Friday, August 05, 2005

Touch Puf

Title: Touch Puf
Author: Ammar Muqaddas
License: Freeware
Web Site:

Touch Puf is a puzzle game with simple rules, an easy interface, crisp graphics, excellent level design, beautiful backgrounds, and soothing music. What more could you want? The goal of each level to remove all of the colored blocks. You play from a top down perspective, and the game plays as if on ice. Each turn you send a block in any direction and it keeps moving until it hits a wall or another block. If at the end of a turn, two or more blocks of the same color are touching, they "puf" away. You have to figure out how to make all the blocks puf away. This can require very careful planning.

To make things more complicated, many of the levels include special tiles. The arrow tiles, for example, redirect a block passing over it. Beware, you can get into an infinite loop and have to start over. Other special tiles only allow blocks a particular color to pass through; blocks of other colors are reflected. Another special tile changes the color of blocks passing through it. There are transporter tiles and tiles which can only be passed through once. These special tiles add a great deal of depth to the game.

The level design is very good. There are 150 levels. The early levels are easy and introduce the player to the various aspects of the game. Then the levels get progressively more difficult. The later ones are quite challenging. He even plays with you a little bit. Some of the levels include red herrings: special tiles that you think you are going to have to use to solve the level, but in fact do not need. But, none of the levels are unfairly hard. This game is clearly a work of passion by the author.

The game includes a level editor which is easy to use. However, I did not find any user made levels out on the Internet. The game also includes a solution recorder. Solutions for the first 100 levels were recorded by a fan, Michael De Smet, and are available on the Touch Puf website.

I love this game, but I have some nit-picking to do. My first nit is pass codes. After completing each level you are given a pass code to access the next level. This is just plain annoying. To be fair, the game remembers them for you, but if you get stuck on a hard level, you cannot move on and come back later. To be even fairer, the pass codes for the first 100 levels are available on the website. But still, I wish the game just recorded which levels you had completed and allowed you to work on any level.

The second complaint is that the levels are timed. Each level has a time limit. If you do not complete the level within this limit, you have to start over. They do take advantage of this in some levels by introducing special tiles which add or subtract time from the clock. Still, it is not worth it. I like to think and not be rushed. Maybe I am just getting old.

You may notice that the screen shot above says "TIME UNLIMITED". Let me explain. I got so annoyed with the time limit on one level (33 or 34, I forget which) that I busted out my favorite hex editor and looked at the file game.puf. This file contains the starting board for each level. Part of the level info is the time limit encoded as one byte. Well, I changed each to 0x00 which gave me unlimited time for all of the levels. I found this version much more enjoyable. Ok, some of the levels with the special clock tiles became too easy. Any puzzle gamer worth his/her salt should be able to do the same thing if they so desire.

One last thing, there is a bit of confusion over the versions. Version 1.0 contained 100 levels and was available as shareware. You do not want this version. Version 1.5 contains 150 levels, is freeware (thank you), and is the version I played. The website, and several other sites, claim to have version 1.5.5. However, they are all really version 1.5. I think version 1.5.5 was never released.


At 5:25 PM, Anonymous M.A. said...

Your game is the Best (Seu jogo é o melhor!).


Maria Antonieta
São Paulo

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello can you share the file where you set the timers to "unlimited" or 0x00 since I cannot seem to find the spots, thank you

At 4:08 AM, Blogger Jimmy said...

I just reread the copyright notice for TouchPuf v1.5. It contains the following language:

2. YOU MAY NOT reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, crack, (directly or indirectly) modify Touch Puf v1.5. There is an exception to this, which is the file (Game.puf). You may modify this file as long as you don't try to crack or reverse engineer the Touch Puf v1.5 password system or violate other parts of this agreement.

So, I am allowed to distribute a modified version of game.puf in which all of the time limits have been removed. Anyone who wants a copy should email me.

-- Jimmy

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I have done this great game. From start to the end- all 150 levels and I say, it was funny. I need more of this fantastic logical game.

Best wishes for more ideas for more levels.

I hope it so.

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous kamagra said...

I never play this game ever, but it seems to be similar to the pipes one, I'm gonna try it.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an ipad version now.


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