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Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 PAGY Award Winners


Breakout Originals
Campfire Cooking
"PUSH"
Swim Out
HIT n RUN

Mazes/Route Finding
Asymmetric
Tilt Space
Roofbot: Puzzler on the Roof
ZeGame
Switch It Puzzle
QB - a cube's tale

Weird & Wonderful
Zenge
-Pila-
Flat Cubic
SuprinO
GyroCube
SnakekanS
follow.trail

Point Scoring
Buckets
Puppo!
Pipe It
Omino!
Color 6

Test your Brain Speed/Dexterity
Perfect Fit
Symmetria: Path to Perfection
Panic Cube
atapgame
Loopine
Zip-Zap
Not Not - A Brain Buster
Fill the Hole
Ballz
Snaky Snake
Slices

Room Escapes
ROOM Δ -Room Escape Game-
Sphinx -Room Escape Game-
Cube Escape: Theater
Cube Escape: The Cave

HARD!
Cubic Blocks
Social Sessions
Piece Out
Color Merge
Knights
Waltzing Tiles

Sokoban
Pushing Machine
Cuzzle
Dyson Telescope Game
English Country Tune

Miscellaneous
Cubicks Free
Pipe It
Zhed
Yellow (Game)
O--O ~ Turn the Lights
DangoStack
Zenfold
Dotless
Glowish
Cubiques
Flow Free: Warps
Nodulus
Flat Cubes
Solokus

Triangle Pivoting
YANKAI'S PEAK
Disjoint

Sudoku/Latin Square
Sudoku Sweeper
Joint Number Place


Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 PAGY Nominees

Below is the list of nominees for the Puzzle App Games of the Year awards, known around the world as the famous PAGY Awards.  

It's very possible that there were other worthy puzzles that are not on this list.  Every week there are approximately 200 new games published on the App Store with a classification of 'puzzle'. It's impossible to scrutinize them all. But we did our best.

If you know of a great puzzle app that was overlooked: let us know in the comments section below.

Tomorrow, I will post the 2017 PAGY winners.

Galaxy Numbers Pro
Zquare
Jelly Doods Puzzle
Crosses Puzzle Unlimited Domino
Asymmetric
Solokus
Word Sudoku
Tilt Space
Zenge
Buckets
Tower Locked
The Lost City
Perfect Fit
Roofbot: Puzzler on the Roof
-Pila-
Moonball Infinity
Circle Pong
Symmetria: Path to Perfection
ROOM Δ -Room Escape Game-
Sphinx -Room Escape Game-
Panic Cube
Find the Road
Rebound Lite
Districts
Mirror Maze
Squares - Puzzle
atapgame
Combilock
Logistricks
HIT n RUN
ZeGame
Laser Glow
Pinball Star
Cubicks Free
Trail Puzzle Game
9 Moves: Ball game - Move balls in 60 seconds
Puppo!
Linia
Run Hit Number
Layer Merge
Switch It Puzzle
Pipe It
Omino!
Chinese-Puzzle
Cosmic Hare
Compel
Plus Fifteen
Blyss
KAMI 2
Rupiko
Loopine
Push It, Puzzle Edition
Train Mix
Norinori
rvlvr
Social Sessions
Zip-Zap
Cuzzle
Raytrace Lite
Not Not - A Brain Buster
AuroraBound
Zhed
Yellow (Game)
O--O ~ Turn the Lights
Happy Portions
Hard Wood Puzzle. Square
TurnClockWise Logic
Angry Cube
loolo
Fill the Hole
Color Combine Game
Blork
Paper Folders
Cubic Blocks
5+ (fiveplus)
DangoStack
Super Swipes
Tetraslide
Sudoku Spin
Mindroller
Factors Game
Tap the 3s
Ballz
Zenfold
Dots Pairs
Dotless
Flat Cubic
Snaky Snake
Make Square
Zame
Pushing Machine
Bubble Unblock
Triangle Flip
SuprinO
Tumbling Cube
Jellyban
Blokken
Piece Out
GyroCube
Zen Cube
Push It Sokoban Edition
SnakekanS
Count 60
Dyson Telescope Game
Splashy Dots
Mezzo Puzzle
Color Merge
Colorzam
Loopse
Box Home
Smashy 4
Roll the Dices
Colorist
Crossy Path Puzzle
oh no
Puzzle Dots Game
English Country Tune
YANKAI'S PEAK
Causality
Cube Escape: Theater
Boo!
Cubesc
Number Array
Divisor by G
Cubiques 2
Color 6
Mind Cache
Glowish
Cubiques
Slices
Flow Free: Warps
Sudoku Sweeper
Word Bubbles
Ten Monkey Challenge
La Palette Color Ballz
Campfire Cooking
Joints Puzzle Game
Nodulus
Typeshift
Octopuz
"PUSH"
21 Black
QB - a cube's tale
Swim Out
follow.trail
Sticks.
Gerrymander
Sujiko
Knights
Waltzing Tiles
DropPocket FV
Disjoint
Joint Number Place
Flat Cubes
Cube Escape: The Cave

