Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picross

I found this new puzzle game that I'm rather addicted to called Armor Picross. It's a nonogram puzzle (sometimes called a griddler), which is a picture logic puzzle where you fill in squares in a grid according to numbers given at the ends of the rows and columns to reveal a hidden picture. And in case I didn't explain that very well, here's a screenshot from the instructions:


The website has plenty of different puzzles to choose from, ranging in difficulty from easy (5x5 or 10x10 grids) to extreme (25x25). If you want a little extra guidance on how to solve these puzzles, there's a helpful website called Nonogram Solver that you can check out. Have fun. And don't blame me if you get addicted, too!

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Factory Balls

Check out this new game called Factory Balls. It combines balls, paint, physics and puzzles into a fun little game. You might waste a few balls your first time through, but it's not that hard at all once you get the hang of it. I wish there were more levels since the 14 levels seem to go pretty quickly, but as far as I can tell it's pretty original which makes for a nice change. I haven't posted any hints for it, but if you want some just leave a comment and tell me what level you're stuck on. Enjoy!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dragon Drop

I remember getting an email from Mr. Logic several months ago about a new online riddle, but I was crazy busy and knew that I didn't have the time to devote to one of his head-scratchers. But today I decided to head over to the SiMPLE website to see what games I'd missed.

There are actually several Mr. Logic puzzles that I haven't tried yet. I noticed that only 8 of the top 10 spots for Dragon Drop had been filled so I decided to give that one a try. Well, I'm beginning to understand why. I'm already stuck on level 7. And while there is a Nordinho.net thread for this game, nobody has written anything on it! And SiMPLE's Dragon Drop message board is not much better. So if anyone else is playing this game and wants to compare notes, leave a comment here.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mazito 2 Solved

Originally posted 5.27.2005 on Limes with Orange.

I finally solved Mazito 2 (not in time to be in the top 10, though a couple of people that I cooperated with made it: drgnmstrshake & rubixglued... congrats you two). I've updated my text map, but I've taken some liberties with it, as I didn't want to show room 99 or the fork for the final path. Wouldn't want to make it too easy!

The only hint I'll post for the moment is a quote from Mr. Logic himself (used in one of the rooms of the puzzle): "Keep an open mind and question everything, especially the self-evident."

Addendum to Original Post:

Hints

1. At least one "File Not Found" and/or "Dead End" page is lying.

Read more...

2. Many questions have more than one answer. Some of them are pseudonyms, some are the result of hidden numbers, some are just plain wrong (based on very common mistakes).

3. For anything that requires rearranging words or starts off with "I am a ten letter word...", oneacross.com is your friend. (Use the anagram feature for the first type, the crossword feature for the second.)

4. Most of the codes are simple substitution ciphers, but one room requires you to shift your code by one letter for each word and another requires you to shift up for one letter and down for the next. (Those pages have hints to that effect.)

5. Manipulating images in Photoshop can be very helpful, whether it's adjusting the hue of a red mess, adjusting brightness and contrast in a calculator screen or using the magic wand tool (tolerance=0).

6. The url info at the bottom of every page may seem redundant and repetitive, but ignore it at your peril.

7. Oh yeah, that weird puppet with the dog's head and flippers, etc... his name is Flub-A-Dub.

8. And the final branch is somewhere between rooms 88 and 198 (see my text map).

And some potentially helpful links:

Chemistry - The Periodic Table
Google (and Google Images)
Introduction to Cryptography
One Across - Crossword Puzzle Help
Prime Pages (prime numbers)
Quotations Page
Wacky Wordies
Wikipedia List of Occupations

And if you need more specific help, you can always check out:
Nordinho.net Forums - Mazito 2 or I Am Bored.com.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mazito 2: Text Map

Originally posted 5.23.2005 on Limes with Orange.

I seem to be getting a lot of hits from people looking for hints or answers to Mazito 2. Well, I'm working on the puzzle but haven't solved it yet. So far the routes I've taken are:

1-2-3-4-5-96-26-39-49-56-76

1-2-3-4-5-96-26-39-49-54-44-17-71-37-92-10 ---> so I have the first piece of paper

1-2-3-4-5-95-34-63-47-51-79-68

1-2-3-4-5-95-34-63-47-52-84-30-42-81-35-94-12 ---> which gives me the third piece of paper

1-2-3-4-5-91-27-57-41-69-187-89-98-31-74

1-2-3-4-5-91-27-57-41-69(url change)-73-11 ---> finally have the middle piece of paper

Read more...

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167-77-58-24

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86-25-74

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21-53

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19-1 (going in circles)

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178-77 (going in circles)

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-18-66-145-22-80-85-128-88-136-82-48-61-14-31

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-18-66-145-22-80-85-128-88-13-143-107-198

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-18-66-145-22-62-20-126

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-172-83-25-74

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-159-50 (going in circles)

1-6-33-50-40-23

My instincts tell me that the path with the "file not found" is the right one, so I think I've gone astray somewhere between Room 60 and Room 31 on that route. I'll post hints when I'm finished (if I ever am). In the meantime, I recommend checking out the forums at Nordinho.net or I Am Bored.com.

