Puzzle Games are Very Good

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I’d like to talk about puzzle games! Intense games can be fun, but I’m happiest when I can just chill out and try to work out a puzzle. It can be extremely frustrating when I’m completely stumped and have to look up a solution, especially when I should have been able to solve it, but I love the moment of realisation that some of the best puzzle games have where you figure out the one cool trick that ties the whole solution together.

Any of y’all like puzzle games? What’s your favourite, or what are you bamboozled by right now? I’m mostly thinking of puzzle adventures when I write this, games like Portal or Professor Layton, but competitive/quickfire games like Tetris or Tetris DX or New Tetris are fair game too.

Here’s a puzzle game I’ve been playing to start off with:

I just finished The Fool and His Money, the sequel to The Fool’s Errand, both by Cliff Johnson. These are eerie puzzle games about the Fool, the tarot card arcana, bumbling into other tarot cards and solving word games. I didn’t actually like a lot of the puzzles in Money, as they focus on anagrams and word squares and other types of puzzle I’m bad at. But what I love about the Fool games is that their puzzle solutions feed into huge metapuzzles that feel like solving the whole game - they both have scrambled maps that you have to assemble piece by piece according to clues in other puzzles as you figure them out. I can’t think of many other games quite like this.

Also you should look at Cliff Johnson’s newsletter. It’s so earnest. He’s delighted to have found these funny photos on the internet.


you ever play the strange game known as “Catherine?” it’s a really good puzzle game. where you end up in this dream world where if you die…you die in real life! how do you escape this hellish dream world??..blocks, block puzzles of course! get wasted in the bar to do block puzzles better.

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Catherine’s a block puzzle game?? I always assumed it was some kind of Persona dating game.

Haha, I’m reading Wikipedia now and you’re not kidding about getting wasted in the bar: “Vincent can move faster depending on how much alcohol he drinks during the day.” Alcohol is well known for its stimulant properties, of course.

There are three puzzle games that have managed to really grip me.

  1. Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo for the Playstation. I obsessively rented this game until I could clear it on the hardest difficulty at 10-star speed. I’m horrifically rusty these days, however.
  2. Tetris Attack on the Super Nintendo. Something about this game causes me to enter sort of a fugue state where time ceases to have meaning. There’s a variant called Poker Smash on Xbox Live Arcade that I love to death. Poker Smash was slated to come to the PC, but the developers (Void Star Creations) couldn’t raise enough money for the port and the company folded. :frowning:
  3. Tetris Blast / Bombliss for Gameboy. I don’t know how I missed this one at the time, but a few years ago I idly loaded this up in an emulator and hours disappeared and now I think it’s probably my favorite Tetris variant.

The most recent puzzle game I played/finished was TIS-100. It’s… mock assembly code programming. There’s not a great deal more to say, really.

I’ve played a Professor Layton game or three but never really cared to play the rest.

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If i was stuck doing block puzzles with the beer shits i’d move pretty fast too.

Escape Goat is a fantastic little puzzle game which managed to escape the horrors of Xblig and find its way onto Steam. It then spawned a really good sequel in the form of Escape Goat 2. Both games have very good soundtracks.

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Catherine VS mode is really fun, and allows for some pretty big variance in playstyle. If you can find it for a decent price, fire that shit up with a friend and go nuts.

Money Idol Exchanger/Money Puzzle Exchanger is a rad arcade puzzle game, similar to the Magical Drop series. Like Magical Drop, you’re pulling down groups of pieces and tossing them back up in different columns. Unlike Magical Drop, you’re matching coin denominations instead of colors, so the matching and setting up for combos is a little more involved.

Finally, of course, please play Yoshi’s Cookie. Please grab a friend and play the VS mode of Yoshi’s Cookie.

TIS-100 is one of the games made by the same team as Spacechem, right? I’ve been meaning to try it, but my backlog is huge, especially with all the games in the Humble Freedom Bundle (which incidentally includes The Witness).

One of my favourite puzzle games is a puzzle-jrpg hybrid: Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. It’s a match 3 game where you move units from the bottom of columns trying to make matches. Vertical ones will prepare attacks, and horizontal ones will make walls to protect you. I still play this sometimes against my old roommate. Fair warning though, some of the factions have poor colour pallets if you’re colourblind.

I’m the only one of my friends that ever bought Catherine I told them all it was a real good game. but its such a weird little game with it’s narrative (he plot of Catherine is real good) I think it throws people off from a game I’m sure they would enjoy.

Yes, it’s by Zachtronics. They most recently released Shenzhen I/O, which is also pretty good. They have some of their old free games on the site. I have never made any progress in KOHCTPYKTOP.

I’ve mostly been playing Jonathan Blow’s Hellpuzzle Island (“The Witness”) lately, there’s a lot of real solid puzzles, some exploration funtimes, and it’s very pretty.

The most recent puzzle game I played was Linelight, which released like four days ago, and was a ton of fun for the few hours it lasted. Before that, I went through Glitchspace and Quadrilateral Cowboy, because I love pretending to be a hacker or competent programmer.

I do like puzzle games quite a bit. I don’t think I can keep count of all the puzzle games I’ve played in the past few months.

Wetrix. Play Wetrix. It’s baller.

HEXCELLS. Heeeexceeeeeeells. It’s one of the best puzzle games on Steam. If you like Picross you’ll love these.

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I have bought and almost 100%-completed every Picross game available on the 3DS eShop. Picross is a wonderful and satisfying puzzle genre that has you using deductive logic to slowly complete pictures in a grid. It’s also supremely chill, as Medibot’s old streams demonstrate.

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Hexcells is really really good. I wasn’t expecting much but the puzzles are really carefully constructed.

Picross owns too. I’ve got Picross 3D Round 2 on the go at the moment and it might have the best soundtrack for a puzzle game I’ve ever heard. Puzzle games are good, everyone.


The only puzzle game I own is Tetrisphere on the N64. I never got any good at it, nor did I ever fully understand how it worked, but I love it regardless.

I guess I also have Tetris DS, but I haven’t touched that in years.

Allow me to stop by and remind everyone of Pokemon Puzzle League. Me and my parents fought each other all the time on that thing.

Yo the Hexcells games (and Squarecells, from the same guy) are on sale on Steam right now for like $4 for the whole set. Buy them. Do it. You know you want to. Alternatively, if you’re either stupid broke or just one one game, buy Hexcells Infinite, usually considered the best in the series.

Increpare’s Stephen’s Sausage Roll is extremely brilliant but also extremely difficult. I’ll probably never finish it.

Don’t look up too much about it, it’s similar to The Witness in that figuring out the rules of the game is half the battle.

So people in this thread may be interested: I’m currently working on starting a megathread on here for Puzzle Game LP’s (kind of like the ‘Hard Games’ thread or the ‘Shooting Gallery’ thread on SA, where people can contribute a video or series for their favorite puzzle game). So if you have a puzzle game from this thread you were thinking of making a video or two on, you may wanna fire up your video editing software!

It should be up sometime today (and I’ll edit this post with the link when it’s out), but for now enjoy the banner art I made:

Edit: Thread is live!