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GUNPOWDER is a totally addictive puzzle game. 

Each puzzle is similar but different enough to be intriguing.

Basically the puzzles are discovering how to blow up every Pig in the current picture whilst also exploding the safe to gather the riches hidden within.

               Every level presents the player with a new picture. It may show a canyon, a chasm, a piece of open range, buildings etc all manner of western themed locations.  Within the picture you have to find the source of the spark - often a campfire but sometimes a burning wagon or a canno - and the pigs and the safe. Then generally you have one or more barrels of gunpowder to lay onto the picture and from them you lead a trail of gunpowder so that they explode and form a chain of fuse and explosions until the screen view eruipts loudly and all pigs and the safe are blown into next week.

This all sounds incredibly easy, and to a degree it is, and that's where the game designer got a bit crafty.  To begin with you only have a certain amount of gunpowder available, which means you cannot lay it everywhere for the heck of it. Then you only get one actual source of fire to light the fuse, though the explosions caused by your actions will, if set right, cause further fuse burns and barrels to blow.

                It all begins with identifying the situation and that is the crux of each puzzle; know what you need to do. Then you can take as many attempts as you want until you are satisfied with the result. This is the point where I tell you that there is also a timer on each puzzle and although the first few puzzles give plenty of time for their completion, others give barely 10 seconds and that is from start to explosion.

I have been playing this everytime I get on my PC for days now. It is so addictive and so much fun as well as being so blooming clever. I often see the solution immediately but then I have to execute my plan and of cause so many times I can see what needs to be done but my way of doing it is either too slow, or I forget a pig hiding behind some rocks, or I simply run out of gunpowder. I have even got everything (as far as I thought) spot on and then watched in dismay as a barrel failed to explode because in my haste I hadn't laid the fuse correctly.

There is the fun factor, the frustration factor and the financial factro in each puzzle. Though the finance is by way of points which help you move on up the chart towards being the best explosive expert there is in the Wild West.

I am not exactly sure why I have to blow up the pigs but I know that by exploding the Safe it gets my computer run adversary all het-up and over excited, so that's a good reason for ensuring the safe blows.

                    Some of the puzzles present really intriguing problems, such as how to explode barrels across the river. At first these look impossible but after a couple of experimental attempts and noting the behaviour of the fuse, where blown up rocks land and whether using a burning wagon can be put to good use etc, you see the pattern. Then it is only a matter of executing your plan to perfection so that you can do it within the time allowed. I have found that on occasion I can easily solve a 10 second puzzle but then a 30 second one comes along and no matter how I try and what I do it takes me 35-40+ seconds each time.

The good thing is that as long as you cause a large enough explosion, enough so that the screen changes to the score page, then if you wish you can either retry the same puzzle or move on to the next; you are never stuck so that you get bored going over the same thing unable to move on until you are successful. There have been a few puzzles to date that have stumped me to the point of only scoring one or two pigs (instead of the optimum three) with my overall time being a few seconds above the required limit, but so far only a few. One in particular hasd a 23 second timer and I have done it in 24 seconds several times as well as quite a bit higher, but I can never break the 24 barrier and so I have left it completed but not defeated. Maybe I'll go back later to the ones I leave like this, but my enthusiasm for the fun at finding ann identifying solutions to new problems keeps driving me on.

      This is, in my mind, one of the "must have" puzzle games of all time, because of its simplicity and brilliance but most of all because everyone loves to blow things up

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021