The Witness is a game brimming with secrets: daunting and multilayered mysteries that sunk into my subconscious, tracing snaking paths across my brain until I was literally seeing mazes every time I closed my eyes. That’s the kind of power The Witness has. It hooked me in with its masterful puzzle design and gorgeous visuals, then compelled me forward as I began to carve out my own purpose on the island. It’s a freedom granted by a world as welcomingly open to exploration as it is enjoyably challenging to solve.
The Witness is a fully 3D world navigated in first person, but revolves around solving two-dimensional mazes found on in-game panels, completed by drawing the correct path from a circular start point to a rounded end point. This simple, intuitive core concept burns at the center of the 700 or so puzzles you’ll find on The Witness’s enigmatic island setting. Tracing lines feels as smooth as cutting butter with both a mouse and a gamepad and is accompanied by a warm, electric buzzing effect. The pure tactile joy of communicating with these interfaces and the initial sense of wonder and mystery their very presence brings were enough to motivate me in the earliest moments of The Witness. But these light-up labyrinths quickly became more sophisticated, adding new rules and constraints to the basic maze-like structure and thus allowing for the real tough, yet fulfilling challenges to emerge.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam never rises to meet the comedic potential of its mirror-universe premise. Despite the excellent RPG battle system, the brothers’ journey to Bowser’s Castle is stymied by dull characters, mundane conversations, and frustrating roadblocks.
The pacing is constantly disrupted by Toad Hunts, a series of tedious trial-and-error minigames that feel like the worst kind of padding. I found myself cringing whenever Lakitu appeared, terrified that he would assign me yet another round of dull hide-and-seek exercises or timed chase sequences. The best of these Toad Hunts are simply puzzle or reflex challenges, while the worst had me wandering dull areas hoping I’d bump into the right little cluster of pixels and discover the last hiding toad.
A lot of times when downloading and trying out games from the App Store, I find myself dissatisfied with the game just minutes or hours after playing it. It’s not always easy to find those hidden gems that Apple fails to give the spotlight to, but when stumbling across one, I’ll easily get addicted to the game and not want to put the game down.
One such game is Atomas, which is a beautifully-crafted puzzle game by Max Gittel that is centered around the elements of the periodic table and allows you to combine groups of like elements with lower atomic numbers to form elements with larger atomic numbers…. Read the rest of this post here
Released seven months ago as a third game in the series, Har•mo•ny 3 is framed as a challenging puzzle game of “beautiful colors and captivating music, unified in perfect harmony”…. Read the rest of this post here
The hit puzzle adventure game Scribblenauts Unlimited has just launched in the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Join Maxwell and his cohorts as they traverse complex landscapes and summon the most unusual items they can imagine.
Scribblenauts Unlimited first appeared on Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U in 2012. Because of the open-world style exploration, it moved over to PC where it gained popularity on Steam. This iOS (and Android, if you’re interested) version is the first time the game has been released on a new mobile platform since its launch…. Read the rest of this post here