Tag Archives: Puzzle

Restore the Missing Colors in the Surreal Puzzle Adventure Game Discolored

Summary

  • Discolored is a surreal, first-person, puzzle adventure game where all the colors have gone missing and it’s up to you to bring them back.
  • Explore and solve inventive puzzles to restore the missing colors.
  • Discolored is available now on Xbox One.

In Discolored you explore a strange and desolate roadside diner at the end of an abandoned highway trying to restore the colors that have gone missing. The inspiration for this game comes from science fiction shows like “The Twilight Zone” and books by Ray Bradbury. I love how those stories have an otherworldly quality to them, giving off a sense of mystery with a slight hint of something uneasy in the air. However, at the same time there is a sense of wonder while experiencing the surreal nature of those worlds. I wanted to create something similar to that with Discolored.

Discolored

In the same fashion, the puzzles and gameplay of Discolored also have a unique quality that can fall just outside conventional rules of the modern world and require you to think outside the box. As you start to restore color to the world you’ll discover certain items must bend to the rules of each color. Keeping these rules in mind while collecting new items, and sometimes combining them together to solve puzzles, the world opens up more and you might also get the sense that you are not alone at this diner in the middle of the desert.

Discolored

The game’s minimalist art style is largely influenced by the traditional artists Edward Hopper and John Register whose paintings contain simple details, but it is in their striking use of color and light that makes their worlds come alive.

Discolored

For the story, I wanted to approach it with the same minimalism. Taking inspiration from games like Limbo and The Witness, there are hints here and there revealing the story, but it is also a narrative exercise in your own mind where you start to fill in the blanks of what is really going on. Be sure to find all the achievements to catch all hints of the story.

Discolored

Discolored was made mostly by myself over the course of two years. It was a fantastic experience creating it and I’m honored to be able to bring it to the Xbox One. I invite you to check it out and I hope you enjoy it!

Xbox Live

Discolored

Godbey Games LLC

7
Xbox One X Enhanced
A lonely roadside diner in the middle of the desert. The locals say it’s lost all its color. You are sent to investigate. Discolored​ is a strange and surreal puzzle adventure, taking place over two-or-so hours in a single desolate location. Your mission: restore the color to this once-vibrant world. What caused the colors to disappear? How can they be brought back? As you explore, you’ll solve an array of inventive puzzles and uncover a selection of clues – leading you to discover the deeper secrets of this strange place at the end of an abandoned highway. Features: First-person exploration fused with intricate and inventive puzzle-solving A single environment that changes and expands as you play A striking, pared-back aesthetic, with a beautiful haunting soundtrack Designed to be experienced in a single sitting – playable in two-or-so hours

Author: Jason Godbey, Director, Godbey Games LLC
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Discolored Is An Intriguing Puzzle Adventure, Out On Switch Soon

The steady feed of interesting Apple Arcade titles making their way to consoles is continuing, though Discolored is a game that’s also established a reputation on Steam. Developed by Jason Godbey, it’s a first-person puzzle adventure in which you’re sent to investigate a roadside diner that’s lost all colour.

It’s upfront about being a relatively short experience of a couple of hours, but it’s been well received in press and user reviews. Some of the puzzles in the trailer above show clever manipulations of the environment, along with visual tricks. It’s designed to be a ‘single environment that changes and expands as you play’.

It arrives on the Switch eShop on 1st July priced at $ 9.99USD / €9,99 / £8.99; let us know what you think in the comments.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Mystic Pillars, A Beautiful Puzzle Game Based On Indian Culture, Is Out Today

Mystic Pillars Key Art

You may have heard of Mancala, the brain-tickling strategy board game that’s older than the first recorded map of the world, but you may not have heard of its Indian variant, Ali Guli Mane. Originating in Karnataka in South India, the name “Ali Guli Mane” is a literal description of the board, which has a series of divots that the player can use to store their tokens.

Mystic Pillars, the first Nintendo Switch game from Bangalore-based studio, Holy Cow Productions, is a reimagining of the traditional board game set in Ancient India. A hundred Mancala-like logic puzzles lie between you, a mysterious traveller, and the answer about what happened to the fallen kingdom of Zampi. By destroying the magical pillars that are blocking the water, you can restore the land to life.

