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Gaming 101: Puzzle Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at Puzzle games.

Puzzle video games are a broad genre, as there is something puzzling, or something to solve in most games. The games we specify here focus on a puzzle or conundrum as the main interactive mechanic. They test many problem-solving skills, logic, pattern recognition, sequence solving, spatial recognition, and word completion.

Some puzzle games will focus on a traditional, self-contained, puzzle board with pieces to move. Other video games take this in more conceptual directions, offering puzzles that involve Action, Platforming, Shooting or even Role-Play relationships with other characters.

In this way, the puzzle can be used to communicate frustration, difficulty or tension as well as offer a sense of control, understanding and ease in or Adventure games. Most Puzzle video games are, by their nature, Turn Based but they can also be integrated into more pressured and time-limited Action game experiences.

This list includes 20 games from the last 30 years, with 274 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first puzzle game.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Creative, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation and Stealth
Total Likes: 274
 

 

Unpacking

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: 02/11/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 34 features

Developer: Witch Beam Games (@WitchBeamGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of either spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out...

Wilmot's Warehouse

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Finji Co (@FinjiCo)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

This is a game for people who like to organise things. You are in charge of a warehouse and must manage 100s of items of stock. These identical square boxes are labelled with rudimentary icons. On your own or with another player, you must decipher what...

Assemble With Care

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-9 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PC and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Us Two Games (@UsTwoGames)

Players: This is a single player game

From the makers of Monument Valley, this puzzle game is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family heirlooms to broken statues to...

Puzzle Quest (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/03/2007, updated in 2019

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: i 2 Games (@i2Games)

Players: This is a single player game

Puzzle Quest 3 is the latest in a series of games that combine role-playing with tile-matching puzzles. Set in a fantasy world, you move around the map, encountering monsters and other enemies. When you go the battle are played out as tile puzzles where...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Dukope (@Dukope)

Players: This is a single player game

You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...

A Little To The Left

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-12 year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Max Inferno Games (@MaxInfernoGames)

Players: This is a single player game

A Little To The Left is a puzzle game where you are tidying a house into meticulous order. Each puzzle presents everyday objects and some evidence of how they should be organised. The challenge is you have to deal with the mischievous cat who likes to...

Ibb and Obb

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/08/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Sparpweed (@Sparpweed)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Ibb & Obb is a puzzle game where you run, jump, land on enemies and solve momentum puzzles. The novelty is that it's a game designed for co-operation. One player controls the green creature, Ibb, and the other controls the pink creature, Obb. The world...

Snipperclips

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: SFB Tom (@SFBTom)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

This is a game where you play a piece of paper that can be cut into different shapes. Through a series of puzzle levels, you adjust your shape by clipping and overlapping other players. Sometimes this is to match a shape, at others it is to catch a ball...

Donut County

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

Release Date: 15/08/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Torahhorse (@Torahhorse)

Players: This is a single player game

Donut County offers a simple style of play. You drag a hole around the screen; the more things you can make fall in, the bigger the hole gets. You start with bricks, road cones and bushes, but eventually you’re swallowing whole houses.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 13/10/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: Steel Crate Games (@SteelCrateGames)

Players: You can play with 10 players in the same room

In this game you’re confronted with a bomb on the screen that has to be defused, requiring a series of modules to be disarmed. The bomb defuser player can see and operate the bomb but the other players, who have the defuse instructions, can’t. The...

Old Man's Journey

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 17/05/2017

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Developer: Broken Rules (@BrokenRules)

Players: This is a single player game

Old Man’s Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather-figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.

Untitled Goose Game

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3-11 year-olds

Release Date: 03/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: House House (@House_House_)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

This is another silly and funny game but with a dastardly vibe. You play a mean goose who is intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. By stealing items, squawking and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself you slowly...

Empty

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Dstrm (@_Dstrm)

Players: This is a single player game

Empty is a minimalist puzzle game that teaches the value of simplicity in life. You rotate and interact with different vignettes to line up items with the same background colour. As you do this they disappear and the scene slowly empties.

Photographs - Puzzle Stories

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Luca Redwood (@LucaRedwood)

Players: This is a single player game

"Have you ever made a mistake, or hurt people you care about?" Asks the Photographs trailer. It's a puzzle game that aims much higher than to distract you while on the way to work.

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-10 year-olds

Release Date: 01/12/2018

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Draknek (@Draknek)

Players: This is a single player game

A Good Snowman (Is Hard To Build) is puzzle game about being a monster and making snowmen. On each level you must roll your snowballs to be the right size and then position them on each other to make a snowman.

All Of You

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Alike Studio (@AlikeStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

All of You is a platform game where you can pause time and control the levels rather than the character. By rearranging the timing, order and orientation of the world you play in you can help the mother hen get her chicks back.

Baba is You

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 13/03/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: ES Adevlog (@ESAdevlog)

Players: This is a single player game

Baba is You requires some lateral thinking. Each level is controlled by rules written on the screen, such as ‘Lava is Hot’, ‘Wall is Stop’ and ‘Flag is Move’. By moving the words around with your pixilated character, you subvert the...

Please, Touch The Artwork

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 4 features

Developer: Studio Waterzooi (@StudioWaterzooi)

Players: This is a single player game

Please, Touch The Artwork is a puzzle game that tells a story with real abstract paintings. Unconventionally it asks, what would happen if we did touch the artwork in museums? The answer is revealed over three stories each focusing on a different...

Lemmings (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 14/02/1991, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PSP and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Exient (@Exient)

Players: This is a single player game

Lemmings is a series of puzzle games where you guide small (suicidal) creatures to the end of the levels. Unusually, you don't control when or how a character jumps and navigates the areas, but instead, you assign them actions that change the level to...

MouseCraft

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/02/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Creative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Crunching Koalas (@CrunchingKoalas)

Players: This is a single player game

MouseCraft is a puzzle game where you guide mice to the cheese at the end of each level. Interestingly, you don't control the mice directly; instead, you place down blocks and items that can help them reach the end, in a way similar to [link to...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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