Posts Tagged ‘Puzzle Game’

Pheus and Mor

Posted: September 24, 2012 in 4.5 Hearts
Tags: , , ,

Ah, the puzzle platformer, a truly wonderful genre. A puzzle platformer is any game where getting to the other side of the level involves more than just jumping on your enemies, usually involving complex puzzles, levers and such. In Pheus and Mor, the player controls a boy named Pheus and his dog, Mor. In each level the player has to get both of them to the door. The controls are simple enough, WASD for one character and the arrows for the other. The puzzles, storyline and graphics are what make this game truly awesome.

The graphics are really clean and crisp, simple and cute. In the first set of levels, everything is really bright and fun, then things started to get dark. I’m only about half way through, but I’m starting to suspect that the main character might be dead. Its a really crazy feeling. I love the difficulty of the levels, but also that I can go slowly and really think about how its all playing out. Every 4 levels or so, you get another panel in the comic that is the story of the game, letting you slowly fill the pieces in.

One of the hardest things about Pheus and Mor is navigating the puzzles while controlling two characters. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, for example Pheus is very light and can’t break things and Mor can’t jump. My only complaint so far is that I’ve figured out I need to collect the keys to open the big door in the middle of the room, and I can’t go back to re-try the level where I didn’t get the key but know there is one. Hopefully when I finish the others, I can go back and get it.

Over all, this is a very well made game with an excellent way of slowly revealing the plot and a wonderful mechanic. The art style really adds to the entire experience. I’m absolutely hooked and just want to keep playing. I expect to be sad when its done. I award Pheus and Mor 4.5 out of 5 hearts.

4.5 out of 5 zelda hearts

If you’re interested in playing Pheus and Mor, you can find it here on Kongregate.

Logic Puzzles

Posted: June 4, 2012 in 4 Hearts
Tags: ,

And here’s something completely out of left field. You know those puzzle books you can get for like $5 in the grocery store? They’re in the magazine aisle. They have these puzzles in them that a lot of people love called logic puzzles. These are actually a specific type of puzzle where you use some kind of chart and a list of clues and figure out what’s going on in the story. Usually they involve a lot of people doing fairly similar things, like buying plants or owning pets or both. The problem is that those books usually offer maybe 3 or 4 of those puzzles. I would love to find a book that is just those. So I went on the hunt. Turns out they exist online.

Logic puzzles are a time honored tradition for puzzle lovers. They involve a lot of thinking and, understandably, require logic. For those of you who have never played one before, tradition dictates that a circle is put where the answer is correct and an X where the answer is wrong and they are solved using the following kind of grid. The clues will also generally omit 1 item from each category of item. It can take a while to solve some of the puzzles, and for the harder ones you may have to take a guess in order to solve them.

The clues generally speaking look something like this.

Now then, to the specifics of the Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles. You can register for the site and it keeps track of your scores on various puzzles and you can compete for the high score on each given puzzle. The puzzles themselves are randomly generated, and you can access puzzles you’ve tried before but didn’t finish on your scores page. The difficulty of puzzles is also randomly determined, so you may end up finding some really hard ones. I found the set up of the site to be very simple, but very nice. It was very easy to use and very enjoyable. I award the Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles a 4 out of 5 hearts.

4/5 Hearts

If you would like to try out these logic puzzles, you can find them here.

Blood typing was an important discovery in medical history. Karl Landsteiner discovered the major blood type groups while doing research into transfusions, without which many of the surgeries we take for granted these days would not be possible. He also won a Nobel Prize for his discoveries, which is why this game exists, but more on that later. I learned about blood types back in 10th grade biology and then again in Anatomy and Physiology in college, but lets face it, I don’t remember most of it because I barely applied it, if at all. That all changes now. Nobelprize.org brings us The Blood Typing Game, a hands on learning experience where the player is taking on the role of an emergency room doctor doing blood typing tests and transfusions.

The purpose of The Blood Typing Game is to teach younger people about the important of blood typing and is one of many new games on the Nobel Prize website. It also just happens to be a very nicely made serious game. The best part is that you can either read the 3 pages of information before the game starts which teach all about blood typing and the importance of getting it right for transfusions, or you can just jump right in and learn by doing. I chose the latter, just to see if it could be done. It walks you through the process quite nicely, and the messages telling you what to do stay there, but are easily ignored once you don’t need them any more.

One of the things I really liked is that while the game is hands on and scientifically accurate, its not overly bloody. I’m actually really squeamish about blood and I could play this with absolutely no problems. That alone gives them high marks in my book. I suspect that that may be a large part of why the graphics are the way the are. Everything is just slightly cartoony, not quite real. Just enough off from reality that anyone can play without getting grossed out or triggering phobias.

You can also see deeper into what’s going on at any time, which really helps with understanding the material being presented. The feedback presented is really good, and actually startled me a few times. After your patient screams once because you screwed up doing a transfusion, you never want to make a mistake ever again.

My one issue with The Blood Typing Game is that there are only 6 missions. The end of the last mission strongly implies that you can get new patients, but I followed their instructions and got the same batch I had already solved. This does seriously reduce the replayability of the game, which hinders learning to a degree. But overall, its a very well made game and it succeeds at its educational goals. I award The Blood Typing Game a 4.5 out of 5 hearts. Well done!

4.5 out of 5 zelda hearts

If you’re interested in playing The Blood Typing Game, you can find it here.

Sugar, Sugar

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Do you like sugar in your coffee or tea? How precise are you on how much you put in? If you like exactly 100 grains of sugar, then you will definitely like this game. Sugar, Sugar is a flash-based puzzle game that can be found on Kongregate. The basic idea is that you have to get sugar into the appropriate cups by drawing lines on the screen. Sometimes that involves changing gravity or using filters to change the color of the sugar. There are 30 different levels and a freeplay mode that can be unlocked.

The interface is really simple and quite cool. I particularly like watching the little bits of sugar fall. Its kind of mesmerizing. The controls are simple, you just need to click and drag to draw a line. My only complaint (echoed by some of the commenters on Kongregate) is that it would be quite nice if there was a tool to draw a straight line.

The difficulty of the puzzles ramps up at a very nice rate, with no level being too hard for the player to beat after a little thought and effort. One of my favorite random things about this game is that all the text and any buttons on the screen count as in game objects and sugar can pile up on them. I also really like the color filters. In later levels, they make things very interesting and challenging.

Sugar, Sugar is a very fun game. I definitely suggest giving it a try. The concept is interesting and the style of it is very professional. I award Sugar, Sugar a 4 out of 5 hearts. It would have scored higher but there are times when the player has the proper solution but because of issues with the line drawing, it doesn’t end up working properly.

4/5 Hearts

If you’re interested in playing Sugar, Sugar, you can find it here.