Posts from ‘Puzzle’ Category


By: Derek Yu

On: April 13th, 2012

After nearly five years of development, Polytron’s Fez has been released on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MSP. The winner of this year’s IGF Grand Prize Award, Fez is a non-linear puzzle platformer where you can rotate the camera to reveal the world’s third dimension. The game features a soundtrack by Rich “Disasterpeace” Vreeland, which will be released on April 20th but is available for pre-order.

TIGdb: Entry for Fez

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DROD: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder

By: Derek Yu

On: April 10th, 2012

[This is a guest review by SirNiko. Originally posted on TIGForums.]

DROD: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder, by Caravel Games

I finished Deadly Rooms of Death: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder and the bonus dungeon “Flood Warning”. This is a great series, but this entry is a little disappointing. I feel it’s my duty to outline it for those who haven’t played.

For those that are new to DROD, Deadly Rooms of Death is a puzzle game wherein you move the player around a grid-based world, killing monsters by carefully moving to hit them with your sword while keeping them from catching you and killing you in revenge. The result feels a little bit like chess meets the Adventures of Lolo. The game is broken into multiple levels, each of which contains roughly a dozen rooms. Slaying all the monsters in a room “clears” it, sometimes unlocking doors or allowing passage to new rooms. Clearing levels is required to advance the game. The experience is entirely cerebral.

Gunthro and the Epic Blunder is the fourth game in the main series, not counting some expansion-pack style bonus dungeons and DROD RPG, which more closely resembles Tower of the Sorcerer. The story is a prequel that takes place between DROD 1 and 2. Mechanically, the game is the easiest of the lot. This is in sharp contrast to the rapidly scaling difficulty of the previous games.

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Offspring Fling

By: Derek Yu

On: April 3rd, 2012

Offspring Fling, by Kyle Pulver

Offspring Fling is a new puzzle platformer from Kyle Pulver, the creator of Bonesaw and Depict1. You play a mother whose children have gone missing – the goal of each level is to bring your children to the exit and then exit yourself. True to the game’s title, you can fling your children horizontally to move them around and set off switches, among other things. Multiple children can be carried at once, which is sometimes necessary but limits the player’s freedom of movement.

The flinging mechanic is simple but is executed quite well – the timing and sound effects are quite satisfying. There are quite a few interesting things you can do with it, too, like stun enemies or perform mid-air catches. Throughout the game’s 100 unique levels you’re introduced to a lot of these concepts, and the finer properties of the game’s physics must be exploited to beat the developer’s speedruns (displayed as a black ghost during replays).

The one fault I find with the game is that it’s quite easy and doesn’t force you to use enough different tricks in each level. Even the final stages can feel like introductory ones, since many of them still revolve around a single concept. After beating Offspring Fling in a couple of hours, I couldn’t help but feel like some of the earlier levels could be combined to free up room for more tricky ones in the late game.

Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had here, and with the replay system and flower system I’ll definitely be enjoying the game for a while longer… especially since the graphics and Alec Holowka’s soundtrack are so delightful. Hopefully, a level editor or sequel will see the light of day so that more involved flinging can be done!

TIGdb: Entry for Offspring Fling

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By: Derek Yu

On: March 29th, 2012

The puzzle platformer Closure was released on PSN this week. The puzzles are designed around the idea that darkness is treated as empty space. Manipulating light and darkness to exit each level is the primary goal of the game.

Closure got its start as a small Flash release before being remade and expanded upon for the PS3. You can still play the original version here, on Newgrounds.

TIGdb: Entry for Closure


By: Alehkhs

On: March 1st, 2012

Vessel, Strange Loop Games’ gorgeous physics-based puzzle adventure platformer, has been released and is available for purchase on the developers’ site or the game’s Steam page (there is also a demo on Steam).

Three years in the making, Vessel puts the player in the shoes of inventor M. Arkwright as he controls liquid automatons known as Fluros and tries to complete his greatest invention, the mysterious “Accelerator.”

Strange Loop Games estimates about 10 hours of gameplay, and I can easily see myself getting immersed in such a colorful world (let alone one with liquid physics, one of my weaknesses!). And for the aurally stimulated, the game is scored by composer Jon Hopkins (Monsters).


By: Derek Yu

On: December 31st, 2011

Windosill, by Patrick Smith

The iPad version of Windosill was released earlier this month and adds a sketchbook gallery, level select, and “translucent mode” that lets you see how each level is put together (although you can’t tell from a screenshot, many of the objects in the game are 3d polygons). The original game, which can be played in your browser or as a download from Steam, came out in ’09.

The brainchild of Patrick Walker, Windosill takes you through 11 simple puzzle rooms. The game is criminally short, but nonetheless quite enjoyable. The toy truck that leads the way is perhaps a hint about how to best play it – by not only solving the puzzles but also goofing around with the fanciful, abstract dioramas that make up each room.

The browser version is free up until the halfway point. It’s currently on sale for about $1 on Steam.

TIGdb: Entry for Windosill

English Country Tune

By: Derek Yu

On: December 2nd, 2011

English Country Tune, by increpare

Stephen “increpare” Lavelle has released English Country Tune, the latest of his many mind-expanding video game projects, but also his first commercial release. In ECT, the player controls a flat panel that can flip itself onto adjacent tiles in 3d space. The goal of the early levels is to flip “larva” into glowing cubes. The larva will “fall” according to the direction that they were flipped, introducing you to the spatial nature of ECT’s puzzles. As you advance to later levels, you’ll encounter new goals and obstacles (watch the trailer below for a sneak peak at some of those).

Suffice to say, if you like unique and challenging puzzlers, you should check this one out – a demo that covers the first couple of worlds is available from the website (full version $10).

TIGdb: Entry for English Country Tune

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Hanano Puzzle

By: ithamore

On: October 24th, 2011

Tatsunami’s Hanano Puzzle is well designed and difficult. It reminds me of Sokoban but with significant differences: switching block positions, complications brought on by color requirements and gravity. It’s a challenging game I’ve found both enjoyable and frustrating.

The in-game instructions (selectable between English and Japanese) are to the point and explain the basics of how to get the colored blocks to touch their corresponding flowers to complete its 50 levels. Some early levels are also both basic and varied enough to teach new concepts without using any clues or hints to hold your hand.

Some have wondered, in the TIGForums’ Feedback, why the difficulty can go a bit up and down between some levels. Tatsunami, however, explained it as a design choice to “stimulate the player’s motivation.” What do you think?

Trailer: Incredipede

By: Derek Yu

On: September 18th, 2011

Colin Northway, creator of the popular physics game Fantastic Contraption, unveiled his latest project at Sense of Wonder Night in Tokyo last week, as part of the Tokyo Game Show. Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. The game will put various obstacles in front of you that you have to overcome with your creations. From the looks of it, you’ll have a lot of options in terms of what you can make and how you want to get past each obstacle!

Colin has made it clear that Incredipede is very much work-in-progress, and the graphics do not reflect the final look of the game. A video of his SOWN presentation can be found below (the noisemakers are provided to the audience to sound their approval).

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Closure Coming to PSN

By: Derek Yu

On: September 17th, 2011

The puzzle-platformer Closure is coming to PSN in 2012, according to creators Tyler Glaiel and Jon Schubbe. The game, which began as a Flash project on Newgrounds, treats darkness as empty space, and all of its puzzles revolve around that concept.

The team is planning on released PC and Mac ports of Closure some time after the PSN release.