Daily Archives: September 29, 2013

The List: One Puzzle Game

No story. No fancy graphics. Puzzle games are the raw ore of gaming.  They are 100% all about gameplay.

While puzzle games can range from the casual to the hardcore and intense, I always stayed pretty much in the mainstream with my library.  You know, Tetris, Dr. Mario.  Pretty straight forward and somewhat casual puzzle games.  I never got into the Facebook games, so sorry Candy Crush, you’ll not be found here.

I do enjoy a puzzle game though, because I always get to play my favorite opponent: myself.  High scores, getting to a new stage you’ve never been to before.  In an age where my friends are grown and moved off, I am my favorite gaming friend anymore.  These games provide a great challenge against myself.

The List:

Myst. I have started to play this game… a bajillion times.  Every time I get stuck somewhere, then come back after so much time has passed that I have no idea what I’m doing and have to start over.  I’ve never beat this game.  Taking it with me while stranded on an island somewhere might be the only way I’d ever beat it.  But I don’t think it’s going to make the cut here.

Brain Age is a fun game.  It’s designed to be used every day.  I played it quite extensively when it first came out on the Nintendo DS, but I haven’t trained my brain much lately.  With the amount of beer I drink, I probably should be training it.

Yoshi’s Cookie is a fun simple puzzle game.  I’m sure there are other games out there like it.  You line up the same type of cookies in a line horizontally or vertically, and you clear that line.  That’s all there is too it.  But it has a Yoshi charm to it, and it’s portable.  I really love this game though it kicks my butt once the speed starts ramping up after a few levels.

Blast Corps I suppose you could argue isn’t truly a puzzle game.  But many of the levels require puzzle elements to clear the path for the out of control nuclear missile transport.  Rare produced this game in it’s golden years with the N64.  It can be brutally challenging at times, but all the vehicles are fun to drive, and there’s a nice variety of side missions to mix up the gameplay.

World of Goo is something different.  The art style is a bit dark and quirky.  The music is fantastic.  And the puzzle gameplay is heavily physics driven.  You link your “goos” together to get them to the exit point.  It can be tough making them stick the way you want without collapsing, and even when you do pass a level you always could have done it faster or more efficiently.  This is a downloadable game I got on WiiWare, but it’s also available on other platforms including mobile.  Definitely worth the price.

Tetrisphere is a game I think most people don’t appreciate.  I love it.  I remember renting this game back when I was younger.  It was one that I would rent, then rent it again when it was time to check it back in.  The music is awesome, and I love building up combos until you get a huge nuke to drop on your sphere and release the… sphere guy.  Okay it’s weird.  But it’s really fun.

Dr. Mario.  You know what this is and what it’s all about.  When this game came out, I mostly remember that all of my friends mothers were better at it than we were.  I’ve never been very good at it.  But it is fun.  I’m starting to realize that these good puzzle games all have fabulous music.  I suppose they would have to in order to keep you playing.  I still have it and still like to play it from time to time.  My neighbor across the street is a freak about this game, and he’s freakishly good at it too.

Tetris DS.  There have probably been (without exaggeration) a thousand versions of Tetris released.  My favorite is Tetris DS.  First of all, it’s portable.  And the Nintendo themed level art and music is very attractive.  I’ve played ALOT of Tetris in my time.  Again, I’m certainly no master of the game, but when I’m in a groove, I can get pretty far.  It’s always when I get greedy and I try to go for those 4 line clears that it gets me in the later levels.  It’d be hard to imagine a world where playing Tetris isn’t even an option.  Does this one win by default?  It wins every other puzzle game list…

The Winner:

Blast Corps Winner


Blast Corps.  What a friggin’ fun game.  It was frantic, it was frustrating, it was deep.  Clearing the path was just the beginning.  Then you had to find all the RDUs, destroy all the buildings, and free all the survivors. No it’s not a PURE puzzle game.  But I couldn’t imagine leaving it behind.  And it definitely isn’t going to win in an Action category against games like Zelda.  Be a hater if you want, but this is my puzzle game of choice.  I only wish I could go back and forget everything I know about this game and play it again for the first time.