I am a massive puzzle game fan and I am always looking to find the games that literally hurt my head, but that is the fun of playing this genre of games. Not only are these games fun to play, but they are also actually proven to help with brain function. There is nothing better than completing a puzzle you and maybe a friend was trying to figure out for a long period of time. Here are the top 10 best puzzle games.
10. Road to Ballhalla
This is one of those games that can either relax you or make you insanely angry. The point of the game is simple, get your ball from point A to point B without dying. It sounds easy enough, but it takes a lot of patience and trial and error.
The world moves and changes with the beat and flow of the music it’s playing and it is almost a rhythm game at its best. Basically, you have to go through the levels and try to collect as many of the level collectibles as you can or you can just do the bare minimum and beat the level. The more collectibles and fewer deaths you get, the more achievements and customization items you get.
9. World of Goo
This is a game that you can play on Steam and Mobile if you really want to. The premise of the game is you need to use these balls called goos, and you need to create sturdy bridges with them to help them escape each level.
The game is split up into 4 chapters and you have to slowly make your way through each one. It is relatively cheap and you won’t regret your purchase if you are a fan of puzzle games. It is also very easy to run so it won’t matter what kind of rig you have, you can easily play it.
8. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This is a very interesting one because it is a bomb-defusing simulator. The catch to it is that the bomb is full of a ton of puzzles and the only way to diffuse it is to complete the puzzles. There is also another catch to that because the game is supposed to be played by two people, one of them is the diffuser, while the other is the person telling them what to do. The manual reader has papers in front of them with specific combinations and they must get information from the diffuser and relay back more information back to them. It is very confusing, but it is very fun to play if you have a friend to have a headache with.
7. A Story About My Uncle
The game focuses on the narrator’s uncle Fred, as the narrator tells a bedtime story to a small child. A board in the narrator’s abandoned house tells the player that Fred built a waste disposal system, conceivably controlled by starlight. After this backstory, the game begins with the narrator as a child entering the “waste disposal dimension” to search for his uncle.
The player follows the uncle character through the game environment, with the player character having a suit that is equipped with a “magical grappling hook and shock absorbers” that stop the player character from taking damage when landing. The story is actually pretty good and the areas you can go to are pretty interesting. It is definitely a very underrated indie game.
6. Q.U.B.E. 2
This game feels very similar to the Portal games, but it is more voxel-based. The premise of the game is about an unnamed character who wakes up from some incident, finds himself with a pair of gloves that can interact with specific blocks that are in the walls, floors, and ceilings of the various rooms as he progresses.
The function of the blocks are distinguished by color: red blocks can be extended or retracted; yellow blocks, always in groups of three, can be used to make stair-like structures; blue blocks can be retracted to act as a springboard to whatever touches them; purple blocks provide means to rotate sections of walls of a room; and green blocks provide a sphere or cube, which the player will need to manipulate.
It is definitely a unique game that is worth looking into.
5. The Talos Principle
Now we are getting to some of the best puzzle games on this list. These are some of our favorite puzzle games and I hope you think the same thing too. This game’s premise is about the player character, an unnamed android, who is awoken in a serene environment.
A disembodied entity named Elohim instructs the android to explore the worlds he has created for it, and to solve the various puzzles to collect sigils but warns it not to climb a tower at the center of these worlds. As the android progresses, it becomes evident that these worlds exist only in virtual reality, and that it, like other androids it encounters, are separate artificial intelligence entities within a computer program.
Some AIs it encounters act as Messengers, unquestioningly serving Elohim, and guiding the android through the puzzles. There is also a VR mode you can play for it and I am still yet to try that version of the game.
4. We Were Here Series
This is a series of games that are similar to each other, but the premise of them are all different. There are 3 games, and they are all We Were Here, We Were Here Too, and We Were Here Together. They are meant to be played with two people and it is a game about talking with the other person and figuring out the solution to each puzzle.
I do have to say, it is insanely satisfying to complete a long puzzle and you really need good communication to complete each one. The first game is actually free on Steam so if you have a friend, make sure to try the game out for yourselves. If you like the first game, then you can buy the other two and play through them. They are very fun if you have the patience and communication skills.
The player, while at a campground, sees strange lights in the sky. One light resolves into a seed-like object that immobilizes the player and transports them and a small sphere of the park to an alien world, within the confines of a much larger sphere of Earth taken from an early-20th century Arizona mining town.
They can see the alien world outside of this larger sphere, but cannot pass through it. Exploring the town, they find it seemingly empty outside of holographic pre-recorded welcoming messages from its mayor Josef Janssen.
Further exploration reveals that the town is called Hunrath and that dozens of humans from across the 19th-21st centuries had been brought here, in the same manner, the player was, for unknown reasons. The goal of the game is to find out why you are there and how to get out. It is by the same creators of the Myst series and is definitely worth the time to play through it. It is difficult, but fun to figure out.
2. Portal Series
If you don’t know what these games are then I don’t know where you have been in the past 20 years. If you like puzzle games, then you definitely know what these games are.
You probably know what the premise of the games is but for the video’s sake, I’ll explain it again. It is about a human who wakes up after hundreds of years of sleep and is put into test chambers by the dictator robot of the facility. As you play, you will get harder and harder test chambers, and everything you learn from previous puzzles will be put to the test.
It is definitely one of my favorite games of all time and let’s hope that valve will think about making a third portal so we can get even more frustrated.
1. The Witness
This is by far my favorite puzzle game on this list because the way the developers made this game is very unique. The premise revolves around an unnamed character who explores an island with numerous structures and natural formations. The island is roughly divided into eleven regions, arranged around a mountain that represents the ultimate goal for the player.
The regions are differentiated from one another by changes in vegetation, and the puzzles within each region are similar to one another. Throughout the island are yellow boxes housing turrets. These can be activated once the puzzles within the box’s region have been solved. When activated, the turrets emerge to shine a light toward the top of the mountain, indicating that a section of the game is complete.
Several such turrets need to be activated to unlock access to the inside of the mountain and ultimately reach the game’s final goal. Additional puzzles can be discovered if all eleven turrets are activated. It is a very hard, but fun game that if you like puzzles, is a must-have for your library.