When I first saw this app appear on the App Store, it immediately looked very familiar. That’s because Puzzle Quizes has mix of “the best” puzzles from the Kindle Puzzlebook: 100 Puzzle Quizzes and Puzzlebook: 101 Puzzle Quizzes plus approximately 20 new ones.
I grew up doing a lot of puzzle books and reading ‘Games’ magazine. Before I had iPhones, iPads and personal TV screens to occupy my attention, I’d always go an pick up a Dell puzzle book or two whenever we went on trips, to have something to pass the travel time. In some ways, I miss those simpler times, so when I saw that the Grabarchuks were bringing this puzzle book-like app to iOS, I jumped at the opportunity to check it out.
Puzzles are presented to the user along with the question you need to solve and two or more multiple choice answers. The puzzle clock is ticking away and you must figure out the solution as quickly as possible. They are your standard, “which doesn’t belong”, “what’s the next item in this sequence”, etc style of logic puzzles. The degree of difficulty varies, but overall I felt they tended toward the easier end. However, my perception could be skewed since I am fairly experienced with logic puzzles. I did see some reviews of the Kindle versions, where some people thought they were rather difficult. Designer Peter Grabarchuk says that “to solve them no special knowledge or experience are needed – just good logic and visual perception. So, the book is oriented for all kinds of solvers, for any age.” I haven’t had a chance to sit down with my 4.5 year old yet, but I suspect that she would have a little difficultly with some of these, but nothing that we couldn’t reason through together.
If you guess an incorrect answer, you are given endless opportunities to try (and try) again until you select the correct one. Once you successfully solve the puzzle, you are awarded with up to 3 stars depending on how many tries it took you to get the solution. An optional explanation of the answer can be viewed by tapping the “Resume” button or you can press “Next” to go onto the next puzzle. I found the “Resume” button naming a little confusing, as it should really be changed to say “explain solution” or something more appropriate. For me, resuming would mean I’d move onto the next question.
Obviously with an app like this re-playability is going to inherently be a bit limited as you will know all the correct answers after the first play-through. However, you do have the ability to have multiple players log into the app, allowing each person to solve the puzzles at their own pace on the same device. And there are also Game Center leaderboards and achievements to earn. One thing that could be done to throw a little curve-ball at players trying to solve a puzzle for a second time (or making a subsequent guess after a wrong answer) would be to randomize the answer choices after each selection is made, that way just wrote memorization of A, B, C, D etc wouldn’t work.
Puzzle Quizes offers puzzlers a nice collection of logic-based mind-benders that will get those synapses firing and which look great on both your iPhone and iPad (in either landscape or portrait modes). Depending on your proficiency and the amount of time you spend reasoning through your answers before making a selection, you will either fly through the 100 questions in no time flat, or wrack your brain and slog your way through them slowly. The Grabarchuks say that more puzzles are on the way, but it is unclear if those will be free updates or available as in-app purchases. Fans of puzzle books will definitely enjoy this one. And if that’s not enough, in the meantime, you can always pick up the Kindle editions as well, including their newly released Puzzlebook: 102 Puzzle Quizzes