Developer: Alberto Barbati
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Aspiring cryptographers and codebreakers, have I got an app for you! Brainy Puzzles: CryptArithm (the first in a series of "solid, serious and challenging" puzzle games created by Gamecentric) offers over 500 math-based logic puzzles that are sure to get the wheels turning and the brain cells bubbling.
The concept of CryptArithm is easy. You're presented a board with various symbols (including one digit on the easier levels) arranged in mathematical operations. Users must replace each symbol with one of the digits 0 through 9, so that the mathematical operations are correct across each row and down each column. Gamecentric's website has a quote calling CryptArithm a cross between sudoku and algebra, which I think sums it up (math pun!) quite accurately.
The controls for CryptArithm are also easy to master. Once you've chosen a puzzle to play, simply tap on a symbol and then drag the appropriate digit on to that symbol. Once a digit's been used, it disappears from the options at the bottom of the screen. Also, if you know for sure you've eliminated a particular digit as a possibility for a symbol, a quick tap of that digit scratches it out, and a second tap brings it back.
Now, the downside: CryptArithm is hard! I've always been more of a word nerd than a numbers geek, personally, so it's possible that I'm just not meant to play this game, but even on the easy levels I found it really difficult. However, I'm guessing that the difficulty will make it that much more appealing to its intended audience; this is definitely not some kiddie game.
CryptArithm is not necessarily the prettiest-looking iPhone app there is; it's actually rather austere. Which, once again, seems appropriate for what it is. It's got a clean look and leaves the focus of the app on puzzle-solving.
Check out Brainy Puzzles: CryptArithm on YouTube.