Posts Tagged: Puzzle

We doodled this city: Doodle City arrives on iOS

Houses and hotels totally not copied from Monopoly

Houses and hotels totally not copied from Monopoly

If you follow board games at all, you’ll know that this week is Spiel’14 which is an annual convention that takes place in Essen, Germany. It’s the largest board game event in the world, and every year thousands of new games are released there. One of the publishers there, Aporta Games, just released a board game called Doodle City. How do I know this? Because they also released a digital version of the game and the app has no qualms about constantly reminding you of its cardboard cousin’s release. It’s a bit obnoxious, but doesn’t ruin what ends up being a pretty decent board game conversion.

Doddle City gives each player a grid that has symbols for hotels, shops, taxi stand and houses on it. Your job is connect these icons by drawing roads on the grid, but you’re limited to where you can draw based on dice rolls. As you connect icons, you will gain points based on what your roads connect. It’s actually quite a fun little puzzle game, but it’s also what we would call “multiplayer solitaire”. There’s no real interaction between players at all. None. Sure, everyone works off the same die roll, but that’s about it. As such, the game has no AI. You can play solo or multiplayer via pass-and-play or online asynchronous. Normally, I’d crush a non-cooperative game that didn’t have AI, but Doodle City doesn’t suffer from it. It works great as a solo puzzle game. Maybe even better than multiplayer, to be honest.

Doodle City is a fun little game and you can pick it up for free through October 20th. Trailer after the break.

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Let slip the dogs of war: Valiant Hearts getting an interactive comic

The dogs of war are pretty darned cute.

The dogs of war are pretty darned cute.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War uses the backdrop of World War 1 to weave a tale of broken families, loss, and love in an era of despair. It’s pretty deep stuff for what is, basically, a puzzle/adventure game. Like most great games, however, the story far outweighs the gameplay and Valiant Hearts is a pretty great ride.

With that in mind, Ubisoft is releasing an interactive comic book based in the Valiant Hearts universe and follows the adventures of the dog, Walt, and his sister. The dogs are used as messengers, and the comic will follow their stories as they traverse the trenches all along the Western Front.

The comic book will be interactive only in the fact that panels will be animated and you can navigate through the book using touch controls. Don’t expect Sorcery! here. That said, it’s going to be released for free if you already own Valiant Hearts, so now you have another reason to pick it up.

Trailer for Valiant Hearts: The Great War after the break.

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Pocket Tactics’ Games of the Month: September 2014

FNG Alex picks a game we hadn't even covered before. That kid's got moxie.

FNG Alex picks a game we hadn’t even covered before. That kid’s got moxie.

The summer — horrible, horrible summer — is finally over. The fickle sun now favours that mysterious other hemisphere and won’t throw its awful unblinking glare onto your iPad screens any longer. Put away your parasols and desert canteens. The outdoors are safe for gaming again.

What games did the PT druid circle choose as their favourites of the summer’s twilight? After the jump, Jacob, Clancy, Kelsey, Owen, and FNG Alex tell you all about their picks.

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I want a new drug: Spacechem meets Theme Hospital in Big Pharma


I want my corners.

Finally, a drug tycoon game. Sadly, it’s not the drug tycoon game we all wanted the most (namely, one that lets you play as Stringer Bell) but it’s definitely something I want to play.

Big Pharma is being published by British indie gaming national treasure Cliff Harris, the maker of Gratuitious Space Battles and the Democracy political sim series, and it focuses on the entirely more legal and (cough) ethical domain of pharmaceutical manufacturing. It looks like a marriage of the great sandbox business games of the 1990s like Transport Tycoon and modern assembly line puzzlers like Spacechem.

Big Pharma gives you a factory of drug-making machines and challenges you to use them to make a profit in a dynamic marketplace where flu remedies won’t sell well in the summer and sudden epidemics might boost demand for a particular pill. It looks like there might be some moral decisions to make about which drugs you choose to invest in, as the ones that do the most good may not always be profitable. You will fund expeditions into rain forests to find new ingredients and determine the composition of your products yourself.

This one’s being developed in Unity, so while PC is the lead platform right now, Harris told me this afternoon that tablet ports would be a snap, and are definitely on his radar.