Mystic Pillars screenshot of puzzle

But the team didn’t just want to make a game — they wanted to represent their homeland, their culture, and lesser-known languages. Mystic Pillars has voiceovers in both English and Kannada, the local language in Bangalore, and the game itself is supported in over twenty languages, including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Catalan.

You can download Mystic Pillars from the Nintendo eShop, where it costs £5 / $ $ 6.99 with a launch discount of 10%. The Nintendo Switch version also includes 25 “completely refreshed puzzles”.

Mystic Pillars screenshot of story

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Puzzle Game Trenga Unlimited Available Now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Summary

  • Trenga Unlimited brings the atmosphere of classic puzzle nostalgia, only with unique mechanics.
  • Colorful, fun, accessible gameplay from casual to hardcore players.
  • Ideal for the whole family that’s easy to learn, perfect to play with kids with local multiplayer support.

Hello! Today, I bring news for those who, like me, are fans of puzzle games: Trenga Unlimited is available now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S!

The idea for the game came from a very simple concept: What if Jenga, the classic board game, was played the other way around?

So we created a game that is opposite to the tension of the board game, a relaxing experience. Instead of removing blocks and watching the tower falling down in deep sadness, you calmly build the tower with blocks instead of removing them – and you can even make many mistakes! Enjoy that satisfying feeling and effect when you clear a line and a full tower, and all of that in a soothing undersea world.

Puzzle Game Trenga - xbox

Imagine that nostalgic classic block puzzle, but a little more ingenious and with more freedom. Strategize to choose one of three block pieces; spin, flip and rotate them to fit them into the tower; and clear the lines in the four sides of the tower as you progress towards the treasure.

Of course,  the challenge increases as you progress through the 50 levels of the story mode starring our brave protagonist Kate Nemo, but don’t worry! You’ll meet lovely undersea creatures that unlock awesome power-ups to help you in that journey!

And besides the nice story, Trenga Unlimited brings back the nostalgia of versus puzzle games, allowing up to four players to compete for high scores simultaneously, and an endless survival mode for those currently away from friends and isolated at home.

Nowadays, games are important bonding activities between parents and kids, where the two can learn and have fun together. That’s one of the coolest features about Trenga Unlimited is that it’s designed to please the whole family with simple, easy-to-learn mechanics.

Who doesn’t love a good, fun brain? Enjoy Trenga Unlimited today on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S! Share your thoughts with us on our Twitter @_FluxGames!

Xbox Live

Xbox Live

Trenga Unlimited

Flux Games

☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
Choose the right pieces, place them into the tower and solve the puzzle! This is Trenga, a relaxing 3D puzzle game with a unique yet familiar mechanic. Help Kate Nemo and the cute sea creatures, challenging your friends and family or even your own brain, to solve tricky missions in the 3 beautiful worlds of this captivating underwater adventure.

Author: Maria Warth, Marketing Specialist, Trenga Unlimited
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Mini Review: Magical Drop II – Fun And Colourful Puzzle Action

Magical Drop is Data East’s take on the competitive puzzle game, but with a major twist – instead of falling blocks, like Tetris or Puyo Puyo, you control little characters at the bottom of the screen that grab and toss coloured balloons that drop from the top of the screen. Grab, toss, and match three (or more) in a row vertically, and they’ll disappear, as well as popping any other adjacent balloons of the same colour.

The remaining balloons will fall upwards, potentially matching up more colours and creating a combo. This will cause more balloons to show up on your opponent’s screen, with the overall goal being to overwhelm them. If you’d rather not play competitively there are two single player modes – one just presents an enormous playing field and continues until balloons appear too quickly to deal with, while the other presents simple puzzles that you need to solve within a time limit.

Each of the characters are based on a tarot card, and while their sprites are tiny at the bottom of the screen, their playing field also has an enormous animated background portrait that celebrates when you’re doing well and cowers when you’re doing poorly. There’s a lot of personality in the characters here, and the game is infamous for the bouncy World and Empress characters.

Magical Drop II originated on the Neo Geo, and this Super Famicom port is a pretty solid conversion. Some of the animations are missing, but it still looks fantastic for a 16-bit console game. The arcade game also used a generic jester character to represent the player, while the SFC version uses the chosen character themselves. Other changes are fairly minor, like some extra characters being unlocked from the outset.

