Category Archives: Reviews

Myst III: Exile is Puzzle Vengeance

When I first played Myst so many years ago, I enjoyed myself so thoroughly I thought that one could not improve upon this greatness. When Riven came out years later, I was certain of it. Now, after much hype (which even included a film trailer at last year’s E3, no less), Myst III: Exile is here. Would this new chapter in the Myst saga be as great a puzzle experience is its initial predecessor, or would this be another cheap attempt to cash in on the Myst legacy? Only some serious playing time would reveal the truth. First off, I … Continue reading Myst III: Exile is Puzzle Vengeance

The Ward is a Sci-Fi Puzzle Experience

The Ward is a puzzle/adventure game that takes you to the Moon, to Mars and beyond. It has a background story that is as old as the universe itself. However, I will try to be a bit briefer than that. This story actually starts in the far future, during the inevitable collapse of the universe. A highly advanced race called the Makers decide that the only way to escape their fate was to travel backwards through time billions of years, bringing their culture and technology with them. Unfortunately, due to the collapsing of Space, the time traveling did not go … Continue reading The Ward is a Sci-Fi Puzzle Experience

Tower of the Ancients is Puzzle Psychosis

Tower of the Ancients is a puzzle game that might be best described as a cross between Tetris and Connect Four. The objective is to line up the blocks that fall from the sky to create horizontal, vertical, or diagonal rows of identical symbols. Get three or more identical symbols in a row, and they disappear. When the blocks stack up too high, you lose. This isn’t the most polished game I’ve ever played; the graphics aren’t terribly sharp, and trying to improve the resolution somehow changed my system’s color settings as well. The game has also frozen up during … Continue reading Tower of the Ancients is Puzzle Psychosis

Sheep is Wild and Wooly Fun

Empire Interactive’s game Sheep is a puzzle/strategy game that allows us to pull the wool away from over our eyes and seek the truth. Those seemingly innocent little lambs grazing out on the open fields are exposed in this game as being former genius beings from another planet. The story goes that originally these highly intelligent aliens were sent here in disguise long ago to observe the earth’s inhabitants. Only over time these sheepish aliens lost sight of their mission and made a self-fulfilling prophecy into metamorphosing into the passive seemingly mindless creatures we think of today as sheep. The … Continue reading Sheep is Wild and Wooly Fun

Lemmings Revolution is Puzzling Fun

If you are a fan of Lemmings games from the 1980’s and ’90’s, stop reading. Go buy Lemmings Revolution. Now! It’s more challenging, more visually appealing, and easier to operate than the earlier incarnations, and the Lemmings are still unbearably cute. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the history of the Lemmings games may have heard of real live lemmings, rodents that have been known to plunge off cliffs in communal suicide. The digital Lemmings aren’t any smarter, and it’s your job to guide them to the waiting hot air balloons that will carry them to safety without allowing … Continue reading Lemmings Revolution is Puzzling Fun

Traitors Gate is crown jewel of two companies

When Daydream (the makers of Safecracker, one of my all-time favorite puzzle games) and Dreamcatcher (the publishers of Cydonia, one of my all-time favorite puzzle games (notice the pattern?)) got together to bring us a new puzzle game, I thought I’d be in heaven. And mostly, I was. Traitors Gate is a totally brilliant game with beautiful art, a fabulous interface, engaging sound, and best of all – ingenious puzzles. It is marred only by some loading and startup problems that I will get into later. In the game, you are Raven, an agent with the CIA. The head of … Continue reading Traitors Gate is crown jewel of two companies

The Orient Express is a puzzling thriller

Puzz 3D has been producing high quality three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles for several years. Now they have made the leap from coffee table to CD-ROM, and they’ve done it with style. As a 3D puzzle fanatic, I wondered how easy the on-screen puzzle pieces would be to manipulate. I shouldn’t have worried. In addition to the expected ability to move and rotate individual pieces, the player can collect and sort pieces in up to seven "trays." This process is almost as good as it can get in two dimensions, except that you can’t manipulate pieces within a tray. They must first … Continue reading The Orient Express is a puzzling thriller

Pandora’s addictive box is worth opening

Jigsaw puzzles never had an equivalent on the PC until Pandora’s Box. With an understated environment and compelling puzzles, Pandora’s Box might be nirvana for those with obsessions for visual brainteasers. In Pandora’s Box, seven mythical tricksters have escaped to wreck havoc on the world. The player must capture the seven one at a time by solving many of the 350-plus puzzles. Puzzles fall into ten different types, each somehow shuffling or screwing up photos, paintings, sculptures or other miscellaneous art. Ultimately, your job is to put the art right. It occurred to me that this may just be another … Continue reading Pandora’s addictive box is worth opening

In the Valley of the Giants…

Music and art make Cydonia a memorable experience. Mars. Exciting and new. (I would continue substituting lyrics to the "Love Boat" theme, but none of us really needs that, do we?) Mars has been a lofty, and sometimes thought of as an unattainable goal for us meager humans for decades and decades now. And now, with Pathfinder still in our thoughts and the International Space Station actually underway, an adventure game that takes place on Mars seems only logical. Cydonia more than fits this bill. Cydonia is set in a somewhat-far-ahead-but-it-could-happen-to-us-if-we-don’t-watch-out sort of future. The Terran League [the governing body … Continue reading In the Valley of the Giants…

Wetrix: no love at first site, but love none the less

If you thought Tetrisphere was a mind sweeper, wait until Wetrix splashes home on your N64. Wetrix is by far the most challenging 3-D puzzle fighter I’ve ever played. If you don’t have the patience or the I.Q this game will leave you soak and wet! Congratulations to Ocean for developing a game that has originality and will nearly burn all your brain cells before you master it. Wetrix isn’t a "love at first sight" type of game, but you gradually grow more and more addicted to it. Don’t even think about trying any of the other modes until you’ve … Continue reading Wetrix: no love at first site, but love none the less

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