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Puzzle 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. Board game puzzles include those that focus on a traditional, self-contained, puzzle board with pieces to move, or more modern twists that still require pieces to be located next to each other to solve a scenario. Board games that are just a mystery to solve or a scenario that are puzzling we tag as Brain Games rather than Puzzles.Video game puzzles can take this in more conceptual directions, offering conundrums 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.
Release Date: 05/07/2016, updated in 2017
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On
Tricky Towers is a battle puzzle that uses shapes but instead of creating lines, you must balance them in towers that mustn’t fall over. Real-world physics applies, along with wind and attacks from other players to make your stack topple. Up to four...
Release Date: 20/12/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead and Blocks
Lego Builder's Journey is a narrative puzzle game but isn't what you expect it to be. Rather than a brick-based puzzle for kids, it's more like a thoughtful and nostalgic work of art for adults. You work through abstract levels by following instructions...
Release Date: 27/04/2017
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS
Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Under Leaves is a puzzle game where you search for colour-filled hidden objects in scenes made of flora and fauna. Each one is a hand-drawn watercolour illustration and is accompanied by a soothing soundscape. It's a game about observation and attention...
Release Date: 29/01/2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
The Pedestrian is a puzzle game where you control a stick man navigating a series of road signs around a virtual city. It sounds a little odd and quite simple, but by layering its interconnected sign-based puzzles it creates an experience that is both...
Release Date: 02/11/2021
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Hand-Made and Pixels
Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of 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 where...
Release Date: 26/03/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells the story of a young girl, Rose, whose parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly traps the clashing couple in them. You and a friend...
Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon and Day and Night
Bugsnax is a whimsical adventure where you track, trick, catch and eat anthropomorphic food in all shapes and sizes. But as you do, you literally become what you eat. It's silly puzzling fun from the creators of [link to game/Octodad+Dadliest+Catch...
Release Date: 25/03/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC and Switch
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made
Dorfromantik is a peaceful village-building strategy puzzle game for one player, inspired by tile-based board games like Carcassonne. You have a stack of hexagonal tiles and work to match their edges while creating areas of towns, forests and fields to...
Release Date: 21/11/2019, updated in 2023
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks and Open World
The Touryst is a puzzle-based adventure, where you seek to unlock the mysteries of an archipelago of sun-drenched islands. That's if you want to, because the adventure can wait if you'd rather soak up the sun and make the most of your time away by...
Release Date: 24/03/2003, updated in 2013
Out Now: GameCube and Wii U
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an adventure game in the Zelda series. This one is set on a group of islands in a vast sea and follows Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon. This soon develops into a struggle to find the...
Release Date: 28/10/2015, updated in 2019
Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person
Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise is a puzzle game where you infiltrate a spy hideaway to stop an evil plan. Each location is full of retro futuristic contraptions, hidden gizmos, gadgets and clever logic-based puzzles.
Release Date: 12/12/2014, updated in 2019
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, GBA, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney is a courtroom murder mystery series where you piece together clues to challenge testimonies and uncover the truth. It’s like a visual novel, although you must interact with characters and evidence to progress.
Release Date: 09/03/2018, updated in 2020
Supraland is an adventure game that involves exploring, running, jumping, solving puzzles, and fighting monsters. You play a member of the Red Village and you must discover why the Blue Village has sabotaged your water supply. Your character is a...
Release Date: 20/09/2018
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
The Gardens Between is a puzzle game set in dreamlike island gardens where you play as best friends Arina and Frendt. You work around the island levels collecting balls of light in your lantern, manipulating time to solve puzzles and remove obstacles...
Release Date: 21/03/2020, updated in 2021
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS
Spyder is a puzzle adventure where you play as Agent 8, a small 6-legged spider-robot that was designed by a British spy agency for attempting to stop an evil organization. You explore the world and can use your sticky legs to walk over any surface or...
Release Date: 01/08/2023
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made
Tren is a traversal-puzzle game set in a hand-crafted world as a wooden train, sailing boats and helicopters. You control points, shunt trucks around, operate cranes and generally move cargo from one location to the next. Like an escape room with toy...
Release Date: 27/06/2007
Components: Bag, Figures, Placeables and Tokens
Carcassonne is a strategy game where you lay tiles to create a medieval landscape of farms, rivers and cities. Each new tile must match the roads, rivers, farms and cities of those around it. As you place it you can claim one of these elements that...
Release Date: 06/02/2014
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, PC, Web and iOS
Threes is a puzzle game where you slide numbered tiles on a grid. When they collide they combine their numbers, like Triple Town. You can match 1's and 2's with each other, the white tiles can match cards that are multiples of 3...
Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011
Out Now: PS2 and PS3
Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls...
