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Classic puzzler Triazzle comes to the iPhone

Perfect for passing 5 minutes or 50, Triazzle is one of those games that's easy to pick up but hard to put down. (Clever, huh? I just made that up. Or read it somewhere.)

Any diehard puzzle fan knows the game Triazzle, which started out in jigsaw form and later landed on PCs.

The goal: Arrange a set of triangular pieces so that the sides of each piece match up with sides of the board and the other pieces. It takes just seconds to learn, but, man, is it a challenge.

Triazzle for iPhone and iPod Touch delivers a beautifully animated, musically rich experience for newcomers and fans alike. It has all the makings of an instant classic.

The game gives you a choice between 9- and 16-piece puzzles and novice, intermediate, and advanced skill levels. It also has special 9-piece levels for kids, offering simplified graphics and unlimited hints.

Yes, hints. One difference between iPhone Triazzle and its cardboard predecessors is the presence of hints. You get a fixed number per level; each one reveals which piece belongs on whatever triangle you tap. (It's still up to you to figure out the piece's orientation, though.)

That's a terrific enhancement to the game, as it gives frustrated players the option of a helpful nudge while allowing purist puzzle-solvers to play hint-free if they prefer.

Other enhancements include a lovely musical score, various sound effects, and puzzle characters that wiggle, glow, or otherwise animate when you make a correct match.

If you decide to throw in the towel on a puzzle, just shake your iPhone to see the solution.

Triazzle costs $2.99, a small price to pay for a game that delivers one of the best puzzle experiences the iPhone has seen to date. Just one problem: Once my 9-year-old daughter gets her hands on it, I may never see her (or my iPhone) again.