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.
Posts tagged with "game day"
In 2014, Melbourne-based Loveshack released Framed, a comic book-style puzzle game that requires manipulation of panels to guide the main character through a noir spy story. The game struck a chord for its novel combination of puzzles, narrative, and hip, silhouetted spy style. This week, Loveshack released Framed 2, an excellent prequel to Framed that delivers more of what made the original version a hit, but as part of a deeper and more refined experience.
I live near a huge arcade called the Galloping Ghost that’s packed with classic arcade games. I visit once or twice a year and am always struck by how hard some of the early space shooters, like Defender, are. I got the same feeling the moment I launched Steredenn, a fast-paced, insanely difficult space shooter from French indie game studio Pixelnest that is equal parts addictive and fun.
Old Man’s Journey by Vienna-based Broken Rules is equal parts game and story. You play as an old man who receives a letter that seems to upset him. He immediately grabs a backpack and walking stick and sets out into the countryside on a journey. Along the way, you clear a path for the traveler by manipulating the landscape to solve a series of puzzles. The puzzles aren’t difficult, but they help draw you into the beautiful interactive environment and pique your curiosity about the man’s story. Before long, I found myself completely absorbed by Old Man’s Journey.
Brian Mueller’s CARROT series of apps serve up healthy doses of snark along with the weather, fitness, tasks, and alarms. It’s a style that is immediately recognizable and adds an element of humor and fun that give his apps personality. That unexpected game-like quality, combined with utility and productivity apps, is what makes Mueller’s apps stand out from the crowd. Watching the family of CARROT apps grow over the years, it’s not surprising at all that Mueller has taken what feels like the next logical step and made an iOS game. A.S.I. brings CARROT, the star in his apps, to life in a sprawling and fun sci-fi sendup of artificial intelligence and tech culture.
The clean, elegant design of Antitype caught my eye immediately. It’s a scrambled word game from BorderLeap that’s all about opposites. From its design to its gameplay, what makes Antitype unlike other word games is its unique approach that requires you to think about its puzzles differently than you would other word games. That makes the rules a little hard to grasp when you first try Antitype, but once you have the system down, it’s addicting.
Invert from Copenhagen-based Glitchnap stretches the concept of tile flipping games in new directions. The only constants in the game are that each flippable tile has two different colored sides, and the goal is to flip them, so the board is one, uniform color. Glitchnap describes Invert as a 2D Rubik’s cube-like puzzle game, which is apt on many levels.
Invert starts with fairly simple puzzles laid out in a grid with only a few flipped tiles. The challenge is that you can only flip whole rows of tiles at once requiring you to consider the impact on other tiles in the row. As the game progresses, Invert introduces the ability to flip tiles in patterns other than rows. The buttons at the end of each row of tiles indicate the shape of the flip pattern. It’s a small difference that adds complexity because it forces you to consider how each pattern interacts with the others adjacent to it.
Any game with Dropbears has to be good, right? Maybe not any game, but it works for Mallow Drops, a title created by Gritfish Games and published by Green Stripe Snake. Mallow Drops debuted on Steam late last year and landed on the App Store earlier this week. Part platformer, part sliding tile puzzle, the real key to Mallow Drops’ success is its unique gameplay.