Blaze gives taste of interesting iPhone puzzler

Sep 14, 2010
Games

Blaze: Fire Puzzle’s best feature is its intuitive, three-dimensional approach to puzzle-solving. Unfortunately, working with the iPhone screen to manipulate the 3D puzzle is also its biggest drawback. In one of the more interesting uses of physics programming I’ve yet seen on the iPhone, Blaze builds its puzzles around fire. It presents a 3D shape […]

Blaze: Fire Puzzle’s best feature is its intuitive, three-dimensional approach to puzzle-solving. Unfortunately, working with the iPhone screen to manipulate the 3D puzzle is also its biggest drawback.

In one of the more interesting uses of physics programming I’ve yet seen on the iPhone, Blaze builds its puzzles around fire. It presents a 3D shape that you can spin by touching the screen. There are candles set all over the face of the object, and one of them is lit. Since fire always rises from its point of origin, you need to rotate the object to use the flame of one candle to ignite all the others within a certain amount of time.

The objects get challenging and interesting in a hurry. The first, shaped like a horse saddle, has to be manipulated in such a way that the fire sweeps over the candles quickly. How many candles are ignited, and how quickly they are lit, determines the player’s rank for each puzzle. Take too long, and the candles burn out.

This is where the problem comes in. While the controls for moving the items are pretty intuitive – one finger spins on one axis, two fingers spins on another – the game isn’t very responsive, and the rotation isn’t very fast. It’s hard to quickly manipulate an object to get it into position or to be precise enough to trigger a wave of ignitions.

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Since this is a lite edition of the game, it only includes five levels in one group. Each new group of puzzles – there are six others – can be purchased from the iTunes App store, but each is a dollar. Better to buy the full version at $1.99.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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