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Daily iPad App: Puzzlejuice

Puzzlejuice is an inventive new game from the creators of Solipskier. Mike and Greg's Greg Wohlwend and partner Asher Vollmer have created a hardcore puzzle game that spans the genre and lets you sort it all out.

The basic mechanic of Puzzlejuice is more or less that of Tetris. Blocks fall from the top of the screen which you must arrange into complete lines. Once you do, however, they don't disappear. Instead, the blocks become a row of letters, which you must arrange to complete words (similar to the great Spelltower) for points.

Tapping on colored blocks in matched rows of three or more turns them into letters too, and depending on which mode you're in, matched words will also explode other blocks, and powerups may even drop in the blocks you're matching. Acheivements like spelling a word of a certain length also keep you on your toes, as does powerup management. If that sounds confusing, you're right, especially since it all happens at once.

I imagine the creators wanted to create a mild panic in their players. Puzzlejuice is not for the faint of puzzle heart. Even the game's Zen mode is called "Zen mode Extreme," because you can only play it for the highest score in just 90 seconds. The game's tone even pushes that line a little bit, prompting you to increase the difficulty and then rating your performance as "average."

If that appeals to you (and as a puzzle game aficionado, I sure like it), go and find it. Puzzlejuice is available on the App Store in a universal version for just 99 cents. It's a solid game, but bring your brain, because you'll need it.

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