Posts Tagged ‘puzzle’

The short answer is that Ilomilo is a puzzle game. The longer answer is that its a puzzle game that makes you think about perspective. Because each of the environments are made from various cubes, and because quite often the two titular characters (Ilo and Milo) can walk on multiple sides of the cubes, players have to think about how the world can be rotated so that the characters can successfully reunite with one another. This is further complicated in later levels through the introduction of blocks that the characters can carry (that also have their own unique traits such as collapsing and extending), making for levels that really tease your brain.

The basic stipulation for winning is easy enough to understand — simply get the two characters next to one another — but it is really challenging thanks to the variety of blocks the game introduces and because players have to switch between both characters to find success. Milo, for instance, might have access to a block that he can pick up and use as an extending bridge, which then could enable Ilo to proceed when the block acts as a column he can stand upon. Or perhaps Ilo would be trapped behind an apple block, conveniently located in a place where Milo could drop a block in place to allow the hungry animal to cross and consume Ilo’s impediment… Confused? I completely understand; this is not a game that is easily described in words. Check out the video below for a more vivid demonstration.

You see that? That is some crazy level design! But don’t get scared of the difficulty, as Ilomilo ramps it up over time, introducing new elements to players at a rate that makes it easy to understand. This is true on both the mobile and XBLA versions of the game, too, despite their different levels.

Don’t be sad that the games are different in level design between the two platforms, though, as this was done intentionally to take in the strengths of each. The XBLA one is played with a controller (of course), but the mobile one requires a touch sensitive screen, meaning that they had to design the game around very few interface options. Still, both are beautifully rendered in 3D, and, more importantly, have their own achievements so that hardcore nerds among us can get double the points for playing both. (ign)

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Tumble (PS3)

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Playstation 3
Tags: ,

Tumble is a puzzle game where players use blocks to complete a series of tasks. The tasks can be anything from stacking the blocks in a tower to completing a series of mirrors to bounce a laser around to blowing up a pile of blocks in as big a radius as possible. Players point the Move wand at the screen, select their blocks, and use the wand to position the blocks where they want. The blocks come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and their attributes comes into play when stacking (glass is more slippery than wood and weighs more, so it’s more likely to fall off a slant).

The first thing that sticks out about the game is how it looks like a tech demo, instead of a final product that costs money. Not that there is a lot you can do with stacking blocks, but do I have to do it in an empty, sterile room? I feel like I’m trapped in a top secret government lab and being tested on.

What Tumble does right is offer a variety of challenges. Throughout the dozens of levels, players use their block stacking skills in numerous ways. The problem is that none of the challenges ever get really fun. Too quickly the game starts throwing in oddly shaped blocks, and the whole thing becomes more about just trying to jam things on the table and not about building something cool.

But really, before the game can even get really tedious, players have to deal with the subpar motion controls. Whether it’s the way the onscreen cursor becomes constantly misaligned and has to be calibrated or how the camera controls are limited to the point of never solving the game’s depth perception issues, everything is a chore in Tumble. Even the physics of the game seem to be off, and the game gets confused by them. If a tower is wobbling, even a little, the game won’t let you finish the level. I actually I sat there watching my tower wobble for 10 minutes while the game kept trying to do the three-second countdown to award me my medal, and eventually I had to just quit.

Tumble does offer multiplayer, and most of the modes are playable with just one PlayStation Move controller. However, nearly all of the modes are seriously hindered by the fact that the game totally freaking cheats. As soon as one player places their block, the game switches turns without waiting to see if the tower is going to fall or if there will be a chain reaction. So the first thing that happens on the next player’s turn is a massive point loss from the falling blocks causing them to instantly lose the match. What the hell, Tumble? (ign)

Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Supermassive Games
Genre: Puzzle
Number of Players: 1-2
Release Date: US: September 2010
E for Everyone

Hints Hunter (NDSi)

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Nintendo DS/i/3DS
Tags: ,

Hints Hunter Screenshot

Hints Hunter Screenshot

Hints Hunter bricked my DSi. Seriously. Halfway through playing through its compliment of puzzle challenges, I paused the game – when I hit “resume,” though, the screen went blank. The music kept playing, but the display was totally dark – and every input on the system was unresponsive, even the power button. No resetting to the menu, no turning the handheld off. Nothing. I just had to set the system aside and wait for its batteries to run out, after which time, thankfully, it came back to life with a fresh recharge.
So I can’t in good conscious recommend this game to anyone. Luckily, I wasn’t going to anyway.

Hints Hunter, if you actually brave its broken code long enough to play it, is presented as a series of single-shot brainteasers that are a bit reminiscent of the logic puzzles you’d see in a Professor Layton game. You’re tasked to figure out the solution in each stage, but first you have to figure out what to do at all – oftentimes the object isn’t made clear. This is purposeful, I suppose, since the game wants you to takeadvantage of its included hints – but the method for accessing those clues is also never made clear. (ign)

Genre: Puzzle
Number of Players: 1
Release Date: US: August 2, 2010
MSRP: $5.00
E for Everyone: Comic Mischief

We haven’t heard a lot from developers JavaGround Inc who developed the cross-platform tactics game Uniwar for Android and the iPhone. Going under the name TBS Games on the Android market, they released a new game not too long ago called Dante: The Inferno which is a top-down Diablo II style game based around getting out of hell and saving souls.

Controls for The Inferno are touch screen controls which you can customize a bit in the settings menu. The objective of this game is to collect the blue glowing orbs (lost souls) in each stage to open the exit and progress onto the next. While simple in nature there is a lot standing in your way including spiked tiles, tiles that drop out from under you, roaming enemies and other obstacles you need to dodge.

Features:

  • 121 Levels
  • 14 Achievements
  • 6+ hours of gameplay
  • 2 Different endings!

