Remember when playing a puzzle game wasn’t all that cool? Well, a lot has changed in the gaming industry, and with the emergence of comic book movie adaptations and the nerd mania movement, people are realizing that it’s actually fun to learn and challenge yourself. So step aside gamer fogies, because these aren’t your parents’ puzzle games. Discover a little action, a little adventure and a lot of head scratching all in the name of puzzle-solving fun. Here are the best PC puzzle games available on your desktop or laptop.
Originally released as just a bonus game in a bundle package with Half-Life 2 called The Orange Box, Portal quickly became the reason the bundle really took off – eventually leading to an even more popular sequel. In simple terms (if that’s possible when explaining this game), you solve a variety of puzzles by teleporting characters and objects using a handheld portal gun. The game features amazing physics and compelling puzzles that will leave you wondering just how someone could come up with such a crazily addictive game. Learn more about Portal and give the game a try!
Because the full name, Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion just didn’t have the same catchy ring as to it – hence Q.U.B.E. This physics-based puzzler guides player avatars through a series of levels as they attempt to make their way to an exit. With subtle nods to another great game on this list, Portal, players use special gloves that can perform a number of functions to interact with specific blocks in each level. It’s the perfect blend of puzzle-solving, memory and mechanical physics that will leave you begging to know what brainteaser the next level offers.
Amazing Heists: Dillinger
Gamers with a love of history and cracking codes will get a real jolt out of Amazing Heists: Dillinger. Set during the Great Depression, you play as gangster and bank robber extraordinaire, John Dillinger. You’ll assemble your own gang of criminals — each with their own specialties, track down hidden objects, crack safes, play brain-teasing mini games, and learn a little something about a gloriously sordid chapter in American history. Making this game even more immersive and exciting is the Big Band soundtrack effectively whisks gamers back in time.
Mystery Case Files series
Who doesn’t love a little danger and mystery? Don’t fret, your cool cred is still in check with the Mystery Case Files series. Each game in the series takes on a different thrilling mystery to be solved. From murder to crime capers, the gorgeous graphics and variety of puzzles plunked within each game add to a much larger, overarching storyline. One of the highlights of the series — and the focus of two of the games — is Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst and its sequel, Mystery Case Files, Return to Ravenhearst. Using the diary of a previous inhabitant of the grand (and haunted) Ravenhearst Manor, gamers unravel the tangled web of ghostly intrigue. Making the Return to Ravenhearst even more of a standout is its specially composed soundtrack which adds an eerie air to gameplay.
Venture on as a 2D character named, Gomez, as he embarks on a 3D voyage of discovery, exploration and wonder. The most innovative part of the game comes from its fresh 2D to 3D world blending as you constantly change perspective – looking at each virtual world in a different way than before. What seemed like a blocked route may open up with a simple camera change because with Fez, what you see isn’t always what you get.
Witches’ Legacy: Slumbering Darkness
Witches! Witch hunters! Forbidden love! Witches Legacy: Slumbering Darkness combines a compelling story with original characters. The latest (and arguably the best) in the Witches Legacy series, the game sees benevolent witch Lynn on a mission to rescue her witch hunter husband Edward from the clutches of an evil sorcerer. Armed with an arsenal of magic and an adorable imp for a sidekick, the witch’s story guides gamers through a spellbinding string of puzzles to be solved to get Lynn one step closer to freeing her husband. From picture-matching puzzles to tracking down keys and various other items, Witches’ Legacy: Slumbering Darkness has plenty of games within the game woven seamlessly into the storyline.
Limbo may seem a little dark – figuratively and literally speaking – but that doesn’t mean the puzzle scheming is any less brilliant. Stylistically Limbo is presented in black-and-white tones with great lighting effects to provide an eerie setting – think gritty film noir/graphic novel, a la Sin City. Gameplay-wise, the puzzler offers amazing mechanics using machinery, electromagnets and gravity-defying obstacles. When you die, and trust in the fact that you will die and die often, you can simply respawn from your last checkpoint. It’s a trial and death puzzler that’s just as cool looking as it is great playing.
And there you have it, our complete list of the best PZ puzzle games available to you and all of your gamer friends! Play ‘em at home or play ‘em on the move, either way you’ll be glad you did. If you have any other PC puzzle games you enjoy, let us know some of your favorites in the comments below!