Category Archives: Puzzle

PSP Minis Roundup: A spinning octopus, block dropping and a Ninjamurai?

It’s been a while since we’ve had a look at some of the PSP’s Minis, mainly because of the PSN crisis and recently a lot of them looked like complete pump. There hasn’t exactly been a deluge of titles since PSN resumed normal service either. Two of the three games we’re looking at today come free with PlayStation Plus, which some gamers might still have as a part of their Welcome Back package.

Continue reading PSP Minis Roundup: A spinning octopus, block dropping and a Ninjamurai?

Akimi Village (Review)

Many console gamers have avoided this kind of game on facebook for years, but put a genre back onto consoles and I just can’t help but take a look. Akimi Village is a light-hearted building sim where you control a giant avatar, plodding around a floating island helping the Akimi recreate their world. The genre is almost non-existent on PSN, but XBLA regulars might remember NinjaBee’sKeflings’ games, which are very similar to this one.

Most of the land is shrouded in a dark cloud called ‘The Gloom.’ Any Akimi folk under this cloud are unable to work and you can’t build on the land either. You must plant healing acorns to clear the land of Gloom and liberate the wondering little dudes. These elusive acorns can only be earned by rebuilding the settlement.

Continue reading Akimi Village (Review)

Slam Bolt Scrappers (Review)

Don’t dismiss this one as another Tetris or Bejeweled clone as Fire Hose Games have made a real effort to try something new, ambitious and a little bit crazy.

The aim is to destroy your opponent’s tower with your own tower of weaponised blocks. Using familiar (read: exactly the same as) Tetris shapes you must create same-coloured squares (4×4, 8×8 etc) which will then convert into a weapon. There are different weapons or shields for each colour. Blue is a shield and protects the next square along, red fires rockets, purple a laser, orange repels enemy missiles with ping pong bats, green launches little drills and even more weapons await you in the later levels. These weaponised squares can be powered-up by making the squares bigger by adding extra blocks, a bit like Lumines.

Continue reading Slam Bolt Scrappers (Review)

Shift Extended (PSP Minis Review)

As a part of a strange experiment you’re tasked with escaping each room using your Shift ability in this maze-treading, platforming puzzler. If you’re a fan of games like Echochrome, Exit or Crush, you’re going to love this. It’s even better.

To reach the exit door, you must activate a ‘Shift’ (L or R button) to invert the game world. You can move along the white background or change to travel the opposite black side. When a Shift is activated you sink into the ground and the world is flipped 180 degrees. Shifts can only be performed when your feet are planted on the ground. So when confronted with a spiked column, just change it around so it’s a hole to jump over. Still confused? Have a quick look at the video below. Continue reading Shift Extended (PSP Minis Review)

Buzz: The Ultimate Music Quiz (Review)

This music-based quiz title covers a wide range of music, ranging from the 60s (and earlier for a few) up to modern day tunes. The questions throughout the rounds try and reflect this wide range, aiming directly for family play with a wide range of ages accommodated for.

Buzz can accommodate the usual 1-4 players or even stretch to 5-8 if you have an extra set of Buzzers. New to Buzz? Well you need to get a set of buzzers which each have a large red button for the menus and four coloured buttons to choose answers from each multiple choice question. It’s instantly accessible for anyone. Continue reading Buzz: The Ultimate Music Quiz (Review)

Flight Control HD (Review)

If you fancy a simple game that you can just sit there for hours with, then look no further. That’s right; this is a PlayStation Move game that you can play sitting down. Finally!

The aim of this point and click-style game is to safely land as many planes and helicopters as possible. You select an aircraft and draw a line for it to follow to the runway or helipad that matches its colour. The Move controller could do this sort of thing in its sleep as it proves easy to learn and will cause an immediate addiction to anyone you pass it to. Continue reading Flight Control HD (Review)

Actual Crimes: Jack the Ripper (PSP Minis Review)

After sneaking around on the DS and PC under the ‘Real Crimes’ banner, Jack the Ripper brings his mystery to the PSP Minis platform with this hidden object / puzzle game.

