Physics based puzzle games are here to stay, and the desire to have a cute mascot is apparently not going away any time soon either. Thankfully Jar on a Bar has a third element that will hopefully ultimately make it a good seller – it is very addictive. The game even goes beyond that, however, as it takes a familiar concept and adds some mechanics that make it a whole new experience. I would be willing to say that it is probably the best game I’ve played in its genre. So let’s find out just what it is…
With a billion Angry Birds downloads under Rovio Entertainment’s belt, the Finnish developer has released their first non-bird-slinging game on the App Store: Amazing Alex. Sure enough, it’s another physics puzzler, but this time with an Incredible Machine-style twist.
Meet Amazing Alex! This whiz kid has a boundless imagination and a houseful of fun toys that can turn anything into an adventure!
From cleaning up his room to battling cardboard robots in his backyard, Alex creates amazing chain reactions to get the job done with the maximum amount of fun! Now he has some challenges for you — and he wants to see the most creative solutions YOU can create!
Amazing Alex features 100 challenging levels across 4 locations and you can bet Rovio will be providing free updates in the future with even more levels. Best of all, players can create their own with 35 interactive objects and share them online with other gamers. The iPhone version of the game goes for $0.99, while the HD version for the iPad sells for $2.99. Check out the launch trailer after the break.
In January of last year a unique new puzzle game called Cardboard Castle hit the App Store. If I were to quickly summarize Valentin – The Valiant Viking I’d say it was a “spiritual successor” to Cardboard Castle, even though it’s not by the same developers. The game has a similar knack for silly solutions to thoughtful puzzles and the visuals were clearly inspired. Still, Valentin does an excellent job of standing on its own two feet, and it throws a wrinkle or two into the mix to make sure it is a completely different game.
It seems like so many in the puzzle genre revolve around physics based gameplay that it’s nice once in a while to load up a game like BrainJewel. After playing this offering from TribePlay for a little bit you suddenly realize how nice it is to simply fling stuff at other stuff and get points for it. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that physics games aren’t fun, nor am I claiming that this isn’t a good game, because neither statement would be true. I’m just suggesting that if you’re going to tackle a title like BrainJewel, you might want to have a game around that won’t require nearly as many brain cells when you need to take a break every once in a while.
I’ve always preferred games that make you think a bit to those that test your twitch reflexes, and portable touch screen devices have proven to be a perfect match for puzzle games. I have to say that the sub-genre of light bending conundrums has been among my least favorite, however, in large part due to the fact that it usually doesn’t take long before I get stuck and can’t move on. Light The Flower showed me that it has as much to do with the presentation as anything. Sure there are times where I still get stuck, but in the end it’s always worth the struggle to hear the content reactions of a satisfied flower.
Apparently the need to add “cuteness” to puzzle games isn’t going away any time soon, but that’s okay with me as long as the game is fun to play. Thankfully that is the case with Cannon Cat, the premiere offering from new iOS developer Loqheart. It would probably be more accurate to label the game action than puzzle, though there are definitely situations that will require a bit of thought if you want to score all the fish in a level. However you want to classify the game it’s enjoyable and quite habit forming.
On the surface, Two Lives Left’s Cargo-Bot looks like any other ordinary puzzle game, but beneath it all, it was created entirely on the iPad – making it the first iOS game programmed solely on an iOS device. Released earlier today, Cargo-Bot was made with Codea [$9.99], a touch-based programming app for the iPad.
Presenting Cargo-Bot. The first game programmed entirely on iPad using Codea™. Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. Sounds simple, right?
It features 36 fiendishly clever puzzles, haunting music and stunning retina graphics. You can even record your solutions and share them on YouTube to show your friends.
When games set the bar so high in a particular genre, much like The Treasures of Montezuma 3 did for match 3 games, I often wonder if new variants are even going to be worth trying. I was especially nervous about this one because I had played its canine sibling, Puppy Sanctuary, on the PC and didn’t really care for it. I’m happy to report that not only is Kitten Sanctuary a much more interesting game than its puppy partner (or I didn’t give the other enough of a chance), but it can actually be quite addicting. The whole Tamagatchi style interludes aren’t even that bad.
I’m beginning to think developers are purposely making the tough puzzle games cute. They do it to lull us into a false sense of security because of course a cute looking puzzle game is going to be easy. It has to be for the kids that will invariably be drawn to it, right? I can’t think of a more charming premise than a disgruntled sheepdog that dons a motorcycle helmet and goes all Evil Knievel to get the sheep he’s supposed to be rounding up to respect him. Yet some of these levels can be quite maddening.
While rhythm action games in the old-school vein of Parappa the Rapper have certainly seen their day, Simogo Games has come to the table with a lightly veiled reincarnation entitled Beat Sneak Bandit. The game takes place in the city of Pulsebury, in which you, The Bandit, have learned that all the clocks in town are being stolen. The suspect is none other than Duke Clockface: villainous owner of the mysterious Clockwork Mansion. Serving more as Batman than Bandit, you invoke vigilante law in an attempt to steal back the town’s clocks.