Category Archives: Puzzle Games

[Review] 4 Elements HD (PS3)

Available on: PS3; Publisher: Boolat Games; Developer: Boolat Games; Players: 1; Released: August 30, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Site

No puzzle game is like the other. Each one tries to do more than the hit before it so it can be the next big thing. Whether it’s the simplicity of Tetris or the social drive of Bejeweled Blitz, each game strives to stand out. The latest game, 4 Elements HD, isn’t necessarily simple nor does it have a strong social component, so what is going to keep you coming back to it? Instead of either, 4 Elements HD is filled to the brim with different obstacles, which makes for a game that is quite complex and will easily appeal to those in search of new challenges.

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[Review] Limbo (PS3) – Dead and Coming Back for More

Also on: PC, Xbox 360; Publisher: Playdead; Developer: Playdead; Players: 1; Released: July 19, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site

Limbo Review Shot 4

Often times, video games are credited as the great escape that people need from the monotony of life and powerless nature of humanity. Words are barely enough to describe the sheer joy that players can feel from taking control of a mobile suit and mowing down thousands of enemies in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 or embarking on an epic quest in Dungeon Siege III. Every once in a while, a game goes the other direction and limits players’ abilities to more realistic realms. Limbo does so in a drastic manner and yet keeps players compelled despite their roles as a boy who can only jump, push, and pull objects.

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[Review] Puzzle Agent II – Puzzling (Lack of) Difficulty

Available on: iOS, Mac, PC; Publisher: Telltale Games; Developer: Telltale Games; Players: 1; Released: June 30, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Site

Puzzle Agent II Review Shot 6

The narrative follows a story left off in a previous Puzzle Agent game: hero Agent Tethers narrates his own story, in which he returns to solve puzzles left unsolved. This is largely the thesis of the narrative, with the gameplay concept being that the player will solve puzzles to uncover clues to an overarching mystery. The quirky narrative and animation style is interesting in a novel way, though the models and animation felt a bit unpolished. Granted, the game is based on Graham Annable’s personal work, which itself is imaginative in a sort of broodingmadness kind of way.

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[Preview] Catherine – Not Just a Choice Between the “C” or the “K”

Catherine Logo

Recently, Atlus invited members of the press to sit in an online conference for a demo of the upcoming Catherine. In it, we got to see some of the upcoming game’s features, such as how Vincent’s decisions will affect endings and some of the game’s multiplayer modes.

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[Casual Friday] Shape Shift

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For this week’s Casual Friday I’m looking at Backflip Studios’ newest hit Shape Shift. It already has thousands of downloads but is it really any different from the already popular Bejewled Blitz?
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[Review] Chime Super Deluxe – Take Control of the Music

Available on: PS3; Publisher: Zoe Mode; Developer: Zoe Mode; Players: 1 – 4; Released: March 29, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Website

Chime Screen 1

Who can forget the music of Tetris? Even though it is embedded into our memory from now to forever, who wouldn’t want a little variety? Chime offers players the opportunity to use the environment of a puzzle game to let the music develop as they progress. This may seem almost gimmicky but Chime is a unique game that goes way beyond the music environment.

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[Review] Slam Bolt Scrappers – Multitasking, ho!

Available on: PS3; Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment; Developer: Fire Hose Games; Players: 1 – 4; Released: March 15, 2011; ESRB: Everyone; Official Website

Slam Bolt Scrappers Screenshot 1

In the relatively short history of video games, very few are considered household names. One game that has undoubtedly earned this upper echelon status is Tetris. It has seen every single platform from cell phones to even graphing calculator. You may have already been asking yourself, “What in the world does this have to do with Slam Bolt Scrappers?!” Quite simply, Slam Bolt Scrappers appears to be a new take on puzzle games, with a Tetris-like HUD, but then builds (HA! You’ll get it later.) on that idea and takes it to a whole new level. Though having many similarities with Tetris, I have a feeling my mom won’t beat me this time.

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[Review] Crazy Machines 2 Complete

The appeal of Crazy Machines is strange. The narrative goes that I am at the service of a vaguely professor-ish  colleague of popularly referenced smart guys (Einstein, Curie, etc.) and that I often have perform menial chores using engineering elements. Personally, I have never had to consider the proper trajectory that a basketball would have to travel to activate a steam powered hot dog cooker.  Turns out that it’s a lot of fun.

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[Review] Romance of Rome – Alliteration Hell

The iOS platform is filled with a plethora of games, but one genre stands out among the rest. Puzzle games have quickly become the most successful genre in the app store but because of that there are thousands of games; but which are actually worth playing? Romance of Rome fights to stand out among it’s fellow puzzle games by using its story line as a catalyst to drive the gameplay.

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