Monday, November 26, 2007


Title: YHexoban
Author: George Petrov
License: freeware

I only have time for a quick one this week. A couple of weeks ago ran across this page on hexoban. As the name suggests, hexoban is sokoban on a hexagonal grid. I have never been a huge fan of sokoban, but I did enjoy this variant, maybe even more than the original.

YHexoban is a great implementation of hexoban. Left click to move. Click on a ball and the possible target hexes for that ball will appear. Click on the hex to push the ball to that hex. Right click to undo. Multiple right clicks for multiple undos.

It comes with 5 level collections designed by different authors. There are 48 levels in total. Any level can be played at anytime. YHexoban keeps track of your progress. There are also 5 different skins. Be sure to read the ReadMe.txt.

The auto movement of the balls is really handy. It finds the optimal route to that hex. This saves a lot of tedious clicking. However, a couple of times, I wanted to take a suboptimal route so that my guy ended up in a different area. In those cases, I had to push one at a time. I wish I could also select the end hex for my guy.

Free, no bugs, fun. Unless you are morally opposed to sokoban, download and enjoy.

My favorite sokoban program for the PC is Sokoban YASC.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Block Manouveres

Title: Block Manouveres
Author: CHEESEtwoK
License: Freeware

I cannot explain why, but I love these little old games. Block Manouveres features crappy graphics and annoying music. The website is garish and decaying. But as with such games, it contains some good puzzles, and that is what draws me in.

Block Manouveres is your basic eat all the strawberries and blueberries and get to the exit game. The puzzles contain aspects from sokoban and blocks. The strawberries stay put ready to be eaten. The blueberries bounce about randomly. You have to track them down. Once all of the berries have been eaten, the doors open and allow access to the exit.

The levels contain many of the usual puzzle elements. The blue blocks can be pushed into an empty space or into water to form a bridge. There are one way tiles, and tiles which can only passed over once. There are balls which when pushed keep rolling until they hit something. They can also be used to fill in water.

One interesting twist is the numbered blue and orange tiles. They are like particle/antiparticle pairs. If you push a blue number 1 tile into an orange number 1 tile, both are annihilated and disappear. This gives rise to some good puzzles.

The games contains 85 levels which can be played in any order. Many of the levels contain fire balls, lasers, and these pac-man like enemies which require fine timing. Those levels are annoying, but you know what, just hit the 'N' key and move on. This is way allowing people to play levels in any order is a good thing. Without this feature, I would have deleted this game after 10 minutes. Instead, I had a great time playing the no timing, thinking only levels. And there are some good levels. One complaint is that the game does not record your progress.

Another problem is getting a copy of the game. The website has not been updated in at least two years. It had used a hit counter site As a result, the links no longer work. But with a little snooping (mouse over the links), the URL to the .zip file can be found.

A final complaint, the music is annoying. You can turn it off with the '5' key, but the music comes back a few levels later.

Friday, November 09, 2007

MAC Logic Games

A little over a month a go, Tim at Independent Gaming gave a list of indy Mac Games. The Mac is not known for its gaming, but there are some good games for the Mac. I do own a Mac Mini (typing on it right now), and I had been thinking about doing the same thing. So, here it is, a little late. I ran through all of the games I have reviewed and checked which have Mac versions. I gave each a quick spin my Tiger just to make sure it runs.

Zep's Dreamland(review) (website)
Enigma(review) (website)
DROD(review) (website)
Kiki the Nano Bot(review) (website)
Robocode(review) (website)
TubeTwist(review) (website)
Rocks'n'Diamonds(review) (website)
Escape(review) (website)
Enigmo(review) (website)
StroQ(review) (website)
GNU Go(review) (website)
Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection(review) (website)
Chocolate Castle(review) (website)
Lemmings(review) (website)
Step-by-Step(review) (website)
Zen Puzzle Garden(review) (website)
Gate(review) (website)

I particularly like the Mac version Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection. It now contains three more games than when I reviewed it last year and used the Mac interface well. I have wasted a bit of time on it this week.

One disappointment, I could not get Lode Runner: The Legend Returns to run on my Mac Mini.

I do not know of any great Mac only puzzle games. There are some unique Dashboard puzzle widgets. I have had some fun with Twixt, DashBox, and ChessPuzzle.