From Donkey Kong and Dig Dug to Gauntlet and Gradius, the 1980s were a golden era for classic video-game franchises. One of these franchises is Lode Runner, which was first released for the Apple II in 1983 and quickly moved on to other platforms. Its action-packed, yet puzzle-oriented gameplay made it an instant hit and even people like Alexey Pajitnov counted it amongst their favorite puzzle titles. Although there hasn’t been a shortage of new releases over the years, the last appearance of Lode Runner was back in 2012 on Android and iOS. Thankfully, this is about to change with the upcoming release of Lode Runner Legacy for PC
Rescue Quest Gold is a Match-3 puzzle game with plenty of levels and gameplay that requires a bit more strategy than what is typically found in the genre. It is a very enjoyable experience and one that manages to keep things interesting. While it was originally a free to play title, it is definitely worth shelling out for this newly remastered premium version thanks to a host of enhancements and improvements. If you are a fan of the Match-3 genre in particular or casual games in general, then don’t miss out on this title.
Gameplay: Challenging and very addictive.
Graphics: Detailed, colorful and very polished.
Sound: A perfect match for the game
Although The Secret Order 5: The Buried Kingdom ditches the time traveling elements of the previous titles, it still offers some solid puzzles, mini games and hidden object scenes. This time the adventures of Sarah Pennington take her to a legendary buried kingdom on a quest to save her friend from the sinister Dragon Clan. The setting for The Buried Kingdom is more fantasy themed than the fourth installment, but features the same imagination and attention to detail that has made this series such a hit with fans. The Buried Kingdom doesn’t really advance the overall plot of the series much, but since it is such a self-contained adventure, it is also more accessible to newcomers who are unfamiliar with previous installments.
Gameplay: Plenty of puzzles, mini games and hidden object scenes for players to sink their teeth into.
Graphics: Lots of detailed hand-drawn locations that feature plenty of imaginative touches.
Sound: The music is good and the voice acting is decent too
Help a young girl and her giant companion navigate a treacherous castle while unraveling the mystery of the thorns in this unique puzzle title. With its somber visuals and blood drenched gameplay, it is probably not a title that is going to appeal to everyone, but puzzle fans are in for a treat. A Rose In The Twilight can be a little frustrating at times, but makes up for it with challenging puzzles and captivating characters. If you don’t mind your puzzle titles infused with equal measures of cuteness and creepiness then this one comes highly recommended.
Gameplay: Making progress requires teamwork, puzzle solving and some light platforming.
Graphics: Dark and moody, but very stylish.
Sound: No voice acting, but the music is suitably somber
Sarah Pennington continues her epic time traveling saga in this fourth installment of the popular hidden object puzzle adventure series. This time Sarah finds herself stranded when her time machine is destroyed and has to deal with the sinister Dragon Clan while planning an escape. Beyond Time leaves the fantasy theme of the previous game behind for a mixture of Egyptian and Aztec elements, which results in good looking as well as interesting locations to explore. The bonus chapter, which is set in the Realm of The Dead, is also a nice addition. Although it is probably not the best place to start if you are not familiar with the series, for fans this one is a no-brainer.
Gameplay: Slower paced, but features plenty of nice puzzles and mini-games.
Graphics: The setting allows for some very interesting and unique scenes.
Sound: Great use of sound effects and the music as well as voice acting isn’t too shabby either
The Crow’s Eye might not be a jump-scare laden horror title like it first appears to be, but instead offers a compelling and interesting puzzle experience. The story is a more involved than it seems and if you stick with it you’ll also find that there is more to the university than what you might think. There is no doubt that the puzzles sometimes feel a little out of place for the setting and time period of the game, but solving them is a very rewarding experience. Ultimately this game won’t give horror junkies the frights they crave, but if you enjoy a good story and love solving puzzles then you’ve come to the right place.
Gameplay: Light on the scares, but heavy on the puzzle solving and platforming.
Graphics: Nothing cutting edge, but sets the mood nicely.
Sound: Decent voice acting and a great soundtrack
Polarium has an interesting premise but never becomes as addictive as something like Tetris would. The basics are very easy to grasp and the game simple to play, but even at a low price it just doesn’t feel like value for money. If you are tired of other puzzle game and yearn for something new, then check this out but don’t expect it to last.
Gameplay: Different but just not as addictive as I had hoped.
Graphics: Looks like it was done on the original Gameboy.
Sound: It’s ok, but nothing really stood out
Imprint-X is a unique entry in the puzzle genre that not only requires memorization and pattern recognition, but some quick reflexes as well. The entire game is based around the concept of pushing buttons, although accomplishing this feat is a lot trickier than you might think. It is a game that leaves it up to you to figure out what is required to succeed, but sadly it is not quite as addictive as some of the best titles in the genre. Regardless, it is definitely different and well worth checking out considering its price tag.
Gameplay: The game starts off very easy, but later levels will thoroughly test your memorization and reflexes.
Graphics: The cut-scenes and art style probably won’t appeal to everyone, but the overall look of the game is quite nice.
Sound: The background music is great and never becomes annoying
At first glance, Ceramic Destroyer looks like some sort of Puzzle Bobble imitation, but play it for a while and you will soon become hopelessly addicted. There are a ton of levels to conquer and some strategic thinking is actually required to complete the levels. This game would have been great value for money even if it was not free.
Gameplay: Much more addictive than it might appear to be.
Graphics: Basic but very polished.
Sound: Unobtrusive music and great sound effects
If you missed out on this game back when it was released on the Sega Dreamcast then you owe it to yourself to check it out on the Gameboy Advance. While it is best suited for play with three other friends there is still plenty of things to keep fans of the single player mode occupied. With thousands of puzzles this is not a game you will finish any time soon.
Gameplay: If you are into fast paced puzzle games you will love this one.
Graphics: Very basic but then again, it dose not need to be any flashier.
Sound: Can become a bit repetitive after a while