Game Design, Game Reviews

Puzzle Warrior – a brain tickler for both the young and the old

puzzle_iconPuzzle Warrior (singular) is a puzzle game, not to be confused with the Puzzle Warriors (plural). It is a cute game from IDKY Developments, built for Android and Apple devices.

The game is a real brain tickler that will challenge your abilities of strategic thinking and advanced planning, all the while not taking up too much of your time.

Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesPuzzle Warrior has a simple premise – you are presented with a specific number of cardboard boxes (it could be five, ten, fifty, depending on the level) which are spread around the map and inside those boxes are your furry friends.

Save your pets

Your goal is to smash open all of the boxes and save your friends. However, opening the boxes is the “puzzle” part of the game. They can only be opened by your characters, which are located around the boxes, and you can only smash them in straight lines. Think of them as chess rooks.

Some characters can open just one box in the line in front of them, while others can do more.

Even though this might sound a little too simple to accomplish at first, the game is actually designed quite well. At the start, the game fazes you in slowly and then picks up the pace with some great, mind-boggling puzzles.

Puzzle Warrior Screenshot

Completing the level faster gives you additional bonuses.

And it knows how to hold a person’s attention. More advanced levels bring extra complications, such as iron boxes or boxes that change directions which is quite refreshing.

The design follows the ‘cute’ pattern, as it obviously wants to be attractive to both younger and older audiences. The main antagonist is the vile Red Hoody (big sister), who teases her little brother by hiding his pets.

The Token

The brother, on the other hand, is a little kid in a dino onesie (he even has a tail), while his pets are some strange creatures I’ve never seen before so I’ll just have to go with Pokemon here.

Even though the game looks decent, it’s obvious that the graphics are not the center of attention here.

The game is completely free to play, but does have two ways it can make money. The first way is through pop-up ads, which show up every once in a while, usually after you complete a level. They don’t interfere with the game itself and don’t show up too often, so I can’t really consider them a nuisance.

The other way it earns money is through an in-game shop. The game has its own currency, the Token, which can be used to skip a level if you get stuck. Tokens can be earned by playing the game (the game rewards you with a set amount for completing a stage) or can be purchased. The shop is simple and straightforward, and offers players three packs of tokens – the bigger the pack, the bigger the discount.

However, it’s disappointing to see that Tokens can only be used to skip a level if you get stuck. With an in-game currency the options are basically limitless, so why stop at skipping a level? I’d love to see at least a hint mechanism for purchase, where the game could show you the first or last move, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.

A solid product

All things considered, Puzzle Warrior is a solid game. It runs smoothly and I haven’t seen it crash once. The artwork is pleasing to the eye and together with the music it forms the ‘cute’ look the developers were looking for.

The puzzles are good and will keep the player interested, both young and old(er). The social aspect of the game is missing, as there’s no way to share your achievements with the world, but this obviously being an offline, single-player game, doesn’t really seem to be an issue.

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