Kern is a very simple, typography-inspired arcade game in which you try to precisely position missing letters into falling words without creating an "unnecessary ligature," i.e., a spot where the letters overlap. The visual design and sound effects of this game are impressively slick and elegant throughout--as befits a graphic design-themed game--but aside from the variety of typography-related words and point sizes, the gameplay is fairly repetitive and one-dimensional, especially for a paid app. Overall, Kern will be best-loved by design nerds (although it should be noted that even the gameplay only has a superficial relationship to … Read more
Rolando Lite is a free preview of the first eight levels in Rolando, a clever and gorgeously realized arcade puzzler in which you coax charismatic little balls (Rolandos) through ever more complex levels. The game makes excellent use of the iPhone and iPod Touch, as you touch or drag to select Rolandos, tilt your device to roll them, swipe upward to jump, drag with two fingers to look around a level, and use your finger to rotate, push, and pull certain objects (these being "sacred" objects that only you--the exalted "Finger"--can manipulate).
These initial levels, … Read more
Beware, after playing just one game of Moraff's "MahJongg 2009," you'll find yourself eager to come back and play more. We just wish the trial period lasted longer.
The user interface is colorful, easy to navigate, and offers users a few extra features. Prominent menu buttons reside at the top of the window, and allow you to choose from different game designs, and apply game settings, such as the number of matches, and tile-set displays. There also are buttons to undo and redo moves. In terms of extras, you'll find a radio that plays soothing … Read more
Sudoku can get pretty tough. But if you're looking for fresh pastures, KenKen puzzles offer a new challenge.
The only problem for me: The New York Times' online KenKen site offers only 6x6 puzzles.
However, Nextoy, the company that distributes KenKen puzzles outside Japan, has spruced up its official KenKen Web site with considerably larger sizes--7x7, 8x8, and 9x9. The sites use the same Flash-based interface as The New York Times' puzzles, which NextToy supplies.
Nextoy President Robert Fuhrer said the puzzles are updated daily. For now, each is of medium difficulty, though larger puzzles are harder in general. … Read more
A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
My first infatuation was with Sudoku. Then my attentions moved to Kakuro. Now, though, I have a big crush on KenKen.
No, I'm not talking about marital infidelity involving various Japanese women. I'm talking about a series of logic puzzles that have made their way from that country to U.S. newspapers, Web sites, and mobile phones.
Though Sudoku certainly hasn't reached the level of ubiquity of crossword puzzles, it is certainly widespread. The 9-by-9 grids--each of the 81 cells must be populated with the numbers … Read more
Here's a fun extension from the experimental section of Mozilla's Firefox add-ons site. It's called Puzzle, and once installed lets you turn any image from a page you're on into a sectional puzzle with pieces that can be moved around. Upon completion you have the option to ramp up the difficulty, which goes all the way up to a 15x15 grid. It's also able to resize larger images into smaller, laptop-friendly versions.
To toggle it on you simply right click on an image and select which difficulty you want. It then opens up the image (… Read more
Before I get to this weeks apps, I found out about some bargain basement prices for a small selection of apps from Ambrosia Software. Aki Mahjong Mobile, Mondo Solitaire, and Mr. Sudoko are all on sale for 99-cents at the app store until November 30th (usually $9.99). If you have any interest in these games, now is the time to start downloading!
For this weeks apps, I'm including one free and one paid app.
We were already big fans of Aurora Feint: The Beginning, but with the addition of online battles and even more features, The Arena has become one of our favorites on the iPhone. Like the earlier iteration of the game, the action is centered around moving blocks to match up groups of three or more. Excellent graphics and rich sounds enhance the action as you mine for various elements.
As you stockpile each type of block, you can enhance gameplay by buying items at the in-world store which effect gameplay. These items then get better as you purchase upgraded items. We … Read more
For years, one of the biggest success stories in the casual game space has been San Francisco-based Three Rings and its hit, Puzzle Pirates, which has earned more than $14 million.
Now, the company has officially launched its Whirled platform, a system designed around user-created Flash-based massively multiplayer games that gives developers a way to make money with their creations.
Whirled has been in a closed beta for months, and it is still technically in beta, explained Three Rings CEO Daniel James. But the platform is now open to the general public and its money-making structure is available to any … Read more
For crossword fans, the question isn't why you should download this freeware crossword creator, but why you possibly wouldn't. EclipseCrossword may not be glamorous, but it will make quality crosswords of varying sizes in mere seconds. Better yet, your final creations will be printable or publishable in a number of formats, including Web pages.
The program uses a wizard-style interface to guide you through the steps of making your own crossword, starting with entering the clues and answers one by one and ending with a crossword puzzle that fits your size specifications. Both puzzles and word lists can … Read more