It's time for our somewhat-regular (but leaning toward irregular) Wednesday Release post! (On a Thursday)05 May 2016 1
Okay, okay, okay. Before you say anything about this post being really late, I have a good excuse. It's called Pathfinder Adventures and it's taken over my life. Alright, so maybe that's not a good excuse, but it is an excuse, so let's roll with it.
So...what's happening on the App Store this week? Despite nothing the magnitude of Pathfinder, there are still a couple of lovely little titles that are definitely worth taking a look at, the first being from State of Play, the creators of the real-life miniatures-based adventure game, Lumino City. The title is INKS. (yes, the damn period is part of the title) and it's a puzzle game that uses a mechanim that no other puzzle game I've ever played has used: pinball.
The entire point of each level is to hit colored panels with the ball using nothing but flippers and momentum. Unlike regular pinball there's no limit to how many balls you get, but the goal is to solve each level with the fewest number of balls as possible. As someone who loves pinball, I've been having a blast with it so far (only through the first 10 or so levels). This isn't modern pinball with ramps and toys, the playfields are actually start very sparse, but slowly throw obstacles in your way. It's about level 5 when you find the sinkholes. You'll hate those.
INKS. is available for iOS Universal and runs $2. That includes close to 100 different puzzles, and there's a $1 IAP to unlock 24 more.
Oh, and I forgot to mention it's pretty damn beautiful, too.
Our next game is also a puzzler, but a little more traditional than INKS. It's called Pop Rocket Rescue and before you close your browser and throw your iPhone in the wastebasket, let me tell you that it actually looks pretty decent. Yes, it has cute characters and yes, it's free-to-play, but it uses stacking as a mechanism for puzzles, which has always been a happy place for me. (I'm the guy who liked Villa Paletti back in the day)
Besides the obvious and eternal enemy, gravity, the game also shoots other space-themed objects toward your towers. The game has a ton of levels, but it also has an in-game currency, "crystals". No clue what those are used for, or how high the paywall is, but I've only played a couple levels so far. I'm sure they'll make sure the hook is through my lip before they reel in.
Next on the list is yet another puzzler, this one looks like a tangram clone. It's called Elzup and has 42 different puzzles, the type of which we've all done at one point or another. How do you fit these shapes into that shape? So, it's not exactly earth shattering, but tangrams can be a lot of fun and having a digital version isn't the worst thing in the world.
Elzup is free to download and I see no IAP anywhere, but the developer is promising more puzzles down the road, so maybe those will be offered as IAP.
The last game in our list today is actually a trilogy of games from designer Matthew Brown called Hexcells. It's been around on Steam since 2014, but the three games just made the leap to iOS earlier this week. The basic premise appears to be similar to that old Windows standard, Minesweeper. There are numbers that indicate how many tiles next to them need to be flipped and so on.
As I mentioned, there are three versions of Hexcells on the App Store and they're all being sold as separate apps rather than one app with IAP. There is Hexcells, Hexcells Infinite, and Hexcells Plus. From what I can tell, the games all play similarly with the Plus and Infinite just bringing new levels and Infinite also introducing a random puzzle generator.