Posts Tagged

puzzle

There’s a lot to like about Polarity, a stylish first-person puzzler in the vein of Valve’s hit PC and console series Portal. But for all its cool atmosphere, excellent level design, vibrant neon visuals, and fiendish puzzling, it is let down time and again by sub-par touch controls that make you wish you were on a PC.

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Blueprint 3D is one of those things that makes you stop and go, “Huh? How’s that work?” It plays with optical illusions and geometry in the most wonderful, magical ways, time and again wowing you with its clever, delightful puzzles.

There’s lots to like about it, with inventive mechanics, cool presentation, three difficulty levels, and loads of puzzles, and little to dislike. Its one noteworthy fault almost undoes it at times, though, frustrating and testing your patience whenever it pops up.
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The Silent Age is shaping up to be one of the best point-and-click adventure games of recent memory. House on Fire’s crowdfunded effort is being teased out in episodes, and if the first one is anything to go by, we’re in for a special treat.

Between a compelling, well-written story, logical puzzle design, a great touch interface, polished graphics and sound, and an interesting protagonist, there’s almost nothing to fault — almost being a key word there, as its two notable shortcomings are difficulty (it’s easy) and length (this first episode lasts a few hours, tops).

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They go by all kinds of different names — nonogram, picross, hanjie, griddlers, paint by numbers, and more — but there’s something magical about picross games. Like a cross between minesweeper and sudoku, it’s a pure test of logic. You find the hidden image by filling squares on a grid, given clues for how many — both altogether and in succession — are in each row and column.

It takes only seconds to learn, but you could spend your whole life mastering the formula, and it’s incredibly addictive — not only have I wiled away many an hour, but I got my sister-in-law, brother, and girlfriend hooked at one time or another. And I’ve scoured the Play Store for the best in picross action on Android. Here are my 10 favorites.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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!

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