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The Shady Puzzle

You know one of the cool things about working at GAMBIT? There's all these neat people, making games for me to play. Case in point, I just heard Ahmed Wali Aqeel, one our interns from last summer, worked on a game for the iPhone called The Shady Puzzle. For only 99 cents! So of course I bought it.

Anyone who's ever played Griddlers or the like will immediately get it. Wikipedia tells me this class of puzzle is called a "Nonogram". That's your vocabulary word for the day. You're welcome.

Shady Puzzle
A cell phone picture of a cell phone. How recursive.

All in all, it's a fine little app. The puzzles are fun and well suited to the iPhone. There's some nice polish there in terms of page turn animations and such. I bought the game around 9:30am and had it completely finished by the time I went home at 5pm. Yes, I did do some work that day too, so I'd guess it took me about 2-3 hours to beat all the puzzles. Note I was already an expert in these puzzles before I started, so your mileage may vary. There's replay potential there as well, where it keeps track of your best time on solving a particular puzzle. It's been about three days, and I've beaten all the boards a few times now.

Shady Puzzle Main Menu
This is what the main menu looks like when all the puzzles are beaten. I am mighty. Or neurotic. Perhaps both.

A few gentle suggestions for the next version.

  • More Puzzles! Ahmed tells me more are coming in the next release, which is scheduled for next (this?) week.
  • Usability Improvements. While actually playing the game is fairly simple, there's some other interactions around it that could use a bit of work. It took me a while to figure out how to start a puzzle, for example, and I find the achievements page to be rather inscrutable. Clearly I achieved something, but what I don't know. Also, the guess feature is hard to use. Which is perhaps as it should be, since guessing is for WIMPS, but somehow I don't think that's what the developers were going for.
Anyway, I enjoyed it. Congratulations Ahmed!

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