With more than 50 different puzzles (and more coming), the ability to take notes and pictures to use as clues down the road and a nonlinear level select system, this is a game that just may torment you in the best way.
The Guides Axiom
Genre:Puzzle Developer:Kevin Bradford LLC
Developer Kevin Bradford had been making a living creating and releasing children’s learning apps in the App Store before linking up with puzzle designer Luke Lisi to collaborate on 2015’s abstract puzzler The Guides [$2.99]. Actually, calling The Guides a “puzzler” didn’t really do it justice, as it wasn’t your typical linear collection of numbered levels or even one specific type of puzzle game, but rather a collection of codes, ciphers, and other odd problems that were solved in a variety of clever and interesting ways. Its challenges also strung together a very mysterious narrative which you could supplement with the entirely optional The Guides Compendium [$0.99]. The Guides Axiom is a fascinating process. In an App Store full of games that guide us each step of the way, ensuring we can hardly put a foot wrong, it’s refreshing to have this title throw you in and leave you figuring out what you’re meant to be doing.
There really wasn’t a whole lot like The Guides when it arrived a couple of years ago, but it found an audience of fans and the developer duo seemed to enjoy creating the game enough to make a sequel called The Guides Axiom [Free] which just released this week. Once again the game starts out as some obtuse box of mysteries that–even in the very early goings–can have you scratching your head not sure how to proceed. But, like the original The Guides, Axiom always gives you all the tools you need to succeed, and it’s up to you to figure out what to do and how to use them. It can be frustrating at times but also immensely satisfying to find out a long sought solution to one of the game’s trickier problems.
While the original The Guides was a premium game with a single up-front price, The Guides Axiom is free to download and features IAP. Don’t freak out though! The entire game is free to play through, with optional “pay what you want” IAP options for those wanting to say thanks and also optional hint packs to help you if you get stuck. But seriously, as much as I’m down for people to pay for cheats if that’s what they want to do, the hints really rob the game of its satisfying moments so my advice is to tough out the puzzles on your own and throw a pay what you want IAP at the devs if you enjoy the game. Kevin Bradford goes into more detail in our forums about their decision to go free to play as well as plans for future content, so give that a read.
The Guides Axiom is one of those games that’s hard to write about, first and foremost because it’s difficult to describe but also because the more you DO describe about it the more it spoils all the fantastic mysteries for those who want to play. That’s why I’m thankful this latest entry is free because I think everyone should download and try out The Guides Axiom and play through the first few portions. If you enjoy it, and you haven’t played the original, then run out and grab that one and work your way through it first, then come back to Axiom. It’s not required that you’ve played the first game, but I think it adds to the experience of the sequel. This is a special series, and hopefully Bradford and Lisi are already planning for another future entry. The Guides Axiom does a fine job of making you feel good. After bashing you down with logic and riddles, of course.