Friday, December 29, 2017

"PUSH" by Maciej Targoni and Michal Pawlowski

iPhone Screenshot 1
When Maciej Targoni publishes a game, of course it's going to be wonderful. "PUSH" is Maciej's newest game. He and Michal Pawlowski made it together.  Maciej's other games are at the bottom.  I've been meaning to play test this game for about 2 months.  Back then, I solved the first 7 or 8 levels and realized that I might need to take notes about all the features.
iPhone Screenshot 2
The object is to push all the buttons in the down position. Nothing is explained. Everything is self-discovery. Every level has an 'aha' where you must discover what the correct pattern is.
iPhone Screenshot 3
Today I gave it a go for about 90 minutes.  I'm somewhere about level 45. No idea how many levels there are. I'll finish them tonight.

Some of the features:
1. Pink sokoban cube theme
2. Axes that swivel and/or disconnect
3. Black/white ordering
4. Look at image 2. That level is a maze
5. Yin/Yang pairing
iPhone Screenshot 4
"PUSH" is featured by the editors of the App Store. Deservedly.

Update 12/30/17: I finished the game. There are 65 levels plus one spelling puzzle at the end.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/push/id1257416763?mt=8
http://pushpuzzlegame.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rainbowtrain.push
http://store.steampowered.com/app/676430/PUSH/

Other games from Maciej that you must download.
"klocki"
"Hook"
oO

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

21 Black by Bit Free Games FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 3
21 Black comes from Bit Free Games. The object is to score points by combining adjacent tiles to make 21. Two identical tiles never add when they merge. Two 6's will yield one 6.
iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 4
I've played the endless mode. This is an interesting game. The idea is great. The graphics are very good.

Where 21 Black falls short: if played perfectly, you'll never lose. You can even make a lot of mistakes and easily overcome them.  I stopped at 1000 points and then intentionally lost.

Another problem: the program does not always save your game mid stream.
https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/21-black/id1044373988?mt=8


Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

QB - a cube's tale by Stephan Goebel $1.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
QB - a cube's tale comes from Stephan Goebel. It's a maze game with obstacles.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to get Your Man, the black cube, to the black square.

Features:
1. Landing on a red square will destroy the square immediately forward. It matters whence you land on it.
2. The yellow towers must always be destroyed, by landing on a yellow square, which will fire a laser. Again, landing on the yellow square from the correct orientation is critical.
3. The blue squares enable you to jump 1 square.
4. The little black squares indicate that Your Man can only traverse that space once.
5. The green square: the forward and back squares will swap places. Very cool.
6. Not shown in these images: red/blue, red/yellow and blue/yellow squares. If Your Man lands on a red/blue square with red being up and blue down, it will act as a red piece. But will then flip upside down to act as blue the next time.
7. The green, white & black squares slide 1 space. They show up in the last 10 levels.

There are 60 levels (a perfect number!). There's a lot of trial and error. Some good 'aha' moments.

