3 of the Best Puzzle Video Games

When video games began to rise in popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many of the games available were puzzle games. Players had to control either a character that would solve puzzles to advance through a virtual world or, in the case of games like “Tetris,” there was no story at all and instead the puzzles themselves were the game’s primary focus.

As graphics capabilities and home video game console technologies continued to advance, the emphasis shifted away from puzzle games and toward genres like role playing games and first person shooters. The puzzle game, however, hasn’t died. The genre that started it all continues to flourish with companies releasing amazing games on a regular basis, year in and year out. If you own a home video game console and haven’t played three puzzle games in particular, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on. Check these out.

Portal 2

In Portal 2, players guide a character through a series of puzzle rooms. The goal of the room, quite simply, is to get from one end to the other. Things get more complicated when you realize that you can only accomplish your goal by way of a portal gun. Players can use the portal gun to create a series of portals that are then used to move from one part of the room to another. You can only create portals on certain types of services, which means that you’ll need ever increasing critical thinking skills to figure out exactly how you’re going to get from one part of the room to the next and even where you need to be at all. Sometimes the solution to a particular room isn’t immediately clear.

Additionally, portals can be used to manipulate objects. You may have to take a large grey box called a Companion Cube from one location to another and place it on a large red button, for example. The large red button opens a door and only while that door is opened can you advance to the next part of the level. Additionally, real-world physics plays a large role in solving the puzzles at hand. Jumping through one portal will have your character launch out the other side, for example.

Among other things, Portal 2 has been universally hailed by critics for both its brilliant level design and award-winning and often hilarious script. It’s the official sequel to Portal, which was released as part of The Orange Box by Valve Software for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Portal 2 is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC gaming platforms.

Tetris for iOSTetris cover

Tetris for iOS takes everything you’ve ever loved about the world’s most popular puzzle game and updates it for the 21st century. More specifically, Tetris for iOS has been optimized for all of Apple’s core devices including the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The main gameplay mechanics are still the same – you must match up a series of multicolored and multi shaped blocks to form perfect rows. Every time you fill up a perfect row that row is deleted, making room for additional blocks to fall from the top of the screen. The blocks are never ending and get faster as the game goes along, which means that you need to quickly place one block before the next is right behind it.

Playing Tetris on a touch screen interface adds a whole new level of interactivity and precision to the game. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of “Marathon” and “Objective” play modes to add a little variety to the proceedings. You can also choose to play the game with in-game music or from songs in your device’s music library if you want to. Tetris for iOS is available from EA Games in the iTunes App Store.

Quantum ConundrumQuantum Conundrum cover

Quantum Conundrum combines two popular genres – the puzzle game and the platform game – into one irresistible package. Players guide an onscreen character through a three dimensional world and interact with various switches and objects that they find. The goal of each room is simple – the player must reach the exit door to advance to the next level. The rooms themselves are the puzzles, however, and players will have to manipulate nearly every object they see in just the right way to advance.

Puzzles that look amazingly difficult might turn out to be very simple. Puzzles that look overly simple may turn out to be the hardest ones of all. Regardless, Quantum Conundrum is definitely the game that puzzle fans have been asking for. Quantum Conundrum is available for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms.


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