The Brain Puzzle Showcase is live on Steam, offering puzzle game demos and discounts through Monday. That’s a lot of puzzle games. If your head is itchy and your brain is noticeably relaxed, here are some recommendations to get you started.
Concealer – £1.99/€2.24/$1.99 (50% off)
As I wrote before, it takes tile flipping ideas for match 3 games, but you have to find the right order to make matches and carefully remove each tile until there is nothing left . I dig it!
Return of the Obra Dinn – £10.84/€11.75/$13.99 (30% off)
This murder mystery aboard a cursed ship has been cheaper in sales before, but it’s still one of the best puzzle games out there and worth it. The Obra Dinn has been found adrift, all her crew dead or missing, and it’s up to you to find out what happened using a magical pocket watch that lets you revisit the moment frozen from someone’s death. So to fill our ledger we need to identify the bones and find out what caused them to become bones, listening to dramatic moments, coming across illustrations, examining the socks of sleeping sailors, tracking down relationships and much more. other techniques to solve the problem. serial disasters. A deductive delight. I also love the ringing of the bells on the soundtrack.
Check out our Return Of The Obra Dinn review for more, and we also declared it our favorite game of 2018. If you already have it, hey, you might enjoy The Mechanic’s chat with creator Lucas Pope about this vital register.
Hexcells Full Pack – £1.79/€2.69/$2.69 (70% off)
That’s a lot of confusing Minesweeper-ish logic for two books. John Walker was a huge fan of the series, reviewing all three games in this pack over the years: Hexcells, Hexcells Plus, and Hexcells Infinite. In the last of these three reviews, he said the series “offers that sweet spot of apparent simplicity, but a depth of complexity”. I have to mention these games, or he would have me.
Outer Wilds – £11.69/€12.59/$14.99 (40% off)
What a joy to be trapped in a time loop in a solar system about to explode! The open-world investigation game gives us a small spaceship to freely explore so many mysteries, to understand what is happening and what happened before. A whole little solar system working like a clock, inviting us to learn every cog in the mechanism. Our favorite game of 2019.
“It’s Groundhog Day in an astronaut costume,” Brendy said in our Outer Wilds review. “But it’s also a learning game, generous in spirit, playful and encouraging. It taps into all of those Carl Saganisms that make us gaze up at the night sky and nod excitedly at the Big Dipper. Overflowing with a playful love of astronomy and physics, he abandons stuffy formulas for adventures on dangerous planets full of sand and one-way trips to icy comets hurtling around the sun.”
It’s currently on sale at Epic, where it’s eligible for a bonus 25% off coupon. But I am including it here for serious Steamers.
Into the Breach – £5.69/€7.49/$7.49 (50% off)
Like Obra Dinn, it was cheaper before, but like Obra Dinn, it’s one of the best puzzle games. Or the best strategy games. Or both. Human civilization is being ravaged by rampaging giant monsters, so we control squads of time-traveling mechs jumping between timelines to stop the end of the world. It’s a roguelike turn-based strategy game, with each campaign a new challenge, but the battles are highly enigmatic. With each turn, you know exactly what your enemies will do and what your attacks will do, allowing you to plot intricate chains of attacks, shoves, and blocks. So plan carefully, scratch your head, and you can pull off wonderfully intricate stunts to save the day while smashing the bugs. A joy.
“There are those games that I’m passionate about the technology or the settings or the storytelling,” Alec Meer said in our Into The Breach review. “Then there are the games where I mostly marvel at the elegance of the design, the remarkable precision with which so many interlocking gears are arranged, especially in something as casually executed as Into The Breach. The Spelunkies, the Slay The Spiers and, of course, the FTLs, Into The Breach effortlessly joins these ranks, feeling instantly timeless and ingenious, a collection of long-known designs honed to glorious shine.
It’s cheaper in Epic’s current sale (and it was free before too), but I know some people prefer Steam.
Gorogoa – £3.41/€4.49/$4.49 (70% off)
John’s rave review of Gorogoa said the picture-panel puzzle game is “a beautiful story in which you solve puzzles more by instinct than deduction, and their solutions are as magical as the process”.
Gun – £1.20/€1.40/$1.99 (80% off)
A real-time stealth action puzzle game that features one of the most joyful puzzle tools in puzzle history: pushing men out of windows. It’s a few years old now, but John revisited it not too long ago and would still urge you to give it a try. Push, huh?
Stephen’s Sausage Roll – £9.51/€9.99/$11.99 (60% off)
A devilishly clever and careful Sokoban-y game about cooking sausages to perfection.
“Weirdly, for a game on hay bale sized sausages, I’d say all meat and no fat or filler,” Pip said in our Stephen’s Sausage Roll review. “It’s a blessing for people like me who will fight him over a series of great nights or keep him in the background to play with throughout the day. For others it will be a royal pain in the ass, a totally unattainable gem taunting with its low poly style and seemingly simple gameplay.”
Collector Garden – £8.79/€8.79/$10.99 (45% off)
I’m fascinated and distressed by the endlessly repeating empty architecture of this first-person 3D puzzler, and I’m not the only one.
“I can’t help but imagine myself, trapped in an endless kaleidoscope. Running down corridor after identical corridor. Running out of a room and finding myself on a pyramid of endless steps. Running around the same strange building and only see more of this building. Forever. I can’t imagine worse horror. Argh,” Alice Bee said in our Manifold Garden review. “Good puzzles, though.”
Oh, it’s also in Epic’s current sale. It’s not expensive enough to qualify for a coupon per se, but what if you buy a few things?
Baba it’s you – £7.97/€8.74/$10.49 (30% off)
A delightful puzzle game about rearranging sentences to redefine how things work in the world, including yourself. Won Best Design at the 2020 IGF Awards.
John’s Baba Is You review said “it’s wonderful. Completely wonderful. Quirky, inspired, thought-provoking, and most importantly, that constant feeling of ‘Oh no, how am I going to do this one!’ so quickly followed by “I AM A GENIUS!” It’s a very, very clever game, one that has the humility to leave you, the player, feeling like the smartest one.
What other puzzles and puzzles would you recommend, dear reader?
Disclosure: Gunpoint developer Tom Francis wrote for RPS.