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Best Puzzle Game of 2019

Best Puzzle Game of 2019 - Article

by Lee Mehr , posted on 30 December 2019 / 2,645 Views

Puzzle games are an interesting breed to assess.  In some ways, it shares connective tissue with the subjectivity inherent in judging a comedy: what exactly makes this work challenging?  Could difficulty be explained by poor sign-posting or nefarious ‘moon logic’ that’s impossible to intuit without following a game guide?  Perhaps it’s a well-constructed conundrum that feels worth expending the mental energy to reach that sense of victory.  When it’s the latter, I’d argue these moments rival—perhaps even outmatch—the adrenal sensation found in the most polished shooters.  Ranging from a passion project toiled over for more than a half-decade to established IPs refashioned with new ideas, these four nominees embody the best qualities of the puzzle genre in a distinctive way from one another. 

The Shortlist:

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

Manifold Garden

Tetris 99

Catherine: Full Body



The Winner:

Tetris 99

35 years on and the Tetris franchise is still finding ways to surprise the gaming world.  Let me repeat that for those in the back: 35 YEARS!  Whether it’s exploring new avenues in VR the previous year, in Tetris Effect, or incorporating Battle Royale in Tetris 99, to think Alexey Pajitnov’s design is so malleable to incorporate these ideas to instant acclaim is a testament to his iconic template.  It also challenges our expectations for the ‘Battle Royale’ mode/sub-genre as a whole too.  You’re not obligated to make a shooter around this popular mold; it’s an idea that can be transplanted to incredibly old franchises and be among any year’s best and brightest.

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Darwinianevolution (on 30 December 2019)

Best Battle Royale game ever made. Whoever had the idea of Tetris 99 should have a promotion.

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coolbeans Darwinianevolution (on 30 December 2019)

Maybe TWO promotions! ;)

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Mnementh (on 30 December 2019)

I bet this category wasn't close, as Tetris 99 is so clearly a great idea and working so well.

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coolbeans Mnementh (on 30 December 2019)

That combined with puzzle games not being the most popular genre suggests that's likely the case. It's the one game I know that has major notoriety on brand alone. Trine to an extent as well, but I think its popularity has waned since 7th gen.

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Arfen (on 30 December 2019)

Box boy & box girl deserves a spot

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coolbeans Arfen (on 30 December 2019)

Was unaware of this game's existence until now tbh. Appreciate the new info. :)

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