Today we are looking at a genre that doesn't blind us with fancy visuals. Usually there is not a massive story involved. Yet thee are the games you find yourself coming back to. Not just once but again and again. This is the puzzle genre. These are my favorites
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World of Goo (Wii, Linux, Windows, Mac)
The download content era has a lot of flaws but one thing it does help is small games like this. Got a Wii? This is the best piece of software I ever downloaded.
Stick the goo pieces together from one goal to another goal usually at the other end of the screen. Yes there are some objects, gravity etc
But this game is a joy to play. A little on the short side if your good at puzzle games (I am not but have a “friend” that likes to complete my games.
The addition of a level editor on PC versions of this game was a great idea to increase the games lifespan.
Flickys (Sega Mega Drive)
Simplest of premises here. Capture all the little birds and get them to the exit, avoid the Cats. This is a puzzle / arcade that uses avoidance of the main obstacle. The same as Pac Man the premise is to collect and avoid. The same goes here. It doesn't play like a 16 bit game and feels like it has more in common with the 8bit generation. But for this kind of game it really doesn't matter.
Columns ( Mega Drive)
Bibble Bobble and Bubble shooter are 2 iconic games of the puzzle gaming world. I avoided Columns for years expecting it to be the Mega drive Tetris rip off – more on them below. What I got when finally playing it this year is a very smart little puzzle game.
It's from the same cloth as Tetris, depending on the player you can play Columns for a long, long time. Even after a good few hours a lot of those diagonal colour link ups were by accident as opposed to actual careful planning. Still I denied myself this great game for a very, very long time. Do not be put off by the title. This is not a clone. It has addictive game play and an annoying little tune all of it's own.
Bibble Bobble / Bubble Shooter / Bubble Blast (Facebook, Net based, Any console)
So many clones here but the what I'm talking about is the game where you shoot coloured balls at other coloured balls. Timeless stuff.
This game is what a puzzle game is meant to be, simple but addictive premise. The problem with so many clones is that some are good and some are not as good depending on the platform.
One of my favorite incarnations of this game was beehive bedlam on Sky Digital.
Tetris (Facebook, Many, many different consoles, PC)
It has been mentioned before here on reaction. Tetris seems to be the unbeatable king of puzzle gaming. The very simplest of ideas, make straight lines from different shapes. But it works and it is pretty much the biggest puzzle game of all time.
The Puzzling rights to Tetris
So it's Tetris were looking at today. Because it made its dent in video game history.
Because until Recently it's creator Russian developer Pajitnov had earned very little from one of the world's biggest selling puzzle games
Pajitnov's rights were marketed by the Sovient government to other company's and the rights situation became a mess.
Lucky for Pajitnov the rights reverted back from the Russian state to himself as an individual in 1996 and he foundered the Tetris company.
That's the company that have been going after all those Android Tetris clones.
The Tetris Effect
A real condition where after playing Tetris for too long people can begin to see the edges in everyday objects. Seeing the shapes before they sleep. That's right this game can actually cause hallucination.
REACTION THOUGHT'S – WORDS OF WISE WISDOM
Puzzle games are to the player what a ball of string is to a cat.