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‘Sidewords’ Is a Relaxing Blend of Puzzle and Word Game Coming July 18th – Touch Arcade

If you like games you can play to relax rather than stress, Sidewords might be just the thing for you. This upcoming game blends puzzle and word mechanics and offers a ton of puzzles of all levels of difficulty. The developer, Milkbag Games of Disco Zoo, designed the game to have no timers or penalties so it would feel like your morning newspaper word puzzle. That way, you can explore the game’s puzzles at your own pace. You can change the color scheme to fit your mood (or the time of day) and try and solve as many puzzles as you’re in the mood for.

The game will be a premium app that will cost $2.99 and will have no IAPs or ads at all, since that would break the mood the developers want to create. The game is coming out July 18th, so keep an eye out for Sidewords if you’re looking for a chill puzzle/word game.

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‘Sidewords’ Is a Relaxing Blend of Puzzle and Word Game Coming July 18th – Touch Arcade

Puzzle Your Way Through ‘The House of Da Vinci’ – GeekDad (blog)

You are one of Leonardo da Vincis studentsbut the master has vanished, leaving you cryptic instructions about important work and hidden passages. Can you master the puzzles and inventions, or will you get lost inThe House of Da Vinci?*

The House of Da Vinciis a puzzle adventure by Blue Brain Games. It was funded through Kickstarter in August 2016, and was released last monthon iOSfor $4.99; it will be coming soon to Android, Steam, and Amazon Kindle. I was given early access to try out the game, and really enjoyed it. Heres an introduction.

As the game begins, you find yourself standing outside da Vincis door, when you witness a green explosion in a high tower, and a figure escaping on some sort of hang glider contraption. Da Vinci has left you a message: youll have to figure out how to unlock the door, but then youll gain access to his library.

The game is filled with puzzles, from fairly simple to the devilishly complex, and some of them involve actual inventions that da Vinci created. It reminds me a bit ofThe Room series, though without the pervasive creepy feeling and not quite as long. Thereare some mysterious figures who are following you around inThe House of Da Vinci (and youll learn more about who they are as you progress through the game) but in general there arent any jump scares.

During the game, youll gain access to two inventions thatarent based in reality: special lenses that let you see the unseen. One will reveal hidden markings or let you see (and access) the inner workings of certain machines; the other lets you see into the past, often revealing hints about how to use a device. I havent included screenshots of those, though, because I dont want to give spoilers about when and where you should use them.

Heres the Kickstarter trailer for the game, which does show one of the lenses at work:

I played through the entire game in just under 4 hours (theres a handy timer that displays when you finish); its not a long game, but I did enjoy a lot of the puzzles. Theres a hint system if you get stuckthe hint will slowly recharge every time you use it, and sometimes youll get multiple hints about the same puzzle until you get past it.

The app also allows for multiple profiles, so my two older daughters (ages 13 and 10) and I could each play through at our own pace, and both of them have been enjoying it as well. They both liked watching me playThe Room but there were parts that they just found too eerie; that hasnt been the case withThe House of Da Vinci.

Id recommendThe House of Da Vinci for those who like puzzle adventures, particularly if youre a fan of da Vincis many inventions.

Visit the officialwebsite for more, and to be notified when the game arrives on other platforms.

*Yes, I know da should be lowercase, but the apps title has it capitalized, so thats how it appears in this article.

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

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Puzzle Your Way Through ‘The House of Da Vinci’ – GeekDad (blog)

Solve Puzzles (And Sometimes Crime) In Picross Dating Sim – Kotaku

Picross Makeout League tests your love of picross through puzzle-themed dates.

Picross Makeout League is a short visual novel about a group of superheroes called the Puzzle League, who are all themed after various kinds of puzzles. You play as Picross Girl, whose superpower is to be really good at picross, a puzzle in which you follow a numbered guide to make rudimentary pictures on a grid. Picross Girl sees picross puzzles everywhere, and you, the player, are tasked with solving them. Her teammates are basically the personification of different kinds of puzzles: Crossword is constantly giving you crossword clues, Chess is obsessed with black and white thinking, Piecea is an actual puzzle piece, and Sudoku is pretty unforgiving. The plot is not fully developed in this demo, leaving you on a cliffhanger as Picross Girl is kidnapped, but you do get to go on dates with some of your teammates.

