Top Puzzle Games To Play Right Now
A good puzzle is one of the best things in life. Some are relaxing time-killers, while others test our skills in critical problem solving or quick mental gymnastics; both can be incredibly satisfying.
The Best Puzzle Games
Tetris Effect – Connected
Let’s be honest. Tetris is already in the conversation of being one of the greatest games of all time. Luckily, we’ve been recently graced with an awesome entry in the series with Tetris Effect: Connected. This take on the concept comes from the mind of Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the man behind games like Rez and Lumines, who sculpts the tetromino-dropping gameplay into a complete sensory experience. Each stage has its own visual and audio theme that changes as you play. Music will swell as the scenery pulses, and flipping your Tetris pieces becomes a new note to the symphony of sounds. It’s a wholly unique experience in the puzzle space, and what’s even better: Tetris Effect is a darn good version of Tetris. Compete with others in the new Connected expansion or experience Effect a transcendent way in VR on PlayStation 4 or PC.
Capybara’s mountain climbing hack and slash puzzler was a standout of the Apple Arcade launch in 2019. As a beefy berserker named Jorj, each level of Grindstone has you drawing your path of destruction through colorful, and sometimes dangerous, critters called creeps to escape the level. Jorj can only cut through subsequent creeps of the same color unless he crosses paths with a Grindstone. Picking one up along the way allows Jorj to change the targeted type of creep and build even longer and more devastating combos. Along the over 200 levels of pinnacle peril, blueprints and gear can be collected and crafted to assist in surviving the treacherous ascent to the peak. While it debuted on Apple devices, Grindstone can now be found on Switch and PC as well.
Images aren’t always what they seem, and in Gorogoa, you have the power to shift and manipulate a series of pictures to find the true meaning in the visuals. Each puzzle presents the player with up to four photos that must be placed in a specific alignment to be solved. You can take each segment and manipulate them in different ways, like zooming in or out of the scene on display or changing the position of the image like a slide puzzle. Adjusting these photos can shift the perspective of what you’re looking at entirely, making the seemingly disparate images fit together perfectly. Gorogoa is a joy to look at with its spectacular art. The experience is on the shorter end, so if you’re looking to relax on a weekend afternoon, Gorogoa is a fantastic way to spend your time.
Jonathan Blow’s open world puzzle adventure The Witness is a masterclass in design. Starting on an island with no context of where or when you are, you only have one way to interact with the world: drawing lines or paths on designated panels strewn about the environment. Each set of these screens found around the island adds new rules to how you need to draw your route from point A to B to complete the puzzle. These rules are sussed out by intuition or trial and error, though as you progress through The Witness, puzzle elements and clues for drawing the correct paths on panels may be inspired by your surroundings. So it’s essential to keep your eyes and, most importantly, your mind open to solve some of the more important and exciting mysteries on the island. We’ll leave it at that as The Witness is at its best when starting with the bare minimum knowledge and letting the experience build until you realize what’s actually possible.
The Turing Test
Originally released in 2016 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, with a Switch version in 2020, The Turing Test puts you in the shoes of Ava Turing. Confined in a laboratory, Ava is tasked to complete a series of tests that only humans can solve. These test chambers are designed by an artificial intelligence named T.O.M., which observes Ava’s progress throughout the experimentation. Armed with an Energy Manipulation Tool, you can pull energy nodes from objects to redistribute into other devices to solve the puzzle at hand. Sometimes, the simplest answer isn’t the correct one, though. T.O.M.’s contraptions will require you to think outside the box and “cheat” the tests in various ways. For example, you may find yourself navigating a maze but decide to hop over the walls instead of sticking to the labyrinth floor. The Turing Tests convoluted rooms will likely keep you busy for quite some time, while also delivering a worthwhile tale between Ava and T.O.M.
The Room: Old Sins
Part virtual puzzle box, part spooky escape room, The Room series has been delivering satisfying brainteasers for years. Its most recent iteration, called Old Sins, can be found on iOS, Android, and PC. Old Sins has you exploring an unsettling dollhouse where each room holds several puzzles and secrets to unravel. Items can be found and examined, giving clues for solving a mystery. Important objects made of a substance called the Null, which is said to have the power to warp reality, can also be used to progress. Puzzle solutions aren’t contained to just one area, as some more significant problems will have you exploring all over the house to resolve. The Room: Old Sins’ biggest strengths are in its atmosphere and detail. Every object you interact with feels old and ornate but at the same time advanced and intricate. There’s almost a sinister quality in the air, enhancing the urgency to get through each puzzle and move on to learning all of the secrets within the dollhouse.