PuzzleManiak HD was brought to my attention by listening to TWiT.tv’s Security Now, so I figured I would give it a try.
PuzzleManiak is a set of 20 games that make you think. Each of the games has their own set of challenges and difficulties. I’ll highlight a few of my favorite games: Light Up, Untangle, Rectangles, Bridges, and Net.
Light Up is a game where you are presented a grid containing black squares, white squares and black numbered squares. You must place dots next to each numbered square, but the number of dots cannot exceed the numbered square. For instance, if you have a squared numbered ‘3’ you must place 3 dots next to it. Each dot illuminates the row horizontally and vertically. Additionally, no two dots can be in the same row unless separated by a numbered square or a black square. There are six different size boards, ranging from a 7×7 grid to a 17×17 grid. Along with the six board sizes you also have three difficulty levels so you can mix and match to your liking.
Untangle is a game where you must untangle a mess of wires. The key is that no wire may be crossing another. All of the wires are connected via dots that must be manipulated in order to untangle the mess. There are six different difficulty levels, meaning number of dots that must be moved. This ranges from six to 26. Believe me, be prepared to spend a bit of time with the 26 dots to untangle them all.
Rectangles is a game where you are presented a grid with numbers. Each rectangle must contain that number of squares. Each square must be within a rectangle otherwise the game doesn’t end. The numbers range from 2 to 36 depending on difficulty. The difficulty levels are based on size of the board. The board sizes range from 7×7 to 15×15. This can make for an interesting time trying to determine how all of the pieces fit together.
Bridges is an interesting game where you must connect dots together. Sounds easy, right? Well, not always. You can only go horizontally and vertically and each dot has a number and that dot has to have that number of bridges connected to it. Think of it as an interstate road system. You can double up on bridges leading from each dot. So a dot with a ‘5’ can have two bridges left, two bridges towards the bottom and one to the right. Like Light Up, there are six different grid sizes along with three difficulty levels. The board sizes are from 7×7 to 17×17.
The final game I’ll discuss is called Net. The idea is to adjust each of the squares so that they are all illuminated. Not every one has to lead somewhere, but they all must be illuminated. The tricky part comes in the number of leads coming out of the middle square. Sometimes you get two, sometimes you get four, depending on the game. There are five grid sizes from 5×5 to 13×13 and two difficulties, with walls and without walls. Without walls means that the flow can pass from the left edge to the right edge, much like PacMan could travel from the left side of the screen to the right side.
Overall for a $1.99 you can’t beat PuzzleManiak . High scores are maintained for each game as well as difficulty level so you can see how well you’re doing. It will get you to think about how things work and is really good to get kids thinking outside the box. There is also an iPhone Version of the game. You can get your copy from the App Store today. Be prepared to spend hours playing the game. And don’t ask me where your time went.
Image sources are from PuzzleManiakHD.
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