It took 3-4 hours, but I solved them all.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/qb-a-cubes-tale/id1289455886?mt=8
http://20edges.com/

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Swim Out by Lozange Lab $2.99

iPhone Screenshot 1
Mat Lozinguez contacted me back in August about his game Swim Out. He and his wife Ava are the team behind Lozange Lab. The object is to get the swimmer with the blue cap to the ladder without crashing into any of the swimmers with the red caps.
iPhone Screenshot 2
Swim Out has numerous features:
1. For some levels, you must retrieve an object that will temporarily halt another swimmer.
2. Most of the swimmers do simple back and forth laps. Unless there are 45 degree angle walls which force a 90 degree turn.
3. Avoid the ladies who sit with their legs in the pool.
4. Blue Boards: for those who can't swim, these 'swimmers' take up 2 square units. 
5. Boomerangs, kayaks and too many other things like waves, divers, and fins.
iPhone Screenshot 3
There are 115 levels.  I love the graphics.  The puzzles are challenging. Lots of trial and error. I've done about one-fourth of the levels.
iPhone Screenshot 4
Shuttle Shuffle is their old game, which I reviewed almost 3 years ago.
iPhone Screenshot 5
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swim-out/id1204231646?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lozangelab.swimout.googleplay

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.

Monday, December 25, 2017

follow.trail by Grzegorz Pykacz $.99

  
Merry Christmas Puzzlers!

follow.trail comes from Grzegorz Pykacz, originally from Poland, but now in Canada. The object is to get Your Man, the blue square, to pass over all the white squares and finally land on the checker board square. Essentially, it's a maze game.
  
Interesting Features that we've seen before:
1. The white squares must be traversed based on how many dots appear.
2. The swirls are wormholes.

New, Original Features in a Maze:
3. At times, Your Man, must cross onto the red grid. When this happens, new black squares emerge.
4. Your Man, must land on the Sun. This will reverse the white & black squares. Since the Sun can only be landed on once, eliminate all the white squares first.
5. Your man can drift off the grid to the right, and will land on the extreme left edge. Same for the top/bottom edges.

I'm wondering:
6. Are there levels with multiple Suns?
7. Multiple wormholes?
.
follow.trail is not available for android devices.  (I've heard from some puzzle appsters that they make more money per iphone user than per android user.)

According to the Leaderboard, 'znonymous' is #1 and has solved 1,111 levels.  That's incredible, because I'm finding that there's a lot of trial and error and each level can take 15 minutes. I've only solved 34 levels.

There are 358 players on the Leaderboard.  This game is definitely worthy of your time.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/follow-trail/id1248146448?mt=8
http://followthetrail.info/

Announcement:
The annual PAGY Awards are fast approaching. Each year, I nominate the best Puzzle App Games of the Year on December 30.  The winners will be named December 31.

Note: the PAGY Awards are very subjective. (Just like the Oscars, the Grammys and the Pulitzers.) The first purpose is to draw more people to the joy of puzzles. The second is to recognize the indie gamers who put forth their best creative efforts. Sadly, many of these games are unprofitable. It's the elephant in the room. But we hope they continue.

 To be sure, I have play tested every single game thoroughly. A constant regret of mine: overlooking a puzzle. If I've missed a worthy game, send me a note, and I'll include it for 2018.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sticks. by Kamil Kucma FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Sticks. comes from Kamil Kucma. It's a point scoring puzzle app. You are given 3 tiles at time to place within the grid.  At all times, everything can swivel.  Match up 3 in any direction, score points and keep going.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
I've only played this game twice. The second time was this morning and I was still alive, but had to go to work.

I think this is a very solid point scoring game.  I like the graphics a lot.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sticks/id1174328165?mt=8
http://gamezaur.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gamezaur.sticks

Monday, December 18, 2017

Gerrymander: Rig the Election by Good Egg Games FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Gerrymander: Rig the Election comes from Good Egg Games. The object is is draw some lines so that each group has an equal number of people and that your political party will prevail in a majority of the regions.
iPhone Screenshot 4  iPhone Screenshot 5
Note to Puzzlers not in America: every 10 years the United States does a census. The purpose of this is to reallocate the number of representatives to the House of Representatives.  Let's say New York needs to lose 1 seat while Texas gains a seat.  The government in each state will then redraw the district lines. Theoretically, this would be done logically. However, some democrats and republicans will be very craft to ensure that their party wins a majority.  The origin of the term Gerrymandering is also interesting.  See the link for the other game Districts.

