Listen to the Joystiq Podcast (because your ears can't read)
Add to: My AOL, MyYahoo, Google, Bloglines
Joystiq presents
Posts with tag puzzler

Henry Hatsworth's brilliant return

Disappearing off the map shortly after it was introduced last February -- and briefly reappearing at E3's Into The Pixel exhibit -- EA Tiburon's mystery puzzle/platforming DS game has finally been officially announced as Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure.

To jog your memory, the colorful 2D title follows British adventurer Henry Hatsworth as he explores 30+ levels over five exotic worlds, hunting down artifacts that will grant him new powers and ultimately unlock a golden mech suit. And that's just the top screen!

On the touch screen, players are presented with a puzzle game which can be used to gain power ups and helath, as well as transform Hatsworth into different forms. Jump past the post break for videos of the game that were debuted earlier this year at GDC.

Gallery: Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure

Continue reading Henry Hatsworth's brilliant return

E308: EA Tiburon's quirky 2D platformer/puzzler reappears

Remember this khaki-clad British explorer, Hatsby? EA Tiburon's Kyle Gray introduced the character's charming sprite and his untitled puzzle/platforming DS game at GDC earlier this year, but we haven't seen or heard any news from him since! All we have had to go on all these months were the videos he left behind, which we've embedded past the break!

Artwork for the game has mysteriously popped up on the official site for Into the Pixel, an art exhibit collecting exemplary works of video game art and scheduled to open to the public at October's E for All Expo. The piece, titled "Puzzle World Twilight" and submitted by EA Tiburon concept artist Jay Epperson, shows Hatsby taking to the nighttime skies against a backdrop of Chinese paper cut outs.

Though we were already excited with the hybrid game's promises of an opera-singing boss, a robotic construct of Big Ben, and some unexplained touchscreen puzzle running alongside the platforming action, after seeing this gorgeous art, we can't contain ourselves! Tell us your secrets, Hatsby, you magnificent bastard!

Continue reading E308: EA Tiburon's quirky 2D platformer/puzzler reappears

Coloring in Plop Invaders

Plop Invaders can be very fun and rewarding, provided that you actually know what you're supposed to be doing. Even if you're completely clueless, though, as we were for the first two hours when trying it out, the homebrew title is still quite addictive. Luckily for you, we'll be going over the basics so that you're not left in the dark by the game's French tutorial.

The match-three core is deceptively simple -- slide a row or column to zap a batch of "plops" off the screen. Knocking out one of the smiling pieces changes its background color until it finds a hue to settle on. Once you've painted the entire grid, you advance to the next level. We weren't aware of this mechanic at first, as we mistook it as a graphical glitch. You can imagine how frustrating this got towards the later, larger puzzles.

The battery on the right acts as a timer, recharging slightly with each cleared clump or combo. When the timer runs out, the level ends, sending you back a few puzzles. There are two helpful power-ups that you can get after a long chain of popped plops, one of which recharges the battery, while the other starts you off with a fresh set of pieces.

After the fifth level and an animated cutscene (!), the game starts to randomly litter the playing field with what appears to be dog poop. Contrary to common sense, bagging up the excrement is actually inadvisable, as eliminating too many of them leads to an automatic loss. Leaving too many scattered, however, severely limits your ability to clear plops.

Even at its .51 build, the puzzles are tremendously satisfying, and we highly suggest that you try Plop Invaders out. Considering that the homebrew game is available for free to play on your DS or emulator of choice, do you really have any excuse not to?

A puzzling connection

Setsuzoku no Puzzle, or Puzzle of Connections, is worth a playthrough just for its synthy score; besides, downloading the homebrew game and listening to the music tracks takes little to no effort. Actually clearing a level or even learning how to attack the puzzle, however, will require a considerable amount of work.

Modeled after Match It, a 1989 arcade game, you'll have to knock out 140 tiles against a timer. Each multicolored square has a symbol -- moons, stars, and other Lucky Charms marshmallows -- that you can link with an identical piece to remove them both. Though your connecting line can stretch all the way across the playing field, the catch is that the link must turn no more than two corners to be valid.

You'll suffer several frustrating losses before you get to the point where you've trained your eyes enough to spot similar tiles, but the satisfaction that comes after everything "clicks" and you complete a level is ample reward. If you get stuck, you'll be able to hit X to have the computer eliminate a match for you several times. Head past the post break for more screenshots of the homebrew puzzler.

