The Best Indie Puzzle Games

Puzzle games are one of the most creative and innovative categories of electronic entertainment today. Each title offers different ways to challenge your thinking and give your brain a workout. From logic-based patterns to first-person physics, there is something for everyone in the puzzle genre.

THEGAMER VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Related

The Best Puzzle Games For Kids

These puzzlers will stump you for a while.

Within the realm of high-quality indie titles, several puzzle games are worth checking out. Unlike other games, the puzzle genre doesn’t need to lean so hard into deep characterization, open worlds, or photorealism. The point of a puzzler is simply to solve the immediate problem and advance to the next level.

10 Quantum Conundrum

Travel Through Alternate Dimensions With Wildly Different Physics

Screenshot Of Puzzle with safe in the fluffy dimension Quantum Conundrum

  • Released
    – June 1, 2012

  • Platforms
    – PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Quantum Conundrum is a creative first-person game that involves different dimensions. From the mind of Kim Swift, one of the developers behind Portal, this game features platforming and physics.

Trapped in a mansion, you must learn to use different dimensions with unique behaviors to escape. The colorful and cartoony graphics make this title a fun escape into a wacky world. The original concept and implementation of varying physics make this game great both in problem-solving and quick platforming action.

9 Hexcells: Infinite

Procedurally Generated Levels Extend The Fun Indefinitely

section 4,6 hexcells infinite

  • Released
    – September 1, 2014

  • Platforms
    – PC, Mobile

Hexcells: Infinite is the third entry in the series and features procedurally generated levels. This title resembles Minesweeper, but instead of bombs, you must identify as many blue tiles as possible while avoiding the others. You identify each tile as either blue or black and use the number within the cells as a clue.

The number represents how many blue tiles are in that area, providing enough information for logic deduction. This particular title rises above other deductive puzzle games with its unique design, varying Hexcell arrangements, and incredible replayability with procedurally generated levels.

8 LIT: Bend The Light

A Puzzle Adventure That Harnesses The Reflective Properties Of Light

circular puzzle LIT bend the light

  • Released
    – May 15, 2020

  • Platforms
    – PC

LIT: Bend The Light offers an atmospheric 2D environment with one simple but not-so-straightforward goal: moving light. This game, created by four students, features realistic light physics with many pathways to success. This Renaissance-themed puzzle game offers a range of possible solutions even the developers didn’t anticipate.

Related

10 Best Puzzle Games On Nintendo Switch

These games remind us of a puzzle. Several, in fact.

LIT: Bend The Light offers an exclusive experience and provides an engaging collection of levels that require increasing amounts of brainpower. This title is an excellent choice if you like sitting back, relaxing, and engaging your problem-solving muscles.

7 The Room

An Atmospheric Game That Tasks You With Discovering Hidden Compartments

color and symbol puzzle the room

  • Released
    – September 12, 2012

  • Platforms
    – PC, Switch, Mobile

The Room, by developer Fireproof Games, involves a mystery that requires you to manipulate various objects to find hidden secrets. Realistic environmental puzzles will have you pushing, pulling, sliding, and deciphering your way toward the game’s conclusion. This title stands out as a massive virtual version of the mystery puzzle boxes you may have seen that don’t appear to hold any secrets at first, but careful manipulation reveals the solution.

While this title can be challenging, it makes solving each problem that much more satisfying. Careful observation should garner the necessary clues along with notes left behind by a brilliant scientist. This puzzler doesn’t hold your hand, so features like hints won’t appear when hovering over objects with the mouse.

6 The Talos Principle

Lasers, Jammers, Automated Turrets, And More Make This Virtual World Unique

Laser puzzle in an open field surrounded by crumbled ruins the talos principle

The Talos Principle

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android

Released
December 11, 2014

Developer(s)
Croteam

Publisher(s)
Devolver Digital

This first-person game features ambitious challenges and an engaging science-fiction atmosphere. The Talos Principle contains a heavy dose of philosophical themes and several puzzles to solve devised by the game world’s unknown creator. The world is beautiful and full of detailed stone, ancient sculptures, and dangerous contraptions.

