Puzzle video game

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Minesweeper (1990) is a popular puzzle video game.

A puzzle video game is a genre of video game which includes traditional puzzles played as video games, as well as puzzle games which can only be played because of video game hardware and software.


Although I always enjoyed picking up traditional puzzle games, I rarely work hard enough to become really good at solving them. Pure puzzle games are usually about discovering a trick and then exploiting it to solve the puzzle, and I don't get much satisfaction in such a pursuit. I find video games to be much more accessible medium for puzzle games because they can add material to make the game more interesting like attractive graphic art, music, and good writing. Most of the puzzle games I like aren't too hard, and can be solved with only a fair amount of intelligence and perseverance. I generally dislike puzzle games that require esoteric knowledge or ones that keep getting harder to the point of frustration.


I define a puzzle game as a game where the main focus is on applying logical thinking and memory to devise a plan to achieve a goal. I differentiate puzzle games between being "passive" and "active." Passive puzzle games give the player ample time to deliberate while active puzzle games require the player to be more reflexive. For example, Minesweeper is a passive puzzle game, Tetris is an active puzzle game.

There typically isn't much difference between a "puzzle" game and a "strategy" game in terms of the underlying mechanics, so I generally differentiate a strategy game if the players are competing. For a traditional example, solitaire is a puzzle game, poker is a strategy game. For a video game example, Sokobon is a puzzle game, while a multiplayer Bomberman is a strategy game.


Some of the very first video games ever made, even as far back as the 1960s were computer versions of traditional puzzle games like trivia questions, peg solitaire, and brain teasers. However, as computers became more powerful, the puzzle games made for them began to use more multimedia beyond that which was possible with traditional means and puzzle video games became more elaborate. As video games began to come into their own, and different genres of video games took shape, puzzle games were incorporated into them. Today, although pure puzzle games are still being published, most are given additional mechanics like a story line, fast moving graphics, and sound effects and music.


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

Title Released Developer Sub-Type
The 7th Guest 1993-04-01 Trilobyte Passive
Adventures of Lolo 1989-04-20 HAL Laboratory Active
Anika's Odyssey 2007-??-?? Tricky Sheep Passive
Baba Is You 2019-03-13 Hempuli Oy Passive
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia 1990-01-?? Imagineering Active
Castle Adventure 1984-??-?? Kevin Bales Passive
The Fool's Errand 1987-??-?? Cliff Johnson Passive
The Frostrune 2017-02-01 Grimnir Passive
Glittermitten Grove 2016-12-26 Twinbeard Active
Her Story 2015-06-23 Sam Barlow Passive
Hugo series 1990-01-01 David Gray Passive
Ittle Dew 2013-07-05 Ludosity AB Active
Katamari Damacy 2004-03-18 Namco Active
Kickle Cubicle 1988-06-?? Irem Active
King's Quest series 1984-05-10 Sierra On-Line Passive
Limbo 2010-07-21 Playdead Active
Little Inferno 2012-11-18 Tomorrow Corporation Passive
Loom 1990-01-?? Lucasfilm Games Passive
Pony Island 2016-01-04 Daniel Mullins Games Active
Portal series 2007-10-10 Valve Active
Shadowgate 1987-07-30 ICOM Simulations Passive
Space Quest series 1986-10-?? Sierra On-Line Passive
Tetris 1984-06-06 Alexey Pajitnov Active
ZZT 1991-10-?? Tim Sweeney Active


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