[iPhone] Help Out is an addictive puzzle game for kids and adults

mzl.igxqmrii.320x480-75The simplest puzzles are often the best. Rubik’s Cubes, Sudoku, Tetris…there’s something so satisfying about solving these simple challenges. Now, you can add one more game to that list: Help Out, an iPhone puzzle game developed by Incredible App! Whether you want to train your brain, or find a fun way for your kids to pass the time, this puzzler is definitely worth checking out.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Help Out is a puzzle game with one simple object: slide your rectangular block from one side of the board to the other, moving obstacle blocks out of your way as you go. If you’ve ever played the Mario Party game “Hotel Goomba,” it’s not dissimilar. As you progress through the various levels, you will accumulate achievements and bonuses that will let you and unblock new themes and skins for the game.

Pros

  • Tons of different skins let you customize the game, turning the block pieces into cute sushi pieces or a Tron-inspired “laser” look
  • Good clean fun for all ages
  • Exercises your brain to keep you more mentally agile
  • Promises of new levels to be added regularly…

Cons

  • …But hasn’t been updated for about a year
  • Ad-supported
  • Some users say that the puzzles are too simple, your mileage may vary

Discussion

mzl.sskgfyho.320x480-75Help Out is a very simple game, which is why it is so appealing. Like Angry Birds or Tetris before it, there’s an immense satisfaction in progressing to the next level. But those who get frustrated with brain teasers shouldn’t look away in dismay…Help Out gives users a solution for every puzzle.

However, you can only get one puzzle solution every 30 minutes, so you need to use those hints judiciously. Also, you’ll need to memorize the solution in order to enact it on the board: using a solution doesn’t magically beat the level for you, so it tests your memory skills as well.

In each level, you will be judged based on how many moves it takes you to guide your block from one side of the board to the other. Even if you haven’t played the level before, you’ll be given a “best” score to try and beat. Beating the level isn’t enough…you also need to try and do it in the fewest number of moves possible. It’s like playing chess against yourself…except all your pieces only move in one pattern.

There’s also a handy button that can undo your last move (and it also resets your move counter to its previous settings.) The sound design is actually quite soothing. In lieu of background music, a chime/tone plays with each move on the board, creating a lovely sort-of-tune that’s kind of unlike any other sound design I’ve encountered in a mobile game recently.

Conclusion and download link

With hundreds of levels and tons of unlockable themes, there’s immense replay value in Help Out, a simple, tidy, and addictive little puzzler. I think the customization for the overall look of the app will be the key to its continued success: everyone wants an app that suits their personality, and Help Out gives users the in-game customization that they crave. It’s silly, but being able to change my puzzle blocks into friendly chunks of sushi whenever I want just makes this game so much more fun.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.1.2

Requires iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, iOS version 3.2 or later

Download size: 12.5 MB

Help Out on Apple App Store

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1 comment

  1. corno

    Looks like a nice puzzle/app, but believe me: this puzzle was around 50 years ago (when I was a kid), and in various kinds and flavours. So, it is far from original. That is the downside of this kind of app. The developer just picks up a game of puzzle that has been around for decades, or even a century. He then digitizes it and gets patent rights to protect ‘his’ intellectual property.