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Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery - Puzzle time! Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 9 out of 10]
A couple years back, I selected the original Professor Fizzwizzle as a Pick of the Week. In 2007, Grubby Games released Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery (PFMM from here on), and it was just as addictive as the original. Given that I've been enjoying it for over a year now, I figure it's time to give it a Pick of the Week selection.

Like the original, PFMM is all about puzzle solving, and moving the professor from point A to point B in the process. (You can read the original PotW write-up for a fairly detailed explanation of the gameplay.) PFMM is more of the same -- 210 levels in all, spread across Kids, Regular, and Advanced puzzle types -- with some nice new features. First, and most welcome, is an undo key. If you accidentally push a box too far, for instance, just press U and the last move will be reversed. No longer do you have to start from scratch on a complex puzzle because of a simple error.

There are also some new gameplay elements: Bat-Bots will see and follow you, and destroy you if given the chance; Bridges are made of old wood, and crumble the first time you use them; and Teleports move you (or any movable game object) from one location to another. Added to the existing mix of crates, barrels, magnets, gates (and inflatable versions of many objects), the puzzles in PFMM are even more involving (and occasionally frustrating) than in the original.

Although the game is still very low-key (there's no time or life limit for solving a level, nor a traditional score of any sort), PFMM has added a new step counter as a way of creating a measurable value. As you play, the game records how many steps it takes you to solve each level, you can submit your low step counts to an online database if you wish. The map view, where you select a level, also shows the step count for each level you've completed, along with a button to show the online lowest step counts for that level. Just like the original, you can see the solution to a puzzle at any time with a button press, in case a given level gets too frustrating.

Overall, I've found PFMM to be just as fun and addictive as the original version, and that's a fine compliment.
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