While it might sound boring at face value, Picross Makeout League is an unexpectedly funny affair. Heres the very first puzzle you solve, based on what Picross Girl sees as she is kidnapped and blindfolded:

After being introduced to the team, the player selects a character for Picross Girl to go on a date with. Only your teammates Crossword and Chess have full dates in this version of the game, but the whole cast has distinct personalities, and youll get a chance to spend some time with each of them. While I wish I could have dated Piecea, the anthropomorphized puzzle piece, I did love my date with Chess, who ranted and raved about conspiracy theories and chess puzzles. At one point he says that he needs to be five, ten or even 500 moves ahead of his enemy and Picross Girl asks, Can you play 500 moves ahead in chess? Her date answers, If you are both really bad, then yes.

If you dont really get or like picross puzzles, the game lets you skip through them using the fast forward button, but its more fun to play through the puzzles during your dates and elsewhere. While youre out with someone, the puzzles are all themed to the date at handChesss picross are all chess pieces, Crossword takes you to an art gallery where you solve art-themed picross. Im not very good at picross, but I was able to guess my way through the harder puzzles.

If you love picross a lot, Picross Makeout League is worth a try. Even if you dont, its funny writing makes for a good diversion. Grab it for free on

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Solve Puzzles (And Sometimes Crime) In Picross Dating Sim – Kotaku

Why Just In Time Incorporated Is Like The Superhot Of VR Puzzle Games – UploadVR

Imagine if Superhot VR was a puzzle game, and not a first-person shooter. Instead of taking out waves of enemies, you see people charging into certain peril, and you have to use your mastery of time to save them before they end up stabbed, squished, shot or blown up. Maybe you throw a little Job Simulator-style humor in there for good effect. Thats pretty much Just In Time Incorporated in a nutshell.

This upcoming Vive game from Second Wind Interactive casts you as a member of an agency that specialises in saving clients in the nick of time. Think The Bodyguard meets The Flash. Using a special pair of gloves that slow down time (or, in the games fiction, speed you up), you teleport to various scenarios in which your well-paying customers are about to meet a violent end. Its your job to put a stop to whatever doom awaits them.

Its a formula for a brilliantly varied puzzle game; the type that requires situational problem solving rather than an understanding and mastery of a specific mechanic. Youll get a hint as to what you need to do to save a client in each mission, but its up to you to scan your environment and find the tools you need to save the day. Its your standard Vive game control-wise; the wands replicate your hands and you teleport around levels, picking things up.

Things start off as simple as disarming a mugger (and maybe then giving him a taste of his own medicine should you feel so inclined), but missions quickly become more elaborate. I played the game for about 30 minutes and in that time I was searching for bombs, getting people out of the way of incoming traffic, and defending scientists from an army of crazy lab rats. Second Wind clearly isnt afraid to get inventive with its core concept, and the game thrives on the strange variety that youll encounter from minute to minute.

Just In Time takes that core, empowering thrill that made Superhot one of 2016s best VR games and gives it an appreciated spin. It triggers that panicky think fast mentality as you watch someone jump out of a window and desperately search for a means to cushion their fall, or hurriedly teleport around a jungle, removing weapons from enemies and aiming bullets back at them. Missions range from the given cinematic set pieces like saving a certain president to parodying other movies and games, though the most interesting come from Second Winds own design.

Levels are at their best when they require some invention on the players part, though. Robo Recall-style rocket rebounds are all well and good, but I was more enthralled by the levels that didnt have immediate solutions. At one point I had to save someone from a Bond-esque laser beam, but they were locked in a room only opened with an eye scan. You can probably guess the solution already, but these kinds of levels that require thought are what really make Just In Time stand out. Other missions will randomly generate locations of key items hidden away, meaning each time you play youll be in a mad scramble.

Second Wind has laid the foundation for a VR game that could keep on giving. While theres a lot of scenarios in the base game, theyre quickly solved without too much trouble. Its more of a distraction than true brain teaser. Id love to see later levels that really test my wits, with multi-staged solutions that take multiple attempts to work out. I saw a bit of that in my time with the game, especially when saving an old man from an incoming truck, but I want to see a whole lot more of that side of the game.

