PC/Mac/Linux, Switch There’s been a noticeable uptick in quality spatial puzzle games in the past five years. Games like Stephen’s Sausage Roll, Snakebird, Jelly no Puzzle, and A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build all take the classic Sokoban formula of moving/changing objects to their designated zones/states and put in their own little wrinkles, exploring the possibility spaces created by these tweaks to the formula. I like to call them “SokoButs”, as in “Sokobon, but…” because it’s fun to create microgenres and nobody has claimed this one yet. Feel free to use it, because I sure will. I attribute this recent boom at least partially to the release of PuzzleScript, a free toolset for designing SokoButs, in 2013. PuzzleScript streamlines the game design process via a simple markup for defining the rules that govern a SokoBut’s core systems. Baba Is You is a new SokoBut from Arvi Teikari, and its “but…” is huge: each puzzle’s rules are physical objects within the puzzle. By pushing around nouns, verbs, and adjectives, you rewrite the logic of the game in real time. Basically, it’s PuzzleScript: The Game. Baba Is You is an entirely new kind of logic puzzle, and it’s the best puzzle game I’ve played in a very long time.
Switch • Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! DX is the second game on the Switch in as many months from Infinite State Games, following the excellent Rogue Aces in April. And, like Rogue Aces, DD,MR!DX (Yes, I will be abbreviating the title.) is a fantastic pick up and play arcade game that is well worth a spot on your Switch.
[Right around New Year’s, I’d asked all the writers to pen something about games they’re looking forward to in 2018. I had assumed one or two from everyone, which would lead to a single article with everyone’s picks and that would be it. Instead, each writer sent me a bevy of games making me realize that one article probably wouldn’t cut it. Hey, I love 4000 word articles as much as the next guy, but it’s easy for games to get lost in something that vast. So, I decided to split it all up and give each member of the Stately Staff their own day to shine. Today, Tanner -ed.]
iOS • Here’s a “fun” game to play if you’ve updated to iOS 10.3: Go to Settings > General > About > Applications and take a look at the list. These are the apps you have on your phone right now that won’t work at all once Apple removes compatibility for 32-bit apps in a future iOS version.
Since the dawn of electronic handheld gaming, there has been conflict between mother and child. The mother wants chores or homework to be done, but there’s always “just one more level” or a high score just out of reach. At some point, the mother will resort to simply hiding the device in the hopes of boring the child into productivity. The child, of course, instead leverages their boredom into searching for their game. They inevitably find the device, and the cycle begins anew. Japanese developer hap Inc.’s free Hidden my game by mom (sic) series distills and translates this conflict into a delightfully absurd escape room puzzle game format.
I’ve always defended mobile games as more than mere distractions. But today… Today I need some distractions from this newfound sense of overwhelming dread I woke up with, and you might, too. Here are three quality “distractions” you can play today and into the coming months. (And if you’re not feeling particularly down today, here are some good games that are worth playing.)
My name is Tanner Hendrickson, and I am a Picross 3D: Round 2 addict. I freely admit that I have a problem. After tirelessly campaigning for a release outside of Japan, Nintendo of America acquiesced and gave puzzle fans in the Americas (and soon, Europe) the best reason to own a Nintendo console since, well, the original Picross 3D. It was scary there for a while, but we did it. And boy, was it worth the wait.