Many people around the world enjoy puzzle games. From Scrabble to jigsaws, we love to play games that challenge us and make us think.
Over the years, puzzle games have evolved to become more sophisticated and challenging, they’ve also been refreshed to replace tired and formats.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the captivating appeal of puzzle games. We’ll look at what they are, the reasons behind why people like them, and some of the most popular ones around at the minute.
Let’s jump in.
What are Puzzle Games and Why do People Like Them?
Puzzle games often require the player to solve a puzzle based on logic or solve some kind of problem.
These games usually require full completion in order to progress to the next stage or level, with that next stage being more difficult than the last.
Puzzle games, like Sudoku, are generally single-player, though some are multiplayer, such as Scrabble.
So, why do people like puzzle games?
Well, it all works on a psychological level. When people play puzzle games, they find satisfaction in achieving their goals. This process can have a transformative effect on the person, giving them pleasure from the accomplishment of solving the problem. This is all because our brains are wired to try and fix and fit things together.
How Have Puzzle Games Evolved?
Puzzle games have changed and evolved over the years. Having been around for some time, classic versions of games have enjoyed something of a digital transformation.
The earliest types of digital puzzle games emerged in the early 1980s. When games like Tetris and Minesweeper rolled in, people became hooked. These games are still being played today, albeit with improved graphics. Their popularity was well and truly cemented straight away, and it sent a clear message to others that this is what players like and enjoy.
It’s unsurprising then that more mainstream gaming has begun to incorporate puzzle games. One of the first games to do this was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It featured a number of challenges that players had to solve in order to progress through the game.
Then came the cult game Portal, which grabbed the genre by storm, combining it with a first-person shooter style.
Nowadays, there are scores of escape room games, which require players to solve puzzles and mysteries in order to escape. Some games have even gone as far as to incorporate virtual reality (VR) into their games for a more immersive experience.
Puzzle Games and Gambling
One area that has embraced puzzle games is the gambling industry. With games like Sweet Bonanza, betting companies have incorporated elements of puzzle games into their own. Players can enjoy the satisfaction of solving the challenge and can potentially win a payout for their efforts.
The Benefits of Puzzle Games
The benefits of playing puzzle games have been widely reported for some time. As mentioned above, they can be a source of satisfaction and accomplishment. On top of that, they can also help you relax and de-stress, your mind can focus on the game and nothing else.
Puzzle games are also thought to help keep your brain sharp and active and can help you boost your ability to solve problems. Specifically, they can help with
- Memory⎯some puzzle games test your ability to remember the likes of sequences or patterns, which you then have to re-enter or submit.
- Pattern recognition⎯a big part of puzzle games involves identifying patterns. For example, you may be tasked with working out the relationship between different pieces of information. Games like Wordle use this kind of system.
- Logic⎯sometimes, puzzle games can be abstract and vague. It can be difficult to work out what exactly you need to do. The task here is to analyze and work out these little challenges.
Let’s take a look at some puzzle games that offer some of the most benefits.
What are the Most Popular Puzzle Games?
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular and beneficial puzzle games around at the moment.
Wordle is a simple puzzle game that took the world by storm. Created by Welsh developer Josh Wardle for his girlfriend, players have to simply guess the hidden word of the day, which is five letters long. The catch is that players have just six attempts to guess the word.
Wordle is a game of deduction, with players inputting a number of letters first and then working out what the winning word could be. Due to its ability to be easily shared on social media platforms like Twitter, its popularity quickly spread.
The game grew to such an extent that the New York Times newspaper bought it for a seven-figure sum. Wordle has since been further developed and remains hugely popular.
Sticking with the subject of word games, Scrabble is a game that’s been around since 1938. The concept is quite simple, players have to form words using letters found on tiles. Each tile or letter has a score value.
The aim is to create words that have the highest scores. However, the game gets trickier as it goes on, with less space on the board to place words and restrictions imposed based on the words that have already been played.
While it started as a board game, Scrabble has since become digitized, with players able to play on their phones.
A game that we mentioned earlier is Portal. This genre-defining puzzle game blended first-person shooting with brain teasers. Players, armed with a portal gun, have to open up portals to other rooms and levels within the game. However, players must generate portals creatively in order to maneuver themselves to other parts of the game.
Despite it coming out in 2007, Portal remains a popular game and was manufactured for all games consoles at the time. It’s a fine example of how puzzle games have evolved and developed over the years.