Truth be told the limitations of the game may be parallel to the developers own resources. Second Wind incorporates a simple blocky style into the game, with characters looking like theyve just walked out of Minecraft. Its a serviceable style that was likely cost-effective but it doesnt reflect the games brilliant personality, nor does the computer generated voice acting. The game might not have been possible without these cut corners, but that doesnt make them any less visible.

Just In Time may only end up scratching the surface of what its brilliant premise is truly capable of, then, but even on that level its a joy to play and see. Second Wind has one of the most curious concepts for a VR game Ive seen this year in its hands, and I hope we see that fully capitalized on sometime in the future.

Just In Time Incorporated will be out on Steam on July 27th. A full price has not yet been revealed.

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Why Just In Time Incorporated Is Like The Superhot Of VR Puzzle Games – UploadVR

Killer Goat Man Chases You In This Puzzle Based Visual Novel – Kotaku

A promotional image from the games website, featuring some of the characters.

When you think of a visual novel, you probably think of pursuing super sexy romantic interests (or pigeons). Most of the interactions in these games involve choosing which way to compliment your virtual crush. At first I thought Lets Meat Adam would be another dating simulator (only this time with goats). But its actually a game that takes a complex look at issues within the gay community.

Lets Meat Adam is a puzzle-based visual novel in which social media celebrity Adam and his friend Vince visit an escape mansion (like an escape room, but larger). They, along along with seven other strangers, are pitted against a sadistic masked killer named Goatman. Goatman gives them nine hours to solve all the houses puzzles or else theyll be slaughtered.

All the characters are queer, but there are only two romantic options you can pursue. The game includes graphic depictions of gore, gay sex, and strong language, so its definitely geared towards an adult audience. While it looks like a dating sim, dating isnt the games main focus.

Adam is kind of a dick, which is fitting for the games murder thriller vibe. Adams friend Vince, an aspiring actor, has taken Adam to West Hollywood parties and helped him network, but despite all this Adam thinks at one point, He thinks hes mentoring me, a new kid on the block, but I think hes lucky to have a friend like me.

At another point in the game, Adam expresses some racist sentiments that made me like him even less. Four of the games characters Vince, Earl, Kang, and Lucky are people of color. When Adam meets Earl, he comments that Earl is …pretty cute for an Asian, contributing to the Asian-men-arent-attractive stereotype. This is all within the games opening moments. After 10 minutes, I thought, Well, if theres a killer after Adam, he probably has it coming.

But once the player takes control of Adam, theres the chance to make him a decent human being. When Lucky the jittery, frightened member of the group says that he doesnt want to be paired up with creepy Steve, you can make the decision to comfort Lucky or to tell him to shrug it off. Throughout the game, you can either have Adam be nice or continue to be a jerk. All the choices you make influence which of the games multiple endings you get. I have played several visual novels where I have acted like a total jerk and made bad decisions, but still had a good or decent ending, but Lets Meat Adam doesnt let you get away with that. I played most of my game nicely: refusing to leave people behind, helping people who were trapped, and comforting upset characters. But at the end of my playthrough, I became suspicious of a certain character and chose to leave them behind.

At the end of the game, when I found myself pleading for my life, I found that no matter what combination of dialogue options I tried, I was doomed. I had to squeamishly sit through the bad ending over and over again. I only made one bad decision, but the one I made was the most unforgivable.

Puzzle solving is simple but fun. Each room in the game requires solving a puzzle in order to leave it. You can click and search through the rooms to obtain clues; you can also talk to your partner for help. When youve collected enough clues and decoded the numbers, you can input your answer into the keypad on the exit door. If the answers correct, you move on to the next room. If its wrong, you have to keep trying, though the game doesnt penalize you. The time doesnt actually matter, which detracts from the suspense the game builds.

The games romantic options are less fun than the puzzles, unfortunately. You can either choose grumpy, muscular Bart or douchey frat boy Pierce. Both of their bad personalities turned me off. Bart harped on how I was desperate for attention because I was a celebrity. Pierce couldnt stop thinking about sex for five minutes to help me solve a puzzle. Why would I want to date a jerk? Who I really wanted was Earl.

