At first glance, Drop 7 would appear to be just another tile-matching game. While this puzzler does involve placing tiles in such a way that it and others might disappear, it is completely set apart from the large crowd of lookalikes. Whether you like the somewhat mindless fun matching 3 or not, the things that make this game so unique might just win you over.
Originally developed by Area/Code Entertainment, the Drop 7 now carries the Zynga brand name along with the team that created it. Unlike other titles stamped with that little red dog, this one isn’t hampered by microtransactions or unnecessary social hooks. It’s three bucks, which seems steep for such a straight-forward puzzle game with so little flair, but the price of admission is worth it, if you like a good challenge
Demanding much more of your brain than most of it’s kin, the game asks players to drop number numbered circles onto a grid, one at a time, attempting to place the tile in a spot where either the row or the column it lands in will then have the number of tiles in it that matches the one in the bubble. For instance, if you’re given a four, you’ll want to try and drop it in a place where it can land fourth from the bottom of the screen or touch a group of only three sequential tiles of any sort in the same horizontal line. As difficult as Drop 7 is to explain, it’s far more difficult to master.
It’s not enough for Angry Birds to keep people glued to their phones and tablets anymore; the folks at Rovio decided it’s time they went social. With Angry Birds Friends, the idea is that it’s no longer a solo experience, but one to be enjoyed competitively online. You can either hop on Facebook and play in browser or download the free app and hook into the social network there. Either way, it’s basically the same old game, but not quite.
What they’re to do with Angry Birds model here is interesting. The mobile space hasn’t yet had a competitive game with an insane number of players the way consoles have Call of Duty and PC has League of Legends. If anyone is in a position to try and go for that golden goose, it’s Rovio, but I don’t think Angry Birds Friends pulls it off. As a free-to-play title, this iteration has Facebookers flinging birds, competing in tournaments, and buying power-ups along the way, hopefully. While you’ve still got a variety of birds on the left side of the screen headed for a flimsy structure on the right, the aim assist that shows where you’re bird is going has disappeared.
Every now and then a game comes along that strikes you as being so simple that it couldn’t possibly work. Putting squares of color in order of shade–for example going from red to violet, through pink and purple– just doesn’t seem like a good basis on which to build a puzzle game. In fact it seem insultingly childish. But somehow Blendoku pulls it off.
No doubt inspired by those charts you get at hardware stores in the paint aisle, which have every possible color graduation and are intended to help you pick out just the right shade for your bedroom walls, but instead get you helplessly confused and overwhelmed by the sheer variety on display, Blendoku lulls you in to a false sense of security during its early levels leading you to think that this can’t possibly as fiendishly taxing as it turns out to be. All you have to do is complete a sequence of colors by dragging the correct one from the jumbled selection at the top of the screen to the placeholders at the bottom. The subtle differences in hue across each colored piece will be familiar to anyone that uses any kind of photo editing software, as the player is essentially tasked to recreate the paint function’s color selection sub menu. It’s an odd task, but soon you’ll accept this new variant on the sudoku formula, in fact arranging the colors becomes as instinctive as the number sequences in that classic puzzle.
As I’m sure anyone who is aware of their existence knows, the people at Adult Swim are a little off their rocker. Their zany rapport shines through in the games they pump out as well. GameWoof reviewed their title Robot Unicorn Attack recently, but this title, Super Monsters Ate My Condo, may not only be even weirder than Robot Unicorn Attack, but so insanely fun, you’ll find yourself a glutton for it.
Super Monsters Ate My Condo is a sequel game to the Adult Swim game Monsters Ate My Condo, which is also available on Google Play for 99 cents. The joint effort by game studio Pik Pok and Adult Swim is a merciless fast paced match 3 style game where different colored condos and other assorted objects fall from the sky in a Condo Tower while two lovable looking but menacing mutants approach from each side hungering for their color of condo. Players have a set amount of time to score a bajillion points (or complete whatever goals for that level) before the building completely implodes and quite literally, the fat lady sings. No, for real, at the end of the level, a voluptuous women in full Viking gear sings her best opera ballad. Joining her is your game’s “MC”, a rather manly looking finger done up in Geisha make up. Because, you know, that’s a thing…
No game exists in a vacuum, but this commonly-used phrase is especially true for Bad Piggies. It’s tough to put aside a studio’s previous work and look at a game for what it is, especially when Rovio, the creators of the Angry Birds series, have turned the enemies of their ridiculously popular franchise into player’s avatar in this new game. The shared characters and art style make it impossible to play the new title without comparing and contrasting it against it’s older sibling. I say this because Rovio has done a great job creating distinct gameplay in Bad Piggies, but it’s the type of fun that will appeal to exactly the same crowd that Angry Birds did without satisfying everyone who loved that series so much.
