Often one of the most inscrutable genres can be the puzzle game genre. Puzzle games are generally adventure-style games that consistently feature brain-twisting puzzles that must be completed in order to progress. Pure puzzle games are an odd bunch in that you generally love them or despise them, depending on what type of gamer you are.
Often, puzzles are also a big part of other genres, such as platformers, point-and-click games, among many others. If you happen to be a newcomer to the puzzle genre or have been scared off by many puzzle games, don’t worry because there are a plethora of games that are both fun and accessible, even if they always have a good challenge.
ten Serial Portal
Valve’s Portal series of games probably needs no introduction for anyone even remotely familiar with the puzzle genre. Portal games, especially Portal and Portal 2, are two of the best puzzle games around, period.
For the uninitiated, Portal games require you to solve increasingly difficult portal puzzles where you must move through set stages, set portal destinations, and pass to the other side. Plus, the games can even be played cooperatively, making them even more fun.
9 summer madness
Summertime Madness is the last puzzle entry on this list and also one of the most overlooked. At first glance, Summertime Madness almost looks like the brutal puzzle game The Witness. However, there is no need to worry as this game is much easier to pick up and progress.
In Summertime Madness, you play an artist in the Prague of the 1940s. This artist has made an ignoble pack with the devil who imprisons him in his paintings. To escape, he must solve a multitude of puzzles in a beautiful and vibrant landscape.
Superliminal is easily one of the most creative and ingenious puzzle games to be released in recent memory. Superliminal is a first-person puzzle game that thrives on the idea of shifting perspective in both gameplay and storytelling.
You’ll take your time playing through a bunch of puzzle rooms that need to be conquered to advance. These puzzles seem tricky on the surface but can often be mastered by changing the way you look at objects in your environment. You can also take a friend with you if they like puzzle games too.
Braid is one of the original console indie games and one that managed to blend platforming, adventure, and puzzle-solving to great success. This time-consuming adventure tasks you with catching up with the escaped princess, however, all is not as it seems.
Over a decade later, Braid still stands as an excellent puzzle platformer just waiting to be played and experienced. The puzzles that need to be solved all revolve around warping time to bend the will of the environment.
6 Stanley’s parable
The Stanley Parable isn’t quite a pure puzzle game, but rather a pure satirical adventure game that swirls neatly into bits of puzzle gameplay. As the title of the game suggests, you play as Stanley, an office worker who finds himself in a bizarre work situation.
Stanley’s parable thrives on his humor, charm and dry nature. It’s not a game to play for more than a few hours or more unless you want to get one of the different endings. The puzzles here mostly revolved around getting from point A to point B in a room.
5 What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is a masterpiece of an indie game, which tasks you with exploring the crazy Finch family as the last remaining member, namely Edith Finch. This emotional first-person puzzle adventure game is downright gorgeous and fascinating in equal measure.
Without spoiling anything, your time playing as Edith will lead you to understand how each of your family members dies, with each section being its own self-contained puzzle area. If you somehow missed this game, you need to fix it immediately.
Another original indie game that’s been around for over a decade and is also the game that inspired Playdead’s Inside, Limbo is an atmospheric, gruesome, and harrowing journey through an ethereal world brimming with death and decay.
You play as a young boy who must search for his lost sister in order to retrieve her and help her return home through the titular Limbo. The puzzles here are tricky but still provide you with enough hints to get through. Plus, the monochromatic art style is sure to stick in your mind long after you finish it.
Unboxing is perhaps one of the most wholesome, charming, and easiest puzzle games to play. As you might guess from the name of the game, unpacking involves unpacking your things as you move from place to place throughout a person’s lifetime.
Despite its simplicity and dynamism, the game actually hides an emotional story of change and adaptation. You can also choose to play the game where each unboxed item must be placed in a certain area of the room, or you can simply turn this option off to just place the items wherever you want.
2 Outer Wildlands
Outer Wilds, not to be confused with The Outer Worlds, is a beloved and complex space exploration puzzle game with a time loop theme. Your mission is to explore the so-called “outer wild” in order to prevent a cosmic event from happening.
While Outer Wilds leans more into the adventure aspects of the game, it still provides just enough puzzles to keep you connected to its original world and characters.
1 Untitled Game of Goose
Do you like to laugh? Do you love colorful and vibrant cartoon games? Do you want to embody a crazy goose who does not prepare anything good? If you answered yes to these questions, then Untitled Goose Game must be on your wishlist of puzzle games.
Untitled Goose Game features a zany goose that just causes a ruckus in a nice and charming English village setting. The puzzles here are placed organically in each area of the village and generally require you to play with the villagers in a fun and playful way.
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