-Easy-Master-Puzzles/dp/1973162962/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510170615&sr=8-1&keywords=strimko

Other Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Apps
Fish Crackers
Sliding Tiles
icut
Puzzlium

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flow-free-warps/id1252460942?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bigduckgames.flowwarps
http://www.bigduckgames.com/

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tangram Curved Puzzle Game by Harikrushna parmar FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Tangram Curved Puzzle Game comes from Harikrushna parmar. The object is to fill the grid with the curved pieces.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
This is, quite possibly, one of the easiest puzzles ever because as you drag your selected piece over the grid, the program will not let you place it just any where. It can only be placed in the correct spot.

Still, the colors and shapes are attractive.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tangram-curved-puzzle-game/id1313225373?mt=8

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sudoku Sweeper by Edward Biden

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 4
Loyal Blog Follower David Cole alerted me to Sudoku Sweeper by Edward Biden.  The concept is very similar to Squiggly Sudoku where non-rectangular regions all have the same numbers.
iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 5
The key difference is that in this game, each region, row & column must also have 1 bomb.

Sudoku Sweeper has a lot going for it.  What I don't like is that there is an endless # of puzzles. I would prefer to be given a fixed number so I can have that sense of 'I've done them all.'

The Challenge Mode is my favorite.  The goal is to solve a series of grids as rapidly as possible. The sequence for that is four 4x4s, five 5x5s, six 6x6s and seven 7x7s.  Each level is randomly generated. The amount of time is gradually decreased. Oh the pressure!  I've done the challenge at least 50 times and positively love it.  But I've only completed all 22 grids just once. Because time was ticking, I did have to guess, fortunately, correctly.  My high score is 63,000. 

Twin Beams, is an old game from Nicola Salmoria. It's similar to Sudoku Sweeper. Unfortunately, it's no longer available.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sudoku-sweeper/id1189834172?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.biden.sudokusweeper

Other Innovative Sudoku Puzzle Apps
Kropk'i Sudoku  This is really a Latin Square with a couple of innovative ideas. It plays fast.
Quindoku Same as Logi5Puzz
Logi5Puzz  Same as NumDom. But NumDom has larger grid sizes.
Spindoku is totally different, but still very cool.
Hi-Lo Sudoku is one of my favorite variations.
Cryptdoku I played it so long ago, but it's cool. Long gone from the App Store.
Stimko Gold - outstanding version of squiggly Sudoku.  Handcrafted puzzles.
Kakooma - interesting for about 3 levels
RollDoku - never even solved 1 level, so hard
Cohabit- played this on my ipod touch - before ipad was invented
FlowDoKu - one of my favorites. Will not delete this.
Sudoku Mine combines Sudoku with Minesweeper
Sudoku Killer  combines Sudoku with Kakuro. I've spent a lot of time on this one. I can do the easy levels in about 10 minutes.
3Doku - a cubic version of Sudoku
Pokergreen Puzzles - a poker version of Sudoku
Star Sudoku
Sudoku Maze
Sudoku Spin

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

One Way Puzzle by Glopa Inc. FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 4

One Way Puzzle is one of those puzzles where the object is to cover all the squares with a single path.

I used to love this genre. But I've done too many thousands of levels. This version has 2000 levels. I've done about 10 levels.  The harder levels can be accessed by writing a review.

If you're new to this blog and have never seen this type of puzzle, go for it.  Long time Loyal Blog Followers: skip this.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/one-way-puzzle/id1247754282?mt=8

Check out Greg's new Twisty Puzzle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u6YsuEowrI  It's an inner/outer twisty that's crazy hard! He's great.

Friday, November 17, 2017

3 things

Hey! My niece won an Esports Award: https://go.twitch.tv/videos/201043149



Interesting talk about the dangers of technology addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=975&v=3ev7GXzFTPg 



Brian Pletcher's blog about mechanical puzzles is always insightful about new puzzles: http://mechanical-puzzles.blogspot.com/


Thursday, November 16, 2017

WordBubbles! by Apprope FREE

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3

WordBubbles! comes from Apprope and is very popular. The object is to find words, use up all the letters and then move on.  The concept borrows from Boggle. (I once heard a story about 2 sisters who, whenever they get together, have a marathon Boggle competition.)

WordBubbles! has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, they have a lot of ads.

Very Interesting: I was stuck on a 6 letter word. I showed it to 4 others. They couldn't get it.  The next day, that puzzle was replaced with another.  It appears that Apprope wants to keep me going at all costs, hoping that I'll maybe buy some hints.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wordbubbles/id922488002?mt=8

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ten monkey challenge by Miroslaw Zielinski

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
Ten monkey challenge comes from Miroslaw Zielinski. He's been publishing a lot of puzzle app the past couple of years.  See list below.

The object in today's game is to score point by placing tiles from the bottom to the grid and make 10 either horizontally or vertically.  At the beginning, all tiles are simply 1x1 and it's easy.  Very rapidly, the tiles become 2x1 and 2x2 (minus 1 square).

A flaw in this game is when a 2x2 (minus 1 square) pops up with two 6's and a 5. No matter how perfectly you have played the game, that tile signals the end is very imminent.

At the moment, there are just 11 players on the Leaderboard.  My score is 295, which I think is pretty good. But somebody has over 500, which I think is exceptional.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ten-monkey-challenge/id1303911111?mt=8
http://www.twohandslab.com/


Other games from Miroslaw Zielinski
Tower Locked
Circles Galaxy
Tomb of the Brain
Color Square Puzzle Game