Set Sail in 100 Puzzling Levels in The Voyage, from the Creators of The Curse

Mojo Bones and Toy Studio, creators of The Curse, have launched their latest puzzle game: The Voyage. Featuring a similar structure to The Curse, players must solve a wide variety of puzzles across 100 levels and 6 difficulty levels, all with Captain Bucklebeard trying to stop them. The game is available now for a launch price of $0.99.

The Curse Goes Free for the Holidays in New Release

The Curse Goes Free for the Holidays in New Release

Dec 12, 2012

Ho ho ho and a thumbs up to all! The Curse, Toy Studio’s puzzle game of many hats, is celebrating the holidays in a special way: by going free! That means that it’s now possible to try and tackle The Mannequin’s devious brain-bending puzzles without paying the steep fee for buying it. One to three dollars for 100 puzzles? Too expensive!

However, on Android, there’s an interesting situation: because apps can’t go to free without being able to go back to paid, those who want to take on The Mannequin without any financial investment will have a special holiday version to download. It’s the same as the full version, but with the added benefit of seeing The Mannequin in a Santa hat. He’s still rather villainous – but festive!

Considering that games going from paid to free is a rather valid strategy for apps on the App Store, it seems silly that there’s still no way to do it on Google Play for developers. But still, there’s ways for developers to pull it off. The Curse: Holiday Sale is available now from Google Play, for a limited time.

The Curse Review

The Curse Review

Oct 2, 2012

The Curse is a game for people who are clever. It’s a brain-teaser game, where the goal is to solve 100 puzzles put forth by the mischevious Mannequin, who’s been freed from his curse. The only way to get him trapped back in the book? Solve all those puzzles. Good luck, because the puzzles the Mannequin has come up with are some real doozies.

There’s really a lot here to do: there’s a wide variety of puzzle types, from riddles to tangrams to even timing challenges that require a sequence of lights to be activated in such a way that given their delay, they will all go off simultaneously. The game is structured to reduce frustration as all 100 puzzles are available to be played right at the beginning of the game. Get frustrated with one puzzle? Jump to another. Enjoy riddles? Play all of them first! The puzzles will all still be challenging, but at least there’s the ability to rage-quit a particularly baffling one to jump to a different event without quitting the game. Also, the Mannequin is deliciously smarmy with his dialogue, and with the fact that he sees fit to give the player a thumbs-up every time a puzzle is solved. He may be a bad enough dude to be locked inside a book, but game does recognize game.

I do wonder how many people are going to beat The Curse without cheating in some fashion, as walkthroughs do exist. The puzzles seem to require so many different kinds of thinking, that it may take some kind of genius savant to solve all of them effectively. I am not that genius, and I think this might serve as some kind of great intelligence test where he who does not cheat truly succeeds and ascends to a higher plane of existence, or gets to hang out with Stephen Hawking. Something like that. I’m not saying that Googling will turn up some answers, but I ain’t not saying it either.

For fans of brain-teasers, The Curse is jam-packed with enough swear-worthy puzzles that if there’s a swear jar nearby, it will burst. This is either because of all the money inserted into said swear jar, or because it will be thrown to the ground in frustration because that stupid lights puzzle just won’t work! Ack!

Word Off Review

Word Off Review

May 4, 2012

Toy Studio’s new word game Word Off is a game with two hooks: one, it’s designed to have the feel of more of a strategy game with direct conflict, and it’s designed to be multiplatform.

Players alternate turns on a board, forming words from letters in their territory or in unoccupied tiles. The goal is to try and get as many points from formed words, or to conquer the opponent’s base tile. Maches are formed from adjacent hexagonal tiles, with no overlapping. Players can spend their coins on boosts that can be used to grant special advantages, but they are limited to 3 per games.

The game is perfectly multiplatform, with it being developed in HTML5. All versions of the game are the same, and can actually all easily use the same account to log in, whether it be via Facebook or via proprietary account. I’ve played games using the same account on iOS, Android, and web browser.

The game does seem a bit ludicrous with its in-app purchases: coins cost quite a bit, at $4.99 for 40 coins. New board layouts cost upwards of 90 coins. While coins are earned after each game, it still might take a few games in order to even unlock one new board; this is excluding any boost usage as well. Players looking to pick this up long-term should not expect to get a free ride for very long.

The drawback of the HTML5 interface is that with Word Off, it’s not particularly designed to fill the screen. It appears to be designed for the 960×640 resolution of the iPhone Retina Display, and it is displayed centered on every other display. This means on tablets that there is plenty of black space around the game board.

The games are fairly short; I haven’t seen a base conquered yet, and it seems like either a terribly bad stroke of luck combined with skillful play from one player is the only way that it would happen. The option for longer games would allow for some interesting strategies to come in to play.

Word Off has its issues, but the technological achievement is fairly impressive. It’s definitely worth checking out for at least that aspect alone, as they absolutely nailed it. Some other tweaks to pacing and pricing could help smooth out the bumps in the road with the game.

Word Off Coming to Android, and Every HTML5-Capable Browser Under The Sun

Chicago-based mobile developer Toy Studio has announced their new word game Word Off!, which comes with a lofty promise: true cross-platform play.

The game itself is a battle on a board with hexagonal pieces, with 15 turns where players try to conquer territory with the words they form, hoping to gain points and defeat their opponent. There are boosts that can be played to help get an advantage on opponents. The game will be free to play, and there is mention of coins to purchase boosts, but boosts will be limited to three boost uses per game.

The game will be available on Android when it releases in many forms. The developers promise that it will be available for Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Nook Tablet, so it will likely be available through their respective app stores. As well, the game will be available on any HTML5-capable web browser, and on the iOS App Store as well. All these versions can play against each other, and players can log in from any device that they have. The game is tentatively scheduled to release for almost every device under the sun later this month.