P.S. If you're looking for my hints for the first Mazito, go here.


P.P.S. Here's the post that I wrote after I solved Mazito 2.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Sampling of Simple Games

A few simple, soothing games for your enjoyment:

Boomshine
Crazy Ladybugs
Grid Lock
Sobics

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Mazito

Originally posted 5.05.2005 on Limes with Orange.

Came across another cool puzzle game called The Mazito. It's a url fabrication game like Not Pr0n with an interesting maze-like twist. A few general hints:

1. At least one "File Not Found" and/or "Dead End" page is lying.
2. Beware of hidden words or numbers.
3. Sometimes you need to look at things backwards, sideways or upside down.
4. Some questions have more than one answer.
5. Photoshop is very helpful for matching colours.
6. The url info at the bottom of every page may seem redundant and repetitive, but ignore it at your peril.
7. Some links that may or may not help with some of the puzzles:

Ascii Table
Chemistry - The Periodic Table
Freecell
Google
Introduction to Cryptography
Inventors Hall of Fame
Morse Code
Number Converter: Binary/Decimal/Hexadecimal
One Across - Crossword Puzzle Help
Quotations Page
Resistor Colour Code
USA Maps and Information Page
Wacky Wordies
Wikipedia List of Occupations
Wikipedia article on pianists

Read more...

And if you need more specific help, you can always check out this forum:
Nordinho.net Forums - The Mazito

Some other riddle type games that I've discovered while I should be doing other, more productive, things:

The New Quiz (pretty straightforward... temporarily offline)
The Stone (challenging, time consuming but satisfying... oh, and you need to set up a profile before you play)
Zest (more difficult than Mazito, less satisfying than The Stone, but pretty cool nonetheless)

P.S. For the overwhelming number of people who end up on this site after searching for "http://www.datacraft.co.jp/takagism/rr/history.html", you probably want to head over to my Crimson Room post which is soon to be bumped off the front page and into the blog archives. Ditto for those of you looking for hints for Arcane: The Miller Estate & The Stone Circle.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hoshi Saga

I found another simple little game called Hoshi Saga. The goal is to discover the star hidden in each of the 36 levels. It's more soothing than exciting, but still kind of addictive.

I had a little trouble on level 11, not that it was tricky to figure out, but apparently my hand-eye coordination leaves something to be desired and my nudging was a little overly enthusiastic. The other ones that had me scratching my head a bit were 31 (again not hard, just tedious and no actual clicking involved which is what stumped me briefly) and 33 (I think my "slicing" was mostly too slow or in the wrong place). But all in all, a fun game that you can definitely figure out on your own with a little logic, a little patience and a little outside-the-box thinking (and a smidge of some super quick typing).

Or, if patience isn't your thing, there are hints available on Nordinho.net. And if you want a complete walkthrough, head over to Jayisgames.com. Have fun!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mazito Games

I will gradually be moving all of my Mazito posts over from Limes with Orange. For now, I'm just collecting them in one place. I'll update the links as they migrate.

To play the games:
The Mazito
Mazito 2
Mazito 3

For my hints, links and text maps:
The Mazito
Mazito 2: Text Map
Mazito 2 Solved
Mazito 3
Mazito 3 Text Map
I Did It!

Enjoy!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Spooks' Spy Academy

Originally posted 1.20.2005 on Limes with Orange

I've been getting some hits on my posts about the Spy Academy over at the BBC Spooks site, so I thought I'd give my comments and tips (along with my high scores) for the various missions:

Trace — 99%
I quite enjoy this mission. One tip to help speed things up... if you lock in the symbols on the reels on both sides of a particular reel, that middle reel will automatically lock the correct symbol into place when it comes around again. That way you can focus on other reels.

Descramble — 91%
The first part of this mission requires you to clean up the scrambled transmission. This part is fairly easy. First use the slider to alter the amplitude (height). (The manual suggests reducing the height of all of the waves to start with, but I don't find the other waves distracting so have found the time taken to reduce them is just a waste.) Then use the dials to adjust the frequency (width)... just be careful to use small motions with the mouse since you want to stop your adjustments as soon as the wave goes grey.

Next it's time to descramble the message. Since the message will always be the same, your score should improve with each attempt as you become familiar with the order of the words and phrases: "Okay and meet me and collect the package from a hundred and twenty six ***** at 6:30. Then drop it off across town at the agreed location. Don't mess this up. We don't want to attract any unnecessary attention. And make sure you're not followed."
***[Is he saying "Chilton" here? I never managed to figure out this particular part of the message.]***

Read more...

