TOP 10 PUZZLE VIDEO GAMES
(you need to play)
Unless they are dedicated gamers, most people associate puzzle video games with titles like Tetris, Candy Crush, Bejeweled, Angry Birds, etc. Even though all of them have been highly popular, their success is mainly based on simple mechanics, repetitive addicting gameplay and rewarding points system. There are not many video games which offer unique puzzles, require deep analytical thinking, are visually polished and have immersive storylines. Here you can see 10 of our all-time favorites, including both titles for PCs/consoles and titles for mobile devices.
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While most of the games on this list are indie titles, "Portal" 1 & 2 are examples of what happens when a major studio like Valve Corporation develops a high-budget puzzle-platformer. Fascinating concept, superb visuals and smooth gameplay. The idea is simple - you have a portal gun which allows you to create gates between different locations and travel through them. Using this gadget, the laws of gravity and few additional gimmicks, you have to escape a sequence of chambers and gain your freedom.
"Braid" is a unique mix of "Super Mario" platforming, time-bending puzzles and art. There are 6 worlds (levels) in the game, each of which introduces new gameplay mechanics. The first world allows you to turn back time and save yourself from accidental deaths. The third world matches the time flow to the direction in which you are moving - right is forward, left is backward. The fifth world lets you use a magic ring which slows down all objects in its proximity, etc. Additionally, Braid is a visual masterpiece and has a storyline which is as intricate as the puzzles themselves.
Similar to "Braid", "Limbo" is distinctive for its unique atmosphere and simple, engaging gameplay. However, whereas the former is all about bright colors and fairy music, the latter is composed of predominantly dark tones and eerie sounds. Even though the puzzles are not as hard, there are still lots of innovative ideas here. "Limbo" is an exemplary horror/puzzle/platformer game which keeps you under pressure up to the very end. In 2016, studio Playdead finished their second project "Inside", which is a bigger, more polished version of "Limbo". It is considered to be one of the best games of the year.
It is mind-boggling how a puzzler about rectangles can tell a better story than most of the other games and movies on the market. "Thomas Was Alone" is simplistic, still very polished and is distinctive for its amazing soundtrack and superb narrative. The game follows the experiences of several AIs, each of which has unique abilities (some can swim, others can jump high, etc.), helping each other to complete levels.
"Fez" is a retro-looking 2D puzzle-platformer which allows the player to rotate the on-screen world left and right by 90 degrees. The different perspective changes the levels' structures and depending on the point of view, it can result in creating new passages for the protagonist to go through. Even though similar mechanics have been used before in other games (e.g. "Crush" for PSP), here the implementation and the overall package are virtually perfect.
"Monument Valley" is a gorgeous little Escheresque puzzle, in which the player must use visual deceptions to lead the heroine to otherwise unreachable places. The game takes inspiration from the well-received but not as popular "Echochrome" for PSP/PS3, replacing the ultra-simplistic graphics with vibrant colors and intricate level design. Most of the puzzles are relatively simple, but easily keep the player's interest.
Already considered a classic, "World of Goo" is an exemplary easy-to-pick-up-and-put-down physics puzzle game. You start with a bunch of little goos which can be connected to each other creating various forms. The objective is to build up large structures using the goos, which will allow them to reach a pipe at the end of the level and escape through it. "World of Goo" is a highly acclaimed title, made out of pure fun and irresistible cuteness.
"The Swapper" is a Sci-Fi puzzle-platformer in which you get control of an astronaut who is trying to escape a remote planet deep in space. In order to do this, you have to collect green tokens spread around a spaceship using an experimental device called "Swapper". It allows you to create up to 4 clones of yourself mimicking your moves and also to swap your mind with any of them. Apart from interesting puzzles, the game offers also an intriguing, mysterious storyline and builds up perfectly an atmosphere of isolation and dread.
"The Room" is like all these "Room Escape" games which you see in the app store, but much much better. The visuals are stellar, the puzzles are challenging and the SFX are great too. The goal of the first game in the series is to open a sequence of safes/boxes locked in each other and discover what mysteries they hide inside. After that the sequels just get bigger and better, including more puzzles and more areas to explore.
"Framed" is like no game you have ever player. It can be shortly described as an interactive graphic novel in which the player changes the order of the panels which in turn results in different outcomes of the story. Even though the game can be beaten in just under 30 minutes, the unique concept, the polished graphics and the catchy tune make Framed a must-try title.