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Game Day: Newton

Casual puzzle games that you can pick up and play for a few minutes are a great way to kill time when you’re bored. Since the earliest days of the App Store,1 games have taken advantage of the iPhone’s sensors to create puzzles with realistic physics. Newton, by Binary Games, is a fun and challenging addition to the genre with unique mechanics and gameplay that I’ve enjoyed playing this week.

The goal in Newton is to maneuver a ball through a maze and into a hole avoiding obstacles along the way. What makes Newton unique, is its playing field and obstacles. Each puzzle is circular. To navigate the ball to the goal you rotate the puzzle by swiping along its edges like you’re turning a knob.

The game’s 60 levels start out easy to acquaint you with the mechanics but soon introduce obstacles that make Newton tougher. The first obstacle introduced is spikes that shatter your ball if you collide with them. Later levels add blocks that slide through the puzzle in response to gravity, spiky balls, rotating blades, switches that trigger obstacles, and more. Each new obstacle adds another dimension that requires different strategies. The YouTube trailer below does an excellent job demonstrating the interaction among the game’s many elements.

Newton requires thought, concentration, and planning to make it through each puzzle. At the same time, there is a simplicity to its reliance on gravity that makes it immediately intuitive so there isn’t a steep learning curve. The puzzles are also self-contained and short, which makes Newton a great choice for commuters, people stuck in waiting rooms, and anytime you’re bored and have a few idle minutes to play.

Newton is available on the App Store.

  1. An excellent example from the early days that is still available is Labyrinth, which requires players to navigate a ball through a wooden maze into a hole. ↩︎

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