I love the concept, I love the art, and I love that it’s coming to us via the hard-working Cliffski. Big Pharma will be playable at EGX this week — where I will be myself. I’ll get my mitts on it and let you know more about it soon.

Many more screenshots of Big Pharma after the jump, and you can follow it on Facebook.

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Name that rune: Super Glyph Quest is coming in early October

Funny, I've been called a tiny bore.

Funny, I’ve been called a tiny bore.

We had some good fun earlier this year with Glyph Quest, the fantasy/puzzle RPG from husband-and-wife team Leanne Bayley and Alex Trowers. One fact you might recall about Glyph Quest was that it was made while Leanne was very, very pregnant — probably not easiest state from which to concentrate on game development.

In a couple of weeks, Bayley and former Bullfrog man Trowers will be launching semi-sequel Super Glyph Quest, which is “pretty much all the things we wanted to get into Glyph Quest but just didn’t have the time to with the baby on the way,” Leanne says. (Said baby is absolutely beautiful and can be seen here, by the way.)

Super Glyph Quest will have new glyphs in the puzzle matrix and new spells to cast (over 70), more monsters, quests, crafting… more everything, basically. It’s going to be a nice premium three-dollar game with no IAPs.

I’ll let you know when it arrives on iOS, and you can try the original Glyph Quest for free to see if it casts any particular spell on you. The Super Glyph Quest trailer is below.

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Myst-ical: The Secret of Raven Rock arrives next week on iOS

"...and this is where Thing from the Addams Family is buried."

“…and this is where Thing from the Addams Family is buried.”

A couple of years ago I was wondering what had become of Myst-style immersive puzzle games, a genre that was getting non-gamers into gaming when the Angry Birds were still yolks. Then Fireproof’s The Room came along and won a million billion fans and pretty much every award going.

Unlike Myst, there’s not a lot of imitators of The Room, probably because the art intensive style is expensive to attempt. Here’s The Secret of Raven Rock, a game that probably doesn’t have the high gloss sheen of Fireproof’s masterpiece but looks like an earnest effort to give it a little competition.

In this game, which drops next week for iOS, you return home to your town and find that its inhabitants have vanished. Thoughtfully, they’ve left a bunch of puzzles that will unlock the secret of their disappearance once solved. You’re going to be really embarrassed when it turns out this is just your surprise birthday party.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Block party: Noodlecake puzzler Joinz hits the App Store

Even E.T. plays it!

Even E.T. plays it!

If there’s one thing the App Store is lacking, it’s solid single-player puzzle games. Seriously, sit back and think about it. Are there any out there? I know I can’t think of one.

Noodlecake Games, makers of PT-favorite time-waster Super Stickman Golf, is putting a stop to this travesty today with the release of new endless puzzler, Joinz. In Joinz players have to form Tetris-style shapes from blocks on a grid. Blocks can be slid in a line to form shapes, which removes those blocks from the board. Every time you move a block and don’t create one of the shapes, however, new blocks enter the puzzle. Eventually, new colors are added, shapes get more complicated and the difficulty skyrockets.

Even if that description doesn’t trip your trigger, try this on for size: it’s $2 with no IAP or ads. That should be worthy of your attention at the very least.

Check out the trailer after the break.

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Strike it up: Matchstick Memories brings puzzles to A Dark Room-style narrative

You know how lonely one can feel.

You know how lonely one can feel.

Here’s by far the most unusual thing to land in my inbox in the last few days, and keep in mind that this is the week Kapsula came out.

Matchstick Memories describes itself as a “meta-text adventure”. If you enjoyed A Dark Room, this game is absolutely for you. If you didn’t like A Dark Room (and fair enough — it’s a divisive experience), Matchstick Memories might appeal to you regardless.

This is a puzzle game, or to be more accurate, lots of different ones. There’s a Dungeon Raid-like line-drawing game, there’s a tile-swapping Puzzle Quest-style game, and a couple more. Solving each puzzle — and how you solve each puzzle — progresses a storyline told through terse prose snippets that sketch out the barest outlines of a game world. Behind the puzzles is really an old-school text adventure game: you’re navigating a world and collecting quest items, but your only means of interacting with the world is the puzzles.

Matchstick Memories is three dollars on iOS — it’s the first release from the delightfully-named dev Cooper Buckingham, who sounds like a character from Clue. Kelsey’s reviewing this one for us.