Puzzle Pleasures

08 June,2024 07:54 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Jaison Lewis

Unlock your mind as you dive into the year’s best puzzle games that offer you a unique blend of fun and mental workout

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The puzzle genre, often overlooked in favour of more high-octane game choices, uniquely appeals to those who crave a cerebral challenge. To pique your interest, we have meticulously curated a list of the most intriguing puzzle games released in the past year, each offering a distinct and satisfying mental workout.


Humanity is a fun game in which you are a spirit guide tasked with leading people to the light. Your character is a little Shiba Inu/ball of light that has to direct souls through a complex maze to a spot where I assume they ascend to heaven. The fun bit is the game never takes the saving of souls as seriously as solving the puzzle. This attitude is evident fairly early in the game when it asks you not to worry about souls that get lost along the way. It's also the point where this game goes from panic to relaxing puzzler. It lets you create your own puzzles, thereby enhancing replayability. It is free as part of an Xbox game pass, or you can buy it on Steam for Rs 1,300.

Animal Well

Animal Well is a complicated puzzle that will have you addicted before you know what hit you. The graphics are all retro and purposely pixelated, hiding the fact that some puzzle fiend designed this. The controls are simple enough, with directional buttons and a jump. Your blobby little character arises from its slumber in a dimly lit cave, and from there on, you just have to explore and find hidden treasure and even what your goal for the game is. Needless to say, this one will make you obsessed, and you will often have to find solutions through experimentation and logic, which is the crux of your experience with this game. It has a few platforming challenges, so you don't need to be skilled at controlling your pixel blob. The game is on Steam for Rs 1,000.

Planet of Lana

Planet of Lana is a story-rich adventure filled with environmental puzzles, a sinister plot by robotic invaders, and captivating music. It follows Lana, a girl who sets off on a rescue mission when robots abduct people, including her sister. The puzzles are engaging yet familiar, involving moving boxes, climbing ropes, and stealthing. The game's cinematic moments and thrilling encounters with robots keep you invested. It's available on Steam for Rs 528.

Paper Trail

Paper Trail is a beautiful puzzle game in which you fold the visuals on the screen like a piece of paper. Each fold reveals unseen sections that can be used to solve the puzzle - it's like a supercharged origami game. Your game character is Paige, a woman who has left home to pursue her studies. As with any good puzzle game, the seemingly deceptively easy mechanism turns into a fairly challenging one as you progress. Not bad for a game that costs only Rs 880.

No Case Should Remain Unsolved

No Case Should Remain Unsolved is a game by Korean developer Somi where you have to use limited information from people and incomplete police records to solve a puzzle. Your goal is to reconstruct the hazy recollections of Senior Inspector Jeon Gyeong, whom a young police officer asks to revisit a cold case. The case involves a missing girl, and you'll sort through testimonies from various characters like her parents, brother, babysitter, and teacher. The dialogue is presented as snippets on a board, which you must organise to unlock new information and progress the story. This information becomes progressively cluttered on a mini-map that helps you navigate all the chaos. There are over 50 conversations to uncover in the game, and a considerable number of twists are thrown in to keep players on their toes. This puzzle game lasts only a few hours, but at R345, it isn't such a bad deal.

Portal Revolution

Portal Revolution, a game that needs no introduction, is a classic in the genre. For the uninitiated, it revolves around using a portal gun to solve environmental puzzles. The original Portal 2 game, available on Steam for Rs 480, is a must-try for any puzzle enthusiast. However, if you're looking for a fresh take, this new community-made mod offers a completely free alternative. It adds a new story with eight hours of gameplay and over 40 new challenges.

Chants of Sennaar

Chants of Sennaar is a language-based puzzle. You have to essentially decode a language by watching the people and matching written characters to their actions. You have to ascend a tower, and to do that, you need to learn the language. The puzzles range from easy to soul-crushingly hard. In addition, the game-play requires a fair bit of stealth, which sometimes eats into the puzzle-solving bits. That said, it is an excellent game, and I love the art style. It's well worth the Rs 899 asking price.

Poly Bridge 3

Who doesn't like a reasonable engineering puzzle game? Poly Bridge has you creating bridges for all sorts of occasions. New mechanics are thrown in throughout challenges to keep the game from getting repetitive. There's a budget for every stage, which will keep you from over-engineering your constructs. The game is also about trial and error; on more than one occasion, your bridge will collapse, and you'll have to figure out how to move forward. With over 100 levels, you'll never leave your house again. The game is on Steam for Rs 880.

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