If you like puzzle games and logic puzzles, All-in-1 Logic GameBox is a one-dollar iPhone app that will keep you occupied for … well, let me pull up my statistics here … Whoa! Nineteen and a half hours so far? Really? I should mention that I got this app less than two weeks ago. A big reason for all that time spent is that it’s actually seven different games, each with plenty of levels ranging from introductory to the mind-boggling. Other than Paratroopers, which is sort of a speed and dexterity game, the other games require some thought and logic.
The graphics on it are nicely done: the menu screens have a wood-grain background with a sort of peeling-sticker icon, and all the in-game graphics are simple, clean and actually attractive. The interface works pretty well on most of the games, although I did have a little trouble with accuracy of tapping and dragging on Paratroopers and Liquid Measure at times.
AppZap, the developer, promises future updates so I imagine there will be more levels as they’re released. Here I’ll give you a brief rundown of each game included. If you like puzzle games, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Paratroopers – 84 levels
Each level starts with a plane flying by and releasing a number of paratroopers. who start falling to earth in a holding pattern. You tap each soldier to open the parachutes, and the goal is to save all the soldiers before they hit the ground. A little meter on the left side shows your altitude, and the levels vary in the number of paratroopers, distance from the ground, and patterns in which they appear. In many of the levels, after you clear a screen of paratroopers, another set falls onto the screen.
The trick seems to be to figure out the quickest way to tap through all the paratroopers, but sometimes having a plan doesn’t mean you’ll be able to physically be able to tap that quickly. I’m stuck on Level 62, currently. Of the puzzles, this is the one that requires the least logic and is the most like an arcade game.
Telescope – 112 levels
In Telescope, you have to get a marble to the hole using little telescoping rods. Tapping a telescope extends and retracts it, pushing and pulling the marble around the screen. The various colors of telescopes have different lengths, and you’ll often need to use one telescope to block the range of another. In later levels there are also crates which get in the way and it becomes extremely challenging.
Telescope is one of my favorites of the pack.
Labyrinth – 112 levels
The goal of Labyrinth is to fill in all the squares on the screen. There will be some number of green squares when you begin: you start at a green square and trace a path without retracing your steps. On levels with multiple start spaces and lots of dead ends, it requires careful planning to solve the puzzles. This is definitely one of the easiest of the games and the first I completed, but even so it’s nicely implemented and fun to play.
Parking Lot – 400+ levels?
I’m not absolutely sure about the number of levels in Parking Lot, because there are 112 levels in Easy mode, and Medium, Hard, and Expert are unlocked until I complete those. Judging from the current progress bar, I’m guessing there won’t be a full 112 levels in each of the harder difficulty modes, but I don’t know that for sure.
At any rate, you’ve seen this puzzle before: it’s like the Rush Hour puzzle game. You have a small parking lot, and the goal is to get the red car out through the exit. All of the cars can only move forward and backward—no turning. I like this game but it can get repetitive after a while. Fortunately there are plenty of other games in the Gamebox.
Liquid Measure – 84 levels
I think Liquid Measure is my favorite of the games included. At the top of the screen are a number of numbered pipes—the number indicates how much liquid will come out of each one. On the screen and at the bottom are a number of cups of different sizes and shapes to catch the liquid. The sums of all the numbers on the pipes and cups will match, and your goal is to use the provided sections of pipe to direct the liquid into the proper cups. Sometimes sections of pipe and some of the cups will already be on the screen and cannot be moved. The levels start off extremely simple but by the end many of them required a lot of reshuffling of pieces to get things to flow correctly.
Flip It – 112 levels
You may be familiar with Flip It-type puzzles: whenever you tap a square, it flips over, along with the four squares above, below, left and right of it. The goal is to flip all of the squares over to the lighter colored side. I once learned a fail-safe method for solving these puzzles which didn’t necessarily result in the lowest number of flips but always worked … as long as the perimeter was a rectangle. The first 25 levels of Flip It are square, so I got through them pretty easily—but after that it switched to a rectangle with its corners missing, which makes things considerably harder.
Arithmetic – 3 difficulty levels
The last of the games is Arithmetic. You are presented with an equation with a missing operator, and are asked to tap the correct one. On the easiest level, it’s just a simple one-operator equation, and you fill it in. On medium, there are two operators, and one is missing. On the hardest level, it’s a three-operator equation. You get a series of questions, and the goal is to complete all of them in the shortest amount of time. Hit the wrong operator, and you get a 20 second penalty and get to keep trying. On the harder levels, you also have to pay attention to order of operations, which adds to the challenge. There are two things I didn’t like about Arithmetic. First, there’s no indicator of how many questions you have left before the level is over—you just keep going until it says you’re done. Secondly, it’s the same questions each time you play, so it’s actually possible that you could improve your time simply by playing through and learning which operator fits without actually learning the arithmetic.
Overall, I think the All-in-1 Logic GameBox is pretty well done other than the few gripes I listed above, and at only $.99 it’s a bargain. If you enjoy puzzle games, even if you don’t like all seven of the games, you’ll find plenty to like here.
Wired: Seven different games to get you thinking; great visual design and easy-to-use controls.
Tired: No progress indicator in Arithmetic; a little trouble with touch controls on Paratroopers and Liquid Measure.
Disclosure: I received a review code for this app.