Puzzle games are the overlooked genre of the platform in my opinion. They lend themselves perfectly to the level or two at a time ability a mobile device offers, yet for whatever reason they get buried under the sea of other titles. But developers plug along and release the sleeper hidden gem of a puzzler and sometimes people take notice. A few great puzzlers have recently been featured by Apple by one form or another. Here are a few of them that are worth checking out when you need a break from all that shooting or need a time filler that you aren’t prepared to fill with too complex a game.
Pebble Jump: A new game recently on the New and Noteworthy section in the App Store by NBTD Productions, Pebble Jump is a mix between Checkers and Peg Solitaire. What makes this game stand apart from the myriad of Peg Solitaire clones is the Checkers aspect. You must jump over adjoining pegs to reach the goal. This can lend to some very challenging levels. Though you must do some jumping in normal Peg Solitaire games, it is somehow because of the absolute need to leap frog that just makes it all the more addictive as you try to find the right combinations.
More than 100 levels are divided between Easy, Medium and Hard difficulties. But what is very nice is the unlocked levels within those difficulties from the start. So if you get stuck on one it is perfectly alright to skip it and come back with a new perspective. The worst puzzler is one in which progress is stifled due to your own brain freeze. A nice addition to this game is the hint system. If you do use it however, beware that your star for that level will be of a different color. Completionists should make a special note of that because once the hint ability is invoked there is no going back to change that star’s color.
MiniTURN: Fans of the game TURN by Creative Patterns will embrace this new title in the series. Developed as a completely reworked TURN Ep. 1, this entry into the series features easier graphics with your favorite characters Kurt and Camila.
As the name suggests, MiniTURN turns your world upside down in order to get from your starting point to the exit. But with the rotation of the room, gravity shifts as well. Watch your head for flying boxes or enemies ready to kill you. Use gravity to your advantage and use those same boxes to kill those enemies and set yourself up with the key at the exit. A series of levels await in three different settings that need patience and perseverance to solve. A whole strategy is necessary to guide your character to the exit.
Crystal Caves Lost Treasures: Based on the popular hit Crystal Caves Classic by Rake in the Grass, this spin off is aimed at the more casual gamer and is a fun adventure puzzler. Collect buried crystals in Ancient Civilizations. Can you be the brave adventurer smart enough to unearth them? Sounds easy? Most good puzzlers are definitely easier said than done. This is no exception.
Maneuver through the underground past all kinds of traps and enemies. Clear a path through the easy to plow dirt that will drop boulders on enemies’ heads, and strategize a path to move the boulders, rocks and other objects out of your way to gain access to those sheltered from the sunlight crystals. A nice and needed restart button is available if you strategize yourself accidentally into a corner.
Easier, less cumbersome levels await you – perfect as a time killer when you only have a few moments to solve a level. With over 100 levels that is a lot of time to kill!
Birdie In Trouble: The sophomore title from Klik! Games has you guiding a little yellow tweetie bird home to his nest. But it isn’t always a straight path from A to Z. Therefore you must fly, skip, and hop to your goal in a path that allows you to step on every leaf on the tree. Each leaf must be stepped on along the way to unlock the exit door of the tree.
Special ability leaves are encountered along the way which guide you one or two leaves in the direction of the arrows. Some even make leaves disappear or even reappear when triggered. Tapping the screen moves Birdie along his path. Be prepared to restart often as the difficulty of the levels ramp up rather quickly.
So there you have it. Looking for a puzzler to make the time pass? Tired of the same old action shooter? Just want to exercise the brain now and again? Here are four puzzlers that deserve a space on any iPod Touch or iPhone for those inevitable moments where only a level will do.