It turns out a fun game doesn’t require high production value. Sure, frantic 3D graphics and first-person shooter mayhem deliver excitement, but sometimes a smart idea well executed makes for a good time. That’s 21 Ice Clues. It’s a clever word game that’s short on glitz but long on engaging puzzles.
The format reminds me of a crossword puzzle crossed with a word scramble. You’ll find sentence based clues like “obscured from view” and letter counts, in this example “6”. Ice cube blocks of two and three letters each fill the bottom of the screen but the order is jumbled, so you must build your answer by touching block by block in the correct order once you think you’ve solved it. The answer to this sample is “HI”, “DD”, “EN”. Select your solution then press the “guess” button. If you’re right, a cute penguin (one of the only animations) slides by to remove the clue and the blocks from the screen and drop in a new clue. I found the game seriously challenging and engaging.
Each puzzle supplies 21 clues and there are 12 puzzles in the first free set titled “Ice Cream”. For 99 cents each, you can purchase new puzzle sets with names like “Blizzard”, “Snowball”, “Popsicle”, “Glacier”, “Igloo”, and so on. The creators say more sets are on their way.
There’s no timer to stress you out and no penalty for wrong guesses. Since the first set of puzzles are free, it’s easy to try it yourself and see if you like it.