Puzzle

Pulsus

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Antony Mattox

Pulsus is a puzzle game in which one or more spawn points emit small, colored particles in random directions. At one or more locations on the screen are "goals"; a sufficient flux of particles into a goal "completes" it. As the spawn points emit particles, your score declines (and you lose the level if you deplete the score before completing all goals). Conversely, your score is higher if you complete the level quickly.


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A Mazing Monk

Puzzler for Bhoddisatvas

Type:
Other Web-playable
System Requirements:
Unity Plug-in
Developer:
Horn & Bamboo Productions
Suggested By:
effix

Created by a group of students at the Danske Akademi for Digital, Interaktiv Underholdning (Danish Academy for Digital, Interactive Entertainment), A Mazing Monk is a too-short puzzler in which you play a Buddhist monk seeking enlightenment, which is apparently found in little glowing stones on the ground.

You stand atop a Rubik's cube, and can rotate it Rubik's-cube style, but only in two of the three possible dimensions, and those two can only be rotated in a single direction. In addition to the glowing squares, some squares contain impassable obstacles, while others contain evil soldiers. If you rotate the cube in such a way that soldiers have an unblocked path to you, they machinegun you to death.

Nine enlightenment stones open a gate to the next level; there are only three, but a "hard mode" link below the game screen offers three more. When you complete the game, you become a Bhoddisatva, radiating enlightenment throughout the small world of the game and causing all the soldiers to become monks themselves.

It's cute, charming, and requires at least a little thought; it is too short, but on the other hand I'm not sure I see how the core gameplay could be extended to a much longer game. Still, it's worth a play.


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Any Enemy You Like & Turn Based Shmup

Shmup Puzzlers

Type:
Free Download
Developer:
malec2b

Malec2b, creator of Dadaists Gone Wild, has some other nifty games tucked away on his site. Today I'll point you to two of his shmups that are similar to Cactus' only by virtue of their uniqueness. Optimization is the common thread between these two small Game Maker games, so puzzle elements play a part in each. They aren't incredibly mind-blowing by any means, but they've got some cool ideas driving them. If you're a fan of either the shooter or puzzle genre you should take for a spin.


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Aubergine Sky

Gentle, Romantic Puzzler

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Jonathan Whiting
Suggested By:
MrPiglet

Aubergine Sky is a simple, five-level sidescrolling puzzle, in which each level asks you to use different UI to solve the level. The text provides a clue as to what you need to do, though the developer also provides spoilers (in a Help link below the Flash window) if you get stuck.


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Little Space Duo

Platform Puzzler

Type:
Shareware
Developer:
Jugilus
Suggested By:
Jugival

There's nothing hugely innovative about Little Space Duo, but it is a nicely polished little platform puzzler with a fairly intricate puzzle and level design, reminiscent in some ways of Mr. Robot.


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Rationalization

Ayn, Zwei(back Toast)

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Mark Treanor

On one level -- and, to my mind, about the only level that matters -- Rationalization is a simple, one-puzzle game with a starkly minimalist look and a nice feeling of surreality.

On another level -- and the level that has drawn considerable comment, and perhaps is the key element for the interest in the game, it's apparently a commentary on Objectivism (and if you're interested in exploring that, Kieron Gillen and commenters provide their own, ah, rationalizations).


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Grow ver. 3 Remake

Click-and-Wiggle Puzzler

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Eyezmaze

Grow is a long-running game series, with the original game launched in 2002, if I understand correctly, and comprising at least six different games (Grow v.1, v.2, and v.3, Grow Cube, Grow RPG, and Grow Tower) united by a single gameplay mechanic. One might even say that all six are reskinned versions of the same game. Gameplay-wise, things couldn't be simpler: you are given a central play area (typically a planet) and set of up to 12 buttons (the exact number depends on the game), and your task is to press them (or rather drag them onto the gameplay area) in the correct order.


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Windowsill

Surreal Puzzler

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Patrick Smith
Suggested By:
aleixo

During the CD-ROM era -- that is, in the early-mid 90s, when it was thought that the CD-ROM itself was a "new medium," and people experimented with all kinds of non-game apps delivered on CDs -- there was a category of CD-ROM's called "click and wiggles." The best known of these was Just Grandma and Me, and it was aimed at kids; there were, as in graphic adventures, places to traverse and a narrative, carried in text; but nothing in the way of puzzles, particularly. Instead, clicking on screen hotspots would cause cute little animations or sound.

Windowsill is a bit like that, except that there is an element of puzzle-solving. To exit each room, you need to find a cube. Unlike a typical graphic adventure, there often is no particular logic to how the cube is found; it's a matter of trial and error. And yet, the animations are engaging enough that it doesn't seem to matter.


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Time Fcuk

Its About Fucking Time

Type:
Flash
Developer:
Edmund McMillen, Alex

The latest from Edmund McMillen and Alex, Time Fcuk is another platformer noir like the incidentally titled Edmund and a whole rash of other surrealistic 2d bastard children that Miyamoto left to drown in the pacific. The game is, surprisingly, not about time or fucking, but about shifting between two planes to solve puzzles. This mechanic comes loaded with a highly subdued character design, subdued for McMillen's standards, the craziest you get here is a simply drawn circular head that takes cyanide and explodes, or a second circle demarcating a siamese twin.


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Mi

Type:
Free Download
Developer:
Constantine Gominyuk
Suggested By:
4mlr

Mi is an excellent, minimalist puzzler with wholly original gameplay. Each level, you right-click to launch your soap bubble; elsewhere on the level is an exit. (In some, multiple soap bubbles launch simultaneously, and must be guided to different exits.) Rotating gears must be avoided; they pop you like the soap bubble you are.


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