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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Catch the Blue Ball By JianFeng Yao

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 4
Catch the Blue Ball is a puzzle app game where the objective is to place 9 orange balls to surround the ever moving blue ball.  The grids start out 3x3 and quickly expand to 10x10.  It's not so easy, or possible to always catch the blue ball on such a large grid.

I think I've done 40 levels.  I'm not sure why. I just kept going.  It's an interesting idea, but not worth doing over and over.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

xorbs By Code Sharp Limited

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
xorbs is an interesting puzzle app game.  The object is to transfer the circles to their targets.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
There's a lot to like about this game. 
Look at the first image.  See the small vertical line? Tap on that and the top row swaps with the bottom row. See the X?  Tap on that and there's a diagonal swap.

Look at the last image. See the orb with the wizard hat? He's in his purple home, which means you can activate his power.

There's one element that I don't like: having to finish a level within a given time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Squaredance By Philipp Stollenmayer

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Do you remember the game Okay? It was produced by Philipp Stollenmayer.  Terrific dexterity puzzle app game.  In Squaredance, the objective is join like colors together by swiping everything up/down and right/left.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Essentially, Squaredance is a tilt maze but it's got some very interesting elements.
1. If a red square lands in a dashed square, it's stuck there forever.
2. Black x's kill your man.
3. The zebra stripes - once you pass it, it becomes a wall.
4. The white field is your playing area. However, sometimes Your Men, can dig into it and extend it.
5. Some black shapes travel up/down & right/left. Hindering or helping.
6. Look at the last image.  See the yellow area with little keyholes? Once the yellows merge, that area disappears.

There are 100 levels and they've been crafted with loving care.  They're tough!  Also, you can build your own levels to challenge your Leaderboard Friends. Did I mention the graphics are great?
At the moment I've done about 45 levels.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shifty Bits By Niels Jansson

iPhone Screenshot 4     iPhone Screenshot 3
Shifty Bits comes from Niels Jansson.  Shifty Bits is one of those puzzle app games where the objective is to slide the pieces vertically & horizontally so that the tiles line up at their targets.
iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
We've seen this type of puzzle countless times.  There are 100 levels and I cruised through the first 50 very rapidly.
Here's what's new:
The plunger.  Not all levels have the plunger. When it exists, it will always push its row or column after every move you make.  Sometimes there are 2 plungers and they will alternate their moves.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Linum - Free Puzzle Game by Joaquin Ramirez Vila

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Linum - Free Puzzle Game by Joaquin Ramirez Vial is a nice set of 80 puzzles that reminds me of a couple of other puzzle apps.  More on that later.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4

The object of the game is to unfold your chain along the nodes and rotate individual segments so that the nodes will line up on the targets.  Some targets will end up having multiple nodes.  Also, some line segments can be rotated as a pair.

At first, I really liked this game.  But the more I did it, the more I got frustrated with it. For sure, there's a logical intellectual component to this game.  But there's too much trial and error and accidentally rotating in the wrong direction.

The games that Linum - Free Puzzle Game remind me of: Spin Mix and Brain Twirler.  Both of those are similar Swivel- type games.  Unfortunately, Spin Mix is no longer available.

The Power of Two by Hequan Li

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3
The Power of Two by Hequan Li is yet another very strong point scoring puzzle app game.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
The first four images depict the rules. No need for me to repeat them. Except to add: if there is another tile that is in the way, then the merging won't take place.
iPhone Screenshot 1
I've only played this game 3 times. Numerous times, I hit the wrong square. But that's okay because a key point in strategy is to free up space (see images 3 & 4).

I can't play this game again, because it simply takes hours just to play 1 game. My third, and final game, my score was about 70,000 and this took several hours spaced out over a few days.

The graphics are great.
The concept is fun.
As I said, it takes too long to play a single game. But it is a gem.
Where it could be improved: the only new tiles are 1's & 2's.  Having higher random tiles emerge would make the game a bit more exciting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Color Shift Puzzle By Oleksandr Shchotkin Puzzle app for all devices

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Color Shift Puzzle comes from Oleksandr Shchotkin.  It's another point scoring puzzle app game.
iPhone Screenshot 3 
It's a 'match 3 colors puzzle.  Here's what's different: the game starts with a blank interior (see the second image).  You may move - all at once - the pieces up/down or right/left.'

The 4 color version is way too easy.  I was relieved when I died at 25,000.

The 6 color version - my high is about 1000. I'm very curious how high others can get. Particularly those who really take their time.