Firewall — 60%
My worst score on the GRID is for this mission and I'm not quite sure how to improve it. My technique: Before each round, I quickly check the Functions. First counting the number of Splitters (good) and Combiners (bad) on each side, then counting the little arrows that represent Breakers (bad), then checking Boosters and Reversers (which look the same, but have opposite effects depending on which side they're on) and the colour of any orphan nodes (that don't connect to either side). Then I pick the side that looks most promising. Once the round starts, I first send charges to convert the nodes that have no access to the other side and the ones with Boosters. Once those are converted, I wait to convert the other nodes until after the computer, as recommended in the manual (trying not to wait so long that I run out of time). I find that an average result for me is three nodes left unconverted. I consider two nodes pretty decent and one node really good. Only once did I manage to convert them all. Anybody have any ideas on how to improve my score?

[Addendum: I managed to increase my score ever so slightly to 63%. This was with leaving only 2 nodes unconverted on the first round, 1 in the second, converting all nodes in the third, then leaving only 2, 1, 3 and 2 nodes in the final four rounds respectively. So that averages to less than 2 nodes left unconverted per round. I think something is very wrong with the scoring system on this mission. Perhaps it's time to email the game designer and ask what the heck they were thinking.]

Car Tail — 80%
Another mission that I'm not very good at. I just happened to luck out with that 80% one time. Not quite sure how I managed that since I usually score closer to 65%, so I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice here.

[Addendum: I have since improved my score to 99%. The trick is to keep the tail pretty hot and actually get too close a couple of times, making the subject race away. Just make sure that you do it by plan and not accident, so that you have another car ready for the subject to race towards. My mistake before was trying to keep the indicator on or below the middle, when it should average more like 3/4 of the way to the top.]

Lock Pick — 99%
This mission is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I had problems with the appropriate amount of torque at first, but I settled into a routine of tapping the space bar on every other tap of the arrow keys (after holding it down for the first few taps to build up sufficient torque initially). The first level has four pins, each of which only needs to be tapped in two alternating directions (indicated by the arrows). The second level has five pins, still only two directions. The next level has six pins with three alternating directions. The last level has seven pins and uses all four directions. Practice makes perfect.

Surveillance — 99%
This one is pretty simple. Take note of the suspect shown in the video footage above "last visual contact." Pay particular attention to his hairline, clothing and backpack. Then watch the footage from the other cameras until you spot him. You can fast forward by dragging the scrolling playhead with the mouse, just be careful not to go so fast that you miss him. As soon as you see him, pause the video on a good shot of him (rewind if you need to). Then click the contact button to send the image to the field team.

Patch — 99%
This mission is my favourite. I think it reminds me a bit of Tetris in that you have to rearrange objects spatially... bringing order to chaos, as it were. The first couple of levels are very straightforward. Then you start to get interlocking circuit chains and new circuits being added as you're trying to re-route the original ones. The key at this point is to start with the chains that are already interlocking or running alongside each other. You may have to move several circuit chains to make room to complete one. Just try to figure out the fewest number of moves that will do the job. And don't forget that circuits can be aligned diagonally as well as horizontally. Oh yeah, and if you get ahead of the system and clear all the circuits on the board, don't send the charge (i.e. hit the CTRL key) until it tells you to "send charge"... more circuits may be on their way. And premature charging will fail and fry the system.

Garbology — 92%
I hate this mission. For one thing, it depends too much on what random objects you're given. But mostly, as far as I'm concerned, it requires too much fanciful speculation based on gross generalizations and not enough in the way of actual logical deductions. Basically, the narrower you can make the ranges, the better. (I assume that you can actually refine them too much but since the program doesn't provide that sort of feedback, I tend to ignore that possibility.) In general, unless there's anything to suggest the extreme ends of the spectrum, you can probably knock off things like very bad diet or obese, etc. Some ways that I narrow things down:
Gender: birth control pills, bra... female; wooly hat, work boot... male.
Age: birth control... under 40; wooly hat... under 25 (I know this sounds ridiculous, but it seems to work)
Language: there will usually be a newspaper that indicates this.
Education: pen, study notes, exam papers... increase; tabloid newspaper... decrease
Income: tube ticket, probable student... reduce income; airline tickets... increase income.
Diet: fruit, green tea... good; bacon, fried food, sweets... bad.
Health: medications, smoking... bad; gym membership... good. (And don't forget to factor a good or bad diet into health.)
Smoker: the obvious cigarette package & the less obvious box of matches.
Build: gym membership, good diet... smaller build.
Height: small shoe size... shorter; you can also make some assumptions based on gender here (i.e. chicks are shorter than guys).

Infiltration — 97%
If you're in story mode, once you complete your assignments you can go on an infiltration mission. The first part of the mission is a pretty intense session of patching. I recommend brushing up on your patch assignment before starting. The next section is creating a clean video loop (just watch out for the security guard... you don't want to catch him on tape or start playing your video loop when he's in the middle of your screen). The final section is a bit of lock picking. It's on par with the final level of the lock pick mission, so be prepared.

I'll add the training missions soon. Good luck & have fun!

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