Monday, September 5, 2011

Gaming on the go? Try these pocket-sized puzzlers

Monday, September 5, 2011

f you enjoying playing games on Apple's touchscreen devices — namely the iPhone, iPod touch or its big brother, the iPad — then you might find yourself craving a new digital diversion while on the go.

Puzzle gamers in particular have no shortage of head-scratching downloads to snag from the App Store, and you don't need to break the bank to get in on the fun.

For 99 cents each, you can indulge in the sweet "Catch the Candy," a physics-based puzzler with charming graphics; "Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey," a hidden-object game that has you searching for well-hidden objects in a busy scene; or "Burn it All -- Journey to the Sun," which challenges you to help little flames burn through more than 100 levels in a race against the clock.

Here's a closer look at each family-friendly game for Apple's devices.

"Catch the Candy"

(BulkyPix;; 3.0 stars out of 4)

The concept behind this puzzle game is simple: You're in control of a little purple creature who really likes candy. But the poor guy doesn't have any arms or legs, only a tongue he can flick out like a frog to help him move around the level. It's your job to move him towards the piece of candy in as few moves as possible.

You'll make him swim underneath sunken ships, climb up Rapunzel's hair, body surf in mosh pits at rock concerts or survive a beachside warzone. The game houses more than 50 colorful and increasingly challenging levels. New levels are coming via a free update, says the company.

Applying real-world physics, you'll latch onto an object and swing, climb or rappel towards the candy with a specific amount of force.

While it's a single-player game, you can show off skills such as finishing a particularly tough level in only 2 moves to friends on Game Center, Openfeint or a Facebook leaderboard.

Developed by FedoIT, "Catch the Candy" is a charmingly sweet game for kids and kids at heart.

"Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey"

(Ludia;; 3.5 stars out of 4)

Based on the computer game of the same name, Ludia's "Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey" introduces a whimsical tale about 12 ancient scrolls that need to be retrieved around the globe. A wizard enlists the help of Waldo, his friend Wenda and their faithful canine companion, Woof.


"Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey" is a hidden-object game that has you searching for well-hidden objects in a busy scene.

Each of the dozen locations has a humorous theme and multiple areas to search through. You're tasked to find well-hidden objects listed at the bottom of the screen. In some cases, it's a picture of someone you need to find, such as the red-and-white-striped Waldo, or it could be an animal (for example, five monkeys) or object (three balls). In other levels, you'll see a black silhouette and must match it to the actual characters or items in the busy, colorful scene (such as one that features flying carpets or another with people playing sports). Or you might see a phrase like "bridge made out of monks" and search for that.

If you're asked to find Waldo's nemesis, Odlaw, who is donned in black and yellow stripes, you only have a few seconds to find him or else he splashes paint on the screen to obstruct your view. At the end of every chapter you're asked to find the magic scroll.

"Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey" lives up to its beloved book series and proves to be a fun game that's great to play on a portable device.

"Burn it All -- Journey to the Sun"

(BulkyPix;; 3.0 stars out of 4)

As told during the brief opening cinematic sequence of "Burn it All — Journey to the Sun," you must help three little flames rise from the fiery depths of the earth to reunite with their father, the sun.


"Burn it All - Journey to the Sun" challenges you to help little flames burn through more than 100 levels in a race against the clock.

The puzzle game has you dragging the flames towards frayed ropes, wooden objects and underground monsters while avoiding dripping water, plumes of gas and other obstacles. Your goal is to light up all the items in the level before the timer runs out, which requires some strategy as items burn at different rates. You'll need to time your moves accordingly.

Developed by Pastagames, this strangely addictive game continuously adds new features like bonus items, flame powers, time portals and varying environments as you burn your way through more than 100 levels spread out between the four worlds.

For bragging rights, "Burn it All — Journey to the Sun" has more than 40 achievements, support for Game Center and Openfeint, and the ability to log onto Facebook from within the game to share your high scores.

Contact Saltzman at


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