The arcade game also had a Puyo Puyo-style Story mode where super deformed versions of the characters faced off before each map, though they were strangely silent. Here, they actually exchange some brief dialogue. The other notable change is that the playing field has been reduced from seven balloons in width down to six, due to the lower resolution of the SNES. There are also a few more game types available in the versus mode.

Magical Drop II is pretty good, but it’s still not quite as attractive looking as the Neo Geo original, which is available via the Arcade Archives range on the Switch. Also available is Magical Drop III, generally agreed to be the best game in the series, which has a larger character roster, an expanded game board-style story mode, and other improvements. Most of these additions make this predecessor redundant… although having it on the Nintendo Switch Online service is convenient for those who enjoy (or want to try) Magical Drop without plunking down the cash for it. It’s still a solid title overall.

The SFC version of Magical Drop II was initially Japanese only, but this version is fully in English. The translation is different from the one featured on Retro-Bit’s Data East Classics Collection for the SNES released back in 2018, so it’s believed the version featured on the NSO was originally a prototype created to pitch for an English release, but was ultimately cancelled. It’s certainly cool to see this released, just from a preservation perspective.

With five new additions to Nintendo Switch Online’s catalogue of NES and SNES games arriving today, we decided to review these new/old releases to help you decide which to play first. Enjoy!

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

German scientists claim to have finally cracked the vaccine blood clot puzzle

The coronavirus vaccine rollout in the UK has been vaunted and for good reason – it appears to be ushering in the end of the pandemic in Britain. However, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson have been back into the fray this week after reports emerged of two fatalities linked to a rare blood clot disorder following vaccination. Why some vaccines cause rare blood events and others don’t has puzzled the scientific community.
Some of the instructions for making coronavirus proteins can be misread, potentially triggering blood clot disorders in a small number of recipients, they suggested.

According to Dr Rolf Marschalek, a professor at Goethe University who led the study, after entering the nucleus, parts of the spike protein splice or split apart and create mutant versions which are unable to bind to the cell membrane.

The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. It facilitates the coronavirus’ entry into host cells.

These mutant versions then enter the body and trigger the rare blood clots, Dr Marschalek suggested.

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Marschalek told the Financial Times that the process is different with mRNA vaccines, such as those made by Pfizer and Moderna, because the genetic material of the spike protein is sent directly to the cell fluid and does not enter the nucleus.

The yet to be peer-reviewed study also suggests that those making vaccines using adenovirus vectors could alter the sequence of the spike protein “to avoid unintended splice reactions and to increase the safety of these pharmaceutical products.”

Johnson & Johnson, in an emailed statement to Reuters, said: “We are supporting continued research and analysis of this rare event as we work with medical experts and global health authorities. We look forward to reviewing and sharing data as it becomes available.”

AstraZeneca declined to comment.

What are my chances of developing a blood clot?

It must be stressed that the blood clotting disorder is an extremely rare occurrence in people receiving a coronavirus vaccine.

According to the latest data, out of the 30.8 million doses of the University of Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine administered in the UK between 9 December 2020 and 5 May 2021, there have been over 260 cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia.

This is the equivalent of 10.9 cases per million doses.

The vast majority of events have been reported following the first dose and only eight after the second dose.

The latest MHRA guidance on COVID-19 vaccines and blood clots states that the risk is currently estimated to be around one in 100,000 for people over 50 and one in 50,000 for people aged between 18 and 49 years.

Nonetheless, for people aged between 18 and 49 the guidance states that “if you are offered the [University of Oxford/AstraZeneca] vaccination you may wish to go ahead after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.”

Am I eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk.

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine if:

  • You’re aged 30 or over
  • You’ll turn 30 before 1 July 2021.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Creating the First-Person Puzzle Game Summertime Madness

Summertime Madness is a first-person puzzle game that’s coming soon to Xbox One. The player, in the role of a painter who has made a pact with the devil, must find his way back to the real world after being deceived and trapped in one of his paintings. A journey into the surreal world of the artist’s creations, in which a dreamlike atmosphere hides mysteries to be discovered, puzzles to be solved, and a world in constant change.