Continue reading A puzzling connection

Word wrapper's delight

We go nuts over puzzle games that put our near-limitless lexicon to good use, so we take every opportunity to highlight releases like Bob Fossil's Word Wrap. His homebrew project digitizes the word hunt games found in daily newspapers where you have to form as many words as possible with a restricted set of letters. The end result is not only fun, but it manages to improve on the traditional pencil/paper experience.

You spell out your text by tapping the characters on the touchscreen, sending them to the top screen's list of completed words. Jumbling the letters to get a new perspective of your selection has also been simplified with a "wrap" button. Call us lazy if you want, but this setup beats the pants out of having to write everything out by hand!

There are two Time Attack styles where you can work against the clock by either finding the longest word or collecting a specified amount of words. There's also an Endless option where you can sift through the shuffled letters at your own pace. Each mode comes with three difficulty levels, but being the word geniuses we are, it's "go hard or go home" for us.

[Via Drunken Coders]

WRUP: More puzzles than you can solve edition

For us Americans, we received quite the puzzling update this week. Not puzzling in the sense of confusing, but puzzling because they were basically all puzzle games. Those with a thirst for word and number puzzles are in for one grand old time, apparently.

So, what will you be playing this weekend? Plan on taking the DS out into the wide world to get your game on? Or will you be enjoying the plush comfort of your home with your dual-screened buddy this weekend?

Previous posts:
What were you playing?

DS Fanboy Favorites: Eric's top five

All this week, the DS Fanboy staff is letting you in on a few of their favorite titles. Each day, a different member of the staff will present their personal top five DS games along with a snapshot of their gaming paraphernalia and habits, in an effort to provide our readers with a little more information on the tastes and personalities of our writers.

When my afternoons aren't busied by hours of photoshopping cat heads onto pictures of my friends, I pass the time with puzzlers and plumbers on my DS Lite. But those kitten-free days are few and far between, so I end up being able to only fit either the most polished or the most eccentric games into my packed schedule. Wario: Master of Disguise? Sorry, I've got things to do and feline faces to retouch. Lost in Blue 2? I'll have to pass -- I'm already lost in trying to get these whiskers to look perfect.

My collection is a mishmash of AAA titles and niche releases, their cases piled atop one another like a Jenga stack of mismatched blocks, threatening to topple over at any moment. Just pulling a game from the middle of the shaky structure is an act preceded by hours of anxiety and self-doubt. Having my wife provide commentary during the ordeal, remarking "Oh god, it's going to crash this time for sure, I just know it. Why'd you even try, Eric?! Game over, man! Game over!" as I tug out my copy of Advance Wars DS doesn't make the challenge any easier.

So when I do manage to put aside the pussycat photos and secure a game to play, it better damn well be worth it. Journey forth and read which of those titles have captured a place not only on my top five list, but in my heart.

Continue reading DS Fanboy Favorites: Eric's top five

GBA wishes come true at The Old Well

Originally intended as a demo to entice interested publishers, The Old Well has been sitting in Athletic Design's vaults since 2004. The Swedish developer abandoned its hopes of a commercial release for the GBA title as years passed, and has decided to hand the puzzle platformer over to the homebrew community.

The Old Well starts with a cute introduction to the game's story and controls, but it's easy to pick up after a few seconds. Avoid the falling bricks that track your position, don't get trapped in a pit, and line up the slabs to progress to the next "level." You can punch, push, and jump over the blocks, so you aren't a complete slave to their whims. There's a limited amount of punches that you're able to throw before becoming tired, but you can get your energy back during the lunch breaks that come every ten levels.

The game plays out like a reverse Mr. Driller, forcing you to constantly move around and climb the accumulating landscape until you can pull yourself out of the well. It's a fun diversion, and you can't argue with the price.

Tetris and Boggle's illegitimate love-child

Though we've already spent the afternoon filling your plate with enough puzzle posts to feed you for the next week, we'd be remiss not to mention today's full-version release of WordUp!, one of the finest homebrew games to ever hit the Nintendo DS. WordUp! follows the footsteps of other stylus-driven puzzlers like Tetris and Zookeeper, combining accesibility and portability for an addictive mix.

Linguaphiles will take great pleasure in connecting the game's adjoining letter blocks, spelling out words to clear chunks of the playfield. The top screen serves as a window to your inevitable doom, colorcasting the continuous stream of blocks piling on top of letters you've neglected. The game ends if you go too long without clipping a column, but you're presented with a satisfying record of your longest word, the number of words rubbed out, and which word was repeated most often.

