Puzzle games are often created by indie (independent) developers who sometimes have a low budget. Puzzle games are often recognized for their intricate puzzles and less for their graphics. This doesn't mean that all puzzle games have bad graphics because they can have beautiful aesthetics. Games like The Witness and The Talos Principle are some of the most impactful puzzle games, and they are downright gorgeous.
Playing the following games could result in a headache or pulled hair due to their tedious nature. Beat every game on this list and considered yourself a puzzle master. These are 10 mind-boggling games.
10 The Witness
The Witness is a magical adventure that offers breathtaking visuals combined with tricky puzzles. It has a labyrinthine network of puzzles to solve, which, when decoded, open up new sections of the map. Unfortunately, many people will find The Witness to be too tough because of the complexity of its puzzles. IGN reviewed The Witness, giving it a perfect 10/10 score. The Witness is an enchanting world filled with tough problems that will give the biggest puzzle masters a rough time.
9 Portal 1 & 2
Widely regarded as two of the best games of all time, Portal 1 & 2 are the Valve Corporation's most excellent hits. In Portal, players have to solve puzzles while being guided by a voice-controlled A.I. You'll have to use the "Portal gun," which is also known as the "Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device." This device opens two connected portals, which will help you solve puzzles and progress through the game. Portal 2 has a more rich story, and possibly more fun puzzles, which makes it an excellent puzzle game.
8 Human: Fall Flat
What makes Human: Fall Flat stand out from other puzzle games is the fact that it supports 8-player online multiplayer. While other puzzle games on this list are single-player puzzle games with dreadful tones, Human: Fall Flat can be downright hilarious at times. Trying to control a featureless human named Bob, proves to be a grueling but satisfying job.
Once you get past the game's learning curve, Human: Fall Flat can be an immensely enjoyable game. Human: Fall Flat is available on PC, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.
7 The Room
Not to be confused with escape rooms, The Room is about solving a puzzle item in the middle of a room. After solving a puzzle, a new box opens up, revealing a new problem to solve. Although The Room doesn't have a plot with depth, it doesn't need to since players can focus on the puzzle-solving aspect of the game. Multiple sequels were made by Fireproof Studios, the same development company behind the original. The Room is available for iOS, Android, PC, and Nintendo Switch. You won't regret playing The Room as it's puzzling are engaging and mind-boggling.
Although it is comparable to the game Inside, Limbo falls more along the lines of a classic puzzle game. It doesn't have as unique of a fear element as Inside, and you are less fascinated with its premise. Limbo, however, is an exceptional puzzle game that will boggle your mind. In explanation, you'll need multiple attempts to progress through Limbo. Its puzzle-solving combined with platforming is not easy, and as a game in white and black, the art-direction is uncanny.
When Inside released in 2016, it surprised people with its dark themes combined with tricky puzzles. The game tells a story through visualization and not words. In the beginning, a boy slides down a hill and encounters men with flashlights who he must avoid. Inside is about escaping inhospitable circumstances as you try to pick up as many plot points as possible. The puzzle-solving can be scary at times, which is why not everyone will appreciate this game. It is a masterpiece in its own right, which is why Inside deserves placement on this list.
4 The Talos Principle
Smart writing combined with excellent artwork makes the puzzles of The Talos Principle come to life. Why you are stuck in this location, and why you need to solve puzzles, becomes more clear as the game progresses. The game asks the players to use tools, which are required to solve some of the puzzles.
The mysteries of The Talos Principle are what encourages you to finish the game. The Talos Principle is comparable to The Witness because they are both played in the first-person.
3 Tetris 99
Tetris 99 is a spin on the famous Tetris game that surfaced in 1984. Tetris 99 is a combination of the original Tetris gameplay, but players must race against 99 other players. You can send vile blocks called "Garbage Blocks" into competing players' Tetris playing field, creating an obstacle. For those who aren't familiar with Tetris, the goal is to complete a horizontal line of blocks to clear a line and prevent them from reaching the top. The game contains online play and different game modes, making it one of the most exciting Tetris games yet.
Number None, a relatively unknown developer in the gaming community, is now known for its creation of Braid. This indie game is recognized for being both a puzzle and a platformer. In ways, it is comparable to both Super Mario Bros. and the Sonic the Hedgehog platform games. It also makes use of puzzle elements by requiring players to collect jigsaws and piece them together to form a completed puzzle. Braid is a fresh take on the genre, and it's one of the best examples of a puzzle game done right.
1 World of Goo
Released on platforms such as the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, iOS, World of Goo is a puzzle game like few others. Essentially, you have to control a black goo substance to influence the movement of other items. You'll have to guide things through a series of obstacles to reach a finishing point. Each level is intricate and well-designed. World of Goo can be tough at times, but it is highly enjoyable. It's no wonder why this independent video game has reached critical acclaim.