Release Date: 13/03/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
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 pixelated character, you subvert the...
Release Date: 01/03/2017
Components: Figures and Placeables
Kingdomino is a kingdom-building game where you place domino tiles to match terrain types and score points. As you play, you build a territory in a grid that requires careful consideration of where dominoes are placed to maximise points. What makes this...
Release Date: 07/10/2019, updated in 2022
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Pilgrims is an adventure game where you collect cards to help the characters you meet. As you progress you assist them to complete their little stories by offering the right cards to the right people. It's a little like Scribblenauts but with less focus...
Release Date: 30/08/2016
Hue is a puzzle game where you run and jump through platforms. You explore a grey land while searching for your missing mother. The novelty is in the coloured pieces you uncover, which when matched against obstacles will cause them to disappear,...
Release Date: 31/10/2019
Out Now: Switch
Luigi's Mansion 3 is an adventure game where you explore the intricate rooms of a haunted hotel to find and capture ghosts. As in the first two games, you move through the rooms, finding secrets and treasures, and vacuuming up ghosts. It has the same...
Release Date: 01/01/2000
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Blokus is a strategy game where you compete to have the fewest unplayed tiles. You add Tetris-shaped tiles to a shared board that is split into 400 small squares. It is a game about choosing to play the right tile at the right moment, be too slow to get...
Release Date: 20/03/2013
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS and Switch
Luigi's Mansion 2, or Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon in the US, is an adventure game about investigating five haunted houses in a community overrun by ghosts. As Luigi, you use your flashlight and ghost trap in the mansions, capturing ghosts and collecting...
Release Date: 01/11/2022
Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night and Weather
Lonesome Village is a simple dungeon adventure that also simulates life in a cosy mysterious village. You play by exploring, collecting and talking to the other villagers, before heading to solve the puzzles of the adventure. It's a combat-free...
Release Date: 04/08/2021, updated in 2023
Components: 2D Overhead, 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Toodee and Topdee is a platform puzzle game where you control two characters to complete single-screen levels. The twist is that each character exists in a different plane. Toodee is a top-down block-pushing 3D world, while Topdee is side-on 2D...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch
Thank Goodness You're Here! is a slapstick adventure set in Northern England in the style of classic Beano comics. Play involves exploring the cartoon world to take on quests and special challenges. It stands out for the visual style, but also a...
Release Date: 19/10/2023
Out Now: Web
Components: 2D Side-On, Board and Grid
Puzzmo is a newspaper-puzzle-page-style game collection where you take on daily puzzles based on logic, letters and lateral thinking. Play is different depending on which of the puzzles you attempt, but all involve clicking and typing to solve clues and...
Release Date: 15/08/2018, updated in 2018
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
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.
Release Date: 12/02/2015
Metamorphabet is a puzzle game where you explore the alphabet by pushing and pulling the letters around to create different things beginning with that letter. It’s simply presented with sound effects and voiced words for each object. It excels at...
Release Date: 12/11/2014, updated in 2018
Out Now: Android, PC, Switch and iOS
Framed is a puzzle adventure where you rearrange panels of an animated comic book to change the outcome and timeline of the story. With a noir-detective look, the puzzles start simply but soon get complex.
Release Date: 06/03/2019
Vignettes is a puzzle game where you explore shapes that change into different objects as you spin them around with your fingers. What starts as a novelty evolves into a collecting challenge where interacting with one item leads to another. Rescue a...
Release Date: 17/01/2017
Components: 2D Overhead
She Remembered Caterpillars is a colour-matching puzzle game with an unusual look and emotional story to tell. Through the unsettling fungi-punk aesthetic you work out how to get your characters to the endpoint of each stage. As you do you eavesdrop on...
Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2022
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox 360
Components: 3D First-Person
Portal is a puzzle game where you manipulate the world around you to move through increasingly complex chambers. By creating two connected portals- if you walk into one, you walk out the other- you must move yourself around the rooms to escape. It...
Release Date: 18/10/2019
Out Now: PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and Pixels
Return of the Obra Dinn is a narrative puzzle game where you play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the...
Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative puzzle game about the surviving member of the Finch family, who seems to have died from a curse. From a first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final...
Release Date: 06/10/2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels
There Is No Game is a comedic adventure with a strange twist. From the outset, the game’s narrator insists that there is no game to play. As you inevitably ignore his instruction you go on a journey through silly and unexpected video game universes.
Release Date: 17/10/2013
Out Now: iOS
Device 6 is a narrative puzzle where you piece together a mystery through unusual interactions with your device. As the story unfolds, you rotate your screen, hold it up to a mirror to read backwards text, and generally search for clues in unusual ways...