Do You Like Puzzle Games?

I have this love/hate relationship with puzzle games: as long as I can keep solving the puzzles, they are just fine.

When I get stuck, it’s just annoying.

I can spend some time working on some puzzle, but if there’s no hints and the only solution is to check some walkthrough from the Internetz I tend to just stop playing.

And of course I play puzzle games just once (after they are solved, why bother playing the same thing again?).

What do you think of puzzle games? Enjoying them?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I like puzzles!
    Especially logical/strategic puzzles such us Tetris, Atomix…etc and of course, Ziro.
    But from my point of view, as puzzle developer, puzzle is not happy business. Many todays gamers don’t want to spend time to solve puzzle, they expect to pass puzzle easy and without any brain-effort, just like piece of cake. Whole actual games industry (Hidden Objects games are a Leader) try to convince players that they are extremely smart and because that they made too many helpers in games.
    Real puzzle lovers like to have fine curve in puzzle game, from easy up to extreme hard to solve problems, but this kind of players are rare, as buyers for real puzzles ;) .

  2. We released an xbox indie game just 2 months ago. It´s a puzzle game and I think it has all this features you are pointing out.

    There is a story arc linking the puzzles together, you can choose different ways to unfold the storyline, some of them being shortcuts for experts.

    For replayability we have implemented a movement counter that tells the user if there is another player which have solved the puzzle with less movements and a “in-house” award system like achievements to make certain routes, shortcuts or special moves.

    There is also a Facebook integration feature in an attempt to use social gaming.

    And it is based in blocks!

    We are receiving great critics from gamespot, joystiq and other important sites but we are finding difficult to promote a game like this!

    The game is “Rotor’scope: the secret of the endless energy” for Xbox 360 indie games.

  3. I kind of like puzzle games where there’s “expert status” option. Like… you can solve the puzzle barely even if you are not so hardcore puzzle gamer, but for real pros there’s the possibility to “solve the puzzle so that you also collect bonus items and thus get master rank”.

    Or… option to try another puzzle instead can be refreshing too. Many adventure games used this in the past: if you could not solve one puzzle, you could try something else, and perhaps the other puzzle gets solved later or you get clues on how to solve it while working on other puzzles.

    Gamestoppers are no fun.

  4. Mook: What you say is you don’t mind if they’re too hard because you can change to another game as they’re a lot. So, you mind it the same Juuso does.

    For me it’s the same: too easy means boring. Too hard means I’ll leave the game. Always the same means once some phases are done, there’s no need to continue, so I leave too.

    The problem of puzzle design is that not everybody has the same ability to solve them, so you only target a part of the puzzle-players market.

    I think the best is to have a puzzle game with phases where rules change, not only add things. And the best of the best, a puzzle game where difficult level depends on your previous results.

  5. Some puzzle games are fun, I’ve been especially keen on some of the RPG-puzzle games such as Gyromancer and puzzle quest.

    I’ve also played a few fun puzzle platformers like “Bob Came In Pieces” (I even wrote a guide for that!) and “Max And The Magic Marker”. I’d recommend either, especially Bob.

    Hardcore puzzle games are a little less likeable for me though and I have a hard time reviewing them. Mainly because once you’ve described and given an opinion on the mechanic you’ve covered 90% of the game in a few sentences! A good one I did play recently however was Chains (search on steam for it) which is a great example of how to vary level progression while keeping the same central game mechanic running.

  6. Igor: adventure games – I actually liked those a lot in the past. Monkey Island series, and many other adventure games I enjoyed. I also used “walkthroughs” to get past some really tricky parts (which could have haunted me for like 3 nights or so ;) but back those times I enjoyed the witty comments & storylines which kept me going. I did try doing an adventure game like… 15 years ago or.

    I haven’t played much adventure games lately though. They are puzzle games with some witty discussions & storylines.

  7. I love them! Both playing and making them. I have an unhealthy obsession with blocks.

    I don’t mind if they get too hard; there are plenty more to play.

  8. What you said is pretty much the same for me. I’ve stopped playing games completely because it was just too hard to figure out what to do or how to solve something. This is especially true about older games, I think we’re moving towards the days where it is less of an issue.

  9. Puzzle games are a tough sell for me. While many are very exciting at the beginning, most of them tend to become boring after a number of levels as they rarely introduce interesting variation to the core mechanics. Usually I much prefer adventure games puzzles. How do you like adventure games, Juuso?

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