The Heist is a beautifully designed collection of different puzzles for iOS . It contains four puzzle types, most consisting of sliding pieces. The structure of the puzzles will be familiar to many users because they borrow elements from other games, such as ThinkFun’s Rush Hour and square sliding tile toys. But the game is rendered so beautifully that it brings it all to a higher visual level, making it satisfying both to the mind and the eye.
As you proceed in the game the puzzles get more challenging, but you may jump from different types whenever you’d like. Ultimately you need to solve a full set of puzzles to unlock the “vault”, opening up yet another set of exercises for your brain. Available for iPhone and iPad.
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation recently released an online game I designed. Working from the book “Pet Show!” we created a colorful sliding tile puzzle. The story features Archie, a young boy looking for his cat to enter the pet show. The game showcases many of the animals in the contest as sliding tiles, and the objective is to move the cat off the board by shuffling the other pets around.
The book was released in 1972 and it was fun using Keats artwork to build the game. There’s a distinctly retro color cast to the imagery, with rich ochres and deep browns. The mustache and turtleneck of one judge and the afro and mini skirt of the other give the book a nostalgic feel.
Touch-screen technology has changed the face of gaming by moving the player interface beyond button mashing into the nuance of sliding, flicking and multi finger gestures. The shape game “Cross Fingers” brings these developments to traditional tangram puzzles by having users slide small pieces of simulated wood on a flat board to match an underlying design. Developer Mobigame has put together an array of over 300 designs to work towards, ranging in complexity from two simple shapes to large constructions involving sliding bricks and chain reactions. The more difficult levels of the game force the user to visualize the consequences of moving interlocking pieces and are a fun challenge to the mind. The name “Cross Fingers” is derived from the touch-screen interaction on the iPod/iPad. In some puzzles the player has to move springs with one hand while shifting blocks with the other, leaving the fingers in a tangle like a tiny set of limbs in a game of Twister. Sample gameplay can be viewed in the video below. This game is great for all ages.