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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Puzzle video games are a genre of video games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles to be solved can test many problem solving skills including logic, strategy, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion.

These games involve a variety of logical and conceptual challenges, although occasionally the games add time-pressure or other action-elements.[1]


Types of puzzle games

Minesweeper, a popular computer puzzle game found on many machines.

Some puzzle games feed to the player a random assortment of blocks or pieces that they must organize in the correct manner, such as Tetris, Klax and Lumines. Tetris, designed in 1985, is considered one of the most important video puzzle games and has spawned many sequels, variations, and clones of the "falling block" variety.[2] Others present a preset game board or pieces and challenge the player to solve the puzzle by achieving a goal (Bomberman, The Incredible Machine). Some of the games in the former category have a mode that plays like the latter. For example, in both Tetrisphere and Tetris Attack, there is a "puzzle mode" in which the player must clear a pre-defined board within a certain number of moves. Another type of puzzle game requires you to build systems out of supplied parts. These games include Microsoft Tinker, Crazy Machines, and Crazy Machines 2.

Puzzle games are often easy to develop and adapt, being manifest on dedicated arcade units, home video game consoles, personal digital assistants, and mobile phones. Because puzzle games are often so abstract, the term is sometimes also used as a blanket term for games with unique and otherwise difficult to describe gameplay.[citation needed]

The game Minesweeper is notable because of the large installed user base, as the game comes bundled with the Microsoft Windows operating system, many distributions of Linux, and some Palm OS operating system older variants, among others.


Action puzzle

An action puzzle or arcade puzzle requires that the player manipulates game pieces in a real-time environment, often on a single screen and with a time limit, to solve the puzzle or clear the level.[3] This is a broad term that has been used to describe several subsets of puzzle game. Firstly, it includes falling-block puzzles such as Tetris and KLAX.[3] It includes games with characters moving through an environment, controlled either directly (Loderunner) or indirectly (Lemmings).[4] This can cross-over with other action genres: a platform game which requires an novel mechanic to complete levels might be a "puzzle platformer", such as manipulating time in Braid.[5] Finally, it includes other action games that require timing and accuracy with pattern-matching or logic skills, such as the first-person Portal[6]

Hidden object game

The first level of Cassandra's Journey, published by Big Fish Games, an example of a hidden object game.

A hidden object game (sometimes called hidden picture) is a genre of puzzle video game in which the player must find items from a list, hidden within a picture.[7] Hidden object games are a popular trend in casual gaming,[8][9] and are comparatively inexpensive to buy.[7][8] Time-limited trial versions of these games are usually available for download.

Publishers of hidden object games include Sandlot Games, Big Fish Games,[7] Awem Studio, and SpinTop Games. Examples of games include Mystery P.I.: The Lottery Ticket (2007; SpinTop) and Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove (2009; Big Fish).[10]

Reveal the picture game

A reveal the picture game is a type of puzzle game that features piece-by-piece revealing of a photo or picture.

Puzzles in other genres

Many adventure and action-adventure games contain puzzle elements as part of their level design. Examples include Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and The Legend of Zelda series.

The term "jumping puzzle" refers to a particular type of level design found in other genres of video games where players must judge the distance between platforms or ledges and safely jump between them to reach the next area.[11] One well-known video game that relies heavily upon jumping puzzles for much of its gameplay is Portal (2007).

See also


  1. ^ Rollings, Andrew; Ernest Adams (2006). Fundamentals of Game Design. Prentice Hall. 
  2. ^ Miller, Skyler. "The History of Puzzle Games: Tetris"". GameSpot UK. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  3. ^ a b "Action Puzzle Games". allgame. Rovi. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  4. ^ "Capcom looks back on 2009, teases new stuff for 2010". 
  5. ^ Magrino, Tom (August 4, 2009). "Braid tangled up in PSN". GameSpot. CBS Interactive.;title;2. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  6. ^ Edge staff (June 15, 2007). "Report: Half-Life: Episode 2 Coming Oct. 9". Edge (Future). 
  7. ^ a b c "Ally Noble Desert Island Disks". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (53): 79. "Hidden object games ... For example, you're a detective looking for clues in a picture ... they might be in monochrome on the wallpaper or peeping out from behind something.". 
  8. ^ a b George Roush (October 17, 2008). "Everest: Hidden Expedition iPhone Review". IGN. 
  9. ^ Albert Kim (September 30, 2008). "Casual Games: 'Peggle Nights' and 'The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes'".,,20229840,00.html. "Mystery titles, particularly hidden-object games, have become a hugely popular segment of the casual-game market." 
  10. ^ "First casual game with a 'Collector's Edition'". Game Hunters. USA Today. November 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  11. ^ Andrew Park (2002-10-11). "Batman: Vengeance Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 

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