Puzzlejuice’s tag line says it’ll “punch your brain in the face,” and while I’m typically no fan of jargon, this one feels incredibly accurate. Despite its decidedly hip/fratty instructions, Puzzlejuice is one of the best new games I’ve played on iDevice and its dollar price tag makes it a steal.
Puzzlejuice is complex, combining aspects of Tetris, Boggle and blocks/match three. Sound like a lot? It is. This is definitely a game you’ll find yourself instantly immersed in — my first foray was a whopping 43 minutes before my eyes started to hurt and my iPhone-holding hand cramped (on-the-job injuries, right?).
Puzzlejuice gives users instructions on how to play, but things become much clearer once you start playing. Like Tetris, pieces will fall from the top of the screen (speeds vary), and it’s your job to fit them together so you don’t run out of playing space. When you fill in a row, the blocks turn to letters. Additionally, the blocks are multicolored, and if you match them in groups of at least three you can tap to turn those to letters, too. Drag your finger across letters (any direction) to spell words. Spelling words of a certain length, depending on mode, will make surrounding blocks explode, giving you more space to build. Oh yeah, and while you’re looking for words to spell, blocks are continuing to fall from the top of the screen. I told you Puzzlejuice was complex.
The app offers two modes of play, Zen Extreme, which is timed, but eliminates the automatic block falling, and Core Mode, which offers power-ups, such as a bomb, that can enhance your gameplay. If you have the option to play on an iPad, take it. The game controls compete with each other on iPhone’s small screen since you swipe to spell words and swipe to move pieces. In addition to changing block groups to letters, tapping also rotates your piece. But even these problems didn’t stop me from wasting, I mean, enjoying, almost an hour with this app.
You can pause the game or you can use “rage exit” to give up. I went with this option, and my eyes thanked me. Despite cringing at the use of “Broseph” as the default scoreboard name, I found Puzzlejuice to be extremely fun.
Grab it and get your brain face punched.