There is an unsettling feeling as you navigate the landscape, fully aware that your actions are being closely monitored. In addition to the problem-solving puzzles, you learn about humanity and your character as you progress. The Talos Principle is one of the greats due to its fantastic mixture of elements like lasers, force fields, automated turrets, reflectors, and boxes for a total of over 120 puzzles.

5 The Witness

A Great Mixture Between Exploration And Problem-Solving

Autumnal trees and orange leaves covering the ground with a lake and a building in the background in The Witness

The Witness

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS

Released
January 26, 2016

Developer(s)
Thekla Inc.

Publisher(s)
Thekla Inc.

The Witness is an interesting game that involves two main elements: a gorgeous island and several unique line puzzles. Each of the island’s regions is distinct, from a thick forest of trees with golden leaves to a tropical beach and mysterious ruins.

Power lines run throughout and connect to strange plates with interactive lines. You must navigate from the start to the end of each line maze to open new areas and reach the conclusion. The Witness shines among puzzle games with a stunning island to explore, a mystery to unravel, and challenging brain teasers that will keep you searching for answers.

4 Antichamber

Journey Inside A World Inspired By M. C. Escher

red and blue pathways diverge in a narrow hallway antichamber

  • Released
    – January 31, 2013

  • Platforms
    – PC

There is nothing quite like Antichamber, a paradoxical journey into a world that’s all about perspective. This first-person game tasks you with navigating strange corridors with unconventional rules. This title earned its spot on this list as it’s a one-of-a-kind navigational puzzle experience without equal.

Related

10 Best Puzzle Games On PS3

These imaginative puzzle games offer some unique challenges to PS3 fans.

For example, if you move forward through a hallway, you may end up looping back around to where you started. But, if you travel in reverse, you’ll find yourself in a new area. The puzzles require you to think about traversing the environment in a whole new way for an unforgettable trip.

3 Viewfinder

Change Your Environment Using Pictures

black and white bridge spanning gap viewfinder

Viewfinder

Platform(s)
PS5, PC

Released
July 18, 2023

Developer(s)
Sad Owl Studios

Publisher(s)
Thunderful Publishing

Not only is Viewfinder an immersive experience, but it’s also a brilliant programming showcase. You play in first-person and have an ’80s-style instant Polaroid camera at your disposal. Traversal puzzles like gaps or obstacles are solved by taking pictures and inserting them into the world.

For example, say there is a ledge too high for you to reach; you take a picture of another structure, turn it to form a ramp up to the ledge, and voilà. Your images become part of the world in a mind-bending and creative journey.

2 The Pedestrian

A Puzzle-Platformer With A Unique Presentation

Stick figure completing a puzzle on a sign above a road with cars below it in The Pedestrian

  • Released
    – January 29, 2020

  • Platforms
    – PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

The Pedestrian is a platforming puzzle game set in a modern, realistic city. But, all the action occurs on various signs or placards where your stick character must traverse obstacles. You must also rearrange these signs correctly to progress to the next area.

Its 2.5D design and ever-changing backgrounds offer a unique visual aesthetic that make this title special among others in the genre. The jazz and orchestral soundtrack also shifts depending on the chapter, providing a different feel for each location.

1 Klocki

A Simple Concept With Engaging And Satisfying Gameplay

Klocki block puzzle with symbols

  • Released
    – July 13, 2016

  • Platforms
    – PC, Mobile

Klocki is a great puzzle and logic game to help you wind down after a stressful day. The concept is straightforward but gets progressively more complex as you advance. Each stage offers a different shape with disjointed lines across the surface. Move and rotate the various tiles to connect the lines to reach the next level.

The visuals are uncluttered, colorful, and pleasing to the eye, with the shapes set against an empty background. An ambient soundtrack helps you sink into a groove and let the troubles of your day melt away. Klocki is a stand-out in the genre because it uses three-dimensional puzzles that require careful consideration to solve.

Next

10 Best Horror Puzzle Games

Some of the best horror games in the history of the genre contain puzzles.

Leave a Comment