It feels like a puzzling sort of day, doesn’t it? It’s been a week filled with interesting releases in the puzzle genre, and we’re happy to be featuring a number of our favourites.
Don’t worry if you’re a fan of other genres though — variety is the spice of life, and we’re always keeping things spicy here at AppStorm. Click through for some crazy fish antics, a bit of petty theft and a variety of mind bending puzzles!
Let’s start with something arcade-y and awesome. Bellyfish is a new game from the makers of iSlash, and its chubby fish protagonist will bring you lots of joy.
In a colourful ocean environment, your goal is to rise to the surface — or get as close as you can. Basic tilt controls keep the action straightforward, but you’ll have plenty of obstacles to contend with, and a variety of truly creative powerups to help you progress. Enemy encounters vary from the annoying (ink splatters obscuring your vision) to the deadly (electric eel shocks), so you’ll have to be crafty as you work your way to the top.
Speaking of ascending, the game features leaderboards and achievements via Game Center, and there are even a number of quests built in to help add some extra incentives as you make your way through. IAP is present but not egregious, and the game’s visuals are so adorable that it becomes easy to lose yourself in the addictive quest to reach the surface.
An under-appreciated gem, Mosaique is a very special sort of puzzle game that hearkens back to the 16-bit graphics era and delivers on its promise of an old-school game wrapped in a truly modern shell.
There’s almost nothing ordinary about this game; instead of throwing huge numbers of levels at you, Mosaique has only seven — but those levels are procedurally generated and deeply satisfying. They beg for you to try new approaches. In each one, your task is to move a coloured block around the periphery of the central mass and fire it at like-coloured blocks to destroy them. You can also swap tiles by firing at blocks of a different colour. The brilliance of the mechanic lies in its limitations: the gauge at the bottom whittles down each time you fire, meaning that you only have a limited number of shots available with which to completely clear the board — and each level gives you less margin for error.
Of course, there are also a number of secondary game modes allowing you to develop your mastery of the mechanics in different scenarios, and while the spec sheet looks fairly sparse, there is an incredible amount of replay value in this game. Its presentation is stunningly appealing, to the point where it’s difficult to see why more buzz hasn’t emerged about it. Mosaique is beautiful, elegant and designed to be flexible and responsive to its players. It is an ideal mobile game and one that no one ought to miss.
You lose your job, your wife is mad, your kid is crying … what to do? Consider a career in robbery, suggests Daddy Was A Thief.
Of course, we don’t condone such things, but it sure makes for a fun game! In this latest title from Rebel Twins, the goal is to make it to the bottom of a building, nabbing all the valuables you can along the way. Swipe-based controls keep things simple, and the procedurally assembled building means that your game is different each time. The best part of the experience is no doubt the powerups that you’ll find, which are clever and enjoyable to use. Essentially, this is an endless runner but vertically oriented, and therefore there isn’t a huge amount of depth on offer.
That being said, it’s tremendously enjoyable for short bursts of gameplay, and you can even earn achievements if you like. A little bit of IAP allow you to adorn your chubby thief with some decorative hats and unlocks, and none of them feel unfair. Daddy Was A Thief is a well designed casual title with a focused mission and great production values.
Somehow, the venerable matching game of memory hasn’t seen too much traction on the App Store either in its original form or as a foundation for more creative game design. Reuben’s Apps challenges this gap with Mind Blitz, a beefed up and modernized game of memory for your iPhone.
Building on the basic mechanics of the classic game, Mind Blitz adds points, earned from making matches, that can be traded in for power-up cards. These cards each have a certain cost and you’ll be able to select only two to be in play each level. The effects range from a score multiplier to a wiggle card that helps you find matches. As an added challenge, you’ll have to beware of penalty cards, which can reshuffle the whole playing field on you.
If you survive, you’ll have achievements and high scores to look forward to, and the presence of a timer ensures that the pace never slows. Mind Blitz is a successful modernization of a classic game, and it’s particularly commendable for how natural it makes the additions seem — as though they were always a part of the game of memory. This is a game well worth buying, and one that you can enjoy without IAP for as long as you like!
Kevin recently explained what makes Dots so incredibly cool, so rather than re-state everything, I’ll just say that I’ve been just as addicted to it myself.
Dots manages to remind me not only of Tetris, but also of a game I played on my iPhone years ago that remains one of the best mobile games I’ve ever encountered — Colorbind. It is both welcoming and encouraging, and it gracefully introduces you to new challenges in a way that engrosses you completely.
Dots is mobile gaming in a nutshell: quick, satisfying, engaging and unpretentious. Don’t miss it.
What Have You Been Playing?
Good luck puzzling through this week’s collection of games! See you back here next Friday for a fresh set.