Stephen Haney

The New iPhone Puzzle Game: Introducing Krate

iphone puzzle game chess board

First, I wanted to build the game board using SKSpriteNodes. A good launching point for writing some game rules!

My favorite part of making games . . .

My favorite part of making games is looking back on early screenshots. I love to watch those early, blocky chunks of color transform into immersive game elements. In that spirit, I want to post some early screenshots of Krate, my new twisty, fun iPhone puzzle game.

Krate is my summer Swift learning project, born through the fortuitous coincidence of the Swift announcement with the Spring semester’s end. I often start overly ambitious game projects, doomed to drown by their own weight. No more! This time, I’m going to make an iPhone puzzle game. How hard can it be? 😉

Krate’s concept is simple; anyone who’s played any of the gem/jewel games can pick it up. That said, I wouldn’t be satisfied with a pure copy, so I spent some time thinking on unique mechanics. In this puzzle game, you start with a blank board and fill in tiles with a color randomly assigned on each turn. You can clear tiles any time you have 3 or more of the same color touching. That’s just the beginning, I’ve added more mechanics and compiled an early gameplay video.

Unique iPhone Puzzle Game Mechanics

The game board starts small and spins and zooms out as you go, to reveal more game board. The board currently maxes out at 36 tiles, 6×6. You’ll earn less points for clearing tiles as you zoom out, since the game becomes easier with more room.

Every 3 to 5 moves, the game will ‘suggest’ a tile for your assigned color. You’ll get extra points if you pass the test. Choose another placement, however, and you’ll be dinged as the suggested tile blacks out and becomes unusable.

To add some challenge, a random board tile goes black every 7 seconds. This pushes you to move quickly and also adds an endpoint to every game (when all 36 tiles are full and you can’t make any tile clears). You will awaken a random blacked out tile when you clear 4 or more tiles at once.

How about a video of the sweet puzzle action?

There’s quite a few more mini mechanics I want to add, but that’s the overall gist of it. I’ve been working in my free time for a few weeks now, and I put together a video of very early, proof of concept action for Krate. Note that this video doesn’t include the ‘creeping’ tile black out, so the gameplay’s a little too easy. feel free to post a comment if you have any ideas or suggestions for Krate!