Earl was confident and cute. I made him my partner (much to his annoyance), and took him into the first room. He lectured me on how he could take care of himself, but as we attempted to solve the rooms puzzle, we bonded. After we exited the room he smiled at me. I fantasized an ending where Earl and Adam escape the mansion, hand in hand. Imagine my crushing disappointment when I realized, no, they would not.

While I hated the romantic options in the game, I understand the reasons behind them. Earl wasnt an option because Adam isnt attracted to Earl. Adams attracted to muscular, masculine characters because he doesnt want to be perceived as queer, which other characters call him out on. Dating ultra-beefy dudes helps Adam reinforce his own sense of masculinity. I feel bad for Adam in that regard, but I am impressed with the developers ability to explore such a complex topic within this game.

Racism in the gay community comes up repeatedly through the game. Some characters make racist comments. At one point, the killer reveals everyones dating profiles and youll find that some characters wont date people of certain races. At the end of the game, when the motivation for the escape mansion is revealed, themes of race and masculinity in the gay community feature prominently. These are not the usual topics of visual novels, but Lets Meat Adam addresses them in a straightforward if occasionally less-than-nuanced way.

While it can be raunchy and gory like a campy horror film, Lets Meat Adam is an intelligent game that sets out to tackle challenging themes. Gruesome but always engaging, it challenges the idea of what a visual novel is supposed to be.

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Killer Goat Man Chases You In This Puzzle Based Visual Novel – Kotaku

The most downloaded Nintendo Switch game in Japan features neither Mario nor Link – TrustedReviews

The Nintendo Switch has only been on sale since March, but it is already proving somewhat of a phenomenon for fans around the world.

Today, Nintendo of Japan revealed the countrys top-selling digital games from the firms eShop.

Surprisingly both Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have missed out on the top spot, with the lesser-known Snipperclips sitting pretty in the number one slot.

Whats Snipperclips, I hear you ask? Well its a puzzle game that requires gamers to cut paper characters into new shapes. In our review back in April we gave it an 8/10 score.

Snipperclips wont go down as the biggest or most ambitious Switch game ever, or even the one that best demonstrates the consoles features, our reviewer Stuart Andrews wrote.

However, it’s a game that knows what it wants to be a smart, inventive co-op puzzle game and does a great job of being it. Played solo it isn’t all that enjoyable, but pair up or find a foursome and you have one of the most enjoyable, if stressful, co-op games since Overcooked.

Related: Best Nintendo Switch games

The ever-popular Minecraft came in second while Mario Kart 8 got itself onto the podium in third place.

Next came Kamiko and Zelda, ahead of Metal Slug 3 and the other high profile release, the motion-based beat em up ARMS.

There are, of course, extenuating circumstances for the anomaly of Snipperclips beating out some of Nintendos legendary characters.

The game costs a third of the price of those flagship titles and is digital only. Still, it remains a pretty significant achievement for a third-party developer.

Anyway, heres the top 25 from Nintendo Japans eShop (via IGN):

1) Snipperclips

2) Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition

3) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

4) Kamiko

5) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

6) Metal Slug 3


8) 1-2-Switch

9) The King of Fighters 98

10) Othello

11) VOEZ

12) Super Bomberman R

13) New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers

14) Blaster Master Zero

15) Metal Slug

16) Human Resource Machine

17) Flip Wars

18) Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

19) Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers

20) Maison de Maou

21)Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap

22) Seiken Densetsu Collection

23) Puyo Puyo Tetris

24) Mighty Gunvolt Burst

25) Thumper

What’s your favourite Switch game thus far? Is Snipperclips worthy of its lofty position? Share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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The most downloaded Nintendo Switch game in Japan features neither Mario nor Link – TrustedReviews

Fidgets, puzzles and activity books for summer trips – The Times Telegram

By Christina Barron The Washington Post

Perhaps you are headed to the beach. Or a family reunion. Or a national park. Wherever you’re traveling, it’s good to think about how you are going to pass the time in the car, plane, boat or train. (Pestering your little brother doesn’t count.)

