Puzzle-based games: have you played them?

I mainly remember it being about murder. And fireworks. :slight_smile:

Oh yes, The Incredible Machine was fun (and can still be purchased).

A similar game is Rube Works by the David Fox.


One of the levels that I remember best. It comes very early on, does it not? I should play it again as there is plenty of challenge in getting through all 120 levels (I think it’s that many… 30 per difficulty setting of which there are 4).

Yes, it comes early and I always made a stopper right after a drop and a second stopper right when the next Lemming turned around. Then waiting until all of them were collected in this small space…

It’s Level 3: https://youtu.be/f0kZN4Quvrs

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I used to play with fire by nuking all lemmings as they were making it home. If I timed it right then I’d save a high enough percentage of lemmings to pass the level and watch a fantastic sacrificial fireworks display. Oh yes.

Yes, I loved it, too! Recently, David Fox made a new game of that kind : “Rube Works”. It’s a game inspired by the real original Rube Goldberg machines (which The Incredible Machine took from).


I’m not sure that I understand which kind of games can be classified as “puzzle-based”, because I’ve seen that the ones that I consider puzzle-centered are sometimes labeled in a different way by other people.

Also, it seems that all the puzzle games that I played in the past had at least one pinch of story in them or they attracted me from an artistic point of view, so the games that I’m about to list are different from the one that I have seen listed in this thread, although their gameplay is still based strongly on puzzles.

Said that, I have played The Room, that from my point of view is based way more on puzzles than on the story.

Can Windosill be considered a puzzle game? I don’t know, but I’m citing it as well. I liked its surreal environment and puzzles can be considered “logical” only according to the characteristics of this surreal world.

I’ve also played the demo version of Gorogoa, that you will not find on the official website but that it’s easy to get from other sites. Gorogoa is all about puzzles, but from a strange graphical perspective. It’s one of the most original games I’ve played in the last years and I warmly suggest you to give it a try.

I have also played “casual” puzzle games, like “Cut the rope” and “Triple Town”.

From the games that you mentioned I think that I would enjoy TIS-100, assuming that it has no time limits.

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Oh, Gorogoa looks interesting. I will need a lot of time to play all these. :confused:

Incredible machines, i have fond memories of this series. Not only because it was playable on my toilet-486sx-laptop :stuck_out_tongue:
There also was german “remake”, crazy machines 1 + 2

Anyone remember this one?

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Oh, thanks for reminding me of this game. I remember seeing it as kid and wanting to play it, but never did.

I’ve just played this and it’s very dense with puzzles (600+ puzzles or so). I’d go as far as to say it’s an interactive puzzle book. Most of the puzzles involve looking at the same grids and screens though about 25% actually make use of the environment of the island which this puzzle book has been transposed to. This is a game that certainly raises a lot of questions about what gaming can be, I think.

In short, despite the sense of exploration and openness that the game has, I can’t really think of a game that’s more puzzlelicious than The Witness.

Many puzzlers have that extra element though, right? I’m playing Munin and it has platformer elements so it isn’t only about puzzles — or rather that some survival elements are integrated into the puzzle experience. I hear Braid is similar?


I’m a huge fan of The Witness. I like the combination of exploration and puzzle-solving.

Re Braid (same designer) I liked that a bit less. It’s a platform game like you say, so quite different. The concept of rewinding time is pretty unique and very clever, but I also found it a bit restrictive and samey in later levels. It just got so difficult and long-winded that I gave up!

I like that The Witness combines different puzzles but links them subtly by technique, so the player learns how to solve them almost instinctively. Braid was a bit like that but any small mistake basically meant restarting the level, argh!

Yeah, I keep having to restart levels on Munin because of mistakes/deaths, and some of the levels require a lot of thought and take quite a while so it can be a bit frustrating. I’m extremely patient so it’s not frustrating for me but I can easily see it being a hugely frustrating element for many.

I enjoyed The Witness, but am yet to solve all its puzzles. There is optional stuff that I don’t even understand yet and probably nooks and crannies of the island that have problems to solve.

I’ll probably get Braid simply based on how difficult you’re suggesting it is.

The hardest game I’ve ever played is La-Mulana (metroidvania with a lot of vigilance needed because a zillion stone tablets give you clues about how to progress – somewhat puzzling and a game of riddles and observation mixed with difficult combat and VAST exploration of a very large world).

Yeah, I like how it just keeps opening up, and that you can leave difficult puzzles and come back to them. I think I’m near the end now.


How is The Witness coming along? It’s one of the best games I’ve played in recent times but ya gonna have to really love puzzles to love this game.

Are the puzzles enough different from each other? The Witness seems to be a genre of game that I might enjoy but what held me back to purchase it is that I had the impression that the puzzles were quite similar or at least all relying under a common concept. Did I get the wrong impression?

It builds up a sort of puzzle language over time, so the game is very cohesive but, in my view, varied enough. It’s also difficult. There are probably 8 or so key concepts which get used in different combinations and each main area focuses on a different concept. Also, the world is meticulously crafted and it’s a good game to just explore and marvel at. There’s also a lot of thinking outside the box required and you must also be very observant and vigilant. You can take as long as you wish to solve the puzzles but for one surprise/bonus which is optional which BTW is just about the most nerve-racking thing in gaming. There are somewhat rare moments in the game that do require some basic dexterity, but you cannot die and it’s more or less harmless.

I highly recommend the game IF you like puzzles and ingenuity. There is a lot of ingenuity in The Witness beyond playing what at first appears like an interactive puzzle book and it also challenges some notions regarding game design. If you want a serious story, there’s not really one to be had in this game. It tries to be bigger than “just a story” in a sense. Whether they really achieved that is another question entirely. Let’s just say, it’s very grandiose.

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I think that I’ll purchase it, thanks for describing the aspects of the game that usually put me off, like QTE and dexterity. :slight_smile:

I love difficult puzzles, as long as they are varied enough. Also, in these puzzle-based games, story can be optional for me.

I’ve just realized that the current price is quite steep, I’ll wait for the Steam summer sale.

Still loving it, but going slowly as these last few are tricky. Glad you’re liking it - it is indeed for puzzle people as not much else going on (though I love the scenery). I’d probably still play it if it was literally just the puzzles - everything else is a bonus.

That’s a shame - it was half price a week or so ago. Sure it’ll come down again though.

There’s a really good wiki on the different puzzle types but I wouldn’t recommend looking at it until you’re at least two thirds through. I had to resort to it for a really difficult puzzle.

I think that I can wait for the next sale, whenever it will be. My backlog of games to play is critically increasing and before “The Witness” I should play/finish a lot of other games that I have neglected.

Yes, that’s understandable. The doubts that I had about the puzzle diversity are disappearing and I think that I’ll buy the game without acquiring more information about it. :slight_smile:

Hooray :slightly_smiling_face: look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.