For those of you not familiar to the hidden object genre, you are presented with a cluttered screen filled with a ridiculously wide range of objects. The objects here all fit the setting of the late 1800s. Using a cursor you must find the items listed on your left. The graphics are well drawn and generally static apart from the odd bit of rain for example. The music sets a quietly sinister tone while the ambient noises add a decent touch of atmosphere to the game. Continue reading Actual Crimes: Jack the Ripper (PSP Minis Review)

Archibald’s Adventures (PSP Minis Review)

£2.49 and 191 levels. BAM! That’s what we call a good deal! This is a 2D puzzle/platforming game that starts off with easy puzzles before soon leaving you scratching your head wondering what the hell to do next.

You control Archibald on his skateboard trying to find his way out of Professor Klumpfus’ creepy mansion/laboratory by hopping across gaps, avoiding mutants, flicking switches, moving boxes and teleporting, with the aim of reaching the exit door for each of the levels. Continue reading Archibald’s Adventures (PSP Minis Review)

The Mystery of the Crystal Portal (PSP Minis Review)

Hidden object games are a nice match for the PSP Minis range, with their relaxed nature passing the time on a commute or ad break with ease. Route 66 scored well with a 7 a few months ago, so let’s see what G5 Entertainment can come up with.

There’s an actual story here, as a young archaeologist (that absolutely does not look like Lara Croft) is searching for her father who went missing while searching for the Crystal Portal. It’s not exactly Fallout 3, but the effort is appreciated. Continue reading The Mystery of the Crystal Portal (PSP Minis Review)

Mahjongg Artifacts (PSP Minis Review)

The launch of Minis on the PSP has been the best thing to happen on the underused console for years. Even the cack games only set you back a few quid. Mahjongg Artifacts (their spelling) doesn’t have to worry about such things and is well worth the £3.99 asking price.

We get the feeling this version of the ancient game is a bit simpler than the original, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hooked within minutes. All you have to do is match up pairs of identical blocks, that have pictures on them. Some fall into groups like Roman numerals, Egyptian eyes and so on. Some blocks from the same group can be paired despite being different, such as flowers, weather icons or theatre masks.  Special glowing blocks can be paired with any of its kind or suit. Continue reading Mahjongg Artifacts (PSP Minis Review)

Planet Minigolf (Review)

Ah minigolf games and Demon’s Souls in the same weekend. Will my pads survive? Will my sanity hold? Probably not.

£6.29 gets you an impressive amount of crazy golf shenanigans with 144 holes, 6-player local or online multiplayer and a course editor to create your own knuckle mawing middle finger salutes to reason. Continue reading Planet Minigolf (Review)

Block Cascade Fusion (PSP Minis Review)

Another block puzzle game for the PSP. It’s simple, colourful and cheap. What’s not to like?

The setup is very similar to the classic Lumines games. Blocks come down from the top in three different colours, either in squares of four, a block of six or a line of three. Rotate them on their way down to line up five of the same vertically or horizontally. Try and get as many connected to the line as possible for a combo.

The last block of the five needs to be put in last as you can’t add to a highlighted group afterwards like you can in Lumines. After the timer at the side of the screen reaches zero, a line will sweep down from the top and clear away any linked squares. Sometimes it takes ages to arrive, 25 seconds can feel like a lifetime when your screen is filling up.

Continue reading Block Cascade Fusion (PSP Minis Review)

Desi Adda: Games of India (Review)

This is a collection of traditional Indian village games that range from kite flying to board games. The story mode features a young Indian man from America, coming back to his family’s village to learn about the culture. We say learn about their cultures, but he really just wants to mess around and learn how to play the local’s games. It’s a pleasant enough way to ease in western gamers who have no idea what the games are, but should also prove handy to players that already understand them as the controls get explained before each game.

You walk (so very) slowly between areas, talking to villagers about the games. The only real reason to play is for the tutorials on them. I’d advise quickly learning how to play then quitting out and playing them from the mini games menu where you can choose your sides and so on. Continue reading Desi Adda: Games of India (Review)

Blue Toad Murder Files: Episodes 4-6 (Review)

These are the final three episodes of the murder mystery / puzzle game. Solving random puzzles involving maths, logic and common sense helps bring you one step closer to finding the perpetrator of that episodes crime, with the episodes linking together for the grand finale.