Electronics aren’t always allowed or don’t always function well on a trip, so it’s smart to pack a few low-tech entertainment options. We found a batch of new toys, games and books easy to pack and play on the go. We hope they will distract and amuse you enough that you won’t dream of asking, “Are we there yet?”

Fidget toys/puzzles

Fidget toys the craze of 2017 come in many shapes and sizes. You may have a spinner, but one cool variation is the Spinbladez (Zing, $9.99). It lights up and can be stacked on top of another spinner to create a mesmerizing double spinner. If you like the spinning concept but want a toy that requires more skill, try Thumb Chucks (Zing, $9.99). The design is simple: two light-up rubber balls attached by a short cord. The trick is twirling them around your fingers. This definitely takes practice. (Check YouTube for tutorials.)

Cube toys are big this year and small. A tiny version of a classic cube toy is the World’s Smallest Rubik’s (Super Impulse, $11.99). The little puzzle can fit in a pocket (it measures less than an inch), and it moves just like the traditional version. Cube-tastic (Putao, $19.99) is a terrific choice for those who need help (adults included) solving the puzzle. Download the related app, and if you get stuck, you can take a picture of your cube and receive a clue.

IQ Focus ($9.99) is the latest pocket puzzle game from SmartGames. This one features chunks of colored blocks that can fit into a grid to match 120 challenges. There are three levels of difficulty, the lowest of which would be challenging for most 8-year-olds. Younger kids may prefer Jump’In (SmartGames, $14.99), which features adorable rabbits trying to get to their holes safely by jumping over foxes and mushrooms.

Building sets

Building sets usually involve lots of small parts. One lost piece might mean your model dragon has only half a head. But Playmobil’s new Space Exploration set ($14.99) comes in its own carrying case. Putting together the vehicle and astronaut takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The small size of the rover means that even an airplane tray table can stand in for the moon or Mars. The completed set can fit back in the case with a small adjustment. (If space doesn’t interest you, there’s also new Family Picnic and Pirate Raider carrying cases.)

Activity books

If you enjoy mazes, quizzes or picture finds, there are several new books worth considering. “Travel Activity Book” (Button Books, $12.99) features puzzles, mazes and drawing challenges based on where you might travel – the shore, the mountains or a big city. Bring a set of colored pencils to decorate postcards in the book and mail them on the road. “The Round the World Quiz Book” (Lonely Planet, $11.99) can entertain the entire family with 500 questions about people, places and things all over the globe. And if you’re looking for a travel companion, there’s an updated “Where’s Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection” (Candlewick, $14.99). The tiny guy in the striped sweater is always getting lost. The picture finds aren’t simple, so after a few you may be surprised how much closer you are to your destination.

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Fidgets, puzzles and activity books for summer trips – The Times Telegram

Every July 2017 VR Game Release Date – Twinfinite

During E3, we saw some promising new VR games coming on the horizon, like creepy new psychological thriller title Transference being made in collaboration with Ubisoft and actor Elijah Wood, or adorable third-person puzzle game Moss exclusively for the PSVR. Sure, these all look fine and dandy, but what about the games you can play right now, or at least in the coming month?

Check out below for a list of all the confirmed VR releases for HTC Vive, PSVR, and Oculus Rift for July 2017. Its a pretty light month for PSVR users, except for Archangel which is coming to all three major platforms with PSVR players getting it two weeks earlier. At the time of writing, Archangel does not have a specific release date, but is confirmed to release sometime in the July 2017 window. The same goes for The Red Stare, which lets you be a super creep and spy on your neighbors in a 1950s styled stakeout.

One promising title to look out for is Lone Echo for the Oculus Rift releasing on July 20. In Lone Echo, you can play a single player campaign that takes you on an adventure to the rings of Saturn, or take part in its fast-paced competitive mode Echo Arena. In co-op, you fight alongside up to four other players in a zero-g arena trying to score against the opposing team by throwing a catching a virtual disc, sort of like a VR version of Ultimate Frisbee.

Every confirmed VR game release for July 2017:

There are also a few titles that might release this July, but at the moment only have vague 2017-ish release date windows.

All VR titles that are due to release sometime in early/mid or unspecified 2017, but have yet to receive a confirmed release date.

