Passive puzzle video game

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The 7th Guest is ripe with passive puzzle games.

A passive puzzle video game is a sub-genre of puzzle video games where the player is given ample time to devise a solution to a solve a puzzle, typically one where the environment doesn't change, or only changes in predicable ways. Most traditional puzzle games are passive puzzle games like word games, solitaire card games, and the like. This is contrasted with an active puzzle video game where changes in the puzzle can occur quickly and the player has little time to react. Adventure games typically employ passive puzzle elements, and they're not that uncommon in RPGs.

Most video game databases don't distinguish between passive and active puzzle games, but I think there is a significant difference in both the mechanics used and the feel of the game.


I first started playing video games on the Atari 2600 whose game library is almost entirely action-oriented games. However, when I started playing computer games shortly thereafter in the late 1980s, I noticed a major shift in game mechanics as the slower processors, but larger memory, made computers perfect for sprawling adventures. It was from these adventure games that I developed a love for modern passive puzzle games.


This is a list of passive puzzle video games that are important to me. For all games in this genre, see the passive puzzle category.

Title Released Developer
The 7th Guest 1993-04-01 Trilobyte
Anika's Odyssey 2007-??-?? Tricky Sheep
Baba Is You 2019-03-13 Hempuli Oy
Castle Adventure 1984-??-?? Kevin Bales
The Fool's Errand 1987-??-?? Cliff Johnson
The Frostrune 2017-02-01 Grimnir
Her Story 2015-06-23 Sam Barlow
Hugo series 1990-01-01 David Gray
King's Quest series 1984-05-10 Sierra On-Line
Little Inferno 2012-11-18 Tomorrow Corporation
Loom 1990-01-?? Lucasfilm Games
Shadowgate 1987-07-30 ICOM Simulations
Space Quest series 1986-10-?? Sierra On-Line


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