How to play Blackbox, the infuriating iPhone puzzle game that just won Apple's Design Award
Others, like Blackbox, require so much wit and creativity that you'll either end up feeling frustrated or incredibly proud of yourself.Blackbox is a puzzle game for iPhone that was just awarded one of Apple's prestigious Design Awards, which honor the best new apps, the ones Apple thinks are especially useful or beautiful.Advertisement
Blackbox was among this year's 12 winners, which Apple announced at its annual developer conference this week.
Blackbox presents you with small challenges that you have to complete by doing everything except touch the screen. Each challenge ends when you "turn on the lights," meaning the small, brightly-colored squares (called lights) change from empty to filled. To do this, you have to use your phone's other sensors, features and functions to trigger the puzzle.If that sounds confusing, it is. Blackbox is hard - I mean really hard - but equally rewarding. Here's how it works.
Blackbox is meant to be a brain-teaser, so don't worry if you get fed up. Since there's no timer or penalty for wrong attempts, you can take a break and return to it later to try something new.
I won't spoil how to solve any the puzzles (that's the most fun and frustrating part, after all) but when in doubt, try everything. Fiddle with your camera or turn off the wifi, charge your phone, or make lots of noise. Eventually, something that never even occurred to you will solve a puzzle.Advertisement
The best part about Blackbox is that you don't need to solve all the pieces of a puzzle all at once. You could turn on all the lights, a few, or none, then go back to your grid and try another. The more puzzles you solve, the more will be added to your grid.
Once you run out of hints, there are two ways to get more: paying for them, or getting friends to download the game.Advertisement
Blackbox gives you six free hints to get you started, which you can reveal by swiping on those blacked-out squares. The hints are subtle, but can sometimes point you in the right direction. Each hint applies to only one square, not the entire puzzle.
But if you need a hint, tap one of the lights.Advertisement
Some of the puzzles are animated. Here's what that looks like in action.
To try your hand at your next puzzle, just click on a light and it'll take you to this screen.Advertisement
Right off the bat, you'll be offered hint credits. Take them — you're definitely going to need them.
Here's what your grid looks like after you've solved a few puzzles.Advertisement
After you complete your first puzzle, you'll be taken to your home screen, or grid. Here you can see all the puzzles you've solved and all those that are still unsolved or new.
The main thing to know about Blackbox is that most of the puzzles can't be solved with simple taps or swipes on the screen. Instead, the game uses actions you can complete using the sensors and features within your phone — like changing the volume buttons, altering the screen brightness, plugging into the headphone jack — to solve the puzzles.Advertisement
But those directions are mysterious, only providing the basics before launching you into your first puzzle.
When you download Blackbox, you'll be greeted with a short (and sassy) walkthrough of the components of the app.Advertisement
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