Every time you die it gets added onto your death counter (top left) and there is no amount of deaths you can get before you lose the game however this does have bearing on the ending you will get. The sounds are great as is the background music and suits the game well. The graphics are great as well with that 2D detailed pixel look to them but very well done.

You can pick up the entire full version of this game for free with no ads! It is a nice change to see that. Definitely a great addition to any gamers collection especially if you like Diablo 2 hell style gaming. If you like this game you may want to check out their other game, UniWar, which is an FF Tactics style game.

Developer Website: N/A

Direct Market Link: Dante: The Inferno

Click QR Code to enlarge for easy scanning: 

(droidgamers)


Posted: August 18, 2010 in Android, Android Apps
Tags: , , ,

We haven’t heard a lot from developers JavaGround Inc who developed the cross-platform tactics game Uniwar for Android and the iPhone. Going under the name TBS Games on the Android market, they released a new game not too long ago called Dante: The Inferno which is a top-down Diablo II style game based around getting out of hell and saving souls.

Controls for The Inferno are touch screen controls which you can customize a bit in the settings menu. The objective of this game is to collect the blue glowing orbs (lost souls) in each stage to open the exit and progress onto the next. While simple in nature there is a lot standing in your way including spiked tiles, tiles that drop out from under you, roaming enemies and other obstacles you need to dodge.

Features:

  • 121 Levels
  • 14 Achievements
  • 6+ hours of gameplay
  • 2 Different endings!

Every time you die it gets added onto your death counter (top left) and there is no amount of deaths you can get before you lose the game however this does have bearing on the ending you will get. The sounds are great as is the background music and suits the game well. The graphics are great as well with that 2D detailed pixel look to them but very well done. You can pick up the entire full version of this game for free with no ads! It is a nice change to see that. Definitely a great addition to any gamers collection especially if you like Diablo 2 hell style gaming. If you like this game you may want to check out their other game, UniWar, which is an FF Tactics style game. Developer Website: N/A Direct Market Link: Dante: The Inferno Click QR Code to enlarge for easy scanning:  (droidgamers)

Turn: The Lost Artifact ScreenshotPuzzler fans, your next fix has arrived. TURN: The Lost Artifact is the debut DSiWare effort from French developer Creative Patterns, and it’s a strong first showing for the studio in both gameplay and presentation. It would’ve been nice to see it ship with a smaller price tag, as eight bucks feels a bit steep — but it’s still worth a look even at that dollar level.

The gimmick in TURN is turning each room. You control a hero who can’t jump, but instead has the power to flip the gravity in each area he’s in 90 degrees at a time. So the left wall becomes the ceiling while the right wall becomes the floor, or vice versa. It’s an elegant idea, it looks great in execution and it feels very satisfying to master — a lot like DSiWare’s early puzzle king, Mighty Flip Champs!.

The goal of each stage is to flip, spin and twist each room in such a way as to provide a clear path for your hero to reach a key, then the corresponding exit door — all the while making sure not to accidentally squish him with a falling box or run him into the knife-wielding arm of an enemy. And while the puzzles start off easy enough, pretty soon your brain will be truly taxed to figure out the right combination of spins it takes to get through each gauntlet alive.

TURN then compliments its gratifying core gameplay concept with some nice animation and visual flare, in the stage backgrounds and menus — the theme tying it all together is a bit like an Indiana Jones-esque adventure film. Time trials and unlockables challenge you to go back and beat your best runs after you’ve cleared the game.

This is my favorite kind of game design on DSiWare — smart, challenging and perfectly suited to the system. Eight bucks is a bit pricey, but then that was what Mighty Flip Champs! cost too — and fans of that game, in particular, should download this one right away.

(ign)

Little Things (iPad)

Posted: August 13, 2010 in iPhone/iPad/iPod
Tags: ,

What makes a good iPad game? Something that understands – and uses – the freedom of the larger screen. Little Things does exactly that. A very cool twist on the hidden object genre, Little Things tasks you with finding items, but they are tucked inside shaped collages.

The collages are shaped like dogs, scissors, ponies, cupcakes, and more – but when you zoom in to go on the great hunt, you see that the image is indeed made up of hundreds (maybe thousands) of tiny objects. A list along the side of the screen details what you need to tap in order to complete the puzzle. Sometimes you must locate a litany of objects, other times you just need to find multiple instances of the same thing. There are timed puzzles, too, where you are graded on speed. Fortunately, you have a hint system that can be called upon to highlight portions of the image to locate errant objects. Using hints eats up time, though, as Little Things cats a wide spotlight that eventually narrows to the exact location.

When you solve a stage, you earn a puzzle piece. After accumulating several puzzle pieces, you play a tile puzzle where you swap and rotate squares to make an image. The object hidden in the image pops out when you complete the puzzle and is added to the stable of possible shapes. Now, whenever you jump into Little Things, you have a new shape in the roster with random object lists associated with it to keep things fresh. I’ve dropped many hours in Little Things and foresee spending several more. I really am hooked and with the randomly generated object lists, at no point have I gotten bored. In fact, I like going back to a familiar collage with a new list because I often find myself thinking, I know I saw a mouse in here last time…

Though I imagine a lot of folks will play Little Things as a single-player game, this is actually a great team game if you are sitting side-by-side with a friend. Though the collages are full of oodles of objects, the image is so crisp on the iPad screen that multiple people can participate from different angles.

I used to really like hidden object games, but after the last few years, they all started to blur together. Little Things jumpstarted my interest in the genre again, thanks to its cool approach and ease of playing with another person. There are a limitless number of puzzles in here thanks to the random object lists. The visuals are bright and sharp, so you cannot blame your struggle to locate that pesky last bottle cap on them. This really is a great grab for your iPad.

(Via ign)