The initial idea of ​​the game was to develop an adventure that was very limited, set only in a single scenario (a mysterious island), and whose game time to solve its mysteries and secrets had been around the hour. During the development of a project, especially if this is the debut title as in this case, the priority was to stay focused on aim at the finished project, from the initial concept to the release date. Despite having a bunch of good ideas, budget and time planning must be kept in mind in a realistic and feasible way, without falling into the temptation to overdo your planning it causing the project to stall when half-way during development.

Summertime Madness

The cards on the table changed in February 2020, when Humble Bundle decides to invest in the project, financing a year of development. This meant that Summertime Madness was reworked and redesigned as a more detailed and complex game, with multiple scenarios, a deeper gameplay and a longer playability and overall duration.

The first key point of this new phase of development was to expand the range of scenarios the player would have explored. The gameplay is strongly based on the visual impact of the settings, which reflect the painter’s imagination and allow us to dance around the narrative of events, changing the tone of it according to the surrounding environment in which we are immerged. The gameplay does not present enigmas that are indeed based on verbal understanding, there are no texts to decipher or historical notions to know, but it is the environment itself that works as a piece of a larger puzzle, in which the key to continue further is kept. Observe, guess, imagine. These are the main features of the game play of Summertime Madness, which know no linguistic and cultural barriers.

Summertime Madness

The main objective was therefore to find a way to link those bunch of different scenarios in a consistent way. The story passes through the creations and the subconscious of the painter, and in doing this, we constantly slip from one setting to another: suspended bridges floating above the clouds, a futuristic and dystopian city at dusk, the unspoiled nature of a mysterious island, the belly of a whale or a room immersed in total darkness and a starry sky.

To tie all this together, the foundation of development was to use the non-Euclidean spaces: when opening a simple door, you can see behind it an immense world and walk into it. By approaching a canvas, you are allowed to enter it and dive into a completely different scenario, without ever a cut, a loading screen or any sort of interruption of the game play, for its entire duration.

Summertime Madness

An unpredictable gameplay, where the content and the container swap constantly, and the sense of space and time is lost, as every little thing can actually be the first step towards changing everything.

After a year of development, all the drawings, concepts and illustrations I’ve been working on in the last 5 years as a freelance 3D artist, are now part of the game somehow. I have often wondered where all this would go and if it would ever become something real, rather than just being my fantasies stacked up in a drawer of my life. In the end, seeing how each piece of my artistic and human journey has become part of a story that can be shared, lived, explored by every single player, is the thing I’m proudest of and which I hope can inspire anyone who plays it.

Author: Davide Pellino, Art Director, Summertime Madness
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Review: FEZ – A Mind And World-Bending Puzzle Platformer That Deserves A Second Look

FEZ Review - Screenshot 1 of 3
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

One of the original indie darlings in the eyes of many, FEZ is a game steeped in a whole bucket’s worth of history and intrigue. Nine years after its initial release and no sign of a sequel (as promised by its creator before getting abruptly cancelled), can FEZ still dazzle the new generation of Switch owners? The answer is yes, but let’s pretend you didn’t already know that.

FEZ begins with you playing the role of Gomez, a spritely little chap who says a little bit less than naff-all. After responding to a request to meet the aged adventurer of Gomez’s two-dimensional village, our mute hero is gifted a small fez which allows him to warp his 2D world with 3D impudence. Sadly this has the slightly irritating side effect of tearing reality apart at the seams, which we’re sure you’ll agree is a right old nuisance.

Gomez has to shuffle off to find all 32 cubes that make up the almighty Hexahedron, a doohickey that somehow keeps the world from collapsing, in order to prevent just such an occurrence. These are often found split up into further cubes, eight of which count towards one of the 32 (keeping up?). In order to reach these cubes you’ll have to platform throughout the world, changing the perspective in order to reach otherwise unreachable areas.
FEZ Review - Screenshot 2 of 3
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

You see, each time you pivot the world 90 degrees you’re presented with another entirely 2D perspective that Gomez can traverse with zero depth. This means otherwise distant platforms can be forced to line up granting you access to higher structures, as well as doors that were just flat-out not visible in any way from any other angle.

This is where quite literally the entire game lies; you might play the game for an hour and find a challenge that seems entirely impossible and assume you’ll get a double-jump or something at some point. Nope! You’re stuck with what you’ve got matey-person, you just haven’t figured it out yet. It’s this simplicity that results in a countless number of those ‘a-ha!’ moments that are so important in puzzle games, and what makes FEZ such a joy to play.

