Puzzle 2 HD Review

Puzzle 2 HD Review

Jan 6, 2012

Games don’t always need to have clever names to get us to notice them, but it does help. But while Puzzle 2 is very humble in name, but do not let that fool you. It is a puzzle game indeed, and one that you do not want to miss.

You are represented by a yellow block, and your goal is to make your way to the yellow square. Simple enough, until you see the game levels. Single tiles are laid out in paths, which you must navigate by flipping the block end-over-end. Be careful – done tiles are fragile and will crumble away if you land on them end-up. Falling off the board erases all of the progress that you have achieved, and so you must judge your moments careful to prevent it. There are also various obstacles to overcome, or conditions to meet. For example, there are triggers throughout the levels, but their tiles are blocked by lasers. Or perhaps a platform is unreachable until you land on a button that deploys new, connecting tiles. Some conditions can only be met if multiple triggers are performed at the same time. But no matter how impossible a level may seem, there is always a solution. Lasers can be blocked by the green ghost block, and multiple triggers can be done when you use the mirror block (every action taken by the yellow block is mirrored).

But the bigger challenge is personal. Again, every level has a solution, and the elation you feel on completion is quite heady. But you’ll stop short when you see that points are awarded based on how efficiently you completed the puzzle. It’s easy to get obsessed with doing it again, but this time better.

They’ve done some wonderful things with the use of special blocks and obstacles. The art is beautiful, and the lack of any ground or landscape around the game tiles actually creates a sense of almost vertigo, which is very impressive. Each stage is harder than the last, with countless levels to unlock and improve on. There is always a solution to every puzzle, and you’ll eventually get them all.

The changes they need to make (perhaps when there is a Puzzle 3) are to the controls. The blocks rotate in essentially 3 dimensions, and flicking your finger in the desired direction will cause the blocks to roll or fall over. However one wrong mood sends your block flying out into space, and you start again at square one. there are no do-overs, and it is uncomfortably easy to topple your block in the wrong direction. A lot of hard work can go to waste far too easily.

Puzzled Rabbit – Review

What do rabbits have to do with puzzles? Well, normally not much, until Puzzled Rabbit. Puzzled Rabbit is a brain-teaser puzzle-solving game that uses a simple package to bring you some very complex conundrums. The rabbit is a little patchwork (or possible origami) fellow who just wants to move some red blocks into their homes on the game board. It’s not really clear why except that getting the blocks into their proper places will “make the rabbit happy”. I’ll be honest, it makes me happy to do, but it’s less to do with the rabbit and more about the fact that the puzzles are honest to goodness head-scratchers the satisfaction of solving them gives me some real Pavlovian delight.

To solve a puzzle you need to move the red block(s) on the screen into green brackets. You are graded on time it takes to solve, and number of moves taken to complete it. There are some simple physical rules – the rabbit pushes the blocks around one hop at a time with each hop counting as a move, and only he can only push the blocks in one direction at a time. Which means that if you get a block stuck in a corner then there is no way for the rabbit to get it out. But luckily the gamemakers saw fit to give us an Undo Move button, allowing you to retrace your steps back to where you went wrong or to start over completely if necessary. And it’s not all blind guessing, either. Clicking once on a block will show you (in the form of target blue circles radiating outward) what the moves are that you can perform on it. So with some trial and error any puzzle can be solved. But they do offer a challenge and that is what will keep you coming back.

A final treat that the makers added, likely as a nod to its mind-expanding properties, is quotes from well-known big thinkers as the prize for the completion of each stage. For example: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale. They didn’t need to add that little detail, but the fact that they do…well, I love it.

The controls are not difficult to use for me, but could be for others so I can’t say that it has no flaws. And the graphics and music are very simplistic, so it’s not very visually captivating. If you need that sort of thing to keep you invented in a game then you may be disappointed.