The name of LamdaMu Games & Game Ventures’ new iPhone app might make you pause and wonder as to its nature, but don’t worry, there are no sketchy deals involved. Rather, Shady Puzzles is full of challenges that are both fun and brainy. You are presented with what looks like graph paper, with the first row and column filled in by numbers. The number of squares that must be shaded in each row or column correspond with the number; if there is a comma between two numbers, there is at least one unshaded square between the shaded ones. Tap the blue square on the bottom left to shade a square, or tap the red X square to help you visually keep track of what shouldn’t be shaded.
The blue Check button on the bottom right can be tapped as many times as you want to see if you’re on the right path. Once you’ve shaded all the right squares, tapping Check will finish off the level. The green Guess button allows you to enter three layers of guesses (numbered 1-3), which you can toggle between by tapping the Guess button repeatedly. The first box shaded or crossed out while guessing will be the anchor; tapping on it will bring up a menu in which you can Apply or Discard your guess…whatever your decision, it will apply to all boxes with that number. Guesses won’t be checked. Besides the normal playing mode, there are Timed, Precision, and Random Puzzles. Timed Puzzles need to be solved in a certain amount of time, Precision Puzzles end on the first wrong move, and Random Puzzles are a combination of Timed and Precision Puzzles. Solving puzzles will unlock more, until you fill up an entire grid.
Shady Puzzles may look simplistic–primary colors, cute line drawing animations, no music or sound effects at all–but as you reach further levels, more brainpower will be needed, which is this game app’s selling point (think Sudoku). It is quite addicting, and before you know it, you’ll have filled up the entire grid…after which you can replay different levels all over again. Bringing an old-school feel to a modern interface, it is obviously well-designed and well thought-out. The only major problem is the app’s tendency to crash when finishing a puzzle, which is annoying, but can fixed with updates. For the promotional price of $0.99, this app is a steal.
Here is a video demo of the Shady Puzzles app on the iPhone
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