In addition to its solid gameplay, developer Superpanic sweetened WordUp! with an unlockable arcade mode, three difficulty options, and an original and catchy soundtrack. Drop past the post break for more screenshots of this excellent game.

[Via Drunken Coders]

Continue reading Tetris and Boggle's illegitimate love-child

Hacker gets revenge on Puzzle Quest's bullying AI

We're not certain what sort of demonic sacrifices Infinite Interactive made to grant Puzzle Quest its hellborn AI, but we imagine that the cursed contract that authenticated the ceremony was written with the blood of many innocents. The match-three puzzler does everything short of outright cheating, stealing your advantages and setting up multiple combos, each computer-cleared gem bearing the mark of Mephistopheles.

DS gamer Zaraf plotted a strategy that would tear down the AI's defenses and avenge dozens of unfair losses. Unwilling to spend months leveling up and making preparations, staying his vendetta, he hex-edited the game to to max out his character's stats. Zaraf then armed his warrior with a class spell called Deathbringer, enabling him to fill the screen with an amount of damaging skulls equal to half of his red mana. Head past the post break for the results caught on video.

Continue reading Hacker gets revenge on Puzzle Quest's bullying AI

Puzzle Quest's AI doesn't cheat, but you can!

If the number one complaint gamers have with Puzzle Quest is its limited availability at game shops, then the second most common point of protest would be the Puzzle/RPG's cheating AI. People are just as apt to sing praises about its addictive gameplay as they are to howl over the AI's godlike prescience. We've spent more than a few battles shaking our fists at the game as computer-controlled enemies racked up lucky combos and more extra turns than chicken on a rotisserie.

Sensing that the mob was two forums threads away from storming his house with torches and pitchforks, Infinite Interactive's Steve Fawkner made a public statement assuring players that the AI has no unseen advantages. Having worked on the code himself, Steve reasoned that he's too lazy to have programmed anything that advanced.

If that explanation isn't convincing enough, there are still steps you can take to even the playing field. You can unlock a debug menu by pushing in a complex set of keypresses, allowing you to activate several hidden features. Check past the post break for more details on the cheat code and a comic about Puzzle Quest's AI.

Continue reading Puzzle Quest's AI doesn't cheat, but you can!

Puzzle Quest loved by Penny Arcade, tossed aside by game shops?

Ever since Infinite Interactive released a PC demo for Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, gamers have been scrambling to find a DS or PSP copy of the title. The addictiveness of its Puzzle/RPG blend is matched only by its apparent rarity in stores. NeoGAF forumer Eric P aptly described the game and its limited distribution when he posted, "If Bejeweled is crack, then this is Space Crack that you can only buy from Space Crips in Space Angeles's space ghettos."

Don't expect those Space Crips or your local shop to hang onto unsold copies for too long, though. According to Penny Arcade, Electronics Boutique stores in Canada might already be taking the game off their shelves due to disappointing sales. Considering that this much sought-after title was released only a week ago, ousting it this early in its lifetime seems downright unconscionable. We really hope this isn't a trend that other North American retailers will follow.

Meanwhile, both the DS Fanboy and Penny Arcade offices have been caught by Puzzle Quest's steely grip, rendering us incapable of focusing our thoughts on anything else. Tycho and Gabe have drawn up two comics about the title in just the past week, dedicating several posts to their adventures obtaining and playing the game.

Infinite Interactive's Steve Fawkner published a short comic of his own, explaining Puzzle Quest's shipment shortage. Check it out past the post break.

Continue reading Puzzle Quest loved by Penny Arcade, tossed aside by game shops?

Gaming to Go!

This Month's New Games

Name Date
Bleach: Dark Souls
Oct 6
Legend of Kage 2
Oct 6
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Oct 6
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
Oct 6
My Japanese Coach
Oct 14
Korg DS-10
Oct 14
Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 Oct 14
FIFA Soccer 09 Oct 14
Populous Oct 14
Rock Revolution
Oct 14
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Oct 21
Oct 21
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Oct 21
Away: Shuffle Dungeon
Oct 21
Oct 21
Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Oct 21
What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver Oct 21
MySims Kingdom
Oct 28
Ninjatown Oct 28

Get homebrew on your DS!

