Everyone likes challenging their brains. It can be the most satisfying thing to solve a problem that has given you a hard time for hours. What’s more, scientists have found that solving such a problem stimulates cognitive activity in the brain. This stimulation leads to an increase in memory and problem-solving strength.
Most video games try to implement some degree of problem-solving, but there are some games that are ALL about puzzle-solving. Here are the 10 Best Puzzle Games for the PC.
10. Grim Fandango Remastered
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, OSX, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch
Year of release: 30 October 1998(initial), January 27, 2015 (Remastered)
This game is a true classic. It was originally produced 21 years ago but has since then been the remastered. The remastered version has better graphics but still maintains the same story. You play the role of Manny. He is an underground agent trying to uncover a conspiracy. Gamers have praised this game as one of the best puzzle games of all time as far as storytelling goes.
- The point and click interface has made it easier to control the character.
- The graphics have also been improved. The characters now look a bit more modern.
- The PC Specifications are a bit high and it will not run on older PCs.
9. Portal 2
Developer: Valve Corporation
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
Year of release: 18 April 2011
Portal 2 is a sequel to the popular puzzle game Portal and brings you right back to the Aperture testing facility. You still have to solve several puzzles with the help of your handy portal gun. Yet, this new instalment has some new elements. First, the portal gun is equipped with a bouncy paint. It is up to the player to discover which surface they should paint and use the gun to get it there. Once you paint a surface you can jump higher on it. Secondly, there are new puzzles. Finally, you can play the game in coop mode. Playing in coop mode has its challenges and new puzzles that you have to work together to find.
- Unlike the first version, it supports Coop mode. This makes it feel like a new game.
- The cast of characters has expanded.
- There are more challenges and the challenges are more rewarding.
- The graphics are going to blow you away.
8. Unravel 2
Developer: ColdWood Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Year of release: 9 June 2018
Unravel 2 is one of the best PC puzzle games out there. It is better than its predecessor in every single way. The game is a puzzle-solving platformer that has you playing a Yarny. A mystical creature made from yarn. What makes this game different from the first is the introduction of a second Yarny. This opens up the game to both single-player and coop modes. Unravel 2 also brings in several new challenging dilemmas that you will have to solve together.
- It has stunning graphics that keep you immersed in the game
- It supports both single-player and coop modes.
- Unlike the original, Unravel 2 lacks the emotional punch making its story boring.
Developer: Jonathan Blow, Number None, Inc., Hothead Games
Publisher: Number None, Microsoft Game Studios
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems, Android
Year of release: 6 August 2008
Braid can easily find its way into a list of the best puzzle games of all time. At first glance, it may seem like a typical platformer. This thought soon disappears as time manipulation comes into play. The time changing aspects are where this platformer changes into a puzzle game. The game is beautifully utilizing a lovely hand-painted style. This will leave you feeling like you are playing through a collection of art. There is also a twist at the very end that makes its story suddenly change.
- Beautiful hand-painted style approach. It feels like you are playing art.
- The time manipulation mechanics are awesome and well refined.
- Some of the puzzles are difficult and will have you scratching your head for hours.
Platform: Android, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, iOS
Year of release: 21 July 2010
Video games are a discipline of art whose core elements are gameplay, sound, and visuals. Limbo is one of the best examples of these three elements working in perfect harmony. The game has a unique style that has no text, no explanation, and no dialogue. You wake up as a boy in the forest, and as you explore it becomes clear that you need to get out of this dangerous place. The game is set in 2-D and black and white. This may sound terrible but ends up being perfect for the game.
- The game has no virtually no loading screen making it very immersive.
- The sound design is amazing.
- The animation is fluid.
- Lacks a clear story.
5. World of Goo
Developer: 2D Boy
Publisher: 2D Boy
Platform: Android, Microsoft Windows, Wii, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Macintosh operating systems, Blackberries
Year of release: 13 October 2008
World of Goo is a straight-up puzzle game. It has no story or adventure. Your main aim is to construct structures with Goo balls, which happen to be alive. The game pays attention to physics, which both assists you and works against you. As you progress you will get different types of goo balls with special characteristics. Combing all these makes the game that is constantly changing in difficulty.
- The music is outstanding and fits the game well.
- The game has a funny sense of humor.
- It is too short
4. The Witness
Developer: Jonathan Blow, Thekla Inc.
Publisher: Thekla Inc., Nvidia Lightspeed Studios
Platform: PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, Nvidia Shield
Year of release: 26 January 2016
The Witness is an open-world puzzle game. It takes place on an island that is filled with manmade and natural structures. The player is required to solve different puzzles by interacting with grids. These grids are often hidden. The game also provides no instructions making it all more challenging to find and solve the puzzles.
- The challenges are both tough making them fulfilling to solve.
- Being an open-world game, there is lots to do outside the main objectives.
- Requires a lot of hours to finish.
3. Baba Is You
Developer: Hempuli Oy
Publisher: Hempuli Oy
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
Year of release: 13 March 2019
Baba is You is one of the best puzzle games 2019. You are the protagonist, Baba, who tries to make it through levels. Each level has various word titles distributed all over. The main aim of the game is to combine the tiles to spell “Baba is Win”. This may sound simple enough but the game can be quiet challenging at higher levels. The game is unique and can be very fulfilling.
- The controls are very simple to master.
- It is repayable and has over 200 levels with an upcoming level editor. This gives it tons of potential
- Many people will be put off by the game’s visuals as the graphics suck.
2. The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed
Developer: Cloudhead Games
Publisher: Cloudhead Games
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Year of release: April 2016
If you have a VR headset then you should try The Gallery. It is a VR puzzle adventure that keeps you close to the action. This game is great for immersion and making you feel like an adventurer. The gallery uses the teleportation method of movement. This method ensures that you remain comfortable while playing the game. Moreover, the story also has a sequel that you can play after finishing it.
- Being VR, it offers a special immersion as a puzzle game.
- It also utilizes the teleportation movement system. This is user-friendly for people who get motion sickness.
- It requires a VR headset to be played.
Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS
Year of release: 29 June 2016
Inside is yet another 2-D platformer puzzle game from Playdead. It is a follow up to Limbo. It is still a no text, no dialogue, and no exploitations game. However, Inside makes few changes in its gameplay. Firstly, there is a bit of color. This is mostly used to make you look at something. Secondly, the game has developed a kind of story. Keen players will be able to see the story develop from the very first scene.
- The puzzles are not that difficult.
- Every frame of the game feels polished. This provides for very smooth gameplay.
- The game feels too short.
The puzzle game genre has been around for a long time. Quickly going through this list of PC puzzle games, it is easy to see why. What a good time to be a gamer.
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