Puzzle

Enigma

Big Time Baller!

baller, baller
Type:
Free Download
Developer:
Enigma Team

I enjoy twitchy, brainy games. In Enigma you roll a ball around, precisely navigating around narrow ledges, lasers, and other dangerous terrain while trying to figure out how to match pairs of color cubes. The action portion of Enigma reminds me of the 80's arcade game Marble Madness. Using superior mouse gymnastics, and good deduction and problem solving skills, roll through uniquely challenging levels. There are great varieties of terrain, tools and objects that your ball can interact with, such as an umbrella that lets fly or black mats that will not allow you to turn.


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Cut It

Type:
Free Download
Developer:
Petri Purho

Cut It is a level-based puzzle game from Petri Purho that harnesses a physics engine, block shapes, and a simple but novel mechanic; you cut things.

You click anywhere on the game screen; a scissors appears, you drag to indicate the line of the cut, and release. On-screen blocks are cut along the line, and typically begin to fall, sliding apart along the cut. Your objective is to get a white block to a green platform, which solves the level.


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10 Second War

Self-Coordination

Type:
Free Download
Developer:
Matthew Hyndman
Suggested By:
Almost

10 Second War is kind of a neat little game. Minimalist in graphics and gameplay -- WASD to move and mouse to shoot -- it exploits one clever idea: You have a series of units to control, and in 10 seconds you must destroy all enemies in the level. But you control only one unit at a time -- then select another one to control. The second time around, your first unit is moving the way you told it to the first time, and killing any enemies it manages to get before dying, in the same timed sequence; with your second unit, you try to get more. And then a third unit, with the first two moving and firing...


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Feed the Head

Remember What the Dormouse Said

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Vectorpark (Patrick Smith -- No Relation)

Not often am I a fan of puzzle games like Machinarium; I can admire the ambiance but the static puzzles never seem to engage me. Vectorpark's puzzlers are also part toy, or as Greg christened them in his Windowsill review, "clicks & wiggles". The beautiful thing about these dream-like titles -- and the main distinction between them and the non-game apps Greg cited -- is how the toy aspects weave into the puzzle solving. Feed the Head is definitely more lucid than its spiritual predecessor but is just as enjoyable. I'd make another White Rabbit reference here for the sake of the review but I'm afraid of having to pay royalties to Jefferson Airplane.


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Cluesweeper

But Which is the -Core- Mechanic?

Type:
Flash
Developer:
nerdook
Suggested By:
DuckTapeAl

The name, and brief description, of Cluesweeper makes it sound dull and eminently forgettable: Minesweeper meets Clue. Boring.

But actually, it works pretty well. It's not really based on Clue(do); rather, clues provide a logic puzzle whereby you can exclude suspects.


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Secret Exit

Meet Me at Midnight

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Dice One

Secret Exit is a puzzle platformer with a charmingly retro look, truly funky chiptunes, and pretty good puzzles.

The puzzles break the fourth wall a bit; short text on each level provides a clue, but the solutions are not necessarily within the constraints of the platformer genre, strictly defined. Not that I want to provide spoilers (there's a video walkthrough at the site should you want one), but sometimes clues need to be taken literally, or as the sort you might find in a cryptic crossword.

Twenty five levels, not a lot of time out of your life, and pleasant enough.


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Bubba Time

Puzzle Platformer with Time Manipulation

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Killa Bunnies
Suggested By:
mcvair

Bubba Time was conceived as something of a munge between Solomon's Key and Braid -- and while the time manipulation elements are fairly minor, it is an excellent puzzle platformer in the mold of Solomon's Key.


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Top Hero

Logic Puzzler

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Dave Campbell
Suggested By:
jmzero

TopHero is a small game -- just 8 levels, and likely less than an hour to complete them all. But it's an unusual one, and well conceived for what it is.

In each level, there is some sequence of hexes through which a hero must move to reach the level exit. You are a dungeonkeeper, and you have a variety of traps and monsters you can place in empty hexes; there may also be some hexes that assist the hero by healing him or providing new armor.


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Continuity

Sliding Puzzle

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Holmlid et al.

Continuity was the winner of this year's IGF student showcase (and a finalist in the 2010 Indiecade Festival). It's a puzzle platformer with the classic "get the key and then get to the exit" approach, with minimalist stick-figure graphics; the twist is that each level is broken up into several rectangular regions, which can be repositioned.


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Why I Want To Fuck Barack Obama

It's The Hair

Type:
Shareware
Developer:
Quicksand Games

Quicksand Games, creators of We Want You bring us another politically charged masterpiece, inspired by J.G. Ballard's 1968 short story, Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan, it serves to transplant the political machinations of hyper-personalized political celebrity to the mechanics of puzzle-by-proxy AI manipulation games -- or, it's Lemmings with Barack.


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