The best puzzle games are elegant, simple, and challenging all at once. Tetris, Drop7, Bejeweled, Peggle, and Picross all share this quality, testing your ability and working your brain no matter whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned expert.
Abstract Connect Four lookalike 7×7 does an admirable job emulating these classics in an innovative and visually-polished package, but it falls at the last hurdle. It hooks you instantly and holds your interest, yet never quite captures the magic you expect it to.
There’s more than one way to skin a city-building game. The delightful Triple Town already showed the world that the basic gameplay concepts and the core mechanics of SimCity could be distilled into a turn-based puzzle game. Now MegaCity tackles the genre, boasting a “Tetris meets SimCity” hook that turns your city into a never-ending carousel of urbanization.
It’s fun, clever, challenging, and original, but the reliance on a luck-based building queue holds MegaCity back from utter brilliance. Let’s take a look.
Games have a knack for making boring, dull, or difficult tasks seem fun and interesting. They engage players, rather than putting them to sleep, and make it easier to learn through action and experimentation.
Light-Bot, which started life as a web game but is now available for Android, serves as a brilliant introduction to programming. It teaches logic through puzzles that require you to guide a robot through a level by writing step-by-step instructions for its movement. And it’s fun to boot.
Atmospheric games have made a big comeback since award-winning Xbox puzzle-platformer Limbo dropped in 2010 to huge success. That’s a good thing, I might add, since they offer an enthralling experience when done right.
Tupsu falls flat at times, but for the most part it’s a beautiful, well orchestrated, and charming physics-based puzzle game that echoes the style of Contre Jour in a more action-y, sticky package.
I’m a sucker for a good puzzle game. There’s something meditative about sitting down and unraveling the best laid traps of a designer eager to test your smarts. Doubly so when it involves bringing order to chaos, as you do in the likes of Picross and Tetris or non-games such as jigsaw puzzles, and when there’s a visual element to please your sight while it challenges your mind.
Patchworkz’s twist on tiling — well, tangram, to be precise — puzzles had me hooked from beginning to end. Featuring gorgeous mosaic canvases and more than a hundred puzzles, it packs just the right degree of difficulty and modes to suit both the laid-back and race-the-clock style puzzle gamers.
I guess that most people in their twenties probably cringe at the thought of games that are ‘suitable for all ages’, and wouldn’t be caught dead playing a game with graphics geared towards children. For those of you who fall into that category (myself from two weeks ago included), I say to you, awake, arise and embrace the joys of all things innocent! Or, at the very least, try playing Little Things® Forever.
Easily one of the most fun casual games I’ve played in a long time, KlickTock’s Android debut is a delightful free puzzler in the vein of Where’s Waldo?, that has players finding tiny objects in a mess of hundreds of them. Beautifully illustrated and presented, this is a treat for the whole family — just be prepared to wait your turn once they’re all hooked!
The dream-like quality and relaxing pace to Sleepwalker’s Journey seems a big departure from the usual fare of developer 11 bit studios, who previously made tower-defense hit Anomaly Warzone Earth and upbeat arcade-action game Funky Smugglers, but you wouldn’t think so from playing it — it’s every bit as polished and enjoyable as something you’d expect from an expert puzzle-platform game developer.
Sleepwalker’s Journey is about a sleepwalking boy called Moonboy and his adventures through his dreams. As his guardian, you manipulate objects in the dream to ensure he returns safely to his bed. It’s a charming, beautiful, purple-infused journey, well worth your time and attention.
The Tiny Bang Story looks like a painting — or many paintings, to be more precise. Its sense of visual detail is stunning; its design as a game not so much.
It’s a hidden object game crossed with a point-and-click puzzle title (not to be confused with a point-and-click graphic adventure), teeming with challenge. But it suffers from vague and overly ambiguous design and an inconsistent hint system, and the beauty sometimes detracts from the experience — especially on the small screen-sizes of Android devices (as compared to desktop computers, for which the game was designed).
I love puzzle games but I’m terrible at playing them. Still, I really love a challenge, particularly when it’s simple to get into but increasingly complex as you go along. And that’s exactly what Huebrix is – a clever puzzle game that’ll have you racking your brain for all it’s worth, with a ticking clock to add to the tension.