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#Puzzle

Tappingo Review

DLC, please?

Tappingo is anything but your run-of-the mill, been-there-done-that, played it a dozen times with a different name and color palate puzzle game. Created by indie developer Goodbye Galaxy Games, Tappingo is a delightful puzzle experience that, while short and sweet, is full of enough depth and challenge to attract and entertain gamers of all skill levels.

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Montague's Mount Review

Shipwrecked.

PolyPusher Studios, the Irish developer behind Montague’s Mount, describes its latest project as a “psychological rollercoaster ride through isolation, desolation, and one man’s tortured mind.” Its perception of the game it created doesn’t quite align with the game it actually released, where the rollercoaster is more like rush hour traffic, and the only tortured mind is my own. Montague's Mount is a first-person adventure/puzzle game about a man who awakens on the beach of a deserted fishing island, unable to remember who he is or why he’s there. Promising although the concept sounds, concept only goes so far without the execution to back it up.

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Chuck's Challenge 3D Review

Hey Kickstarter people with too much money on your hands: how about trying to fix Social Security?

If you were given 13 grand, would you use it to make a sequel to an Atari Lynx puzzle game? I can't say that would be my first choice, and I bet it wouldn't be yours either, but could nearly 400 Kickstarter backers go wrong? (I can see Takedown: Red Sabre players are reaching for pitchforks; easy, folks, this is nothing like that. Stand down.) Another adventure in crowdfunding has resurrected one man's decades-long dream, and after playing the final product via Desura, I consider my brain partially teased, moderately amused.

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Toki Tori 2+ Review

Looking for a hardcore puzzle game? You've found it.

There are casual games, and then there is Toki Tori 2+, the Lord of the Rings of devilish puzzle games: epic, gargantuan, and deep as hell.  It may look cute and innocent at first, but have no doubt, this game is both immensely creative and insanely difficult.  Try as I did, I was ultimately unable to beat it after three weeks of battling its fiendish design.  While I’m disappointed in myself, I realize that a lot of gamers are going to suffer some of the same problems I did with it, and while it’s a great game I have left unfinished, I still have a lot to say about it.

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Papo & Yo Review

Papo & Yo isn't just a game -- it's interactive poetry.

Papo & Yo is not a AAA release.  There is no bloated budget here, or tacked-on multiplayer, or DLC to be had.  Likewise, the game isn’t as polished as most big budget releases. But what it does have – what so few AAA titles have – is heart.  This game was forged with a soul.

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Storm Review

Ah, nature! Full of peaceful beauty and decimating power!

I am almost, sort of, maybe certain that I am not an idiot, at least not all of the time. I have my moments, though, and Storm gave me quite a few. Pitting my wits against two-dimensional idyllic nature scenes that desperately need my intervention to move fruit from one place to another was an enjoyable and challenging experience until the game’s physics and controls ruined everything.

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Dungeon Hearts Review

There’s definite magic at play in this concoction.

Does the world need another match-three puzzle game? Most definitely not! But, hey, Dungeon Hearts got made anyway, and it’s actually pretty cool. Conjoining a fast-paced action RPG with the heretofore played out match-three puzzle concept is a pretty slick way to innovate on two formulas we’ve had our fill of. Mixing the two together adds extra tension to the color matching bits and a real need for skill and practice in the combat.  This well balanced combo makes for an addictive puzzler that I keep coming back to even though I am terrible at it.

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Pid Review

My, that’s a polished turd!

Beautiful aesthetics, wonderful music, and just about perfect controls are all you could hope for in a platformer save one very important factor and this eluded me for a while.  I couldn’t figure out with so many great things going on in Pid why I hated it so very deeply.  Eventually I realized that its well-crafted elements were completely overwhelmed by the boring, mediocre, and at times maddening level design.  It’s a shame that the designers primarily focused on the window dressing bits instead of considering all the things you would actually be doing when you play.  Pid struggles with knowing what sort of levels it wants to present, switching from puzzles to difficult platforming to stealth to long periods of just waiting around or running in a straight line.  Each of these disparate level types (and more) are middling at best on their own and when combined are a complete drag.  Pid’s wonderful presentation can’t save it from the tedium packed into every single minute of its tortuous length.

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Dokuro Review

Despite its charming personality, this puzzle-platformer doesn't have much going for it.

I've been putting off writing this review for at least the past week because I was having a hard time contextualizing my feelings for Dokuro. In short, the game wasn't gripping me, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was that turned me off. Was it the progression? Couldn't be - it offered a consistently growing repertoire of abilities. It wasn't the aesthetic; that held plenty of appeal, as did the characters contained therein. All along I thought to myself that it must be the challenge. But with a mix of easy and harder puzzles, how could that be the problem? Well, after some further reflection, there's no question that the challenge level of the game is the cause of my apathy. Let me explain.

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Quantum Conundrum Review

No need to wait on Portal 3 to get your first-person puzzle-solving fix.

When Portal hit the market, it took gamers by storm. Never before had the world experienced such a game – the unique portal mechanic was tied to a first person perspective, complex puzzles, and a compelling story and antagonist. Quantum Conundrum, the latest work of Valve alum, Kim Swift, captures at least part of Portal’s essence, but comes up short in the character and story department. First person puzzle solving takes the center stage and the Inter-dimensional Shift Device (IDS) proves to be an interesting tool/concept to drive the complex dimension-shifting puzzles; however, the lack of an overarching concept and vision disallows Quantum Conundrum from reaching the cult stature of its influencing material. Despite this, the interesting mechanics and the well constructed “test chambers” make for a fantastic game that shouldn’t be missed.

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