Action puzzle games


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A brief look at the term "Action Puzzle Games", followed by several lists of my favorites for iOS.

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  • Action puzzle games

    1. 1. ACTION PUZZLE GAMES you know, Tetris.
    2. 2. HISTORY
    3. 3. DEFINITIONSWhat do we mean by “action puzzle”?(Falling blocks?) action - falling gives Tetris its timing, pacing puzzle - in Tetris this is about geometric shapes, making them, seeing them, fitting them together
    4. 4. CONSEQUENCESSome other aspects of note about Tetris: It’s endless - the puzzle continues, if not forever, a long time anyway It’s recursive - the puzzle is the same, just gets harder, and builds on itself(Very few games do either of these things well!)
    5. 5. CONVERSION TO MOBILEUltimately, Tetris relies on not just mental skill, butphysical skill. This is where it falls down on mobile.Tetris does not convert well to single-input-play.(One-touch mode == dumbing down Tetris.)
    6. 6. MOBILE UIswipe - move your finger across the screen to control the left/right/downmovement of the falling block benefits - one finger playing is definitely preferred on mobile drawbacks - imprecise, slow, still need input for piece rotation (tap is common), generally needs to be taught in a tutorialon screen buttons - separate buttons for left/right/rotate/down benefits - faster input, UI is more “obvious” as it’s always visible drawbacks - need at least 3, probably 4 buttons, takes up valuable screen real-estate, no tactile feedback (so on-screen buttons are easy to “miss”)
    7. 7. MOBILE UI, CONT.invisible buttons - allow the user to tap on large portions of the screeninstead of presenting a visual button benefits - allows for the speed / gameplay precision of buttons, but no screen real-estate taken up, buttons can be much larger this way drawbacks - needs to be “taught”Accelerometer data can also be used as input. benefits/drawbacks - while initially novel, this tends to get old fast, and suffers from even more precision issues than swipe control schemes.A combination approach (with some or all of the options listed above) is ofcourse also possible. Some apps allow the user to choose from multiple UIoptions.
    8. 8. IOS GAMES WITH TETROMINOSSequoia Touch - simple but elegant “tetris from all sides” - blocks of 4x4disappearScrap - Sort of the opposite if Sequoia Touch, drag pieces from the middle tothe edges, trying not to fill up the entire gameboard. (Has UI issues, but ispretty fun.)Tetrasketch - gives you a set number of shapes, and you have to fit theminto the shape provided (Note that Zentomino is similar, and was first, but Ilike Tetrasketch better, partly because you “draw” the shapes.)Cirrus - Circular Tetris.Polycubes / Tetricity - like welltris
    9. 9. ORIGINAL ACTION-PUZZLE GAMES FOR IOSTrism - graddaddy of them all. Triangular match-3, made the dev $250k in 2months. Made the rest of us jealous.Drop7 - pieces fall with numbers on them, when they match their positionor grouping they are removedCritter Crunch - eat the blocks and spit them back out to match-3 (sort oflike Puzzle Bobble) - very nice artPrism - infinitely tall 2x2 tower with holes in it. Fill ‘em.Cosmos - same people who did Prism, very nice block “rolling” game.Numba - create chains of numbers in many combinations
    10. 10. P2 - ORIGINAL ACTION-PUZZLE GAMES FOR IOSDropOut - sort of a slide-a-row meets match-3, lots of game modes.Claustrophobia - send pieces up or down to match-3, while the gameboardmoves in toward the center.Async Corp - swap squares on either side of the gameboard to make largersquares of like colors that can be removed. Many game modes.Shibuya - single-column falling block game. Choose where to place thecolors as they fall.Magic Arrows - tap an arrow and it moves in its direction.Azkend - slide over groups of like-colors to remove them
    11. 11. IOS MATCH-3More match-3 honorable mentions: Gem Spinner MixADot bitFLIP TwistLink Match3D Gemmed
    12. 12. ACTION WORD PUZZLE GAMES FOR IOSImangi - slide-a-row to make words. very early in the app store.Bookworm - port to iOS of the popular popcap game.SpellTower - words-meet-Tetris, (not super original, but very nicely done)Puzzle Juice - a little more original version of words-meet-tetris, in this one,the letters are not revealed until you make a Tetris-style row of completedsquares, or touch a group of like-color squares.
    13. 13. ACTION PUZZLE GAMES A brief exploration & curation. by Martin Grider @livingtech Abstract Puzzle LLC