Paul & Percy Portable Review

Paul & Percy Portable Review

May 15, 2014

Dual puzzles? Paul & Percy Portable, bring it on! The mobile version of the game is finally upon us.

A brief sequence at the beginning leads us to the gameplay. As far as puzzles go, this one is chock full, and nicely so. The gameplay is leveled, and solving the puzzle moves the puzzle along. The gameplay starts with the two brethren on different sides of the screen. They can talk, and can actually help each other, but are restricted to their respective sides of the playing area. Each side has a retinue of blocks that can be obstacles.

The goal is to get the two protagonists to their respective escape hatches on each side of the split area. The brothers are restricted to specific rules; one major rule is that they can only jump one level of boxes. Using paul1logic, it’s possible to help each brother get to the rally point. For example, one tool is the movable box; boxes like this can be shifted from one half to the other, creating a step stool that didn’t exist prior. Sometimes, it’s necessary to move a box back and forth, or combine numerous ones, and so on. Figuring out what to move where can be an exhilarating process, and dialogue boxes do help along the way.

To add to the challenge, the game requires a set number of moves to complete a level; medals are awarded depending on how close one is to the ideal.

The game is presented in nice, expressive color, with simple animations that frame the gameplay positively.

The developer promises a no-nonsense gaming experience, and it feels as though the game delivers. Good mind benders are not too common, which is probably why this one feels so refreshing. All cards are on the table in this one, with no IAP or ads.

Twisted Arrows Review

Twisted Arrows Review

Jul 21, 2011

Logic games have been around forever. There hasn’t been a computer released in the last thirty years that didn’t have a brain-teasing, head-scratching, rage-inducing logic puzzler built for it, probably created by some evil masochist who hates all human life and wants it to suffer. That’s what Twisted Arrows wants to be, but unfortunately it falls just short.

The premise is simple. You have to move a ball from one point of the screen to another, using the tiles that have been laid out in front of you. Each of these tiles has a number of arrows on them, showing you the ways you can travel once you’ve landed on them. The twist is that when you land on one of those tiles, it’s going to spin round.

All of the tiles are different colors, and those colors represent the number of degrees they’ll spin once you land on them. It’s sometimes hard to keep track of which tile does what, and the game could really do with an always on-screen list that tells you, especially when one wrong move will lead to an untimely death and the single most annoying sound effect ever committed to code.

The thing you’ll notice whilst you play through Twisted Arrows is that, after the first few simple levels, it throws you straight into the deep end and expects you to be able to swim. Logic is often abandoned in favour of trial, error, and expletives, as you try and navigate an enormous maze of twisting tiles and hellish combinations.

It’s a shame, because the idea behind the game is impressive and interesting. What’s lacking is a smooth difficulty curve and a consistency between the mechanic and the player. With better designed levels, Twisted Arrows would be an excellent game, as it is, it’s a bit too confusing to earnestly recommend.

Hexxagon Review

Hexxagon Review

Jul 18, 2011

Shapes are quite often a spectacular source of gaming fun. Where would we be without triangles, squares, oblongs and other space sealing two dimensional objects? Nothing would make sense, we’d be left flailing around in the dark, the simple pleasures of gaming stripped cruelly away from us. The latest shape set to rock our worlds, albeit this time for the second time round, is the hexagon. Or rather, the Hexxagon. Even though that’s not actually a thing.

Hexxagon is an Android re-envisioning of the old PC classic. A mixture of puzzle and board game, it’s sort of draughts meets bejewelled, with a splash of strategy thrown in for good measure. The aim of the game is to cover a grid in hexagonal tiles of your colour.

You can move one tile each round, either by jumping it two spaces, or sliding it into an empty, adjacent space to make a new tile. Any counters of the opposing colour that are adjacent to your piece when it stops moving are converted to your colour. The game ends when you or your opponent are in such a position that the other has no chance of turning the game back into their favour.

There are plenty of differently shaped grids to play through, and the AI whilst not rampnatly intelligent is certainly smart enough to put up a decent fight. The game is a little bit old fashioned in its presentation, with outdated menus and a graphical style which, whilst not offensive, could do with a bit of spit and polish.

Hexxagon is a fun and interesting puzzle game that offers something a little bit different to the usual connect-three model that’s so popular at the moment. It requires a bit more thought and a bit less action, but that’s no bad thing. Sometimes the oldies are the best, and this is a fine example of a retro-remake done right.