For those of you not familiar with the series you can pick up a bundle with all six episodes for £19.99 on the PSN. You play as one of four detectives (another three people can play along too) from the Blue Toad Agency. As you interview villagers and suspects you have to complete a puzzle before they’ll talk. Most of them have very little to do with your investigation. Continue reading Blue Toad Murder Files: Episodes 4-6 (Review)

Patchwork Heroes (PSP Review)

Rather than use missiles and the like to defend their city, these citizens have decided it’s easier to fly onto these giant approaching warships and saw parts off them until they crash out of the sky. Bizarre, but brilliant. It’s a bit like an inverted update of the retro game Qix.

The story doesn’t exactly grab you, but it’s charmingly animated and the mad gibberish language that everyone speaks may give gamers fond memories of Okami. It’s the gameplay that’s fantastically strong here though. It’s alarmingly simple, yet has that vital ‘one-more-level’ feel to it. Continue reading Patchwork Heroes (PSP Review)

Deflector (PSP Minis Review)

Deflector is a basically designed yet challenging puzzle game, similar to some mini-games you may have played in bigger titles before. The aim is to deflect a laser beam into a receiver on a complex grid with you looking at it from above.

This is done by placing mirrors on the grid and rotating them to bounce the laser off in a new direction. Before setting the mirror in place you must make sure -via a dotted line that indicates the resulting path of the laser- that it will not hit any environmental objects that will end the game. These objects include apartments, trees, bombs and explosive barrels. Take a quick look at this video for an example of the early levels. Continue reading Deflector (PSP Minis Review)

Route 66 (PSP Minis Review)

Forget all thoughts of motorbikes and possible cheap Road Rash thrills right now. This is a game that has more in common with the Where’s Waldo books that everyone had in the 1990s, albeit considerably less congested. It’s actually pretty damn good too.

Instead of looking for people, you use a cursor to find eight objects cleverly hidden onscreen in a scene picture from one of the many locations along the eponymous Route 66. You scroll around the picture with the analogue stick and move a cursor with the d-pad, selecting items with X. The items can range from broccoli to Buddha’s, hazelnuts to harmonicas and pinecones to peace signs. They’re very specific too, so don’t go thinking boot means shoe or anything like that. Continue reading Route 66 (PSP Minis Review)

Peggle (Review)

Old news for PC and 360 gamers, but Peggle has finally made its way to PS3 via the PSN service. If you enjoyed PopCap’s other games like Bejeweled 2 and Zuma then there’s every chance you’ll love this too.

The aim is to rid the screen of all the orange Pegs. You do this by shooting a ball at an angle from the top the screen, then simply sitting back and letting gravity take care of the rest as the ball bounces of walls and blue and orange Pegs. Pegs light up when touched and disappear a few seconds later, longer if the ball is still pinging around lots.  Eventually the ball falls to the bottom of the screen, either into a hole or into a moving bucket which lets you use the ball again. You get ten balls to clear all the orange Pegs out, but more balls can be earned by saving them at the bottom or racking up a large combo by bouncing off lots of pegs. Once the last orange Peg has been hit the ball lands in one of five pits for an extra score bonus. Continue reading Peggle (Review)

PixelJunk Shooter (Review)

There are already a large number of 2D shooters on the PSN Store, but the genre hopping PixelJunk series from Q-Games has beaten them all with their first shot at the title. PixelJunk Shooter is a compelling game designed with a distinctive, simple, full-coloured style and perfectly balanced gameplay.

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Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle Episodes 1 & 2 (PSN Review)

Episode 1: Little Riddle’s Deadly Dilemma
Episode 2: The Mystery of Riddle Manor

It’s about time PSN got some murder mystery puzzles games going. Professor Layton on the DS has had his own way for much too long now. So the creators of the Buzz! quiz games whisk us off to the “Quintessentially quaint” countryside village of Little Riddle. Continue reading Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle Episodes 1 & 2 (PSN Review)