Daily Puzzle online.
Free apps. Student aids.
Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit
that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird
gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy
Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos
destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments
, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations.
It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time
-- an eccentric, richly produced
, and incredibly catchy blend of funk
, bossa nova
, experimental electronica
, bamboo flute
, hair metal
, buoyant parade music
, soaring children's choirs
, Macintalk fanfares
, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros
Called a consumerist critique
by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi
(who after one sequel
moved on to Glitch
, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy
, and playground design
), the series has inspired much celebration
] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit
. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
This tech demo video
from Pillow Castle Games (of Carnegie Mellon) showcases an innovative first person puzzler using the optical illusion of forced perspective.
On January 5th 2012, an image
was uploaded to various image boards. It contained two messages. One was obvious & easy to read. In white letters on a black background it said:
Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck.
As promised there was another message hidden inside the image. It was the start of a bizarre, as yet unexplained chain of complex hidden messages leading those who could solve them on a journey across the Internet and around the world towards a destination none of them could predict with certainty. Is it a highly evolved ARG? Is it a recruitment campaign for the NSA?
Welcome to the mystery of Cicada 3301
Amaze Your Friends, Solve World Hunger; How to Create Chocolate out of Nothing! [slyt]
Regular Expression Crosswords
Do you like regular expressions? Do you like crosswords puzzles? Then you're going to (hate|love) this.
Friday Flash Fun
, a hybrid of roguelike and puzzle game, or chess, or something. Maybe "it's like turn-based Gauntlet
" would be a good description? There's an on-your-phone version if you're willing to spend a buck, too. DANGER: Very addictive to certain types. You've been warned.
Alternate Reality Game puzzle design
- Adam Foster of Valve talks about the design of the Portal 2 ARG, (previously
) and do's and don'ts for future ARGs.
A minute is a long flippin' time. Fill it like you care.
One of the most minimalistic games to be released last year, Super Hexagon
has been praised by many as being hypnotic, addictive
, briiliantly designed, and devilishly challenging. It's a game that, like Tetris
, delivers pleasure with each inevitable failure, and is simply about reaching escape velocity from your own feeble reflexes. The game has a reputation for turning one's appreciation and apprehension of its challenges into intense addiction
, constant improvement
, and fervent devotion
. [more inside]
The physics of Bad Piggies: Scale
, scale again
In a triumph of both technology and agriculture, the Guinness World Record for largest Quick Response code has been claimed by a corn maze.* [more inside]
Yesterday, a New York Redditor was approached by a shaggy man
and handed a $50 bill
and a cryptic note
. [more inside]
What is Spelunky
? Well, it's a game that's "as generous as it is bloodthirsty
," with "astonishing creativity and spectacular depth
." First appearing as a freeware PC game in 2008, Spelunky
) is a hilariously brutal and oddly addicting marriage of roguelike, platformer, and puzzler. A new version was released for Xbox Live Arcade
on July 4th, with updated visuals and a warbly soundtrack that recall the days of SNES gaming, as well as a deathmatch mode that's been compared to the mayhem of Bomberman
. If you're anything like me, you'll get hopelessly consumed. (Trailer
. Original freeware version for PC
is a multiplayer modification that focused on cinematic gun-play. The game featured maps by Hondo, who was famous for incorporating massive puzzles in to his levels
. These sprawling mysteries are explored by YouTube user bobandalot
through narrative walkthroughs uploaded to his channel. [more inside]
My father-in-law Jerry is great at word puzzles. Over the holidays, I showed him SpellTower on my iPad. By the time I took my iPad back at the end of the trip, he had already broken the SpellTower “Puzzle Mode” record on the Game Center leader board by almost 100,000 points. So I asked Jerry if he would share his strategy
Friday Flash Fun.
The 2012 Internet Problem Solving Contest
will begin in a couple of days. Read the rules
if you want to join in or perhaps just enjoy delving into the archive of past years' problems.
is an independently developed game available on Xbox Live Arcade. It's available for 800 Microsoft funbucks
($10 USD real world currency). [more inside]
is a flash game that takes the game mechanics of the indie hit VVVVVV
and transforms them from a fast-twitch platform game to a puzzle platformer. [more inside]
A series circuit
of 1 battery, 1 resistor, 3 switches, and 3 LEDs. What happens when you turn on each switch? [more inside]
In Way, two strangers learn to speak.
A game (download/installation required) in which you are one of those strangers.
is a puzzle game that uses music to define the pieces. Find outlines for songs, and then try to put them together...very fun and addicting. Don't try to play with the sound off obviously.
