Here’s why a lot of people don’t like puzzle games, I think: they demand a perfect answer. The really good ones require you to sit back, stare at the screen for 10 minutes, and then finally make that single deliberate move that makes it all fall into place. Until you finally figure it out, some of these games can feel like you’re going around in circles – is this it? No? What about this? Aghh!
I really like this game because it rewards that process of going around in circles – you control two slidy pieces at the same time, and you’re trying to visit every square in the level. Each level feels like it’s a dozen puzzles super-imposed on-top of each other, and you’re solving bits and pieces of different puzzles each time you move. It feels playful and satisfying in a way that’s very rare for the genre.
Find the cheese while carefully avoiding the mousetraps. A cute and cozy version of minesweeper, from the creator of the previously featured Worryspider in Picnic Panic.
The changes here to the usual minesweeper rules are subtle, but really interesting! You lose the ability to just probe any arbitrary space, but to make up for it, you get more information about what’s on the board thanks to the picross style borders. It leads to some interesting little puzzles that feel very different from the usual minesweeper ones.
It’s a small detail, but I really like how the game allows you to make mistakes – hitting a “mine” isn’t game over – you just lose a life, and then you carry on. No big deal. Sometimes that’s exactly what you want, you know?
For the past couple of months, “5381” has been making a new puzzlescript game every day. In this series, the layout and appearance of the level is always the same – it’s one of the first examples in the puzzlescript documentation:
… but the actual rules are different every time. LEVEL 1 DAY 0 starts out with the standard Sokoban rules:
… but then in the next game, the rules change! Like maybe the walls move instead of the player?
… in the next, maybe something mysterious is happening, and the puzzle becomes figuring out the logic behind how it all works.
… and maybe in the next, it’s less about creating a puzzle and more about just surprising the player with something completely unexpected.
There are 70 in total in the series, and while the quality does bounce around a bit from game to game, the sheer creativity and variety on show here never stops being impressive. A really great example of what good constraints can inspire.