I've solved about 15 levels. It's okay.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gerrymander-rig-the-election/id1314200834?mt=8

Districts is very similar and came out earlier this year.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sujiko (English) by Kobayaashi Studios $.99 and Sujiko2015 FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
Sujiko is a tough little puzzle. Assume that the top space is A. The middle row is labeled B, C & D

First equation: A + B + C + 4 =15 
Second equation: A + C + D + 6 = 21

From those we get that D - B = 4.  There are only 2 possibilities: B = 1 while D = 5   and B = 3 while D = 7.  We plug them in and go from there.

I don't think the image above is solve-able. The 30 should be surrounded by 6, 7, 8 & 9, and 6 is already used.

Below are the rules and the links to 2 versions of this game, made by the same people.

The playboard is composed of a 3 x 3 grid, with four circular spaces at the internal intersecting nodes of the grid. The objective is to "Place the numbers 1 to 9 in the spaces so that the number in each circle is equal to the sum of the four surrounding spaces." At least one number in the grid is filled in on most examples to ensure that each puzzle has only one possible solution.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sujiko-english/id1319373995?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2  $.99

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sujiko2015/id1027053814  FREE

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Knights by HIKARI SASU FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
It's been a while since we've played a new chess app game. Knights comes fromHikari Sasu. The object is to move all the knights from the bottom to the top. No capturing is allowed.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Interesting: some squares are 'no go'.  No piece land on them, or pass over them.

The puzzles start out pretty easy with all the other pieces being just rooks.  The difficulty rises at level 16 when a pawn is introduced. It can go up, and never down.

The graphics could be a lot better. The user interface is clunky: it's slow and does not record the number of moves.

Still, I was sufficiently frustrated by the puzzles themselves: they require careful consideration.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knights/id1264536362?mt=8
http://www.smartgamestudio.com/

Other chess-like puzzles that I've blogged about:
Solitaire Chess - my favorite from this list
Overgrown
Pirate Ring
Board: Chess Puzzle
Blip Blurp
Knight Trade
Troyis
Mate in 3? Ok!
Chess Puzzle of the Day
Chess Free 
Ruby Capture
ChessQuest
Blind Knights
Intersection
Chess Light - very good
No More Kings
March Simple Chess

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Waltzing Tiles by Boris Sokolsky FREE

iPhone Screenshot 2  iPhone Screenshot 3
Waltzing Tiles comes from Boris Sokolsky. The object is to slide the rows/columns back/forth and up/down to un-mix the colors.

The easy mode is way too easy. We've seen this type of puzzle way too often.

The medium mode is slightly harder. Each tile has either 3 or 4 colors.

The hard mode is fantastic.  And very hard. As you slide a row across, each tile rotates 90 degrees. So there are 2 tasks: solving for the position of each tile and the orientation.  I've tried it only once and ran out of moves.

iPhone Screenshot 1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waltzing-tiles/id1315369332?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ilanymob.waltzingtiles&hl=en

https://sites.google.com/site/waltzingtiles/

Similar Games (This list is very incomplete.)
Slangle
Rubik's Block
Cryptic Cross
Digits Square Puzzle Game
iRectangle
Align It!
Cube 2D
Pixel Shift
Mezzo Puzzle
Flat Cubes a 2D Rubik's Cube
Shuttle Shuffle

Monday, December 11, 2017

DropPocket FV by miho ito FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1
DropPocket FV comes from miho ito. The object is to fill up all the spaces with tiles from the piles that have numbers on them. Slide them vertically/horizontally.

I think the directions from the App Store came from a translator.
It is a game that buries six stroke packing under all ditches. 
Packing begins to move by the automatic operation in that direction when the slide is done. 
The direction is changed, and packing jumps when it passes the sign. 
The figure of packing is a number of packing. The ditch is sequentially buried only in the number of figures by packing in the operation of one degree. 
If packing goes out outside the room or it undertakes the packing that cannot be passed, it becomes a re-doing. 
To collect the packing moved once, it ..packing of "0".. touches. 
The kind of the game is increased at any time, and look forward, please.
iPhone Screenshot 2
The first 30 puzzles go very fast.  Then some interesting elements are added. Curved arrows change direction. The 'go back' arrow sends you in reverse.