Finally, here are all the titles that are simply TBA or coming soon, but who knows, maybe well be lucky and see a couple of these drop this month as well.

All Coming Soon/TBA VR releases, which have yet to receive confirmed release dates at the time of writing.

Make sure to check back next month for all the August 2017 VR titles come to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PSVR.

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Every July 2017 VR Game Release Date – Twinfinite

12 Awesome Games You Might Have Missed This Month – June … – IGN


Tons of awesome games come out every month, but in the shadow of high-profile AAA titles, even the best ones can slip under our radars. Whether youre a fan of top-down and isometric shooters, mesmerizing puzzle games and weird physics simulators, or experimental takes on classic genres, theres plenty to love in this months roundup.

For more, check out our list on themost-anticipated 2017 indie games, a love letter to theglory of weird, free web games, or dive into last month’s must-play games roundup.

Brigador: Up-Armored Edition (PC)

Brigador is one of the most stylish isometric tactics games out there right now, with its huge selection of combat mechs, neon-tinted weaponry, and fully destructible environments. Its a clear throwback to the giant robot retro shmups of yesteryear, but brought into a new era, with quicker combat and even more intense action. It was initially released last June, but already has a sleek new re-release in the form of Brigador: Up-Armored Edition, which adds more missions, balance tweaks, improved controls, and even better lighting effects.

Play if you like: MechWarrior, Syndicate

Available: Official Website, Steam,

4D Toys (PC, iOS, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, OSVR)

Game developer Marc ten Bosch has spent a lot of time thinking about the fourth dimension, as evidenced by his upcoming 4D puzzle game Miegakure. Like Miegakure, 4D Toys explores the concept of a fourth spatial dimension, only instead of solving puzzles, it lets you play around with mind-bending geometric shapes in an interactive minimalist sandbox setting.

Play if you like: Antichamber, Monument Valley

Available: Steam, App Store

Monument Valley 2 (iOS)

The colorful and mesmerizing M.C. Escher-style dreamscapes return in Monument Valley 2, the surprise sequel to the surreal geometric adventure from Ustwo Games. Monument Valleys iconic, optical illusion-inspired architecture and toy-like puzzle structures are recaptured perfectly in this follow-up, which doesnt require you to play the first game to appreciate.

Play if you like: The Bridge, Fez, GNOG

Available: App Store

Passpartout: The Starving Artist (PC, Mac)

Passpartout lets you embody the life of a baguette and wine-addicted French artist as you struggle to make a name for yourself. The most amusing part about it is that you actually get to paint your own masterpieces by hand, using an MS Paint-style interface that directs your little artist characters movements as you draw.

Play if you like: Cart Life, Tilt Brush

Available: Steam, Game Jolt

Virush (PC, Vive)

Virush is an intense arcade-style room-scale action game for the Vive, where you control a program battling off waves of computer viruses. The interface is super clean and minimal, and if youre not afraid of heights, the visuals are neat too.

Play if you like: Geometry Wars, Space Pirate Trainer

Available: Steam

Pacific (PC, Mac)

A compact and minimalist horror game with a couple visual tricks up its sleeves. While its handful of jump scares are easy to predict, the constant shifting of its environment once its out of sight and eerie backstory delivered via old cassette tapes is enough to keep up the tension for the 10-20 minutes it takes to complete.

Play if you like:Layers of Fear, P.T.


Framed 2 (iOS)

Framed 2 keeps up the clever comic-inspired puzzling established in its award-winning, noir-themed predecessor from 2014. As its story plays out in a sequence of animated comic strips, its your job to rearrange the panels to adjust the outcome of each interaction. Even if you fail, you still get to watch each possible scenario play out, like an ever-branching graphic novel, until you nail the correct order and progress to the next event.

Play if you like: Film noir and comic books

Available: App Store

Scanline (PC)

Scanline is a bright and flashy action game made for CGA Jam, which challenged game designers to create a game using the CGA 4 color palette. It combines the charm of a DOS game with the sensibilities of a more modernized arcade-style action-platformer. Its also pretty tough, especially with a deadly moving force field constantly propelling you onward into the path of danger.

