Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

New handheld puzzle games fun, addictive

Filed under
Reviews
Gaming

What's great about puzzle games is that there's no real commitment and no story line. But beware of the addictive nature of handheld puzzle games that you can take anywhere -- it's easy to jump in, but getting back out is another story. Here's a look at two of the latest:

'Polarium'

"Polarium," for the Nintendo DS: When it comes to puzzle games, the common thread always seems to be matching. Whether it's colors, patterns, symbols, fruits, vegetables or Snoods, get three or more in a row and you're set.

With Nintendo's "Polarium," even though you're either turning black tiles white or white tiles black, there's a lot more to this puzzle. Using a stylus and the touch-sensitive screen of the Nintendo DS handheld unit, players flip black-and-white tiles to eliminate and entire row, column or block of tiles.

In Challenge Mode, players have a limited amount of time to match and eliminate tiles, while lines of various tiled patterns continue to fall, adding to your job.

But, the best part of the game isn't the Challenge Mode, it's the Puzzle Mode, where your job is to take a set pattern of tiles and eliminate it with one fell swoop of your stylus.

The game has 100 built-in puzzles, but you have the option of creating your own and trading mind-bending puzzles with friends via Wi-Fi.

This "E-rated" title is available for $30 on Nintendo DS. It could be more aesthetically pleasing, but will add hours of head-scratching puzzles to your arsenal.

'Mercury'

"Archer MacLean's Mercury," for the PlayStation Portable: There's something strikingly familiar about this game, circa Atari 1984. Still "Mercury," does a lot more than "Marble Madness" could ever do.

The premise has been done many times before -- take an object and maneuver your way through obstacles and moving platforms to get to the end of the level without falling off the edge.

But in "Mercury," from Ignition Entertainment, liquid mercury is a lot harder to maneuver than a solid marble. The game uses an engine that calculates realistic reactions of liquid mercury -- including splitting into one or more wayward blobs -- based on player movements.

Players tilt levels to move the blobs through ramps, mazes, pile-drivers, mercury-munchers and all sorts of other moving obstacles. The goal is to reach the end of each of the 72 levels within a specified amount of time and with a specified amount of mercury left.

Players also have to make their way through each level by spray-painting the mercury different colors to make it through same-colored gates. As the levels progress, blobs need to be combined to create new colors.

This $40, "E-rated" title is graphically stunning for a puzzle game and provides an addictive addition to the PSP lineup.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Canonical Publishes Impressive Roadmap for All of Their Ubuntu Products

Canonical is working on multiple projects at the same time, and it's often difficult to understand their plans, but Director of Product Strategy Engineering Olli Ries has shed some light on how their inner workings are structured and how things are evolving, from the inside out. Read more

Making the Case for Koha: Why Libraries Should Consider an Open Source ILS

When Engard educates people on what open source is, what it means to use open source software, what types of software are available, which companies use it, and who trusts it, they see that their fears are unfounded, she says. To back up her discussions with facts, she maintains bibliographies on open source and open source security. She also has a set of bookmarks on Delicious, and she wrote a book, Practical Open Source Software for Libraries. “[W]hen people come to me and say open source is too risky … I have facts and figures, just what librarians want, to say no, all software has potential risk associated with it. You have to evaluate software side by side, and look at it, and really take the time to compare it. … I know you’re going to pick the open source solution over the proprietary because it is so quickly developed, so quickly fixed, so ahead of the curve as far as technology is concerned.” Read more

Review of Ubuntu Phone – A Work Still Under Progress

However, what one must remember is that the Ubuntu Phone is still a work in progress. The company is issuing updates every month and is relying on its current user base regarding the feedback and ideas. Right now, only three Ubuntu phones are present in the market ranging from $186 to $328 roughly. Ubuntu has been in hibernation mode for the development of this OS for a long time and it looked like they might be consumer ready now, however, after seeing the Ubuntu Phone it looks like they might be far from that scenario right now. Read more

Android M news: Release date delayed, to come out in September or October?

Google reveals that the newest Android operating system initially codenamed as "Android M" will be delaying the release of Android M Developer Preview 3 for selected Nexus devices. The information was shared by the company's employee and moderator Wojtek Kaliciński on the Developer community page in Google+. Read more