Slice It! leads a puzzle-heavy iPhone Games of the Week

Sep 10, 2010

This is truly a good time to be a fan of puzzles and an iPhone user, as within the last few weeks the instant hit Slice It!, the much-hyped Puzzle Agent and the stylish Shibuya have all come to the device. Being the charitable guy that I am, I didn’t limit this edition of Games […]

This is truly a good time to be a fan of puzzles and an iPhone user, as within the last few weeks the instant hit Slice It!, the much-hyped Puzzle Agent and the stylish Shibuya have all come to the device. Being the charitable guy that I am, I didn’t limit this edition of Games of the Week to just puzzles, though, as EA’s Mirror’s Edge and a prequel to Solomon’s Keep also made their way to the app store.

Slice It!

The latest next big thing, not just in puzzle gaming, but in iPhone gaming in general, is Com2uS’ Slice It! (99 cents). In this game, you are challenged to cut shapes into equal sizes in a set number of slices. There are 60 levels, and even the easiest shapes can be somewhat tricky at first – you’d be surprised how difficult it is to evenly slice a triangle with four cuts. It has a very doodle-like presentation, with a sheet of paper serving as your background, and a very minimalistic approach to graphics. But it’s got a very polished look and gameplay that is instantly addictive, so it’s easy to see why this game has taken off. Puzzle fans and casual gamers alike owe it to themselves to download Slice It!, as it’s one of the more memorable games released this year.

Mirror’s Edge

EA’s Mirror’s Edge ($4.99) is certainly not new to the gaming world. The title came to game consoles in 2008, and made its way to the iPad in April of this year, but only last week did iPhone users finally get a version of the game. The game could easily be described as a runner, but with far more bells and whistles than the normal game in that genre. You control a character named Faith, who is a courier who carries information from place to place, a necessity caused by her city’s Big Brother-esque regime. Everything is controlled by swiping the screen; left or right to go in that direction, up to jump and down to drop down or slide. Combating enemies uses the same controls, with an up motion unleashing a jump kick and a down motion having you slide into them and take their legs out. The graphics and storyline are both pluses, as is most everything in Mirror’s Edge. While definitely pricier than the typical iPhone runner, it’s one that’s worthy of your attention.

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Puzzle Agent

There’s no sense in dancing around it: Complaints about a poor look, from blurry images to graphical glitches, are a huge problem in a game like Puzzle Agent ($4.99) that clearly put a lot of stock in its look. But obviously the Telltale Games release has something going for it, hence its appearance here. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s as much an adventure game as it is a puzzle, with you guiding puzzle detective Nelson Tethers around the town of Scroggins, where everyone has a puzzle. It’s your typical point-and-click adventure game, though it’s made much easier with things you can interact with being highlighted by circles and a hint system for puzzles. Of course, all of this is secondary to the visual issues, which might not make Puzzle Agent unplayable, but are annoying. At its current price, that issue will have to be fixed for the game to realize its potential, which includes being one of the better puzzle/adventure games in the app store.


Nevercenter’s Shibuya ($1.99) is an arcade puzzler that is sort of reminiscent of Tetris, but with colors instead of shapes. Rectangle blocks slowly fall from the top of the screen, and you’re faced with assigning a color to them. Blocks are removed by matching at least two of the same color, and you get bonuses for things like removing multiple blocks in succession. There is replay value added with various achievements, and fortunately it’s the type of game you won’t mind playing over and over in order to complete them. The game’s name comes from an area of Tokyo popular with young folk and full of nightclubs, and its look and music are obviously influenced by this. Shibuya comes off as a little too basic to make any best-of lists, but it does have plenty of positives, and will surely earn a few admirers.

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Solomon’s Boneyard

A prequel to the popular dual-stick action game Solomon’s Keep, Solomon’s Boneyard (99 cents) will have fans of the first game feeling right at home. While it’s not a carbon copy of the first Raptisoft release, most notably Boneyard is a survival game set in a cemetery instead of a dungeon, but the graphics and gameplay will be very familiar. You choose from one of seven characters (you begin with four), each a wizard with different skills, to battle the antagonist Solomon Dark. The camera provides an overhead view, and the graphics are sharp and colorful, though very cartoony for a seemingly dark game. The gold you collect is key, as even after you die you can use it to equip your wizard with various upgrades. As similar as it is to the last game, it has enough charm to stand on its own, and Solomon’s Boneyard probably will be enjoyed by fans of the series as well as general action gamers.

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David Lister

David Lister is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is a former editor and writer at the and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. 

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