Popular on DS Fanboy

The story
More like it
Bury the Shovelware: Wiffle Ball BTS
Show and Tell: One Dedicated Community Show and Tell
Gaming to Go: Kirby Canvas Curse Gaming to Go
Vicarious Visions talks Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades Features
DS Fanboy Review: Kirby Super Star Ultra Reviews
Another Week in ... (50)
Bury the Shovelware (17)
Contests / Giveaways (22)
DS Daily (579)
DS Fanboy Lite (42)
DS Fanboy poll (41)
Friday video (70)
Game Night (159)
Gaming to Go (16)
Items of Import (7)
Metareview (58)
Point/Counterpoint (7)
Promotional Consideration (58)
Show and Tell (74)
The DS Life (69)
What are you playing? (90)
Accessories (147)
Downloads (68)
Fan stuff (1420)
Features (292)
GBA (130)
Hacks (82)
Homebrew (230)
How-tos (75)
Imports (942)
Interviews (157)
Meta (136)
Mods (17)
News (3338)
Nintendo Wi-Fi (191)
Reviews (192)
Sales (197)
Screens (1000)
Video (744)
Rumors (193)



Powered by Blogsmith

Featured Galleries

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Show and Tell: Mother crafts
Kirby Canvas Curse
Mushroom Men: The Weapons
Mother 3 Fan Translation
Show and Tell: Five ways to love the Game Boy
Neopets Puzzle Adventure
Hot 'N Cold


Most Commented On (14 days)

Recent Comments

Weblogs, Inc. Network

  • Autos
    • Autoblog
    • AutoblogGreen
    • Autoblog Spanish
    • Autoblog Chinese
    • Autoblog Simplified Chinese
  • Technology
    • Download Squad
    • Engadget
    • Engadget HD
    • Engadget Mobile
    • Engadget Chinese
    • Engadget Simplified Chinese
    • Engadget Japanese
    • Engadget Germany
    • Engadget Korea
    • Engadget Polska
    • Engadget Spanish
    • Switched
    • TUAW (Apple)
  • Lifestyle
    • AisleDash
    • DIY Life
    • Gadling
    • Green Daily
    • Luxist
    • ParentDish
    • Slashfood
    • StyleList Blog
    • That's Fit
  • Gaming
    • Joystiq
    • DS Fanboy
    • Massively
    • Nintendo Wii Fanboy
    • PS3 Fanboy
    • PSP Fanboy
    • WoW Insider
    • Xbox 360 Fanboy
    • Big Download
  • Entertainment
    • Cinematical
    • TV Squad
  • Finance
    • BloggingBuyouts
    • BloggingStocks
    • WalletPop
  • Sports
    • FanHouse Main
    • NFL
    • NBA
    • MLB
    • NCAA Football
    • NCAA Basketball
    • NASCAR
    • NHL
    • Golf
    • Free Fantasy Football
  • Also on AOL
    • African-American Culture
    • Black Friday
    • Cars
    • Games
    • Maps
    • Money
    • Movies
    • Music
    • News
    • Radio
    • Sports
    • Stock Quotes
    • Television
    • Travel

Other Weblogs Inc. Network blogs you might be interested in:

PS3 Fanboy
  • Extended Hands-on: Crash Commando
  • Trophy Guide: Geon
  • Four more Burnout Paradise updates incoming
WOW Insider
  • Paladins nerfed on the beta
  • Guild Achievements may be incoming to WoW in the future
  • Molten Core now available for download
Xbox 360 Fanboy
  • NXE: A brief look at Netflix and the XBVM
  • Get a chance to preview the New Xbox Experience [update]
  • Video: Lara Croft shows off her motorcycle skills
Nintendo Wii Fanboy
  • Wii Warm Up: Living room surfing
  • Miyamoto: Guitar Hero, Beatmania are 'cover band' titles
  • RE 5's Kawata: Wii couldn't even handle RE 5's intro screen
PSP Fanboy
  • Zwei RPG breaks out in this debut trailer
  • Watch Tales of the World 2's new characters fight
  • European PSN Store update for October 23rd
Big Download Blog
  • Fallout 3 launch events at Best Buy and Gamestop; Steam pre-orders start
  • Championship Manager 09 announced with first screenshots
  • Download: The Sims 2: Apartment Life v1.16.0.194 Patch
Fanhouse Golf Blog
  • Erik Compton, With His Third Heart, Will Try to Cart It Through Q-School
  • Tiger Woods Needs to Work on Reading Putts
  • Tiger Woods, Subjected to Caddying