I really like the graphics. What I don't like is that the leaderboard is being run by google somehow.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Personal Video

Puzzle App Players,

believe it or not, I don't spend all my waking hours playing puzzle apps. Though it may seem that way. Below is a speech I gave at work on Tuesday, for your amusement.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Eklips by Umut Dervis

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Eklips by Umut Dervis is yet another very strong point scoring puzzle app game.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to create inner and outer squares as various shapes pop up. When a piece pops up, you have the option of dropping it from the top, bottom, right or left.

There's a normal mode and a hard mode.

There's a lot to like about Eklips:
It's unique.
The graphics are excellent.
The gameplay seems kind of easy at first, until you run into trouble.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Puzzlepops! by Layton Hawkes

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Multiple Loyal Blog Followers contacted me about Puzzlepops! by Layton Hawkes. That was a good sign.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object in Puzzlepops is to slide Your Men - pieces of candy - to their respective targets.
iPhone Screenshot 5
Interesting Elements
1. You may have to merge your candies to get the right size. 
2. The heart candies have a constant attraction to each other.  You may need to place something in between them.
3. The big white candy - crushes & destroys everything in its path. Which is sometimes a good thing.
4. The ice machine turns your candy into a frozen block. Therefore, it won't get crushed by the big white candy.
5. There are 100 levels - which is simply perfect.  Though more levels are coming. At the moment, I've done about 80 levels.
6. The brown squares travel only when you double tap.
7. Items on opposite ends of a green line - swap places - also when double tapping.
8. Break up the ice by double tapping.!/id1084600612?ls=1&mt=8

Friday, June 10, 2016

ColorTrek - puzzle app for all devices

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
ColorTrek is an outstanding maze puzzle app game. The objective is to move Your Man, the circle with the black circumference to the star.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
At the start of each level, Your Man has no internal color. It can pick up colored pieces and then travel on squares of which it already has.
iPhone Screenshot 5
ColorTrek has 900 free levels and they get extremely hard.  At the moment, I've done about 250 levels. Oh yes, there's an option to purchase 3400+ additional levels at whatever level of difficulty you want.

I like the fact that you can jump around from easy to medium to insane. However, I could not tackle the harder levels until I had sufficient practice on the easy & medium levels.

ColorTrek is extremely polished with outstanding graphics and a crisp user interface. I wish there was the option to draw big X's on dead ends. But that's a minor complaint. The Leaderboard feature should also be used - just to see who else in the world is playing. I'm sure the person who tackles all 4300 levels would like to see their name at the top for bragging rights.

Addendum: Markus Ansmann emailed me about the development. He and his friend Martin are a 2-man band with loads of puzzle ideas for the future. According to Markus: all the levels were built by the computer, which he programmed, so they get to solve them too. Here, you can play some of the levels on your laptop.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Enso - Brilliant Puzzle Game

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Enso - Brilliant Puzzle Game  is the full title of this point scoring puzzle app game.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The objective is to move the marbles around the circumference to get groups of 3 or more like colors to match.  Example: a blue 7 can travel 7 spaces in either direction. The game ends when no more moves are possible.
iPhone Screenshot 5
See the 3 icons at the bottom of each screen?  One allows you to add numbers.  Another: all the pieces swap places.  The third: download it and find out.

Enso - Brilliant Puzzle Game has a lot going for it.  At the moment, the field of Point Scoring Apps is very crowded with very good games.

Other Point Scoring Games Worthy of Your Time
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

Some of Sang Moon Joo's Point Scoring Games
Lines 123
4 Way Puzzle
Slide 123
Hex 22
Number Push
Zig Zag Number

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Fourth Dimension by Drew Olbrich

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Last week The Fourth Dimension was temporarily free. It's an interactive book that's quite good.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 5
I'm a huge fan of Flatland and Sphereland and the various cartoon adaptations.  This is not an adaptation.

What's particularly cool: spinning a 4-dimensional tesseract in 3D space as well as in 4D space. Also, by analogy, how a cube's shadow plays out on a 2-dimensional surface followed by the tesseract's shadow on 3-dimensions.  Very cool graphics.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Zig Zag Number by Sang Moon Joo

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
If you've been following this blog in recent months, you know that I've become a huge fan of the puzzles by Sang Moon Joo.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Zig Zag Number is a point scoring puzzle app.  A random number will slide down each column. After that happens, you must move any number from one column to the other.
Look at the first image.  You may move the 1 from the bottom right directly onto the 1 in the left column. Alternatively, you could place it on the top of the left column.
iPhone Screenshot 5
Like all of Sang Moon Joo's point scoring puzzles, this is addictive. I've played it at least 100 times and must move on.
My high score is 35,000 or so.  And yet, somebody's on top with 80,000.

Some of Sang Moon Joo's other games
Lines 123
Maze 11
Number Escape
4 Way Puzzle

Loop 101
Slide 123
Hex 22
Number Push