Puzzles vary in difficulty fairly significantly, but most of the greater challenge comes from a second version of the collectable cubes you so desire called anti-cubes. That’s right, as well as the 32 standard cubes which are often split up into eight mini-cubes, you’ll have 32 anti-cubes to find as well should you wish. As previously hinted, these anti-cubes are generally much harder to work out, or even find, but are totally optional. There are even some frankly insanely challenging red cubes you can find as well — but again, you’d never need to — which require skills such as an understanding of binary code. No, we’re not exaggerating.

FEZ Review - Screenshot 3 of 3
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The reality-bending nature of the game is still wildly impressive even nine years down the line, and the variety of ways in which FEZ uses it singular core mechanic is nothing short of masterful; much like Nintendo’s own philosophy towards gameplay, there’s one idea here explored to the nth degree, and without it ever growing stale. There’s even a good chunk of replay value should you want to go through again, but we don’t want to spoil exactly why for those that haven’t played it.

Visually FEZ is also super charming; bright colours, dappled lighting and even a Game-Boy inspired aesthetic in the sewers make it just lovely to look at, if a little simple at times. Performance is also a perfect 60fps which isn’t particularly surprising given the game’s vintage, but we did notice a few visual glitches here and there, as well as one or two instances where objects didn’t behave as they were meant to. These were rare and never impacted our enjoyment of the game or ability to complete puzzles, but they were noticeable. Earhole-wise Disasterpiece’s soundtrack is an absolute treat, and is something that we’ve even enjoyed outside of the game on long drives.

Conclusion

FEZ is a fun, challenging puzzle platformer fit to burst with original ideas and unique gameplay wrinkles. Its puzzles bend reality and even leech into our own world on occasion, but aside from a few select mega-challenges never stray into the category of too obtuse or unfair. A few visual and mechanical quirks stop this from being a perfectly polished experience, but these are outweighed by its charm and other wonderful qualities ninefold. It’s another one of those ‘games you have to play’ on Switch, and it couldn’t be more at home.

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

The Last Cube Is A Dramatic Name For An Interesting Puzzle Adventure

The Last Cube© Improx Games

Back in the 3DS and Wii U eShop days there was a re-release of a Two Tribes classic called EDGE, in which you ‘rolled’ a cube around and solved puzzles. Simple, but oddly addictive.

The cube rolling world has come a long way, as developer Improx Games has unveiled The Last Cube, a puzzle adventure that has some similar mechanics but clearly aims to offer a relatively deep experience. In addition to solving puzzles across six large areas “it’s also a cosmic adventure through a varied, alien world full of mystery and wonder that draws players from outside the puzzle genre as well.”

We think it looks pretty neat, you can see a trailer below.

It’s heading to consoles including the Switch later this year, but if you have a half-decent PC there is a demo on Steam.

Let us know if this is on your radar to scratch that cube-rolling itch.

Random: Take a Nostalgic Virtual Walk With This Video of Every StreetPass Puzzle

Good times...
Good times…

It’s remarkable to think that the 3DS is now over 10 years old; it was a family of systems that didn’t smash sales records like its DS predecessors, but nevertheless won a place in many Nintendo gamer’s hearts. It was a handheld with so much personality and neat extras – themes, folders and more – that we’d love to see on Nintendo Switch.

Arguably the best of its features was StreetPass, which encouraged you to take your portable with you everywhere and meet strangers’ Mii characters. At the time it was quite a big deal; you could go to hotspots to gather hits, there were StreetPass social groups and game expos were a hotbed of connections. There were various minigames based around it, but the simplest and perhaps most iconic was the StreetPass puzzles. Over time Nintendo released a lot of them, and it took plenty of effort to fill out all of these neat 3D dioramas and images.

It’s an activity that evokes strong memories. This writer once recalls lurking outside a Pizza Hut with site boss Damien McFerran just for some hotspot hits, and another occasion passing a fellow NLifer who was on Holiday from the other side of the world; we only realised we’d literally passed in the street when we saw each other’s Miis and messaged each other.

Good times, and if you have similar StreetPass memories the video below from The Famicast does what was impossible for most of us back then; it shows every StreetPass puzzle, apart from one Korea-exclusive variant of Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball – we’ll let them off.

Do you have fond memories of StreetPass on 3DS?