it seems like i’ve only been playing handheld games this year (esp. downloadable ones), but i’ve been busier than usual and have a couple of longer games that are taking time to finish. although it may make for less varied blog material, i rather like playing shorter games, although in general i’ve also been much less compulsive about finishing games if i know that i’ve seen everything it has to offer.
in this particular case, i recently finished glow artisan which is downloadable but like other puzzle games is virtually limitless in the amount of extra content via its level-creation features. the game had gotten great reviews on both nintendolife and ngamer, so i got the DSiware version that was released in december 2009 (although in retrospect it looks like the iphone version is $2 instead of $5 and essentially identical).
the game is very much in the same vein as picross and sudoku. in this game, however, instead of numbers the focus is on coloring squares in a certain order to make the target pattern. you can remove an entire row or column and colors mix in the way you would expect, but although the mechanics are simple it soon becomes apparent that the developers, powerhead games, have come up with a very clever puzzle system that is as robust as picross and sudoku. like both of those games, however, glow artisan has the same drawback which is that once you’ve mastered the mechanics there’s not a whole lot of variety and, for me at least, the lure of earning medals (for completing a level in the fewest moves possible) isn’t compelling enough to keep playing through all the stages. the game features an electro-chic exterior that has become the norm for puzzle games (and which frankly i’ve gotten quite bored with) and it includes a slew of tacked-on multiplayer features, but otherwise this is a good release for anyone craving a completely solid, if not surprising, puzzle game.
puzzle through these glow artisan links:
- developer’s official site
- apparently the game is available on other platforms, including windows phone and XBLA. here’s the list of XBLA achievements.
- the free version on itunes includes the first 12 levels, making it useful as a demo version