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

GParted 0.21 Brings ReFS Detection, EXT4 For RHEL5, Reiser4 For Linux 3.x

Version 0.21 of the widely-used, GUI-based GNOME Partition Editor is now available. GParted 0.21 key changes according to its developers include a fix for a off by one sector error with GParted's internal block copy, support for EXT4 file-systems on RHEL/CentOS 5.x, and removing unnecessary duplicate actions when resizing a partition. Read more

Ubuntu Touch Apps Running in Unity Desktop – Video

Unity 8 for Ubuntu is coming along and Mir is also making good progress. One of the byproduct of all these improvements is that some of the apps that are designed for the Ubuntu Touch are also working on the Ubuntu desktop, with very little help. Read more

Debian Forked: All for Devuan and Devuan for All?

It is hard to see the direction Devuan will take, given that the project is still in its early days. The new community could create a shallow derivative, or it could fork the entire Debian archive. Another option is to try replacing Debian entirely and become a new gateway between upstream projects and users of all packages, which would require a lot more manpower and infrastructure. Read more

Wireless-enabled i.MX6 SBC offers remote IoT management

Eurotech’s “CPU-351-13″ SBC runs Linux on Freescale’s i.MX6 SoC, and offers ZigBee, GPS, extended temperature operation, remote IoT management, and more. Eurotech has been promoting the concept of managed Internet of Things devices long before “IoT” became the latest craze. The Yocto Linux ready CPU-351-13 single board computer is the latest of its embedded boards that can be remote controlled using its Everyware Software Framework (ESF) and Everyware Cloud Client. Other Everyware-enabled products from Eurotech include last year’s Intel Atom E3800 based Catalyst BT module. Read more