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Posts tagged with "games"

Game Day: Old Man’s Journey

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.

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Game Day: A.S.I.

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.

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Game Day: Antitype

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.

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Game Day: Invert

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.

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Vignettes Review: I Need a Moment

Vignettes is, without a doubt, the most bizarre game (and app) I’ve ever purchased in the App Store.

The goal of the game – I think? – is to turn one object into another by twisting, rotating, tapping, and shifting your perspective of the object. If done correctly, you’ll transform a phone into a bowl, a light bulb into a lamp, and your brain from a completely functioning organ to a steaming pile of gray mush.

That’s about all there is to Vignette. The more you discover new objects, the more objects you'll want to find. As you proceed through the game, you’ll begin to unlock keys that will start you at different points in the game, reveal secrets, and let you interact with more objects.

That probably sounds incredibly generic, but that’s because it's incredibly difficult to put the concept behind Vignettes into words. It’s an experience, one that feels halfway between a game and an art project where the end object is to trick you to spinning your real-world chapstick around, hoping it transforms into something else (and yes, I did this!). There are almost no in-game instructions, either, so you’re left to your own devices from the outset.

However, there’s something really intriguing about the whole experience; although Vignettes is one of the most frustrating games I’ve played this year, the reward of discovery keeps me coming back the app even when I don’t think I want to. I get lost in its worlds, unable to comprehend exactly what puzzles I’m solving, but solving them nevertheless. Each puzzle is its own super weird and fun journey. I haven’t been so entranced by a iOS game in a long time.

Vignettes is available on the App Store for $2.99.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go lie down.



Game Day: Pocus

Pocus is the latest mind-bending puzzle game from Ankara-based developer Gamebra.in, a husband and wife duo that is known for their challenging puzzles. The game shares a common visual style with Gamebra.in’s earlier titles but has the most in common with the hit game Hocus as the names of the two games suggest.

Whereas Hocus is about navigating a cube around a variety of Escher-like geometric structures, Pocus is always played on three sides of one or more 3D cubes. Each side of a cube is composed of a 6x6 grid. Most of the squares in the grid are gray, but others are black or other colors. You play as a red with a black dot on it. The goal is to move your red square across the three sides of the cubes to collect green squares.

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Game Day: Trilogic

Simple puzzles that make you think are a great way to unwind. Getting the hang of playing them is easy, which eliminates any up-front frustration. The challenge is all in the puzzle itself, which is an excellent distraction from whatever might be on your mind. There is virtually no friction to getting started with Trilogic, the follow-up to developer 1Button's game called Bicolor. That makes Trilogic's progressively tricky puzzles a perfect escape for brief moments throughout the day.

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Game Day: Typeshift

Developer Zach Gage describes Typeshift as 'Anagrams meets Word Search, with a sprinkle of Crosswords,' which fits well. Gage is the creator of SpellTower and other excellent iOS games. It's a clever mashup of the familiar in an unconventional way. With an extensive library of free puzzles, new daily puzzles, and puzzle packs that are available as In-App Purchases, TypeShift is a thoroughly addicting, seemingly bottomless pit of word game fun.

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