Play if you like: Downwell



BVOVB, or Bruising Vengeance of the Vintage Boxer, is a comically old-timey arcade beat em up in the style of black-and-white photos from the 20s and 30s. You play an apparent drunkard and ex-boxer named John whos going on a punching spree to get back his dog after a dogfighting ring kidnaps him. While the combat is pretty standard, BVOVBs silly collage-inspired art (like a more vintage Richard Hamilton piece) combined with its silent film-like comedy and a fitting ragtime piano OST make it worth a look.

Play if you like: Silent films and boxing

Available:, Game Jolt

Nex Machina (PC, PS4)

Nex Machina is the latest game from the creators of Resogun, and its been receiving critical acclaim for being one of the best new twin-stick shooters out there. Like a modern Smash TV, the self-described cablepunk shoot em up features some of the most explosive looking weapons and power-ups, plus semi-destructible environments that make running and gunning an even flashier spectacle. Our 8/10 review of Nex Machina called it a recipe to delight those looking for an attractive, arcadey challenge to overcome.

Play if you like: Resogun, Ikaruga

Available: Steam, PlayStation Store

Magic Wand (PC)

This one actually came out last year, but it hit Steam just this month. You could call that cheating, but the chance to sneak Magic Wand into this list was too good to pass up. Like most experiences from thecatamites, Magic Wand is a charming, weird, and surprising adventure with an art style like no other. It describes itself as a JRPG, and with its overworld-style exploration and colorful characters, its not far from the truth. But like Goblet Grotto and Space Funeral, two of thecatamites most well-known games, Magic Wand is really just about existing in its world and seeing what sorts of secrets and surprises you find there.

Play if you like: Future Unfolding

Available: Official Website,, Steam

GoNNER (Switch)

GoNNER is one of the cutest looking side-scrolling shooters out there, but it also packs quite a challenge for fans of tough, procedurally generated platformers. Instead of getting standard upgrades or power-ups, GoNNERs special abilities come in the form of new heads for your character, which grant health and fun new skills or attributes, like triple-jumping, exploding enemies, or reduced cooldown. Its score-based, platforming-heavy gameplay and daily challenges have lead many to describe it as Spelunky, but with shooting. This one came out last year on PC, but just recently hit Nintendo Switch.

Play if you like: Spelunky, Enter the Gungeon

Available: Nintendo eShop, Steam, Humble Store,

Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi.

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12 Awesome Games You Might Have Missed This Month – June … – IGN

Can You Solve The Ring Area Puzzle? And An Introduction To Visual Calculus

What is the area of a ring (an annulus), the region between two concentric circles? The line segment is tangent to the inner circle and has a length of 8.

Watch the video for four solution methods and for a mention of a fifth solution method employing visual calculus.

Can You Solve The Ring Area Puzzle? Introduction To Visual Calculus

Or keep reading.

Answer To The Ring Area Puzzle

The solutions will be slightly easier to see if we first rotate the shapes so the tangent line is horizontal.

Next draw the inner circle’s radius, with length b, vertically so it makes a right angle and bisects the tangent line (a chord of the outer circle) into two segments of length 4 = a. Finally draw the outer circle’s radius, with length c, to connect to the endpoint of the line segment, forming a hypotenuse of a right triangle.

Now we can solve the problem in several different ways.

Method 1: Make up numbers!

The area between the two circles is equal to the area of the outer circle minus the area of the inner circle. The radius of the outer circle is the hypotenuse of a triangle with one leg 4 and another leg equal to the radius of the inner circle.

Imagine this problem appeared on a multiple choice test or a math competition. If the answer is known to be a single number, then the answer must not depend on the size of the radii of the two circles. In that case, you might as well make up values for a specific case.

We need a right triangle with one leg equal to 4, so we might as well imagine it is a 3-4-5 right triangle. Then we get the area between the circles is:

π(outer radius)2 – π(inner radius)2
= π(52) – π(32)
= 16π

And that’s it! If your only goal was to solve this problem quickly, you can correct answer and move on.

But why exactly does the area only depend on the length of the tangent line segment? Let’s do a little more investigation and discover a more general formula.

Method 2: solve the problem generally

Let’s consider the diagram with the right triangle again.