Look at the first image.  See the tile with the red symbol. It's surrounded by 1's on the left/right/bottom. If the 1 at the bottom passes over it going up, it will be enabled to pass over the tile with a 1 on it. Normally, this would be an illegal move.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/droppocket-fv/id1319742838?mt=8

Zhed is similar.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Disjoint by 2056516 Alberta Limited $2.99

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
I started Disjoint about a month ago. The object is to swivel triangles around each other on various pivot points so that all the triangles will fill up the shaded areas.  Some triangles are isolated. They have to be rescued in a chain-like way.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
Then I forgot about this game. It's hard to get back into a game when so many new games are getting published every week.

There's a lot going for this game. The puzzles are clever. The graphics are crisp and clean. After each chapter there is a picture story about a pig and a man looking for wisdom.

I've completed the first 2 chapters, which totals 24 levels, I think. I'm definitely coming back to this game. This game needs more attention.

Somewhere on their webpage is this: IF WE HAD ANY AWARDS, THEY WOULD GO HERE

Which reminds me, I have to get going on the famous PAGY (Puzzle App Games of the Year) Awards. The nominations will be December 30. The Finalists will be December 31.

disjointgame.com
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1225775112
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.copperbrain.disjointrelease&pcampaignid=MKT-Other-global-all-co-prtnr-py-PartBadge-Mar2515-1

Other Triangle Puzzles
Triangle Flip
Yankai's Peak

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Videos to Watch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5p2A5mazEs&sns=em  Amazing spirals & sculptures. John Edmark is a genius.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqJC3YxfcyM&sns=em Do you recall my mentioning Oskar van Deventer's world breaking 17x17x17 cube?  That was almost 7 years ago.  Greg Pfennig has created a 33x33x33 cube. Definitely check out his other twisty videos.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Joint Number Place by Yuki Fujimoto FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1  iPhone Screenshot 2
Joint Number Place comes from Yuki Fujimoto. The object is to form a Latin Square such that: each row and column has numbers 1-n. Also, each colored area has numbers 1-n. 

Each black line connects consecutive numbers x and x + 1. Kropk'i Sudoku (see link below) had a similar feature.
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
There are 25 levels in each grid size from 4x4 through 9x9.

These puzzles are fun and challenging.  I've solved all the 4x4's, half the 5x5's and some 6x6's.  I tried the 9x9's: no progress - yet.

The graphics for Joint Number Place are overdone. There should be no white or tan squares.  The background should be black.  The connecting lines should not have two colors. These are minor complaints.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/joint-number-place/id1312632074?mt=8

Other Latin Square Puzzles
Sudoku Sweeper
Futoshiki  also known as Hi-Lo Sudoku
LogicCity
Kropk'i Sudoku
Logi5Puzz
TetragonoS

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Flat Cubes: a 2D Rubik's Cube by Christophe Scholly FREE

iPhone Screenshot 1 iPhone Screenshot 2
Flat Cubes: a 2D Rubik's Cube comes from Christophe Scholly. How many times have we seen puzzles described as a 2-dimensional Rubik's Cube?
iPhone Screenshot 3  iPhone Screenshot 4
The object is to slide/transfer the colored tiles onto their targets.

Interesting: not all the rows/columns can slide.  Only the ones that have the black borders can slide.
iPhone Screenshot 5
There are 100 levels and I solved the first 25 in about 30 minutes.  Last night I solved the next 40 levels in about 45 minutes.

If you've never done this type of puzzle, then definitely give this a chance. The graphics are really very polished.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flat-cubes-a-2d-rubiks-cube/id1303173025?mt=8
https://www.chrisscholly.com/

Similar Games (This list is very incomplete.)
Slangle
Rubik's Block
Cryptic Cross
Digits Square Puzzle Game
iRectangle
Align It!
Cube 2D
Pixel Shift
Mezzo Puzzle