, also known as Pearls, is an NP-complete
logic puzzle created by the makers of Sudoku. Brandon McPhail provides a few free puzzles to get your feet wet on his web site
(Java applet). Once you've mastered those, UCLICK Games offers a free daily puzzle
(Flash) with the past month of archives available too. [more inside]
is a very simple pencil-and-paper, line-drawing game for which the best possible score is not known! New records
are still being set.
was an idiosyncratic crossword setter who, under the pseudonym Crosaire, ran the Irish Times cryptic crossword singlehandedly for almost 70 years. He died in April 2010
at the age of 92, having compiled over 14000 daily crosswords. The last puzzle completed before his death, number 14605, runs in today's Irish Times
. [more inside]
A simple puzzle game. Avoid reading spoilers! Players may want to avoid this thread until finished with the game.
is a puzzle game about flowers, stones and gravity. Its author announced it recently on the TIGsource forums
. Caveat: there is only a Windows version.
Great news: Broken Picture Telephone
lives, it's called Teledraw
A giant equation
is taking form over the course of a few days, on a 46-ft tall "chalkboard" at the corner of Crosby and Broome in NYC. Sponsored by Dow Chemical, it's a mathematical brain teaser with the significance of each term left for the solver to discern.
In the first term, for example, the '755' is the length in feet of each side of the great pyramid.
Solutions to pieces of the puzzle can be submitted via twitter to @GiantChalkboard.
I'm not clear about the commercial aspect of this, or even what exactly "solutionism" is. But if you're a math/puzzle nerd, you'll likely
waste lots of time on
(Warning: spoiler) Tom Ridge is a little teapot.
Take a cognitively dissonant walk down memory lane with the NYT's 9/11 puzzle
"Looking at the world through via Google Earth offers striking images of the diversity of our planet and the impact that humans have had on it. Today's entry is a puzzle. We're challenging you to figure out where in the world each of the images below is taken. (You'll find answers and links at the bottom of the entry.) North is not always up in these pictures, and, apart from a bit of contrast, they are unaltered images provided by Google and its mapping partners. So I invite you to open up Google Earth (or Google Maps), have a look at the images below, and dive in
. Good luck!"
... not heaven
, but a strange parallel universe... beyond the reaches of time...
is a simple flash-based puzzle game that involves getting your object from point A to B.
Levels you complete can be scrolled through using "x" to move to the next level and "d" to return the level select button to the first level.
The browser saves your progress, so you can close your tab/browser and return to it later.
Tuesday Flash Fun: Samegame Fighter
, a turn-based RPG puzzle game. [more inside]
has finally hit the streets, and despite a somewhat rocky start
with their controversial promotional ARG (previously
), it looks to be a huge success. Interestingly for such a critically-acclaimed blockbuster, the title's core ideas steam from a pair of concept projects from student design school DigiPen
: the original portal system from Narbacular Drop
) and the sequel's physics-altering gels from Tag: The Power of Paint
). Combine these innovative ideas with some Lost
-meets-Life After People
level design, excellent voice acting
, and top-notch writing, and it's easy to see why so many people called in sick
this past week. But playing the game is just the beginning -- look inside for a collection of easter eggs, story theories, videos, and other goodies from the post-mortem. [more inside]
A logic puzzle called NAWNCO
The annual Melbourne University Puzzle Hunt
is back - and this time they need your help fending off villians with your puzzle-solving abilities. Anyone from anywhere in the world can compete in teams of 1 to 10 people (or you can see the puzzles for yourself
and play at home). [more inside]
(flash, game) "You got your Picross in my Minesweeper!" "You got your Minesweeper in my Picross!" [more inside]
M presents: The Master Theorem
. Not that master theorem
, this one is full of puzzles and games. Take a crack at this week's theorem
, or start with a tutorial from the help page
. Once you've solved your first theorem (and earned membership) check out the seals
, a different, sometimes deeper style of puzzle. New theorems and seals are being added weekly. [more inside]
Something has happened to the world. Everything has been flattened into 2D - except you. Now the world needs you to put things back to normal. Antimatiere
is a small puzzle game where you move 2D objects around on walls and floors to solve problems. It also has a slight resemblence to Portal
in that placing doors and windows punches holes through the mentioned walls, allowing you to pass between different rooms. Warning: Requires the Unity Web Player
plugin to run. [more inside]
Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles
is a charming puzzle game developed in Costa Rica that pays homage to games like Puzzle Fighters, Super Mario World and Bejeweled. Available for free on PC (Windows & Linux
). (via DIYGamer)
Hooray! It's Eyezmaze's
latest GROW game, Grow Cannon.
Using pioneering animation techniques to create a look never seen on film before, this 10-minute award-winning film tells the true legend of history's most challenging cipher....The film contains 16 hidden messages that reveal the larger story at play. Eight are fairly easy and require only a close eye. Six are moderately difficult using various encryption methods. Two are extremely difficult and will require a genius mind to decrypt. [more inside]