The area of the region between the two circles can be written in terms of the radii of the two circles:

π(outer radius)2 – π(inner radius)2
= πc2 – πb2
= π(c2b2)

Now we can use the fact that the two radii are part of a right triangle. By the Pythagorean theorem, we have:

b2 + 42 = c2

We can then re-arrange the equation to find:

42 = c2b2

Thus we can solve the area of the shaded region:

= π(42)
= 16π

Now we have proven the answer is true. Furthermore, if half of the tangent line segment has length a, then by the Pythagorean theorem, we would have:

a2 = c2b2

Thus, the area between the two circles is then:

= a2π

The area only depends on the length of the tangent line segment!

Method 3: Let the inner circle radius go to zero

In the first method we made up values for the radii of the circles using the 3-4-5 right triangle. But what if we shrunk the inner circle until its radius length was 0? In that case, the diagram shrinks to be only the outer circle, and that circle would have a radius equal to 4 because the tangent line would become the radius.

Thus, the area “between” the circles is 42π = 16π.

This is the same answer!

I made a Desmos interactive graph that illustrates all of the lessons above. The region between two concentric circles is called an annulus, so the interactive is about understanding how the area of an annulus changes.

You can set the length of half the tangent line segment (default is a = 4) and the radius of the inner circle (default is b = 3). (The outer circle’s radius is automatically calculated from these parameters)

Area of an annulus

Here is a screenshot with the default parameters.

You can change the inner circle’s radius b to see the area is unchanged as long as the tangent chord length remains the same.

Finally, you can change the length of the tangent chord to see that changing this parameter does change the area of the annulus.

The graph and calculations dynamically update as you change these variables–it’s a really neat way to illustrate the problem!

Method 4: Intersecting chords theorem

Draw the radius of the outer circle vertically in both directions. Now we have two chords of the large circle that intersect with each other in the outer circle.

The intersecting chord theorem states that if two chords intersect, then the product of the two segments of one chord equal the product of the two segments from the other chord. Applied to this figure, we have:

4(4) = (c + b)(cb)

16 = c2b2

Now we notice the area of the ring equals the area of the outer circle minus the area of the inner circle:

Area of outer circle – area of inner circle
π(c2) – π(b2)

= π(c2b2)

= 16π

Amazingly, the area of the ring does not depend on the radius of either the inner circle or the outer circle!

Method 5: Mamikon’s theorem and visual calculus

While an undergraduate at Caltech in 1959, Mamikon Mnatsakanian devised a novel solution to this problem dubbed “visual calculus,” which led to another proof of the Pythagorean theorem.

Imagine the constant-length tangent segment is “swept out” around the inner circle and approximated using triangular slivers. If the slivers of this tangent sweep are rearranged to a common center, called a tangent cluster, the resulting shape would be approximately a circle. As the tangent sweeps become infinitesimally small, the tangent cluster becomes a circle with a radius equal to the length of a. The area will be πa2.

This is intuitively true, and Mamikon’s theorem formally states: “The area of a tangent sweep is equal to the area of its tangent cluster, regardless of the shape of the original curve.”

The area of the tangent sweep is the same regardless of the radius of the inner circle. Thus, the area of the annulus is equal to the area of this tangent cluster, a circle with radius equal to the length of a. The area will be πa2.

This result also leads to another proof of the Pythagorean theorem!

We have calculated the area of the annulus as a2 by the method of sweeping tangents, but we also know it’s equal to the difference between the outer and inner circle’s area. Thus:

πa2 = π(c2b2)

a2 = c2b2

a2 + b2 = c2

This method, of course, depends on Mamikon’s theorem whose proof is quite involved. There are links below for those interested in formal proofs.

Thanks to all patrons! Special thanks to:
Marlon Forbes
Shrihari Puranik

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Sources and links for further exploring

Desmos interactive

Mamikon’s area of annulus

Intersecting chord theorem

Invariant chord sweep

Visual calculus Wikipedia page

Mamikon method of sweeping tangents

Tangents and subtangents used to calculate areas

Area of cycloid video using MicroStation and Mamikon’s theorem

Cliff Pickover tweet

Solve My Maths area of annulus problem

See the original post here:
Can You Solve The Ring Area Puzzle? And An Introduction To Visual Calculus

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