Bad Piggies is a physics-based puzzle game, but the mechanical similarities to Angry Birds pretty much stop there. In this game, the little, green squealers are trying to that get to a specific point of each level. They don’t take a real active role in this process, so you must turn the random pile of items they give you (cart wheels, umbrellas, balloons, bellows, etc.) into a vehicle they can ride across the finish line. Most of these objects are automated parts of your creation, but some, like makeshift rockets and fans, must be manually activated and deactivated after you’ve assembled your creation and hit ‘go.’
Uno is one of those kiddie type card games that I’ve always loved as unlike Crazy 8′s or War, there’s actually a fair amount of skill and cunning involved to succeed at it. In a way, it’s Poker for people who don’t like to wear sunglasses indoors or lose considerable amounts of money. In any case, it’s the kind of game that obviously needs to be on mobile devices as it’s simple and loved by many of all ages, and Gameloft brought us Uno, with a couple of neat little variations.
In my experience, the best way to find out what the kids are playing is to peruse various message boards and see what game titles keep appearing. Lately on Reddit’s Android Gaming subreddit, the game The Room continued to pop up thread after thread; a game that originally received glowing recommendations and accolades when it came out in fall 2012 for the iPad and other iOS devices, it has since made its way to Android.
Now that it is available on a wide variety of devices using the Google Play store as of late March, it’s easy to see why this game receives such high praises.
Those who are familiar with darker puzzle adventure games such as the 1993 PC title The 7th Guest will easily embrace the kind of cryptic, eerie feel of The Room. The game contrary to it name, actually centers around a mysterious box containing a plethora of puzzles in it, inherited from a recently deceased relative. Throughout the four boxes the player will get through, you will uncover the mystery of a 5th element called Null. Each “box” the user faces contains a long and expansive list of puzzles within puzzles the user must complete in order to advance to the next box as well as uncover the secret behind “Null”.
As we get ever closer to that Holy Grail of modern games–complete photo realism–one of the inevitable consequences is that more designers will push back against that wild goose chase. Just as in the art world it took the dutch masters to create life-like depictions of the human face, to usher in the impressionists and the surrealists, so to are we seeing a greater exploration of what a game could look like, as the Uncanny Valley gets narrower.
Contre Jour (literally Against Day) is a term used in photography where the subject is back lit so that they appear as a silhouette, and it’s this technique that Chillingo’s puzzle/platformer employs to great atmospheric effect, similar to the equally creepy Limbo. I don’t bring up the subject of art, that perrennial bugbear of the game reviewer, for no reason; the developers themselves pitch Contre Jour as “blurring the lines between interactive art and games.” This is of course completely untrue, they could have released the game with the most crude graphics and it would still have been one of the most inventive and challenging gaming experiences on the market. It is however a very pretty game.
Welcome the cute little green monster back as he travels in time to feed his rather hungry ancestors with his favorite candy. In the opening scene, you will see how Om Nom traveled back to be with his ancestors as soon as he was inadvertently pulled on by a time vortex. Follow his adventures in Cut the Rope: Time Travel, a new Android game filled with candy-eating, time-moving, physics-based action.
The Cut the Rope series has enjoyed so much success. Thanks to its simple yet puzzling gameplay with cute animation, its style never got old with every age bracket, from kids to adults. Zeptolab experimented with bringing in new elements in Cut the Rope: Experiments, the sequel to the original game, and proved to be a hit. After more than a year the sequel came out, the developers released their 3rd installment, Time Travel. They carried on with their tradition of bringing in new gameplay mechanics to keep gamers hooked.
Have you ever heard of a type of Japanese puzzle called Nurikabe? I hadn’t either, but fans of Sudoku or any of its variants would recognize some similarities between the two number games. Nurikabe is sort of a reverse Minesweeper, presenting an empty grid with numbers and blanks that players must fill to complete the challenge. Where there is a four, a group of four spaces must be filled in. If there is a two, a pair of adjacent spaces must also be inked in. These groups of colored-in tiles must not touch sides, but also can’t be separated by a two by two, or larger, grid of empty space. Islands planet takes this board, which is normally square, and wraps it around a globe, making the filled-in tiles islands and the empty space water.