Puzzllotto is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Puzzllotto coming Wednesday, with $30,000 Prize

United Lemur has made a press release announcing that Puzzllotto will be available on the App Store this coming Wednesday.

Mike Lee at United Lemur made a big deal about the contest that would be associated with Puzzllotto when he announced the game a couple weeks ago. At the time, he said that the the details of the contest hadn’t been nailed down.

Well, here are the contest details:

  • Puzzllotto will appear on the App Store on Wednesday, October 22. The Puzzllotto Prize starts as a trophy, a metaphorical empty cup.
  • Each day at noon (Pacific Time), the company will announce via Twitter (twitter.com/unitedlemur) whether the puzzle has been solved.
  • If the puzzle has not been solved, the jackpot will increase by $1,000.
  • This promotion will run for 31 days, with the maximum jackpot being $30,000.
  • If nobody wins the $30,000 jackpot after 24 hours, it will be donated to charity.

This is a one of a kind promotion, and it will be interesting to see if it sets a precedent on the App Store. Will there be future “-lotto” games from other developers?

We’ll have our review of Puzzllotto up within a day or two of it becoming available. Will you have beat the game and won the prize by then?

More stories on Puzzllotto

Puzzllotto Has A Winner!

United Lemur has reported via twitter that their puzzle/lottery/contest game Puzzllotto has a winner.

United Lemur – Congratulations to Dave H. from Portland, the new Puzzllotto Champion ‘” subject to third-party verification, as per the official rules.

Dave H. is a smarter fellow than any of us’”we found Puzzllotto to be a big headache inducer’”Congratulations Dave H.! Enjoy that $8,000 prize (we have some iPhone games to recommend you spend the prize on’¦).

We’re curious to hear how this unique gambit has played out for United Lemur. Was this an effective way to promote an iPhone game, and will we see future contests like it? Did any of you, our readers, take a shot at the PUzzllotto prize? Let us know what you think, in the comments.

Puzzllotto Review

Mike Lee of United Lemur has some novel ideas about how to run a development shop; some call him a self-important charlatan, others think he’s on the up-and-up, but pretty much everyone agrees that he’s doing things differently. Well, Puzzllotto, United Lemur’s first “game,” is about as different as it gets. It’s a puzzle game with no title screen, no instructions, few discernible rules, an unknown goal, a funding commitment to a Lemur rescue charity, and up to $30,000 in prize money behind it. It’s not an unpleasant experience, but it’s definitely not what most players are looking for when they visit the Games section with $5 to burn.

Puzzllotto is really more of a test of your intelligence and patience than a game. It throws you right into a situation you know nothing about, and you either sink or swim. In the first part of the game, you’re facing a jungle scene where eight sets of glowing eyes blink at you from the shadows: three in the tree canopy, and five closer to the ground. Touching a pair of eyes reveals one of three animals. Butterflies flit down to the bottom of the screen, lining up in a way that suggests you’re supposed to collect a certain number of them. Lemurs make a cute noise and pop their head out of the brush; on occasion, if you touch them again, they’ll produce a butterfly. The fox-like creatures called Fosas growl menacingly and frighten all the other animals away, sending you back to square one.

There’s one correct path through this puzzle, as far as we can tell, and it takes a lot of trial and error to find it–pen and paper comes in very handy! Before long, you will find yourself wishing that the puzzle would reset instantly, instead of taking a few seconds. We won’t tell you what happens next, but it is equally weird. As always, if you make the wrong choice, or exit the game, it’s right back to the jungle for you, so you’d better hope you have your route written down. United Lemur has this to say about the game’s ending: “If you think you’ve solved Puzzllotto, you haven’t. When you solve Puzzllotto, you’ll know.” Thanks, guys.

Puzzllotto has a pleasant presentation, even though there’s very little movement or animation. It gets extra points for stellar sound design, too; the ambient jungle noises were apparently recorded on-site, so they are very realistic. It makes you want to put on your headphones, close your eyes, and bliss out for a while.

The best analogy for Puzzllotto might be the legend of The Sword in the Stone. If you think you’re the Chosen One, or if you like inscrutable, half-mystical riddles, go for it. If not, this game is just going to frustrate you, and you’ll be better off spending your $5 on actual lottery tickets.

Puzzllotto Hands-On

We had a chance to try out United Lemur’s enigmatic nature puzzle game, Puzzllotto, after the company’s press conference today. Designer (and United Lemur CEO) Mike Lee was on hand to answer some of our questions about the game–and we had plenty. Puzzllotto is completely unlike anything we’ve seen on the App Store before, in conception, presentation, and gameplay.

The first thing to know about Puzzllotto is that it’s a manifestation of United Lemur’s larger plan to support worthy causes through App development. Lee has a pronounced interest in all things Madagascarian, and he has pledged to donate 10% of the proceeds from the game to the Madagascar Fauna Group and its campaign to save the lemur. That’s 50 cents out of the App’s $4.99 price.

The second important point is that there’s an actual Lotto aspect to Puzzllotto. Whoever beats the game first (and believe us, it won’t be easy) will win the Puzzllotto contest’s grand prize. Lee would not discuss this prize at all, except to say that it’s “very close to being illegal” and it isn’t from Madagascar. Your guess is as good as ours. Lee’s planning to offer more details in a week or two.

Puzzllotto presents you with a lush jungle scene. Multiple sets of glowing eyes peer out at you from the trees and undergrowth. When you touch on a pair of eyes, one of three animals pop up: a butterfly, a lemur, or a fosa (pronounced “foosh”), which looks like a small weasel. You need to collect these animals in a certain order to win the game. Which order? Nobody knows–that’s the puzzle aspect of Puzzlloop.

It seemed to us that the object may be to collect a certain number of butterflies; when you touch a butterfly, it flits to the bottom of the screen and lines up next to the others you’ve collected. From there, it’s possible that you move onto picking up lemurs. In any case, if you are unlucky enough to uncover a fosa, you lose all the animals you’ve gathered and have to start over. The animals move around the jungle according to some hidden schema, so the same place that contained a butterfly at one point may have a fosa the next. The game gives you no help or clues whatsoever–you have to learn the rules of the game through experience and pattern recognition. It’s very organic, highly abstract gameplay… almost like deciphering an alien communication. We don’t know how long it continues, whether there are multiple paths to the goal, or anything else.

There are some big artistic names attached to the Puzzllotto project, and it is indeed a gorgeous game. Renowned icon artist David Lanham came up with the whimsical animal designs, which have a touch of cartooniness to them but still appear realistic. The game also features fantastic ambient jungle sounds recorded in Madagascar byDr. Douglas Quin, who provided many of the sounds used in EA’s Spore.

According to Lee, Puzzlloop will be submitted to Apple in the next day or two, and will hopefully hit the App Store in the next few weeks. We can’t wait to spend more time with this unique game.

Puzzllotto to Launch Today

Mike Lee, famed Mac and iPhone developer, has another revolution up his sleeve. Lee was a founder of Tapulous, a iPhone development house, which created Tap Tap Revenge as well as some great iPhone applications.

After leaving Tapulous, Lee has started a new project, United Lemur. Their very first piece of software, as well as the company itself, are to be launched today at 1PM (PST) in an event in Palo Alto.

All we know right now about United Lemur’s first project is its name, “Puzzllotto”. Judging from the name, we hope that it is an awesome game, but judging from Mike Lee’s revolutionary spirit, who knows.