Puzzle

Pit Chess

Chess Meets Tetris

Type:
Flash
Developer:
devwil
Suggested By:
devwil

Pit Chess is a clever little puzzle game that, as odd as it may sound, combines elements of Chess and block-falling games like Tetris.

At game start, there's some arrangement of white and black Chess pieces on the board. Pieces may move as in Chess, with one exception: after they move, they fall down the board, to the lowest open square in their column. Because of this, rooks may only move horizontally, and pawns may move only to capture, since a vertical motion would just result in falling back down. Also, kings, uniquely, may swap position with a piece of the same color.


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Where's Waldo? in Hollywood

Tabletop Tuesdays: Hidden Object Gamebook

Waldo in Hollywood
Type:
Book
System Requirements:
Good Eyesight
Developer:
Martin Handford

Where's Waldo? is a series of illustrated hidden object gamebooks by British author and illustrator, Martin Handford. Martin Handford's gambebooks pioneered the popular casual game genre, hidden object games. Wally, the official British name is localized as Waldo (North American), Charlie (German), Holger (Danish) and differently in numerous other languages.

The Where's Waldo? in Hollywood book and the app both have adjustable difficulty levels. At the easiest difficulty you look for Waldo in his bright red striped shirt and bobble hat. If you want to challenge yourself, you can look for his friends, other characters, or small objects. The game is challenging because Waldo is surrounded by hundreds of colorful characters who are in comical situations. The digital port is superior to the book because it offers competitive play, light animation, and a hint system. In Where's Waldo? in Hollywood, Waldo travels to different big-budget film sets where hundreds of fans, actors, and crew members are crowding in elbow-to-elbow fashion.


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One and One Story

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Mattia "MaTX" Traverso

One and One Story is a puzzle platformer with a clever approach. There are no enemies, and only one trap (the traditional spike pit), but the characters also die if they fall too far. And there are crates to push, which of course can be used in some circumstances to diminish the fall distance.

So far, so traditional; what's different about One and One Story is that there are two characters, one blue and one pink, and your objective on each level is to get the two of them together. Every few levels, the behavior of the two characters change. In some, you can switch from one to the other; in others, they move in concert; in others they move in opposite directions. The difficulty is that you must ensure that neither character dies, and of course when you're focussing on one, it's sometimes easy to fail to notice the danger in which you're putting the other.


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Dust

Type:
Other Web-playable
System Requirements:
Unity plug-in installed
Developer:
Student team at the Art Institute of Phoenix

Dust is a beautiful and odd little game, and is, unsurprisingly, a student showcase finalist for the 2012 IGF awards.

It's a sort of sidescroller, in that motion is left-to-right, along a linear path, but the gameplay is not what you'd expect from a typical sidescroller. You are a moth, hovering in the air, and move with WASD; you are trapped in an attic, and can see the moon glowing outside. As you move away from the window, the game teaches you that you can revive dead moths if you get close enough to them; they then follow you about, and can push objects. Sometimes, you need them to do so to move obstacles out of the way; other times, you need them to push an object into a cobweb to clear a path. Movable items are marked with numbers, indicating the number of revived moths you need to move them.


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English Country Tune

Type:
Demo Download
Developer:
increpare

English Country Tune is a little puzzle game in which you control a blue square, flipping it in different directions with the arrow keys (or, on an iOS device, with a swipe). In each level, there are some number of yellow balls that you must get into yellow boxes; sometimes, there is also a blue square where you must end yourself.

The level itself is 3D, so you're flipping in three dimensions; some squares are blocking. In addition, wherever you are at present, gravity is "local down" to you, and if you flip a yellow ball into space, it will fall down, relative to you; quite often, this means losing the ball as it falls out of the screen. But if you were to approach it from the other side, it would fall in the other direction, which is often the desired behavior.


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Water Galaxy

Physics Puzzler

Type:
Demo Download
Developer:
Wired Games

Water Galaxy is a pleasant little physics puzzler that, as with most good puzzle games, uses a handful of elements, combined in different ways, to create diverse challenges of increasing difficulty.

In a sense, it's a cannon game, but rather than trying to destroy an enemy, the conceit is that you are are shooting water from a planet to your "mothership;" apparently your race needs water. The idea that you travel interplanetary distances to get it is absurd, but whatever.


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Reflex

Finger-Twister

Type:
Free Download
Developer:
Alex Shipley

Reflex is a sort of shmup/puzzle game that's very simple in conception but rather hard to play.

It's a top-down scroller, with a Brickout-like array of blocks moving toward your ship; you score points for shooting blocks, which disappear when shot -- except for grey "metal" blocks. You need to navigate around them, and suffer damage whenever your ship intercepts a block.

The difficulty arises because of two factors; first, you move with WASD but can shoot in all four directions with the arrow keys. Thus, maximizing your score means alternating shot directions -- and, as in Robotron, dealing with two joystick-analogs takes some getting used to. Also, if you are approaching a metal brick, say, you need to shoot to one side to open up a brick there, slide quickly over, then quickly shoot ahead before you intercept that brick, which is tricky.


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Chain Reactorz

Type:
Other Web-playable
System Requirements:
Unity plug-in installed
Developer:
Zen Coder

Chain Reactorz is a level-based puzzle game in which you control a gun at screen bottom. At various locations on the screen are "atoms," and you must "destablize" them by hitting them with your bullets. Each bullet has four prongs, at 9 degree angles from each other, and it loses one with each bounce, fading away after the fourth is lost; when it hits an atom, it sinks slowly toward the "nucleus." As it does so, you may rotate it so that the prongs point in different directions; when it reaches the nucleus, it explodes, emitting a new bullet in each direction pointed by a prong. These bullets can, of course, impact other atoms.


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Halcyon

Digital Harp Puzzler

screenshot
Type:
Other
System Requirements:
iPad
Developer:
Zach Gage and Kurt Bieg

​​Halcyon is an abstract, match-two puzzle game exclusively on the iPad. Color triangles traverse from left and right along sets of strings. When two triangles of the same color face the same direction, they connect and are removed. You create perpendicular paths by sliding your fingers across the touch-screen to match sets. If wrong-color triangles collide, the game is over. When you remove enough matching sets, the level is complete and you repeat the process in the next level. The audio feedback tie-in is innovative and makes ​​Halcyona pleasure to play. When you move your fingers across the strings, it plays notes like a harp.

​​Halcyon is a 2011 Indiecade finalist.


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Prelude of the Chambered

Doom-Like Navigational Puzzle

Type:
Java
System Requirements:
Java installed
Developer:
Markus Persson

Prelude of the Chambered was put together by Markus Persson (aka Notch), the creator of Minecraft, for a 48-hour Ludum Dare competition.

It's a 3D game, but with pixellated graphics reminiscent of Doom. Movement is with the arrow keys (A and S to strafe), and space-bar is "use." The game start is a little confusing; you appear to be confined to an area with no exits, though you can see monsters moving beyond barred doorways. Facing the walls and pressing the space-bar, you eventually discover that some wall sections -- not visibly any different from others--are breakable.


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