For how niche they are, puzzle games have recently seen a rise. This is true even on the Nintendo Switch, one of the most popular consoles today.
Amidst all the massive action games and hardcore experiences, sometimes players just want to take things at their own pace. They may not usually test reflexes but will demand a showcase of wit every time.
Puzzle titles also come in a variety of types. Take 2D platformers, for example, or 3D offerings with in-depth mechanics.
These Nintendo Switch headscratchers are worth anyone's time
1) Portal Companion Collection
Portal Companion Collection was recently released for the Nintendo Switch. The duology collection from acclaimed developer Valve includes two of the best games ever made: Portal and Portal 2.
These sci-fi entries in the iconic Half-Life series follow Chell. Caught and paraded around the Aperture Science facility by a rogue AI, GLaDOS, she possesses a Portal Gun to turn things around.
This is an interesting contraption that allows users to create two Portals connecting two different surfaces, thus creating a shortcut between them. It builds engaging scenarios and puzzle environments that utilize mechanics like switches, momentum, and more in ingenious ways on top of entertaining writing.
2) The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition
Released in 2014, The Talos Principle is developer Croteam's debut foray into the puzzle genre. It is a first- and third-person sci-fi puzzler that takes place inside a simulation.
Gamers control a robot commanded to solve puzzles by an unseen booming voice called Elohim. It features religious and philosophical tones, especially when faced with questions concerning human existence and morals.
The puzzles consist of collecting sigils placed at the heart of various puzzle chambers, each having a healthy variety. Light beams, fan switches, climbable boxes, and even complex systems like replication down the line keep things going throughout the various biomes.
It is a must-play for fans of the genre. The Deluxe Edition for Nintendo Switch features all DLCs, including The Road to Gehenna expansion.
3) Baba Is You
There are not many games out there that truly innovate the genre in ways never seen before, but Arvi Teikari's Baba Is You is one of them. In essence, it is a block-pushing game or a Sokoban title.
Each level features rules in the form of blocks that can be pushed around, altering each level's rules to achieve the goal. Each interaction has surprising, often unexpected results, and knowing what to use and where is key.
Gamers must form sentences by pushing these rules around. It even won several game awards, including "Outstanding Achievement in Game Design" for the 23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.
Needless to say, Nintendo Switch players will have to think outside the box for this one.
4) Catherine: Full Body
Japanese developer Atlus is renowned for the Megami Tensei series of JRPGs, especially on Nintendo platforms. But they also released a little-known 2011 puzzle platformer called Catherine.
The Full Body remaster was originally released in 2019 for the PS Vita (Japan only) and PlayStation 4, with the Nintendo Switch version arriving in 2020. It utilizes the proprietary Persona 5 engine instead of Gamebryo, thus featuring improved visuals.
It also adds a new story arc featuring a new character called Rin. However, the core narrative remains the same as protagonist Vincent is bombarded by nightmares after coming into contact with two women: Catherine and Katherine.
Dream sections see users scaling walls of blocks that can be moved around to create a path to move upwards to the exit. Outside of those, they can spend time at the Stray Sheep bar, talking with NPCs and doing activities. There is nothing else like it out there.
Released in 2013, FEZ from Polytron Corporation is a charming pixel art platformer set in a 2D world. As a mysterious creature named Gomez, gamers embark on a dimension-altering adventure, quite literally.
With the existence of a new 3D dimension, Gomez can travel around corners of 2D spaces for four different faces in total. Perception is reality, to sum it down in a sentence.
This face-shifting is key to traversing and scaling platforms and hazards. There are various collectibles to find and mind-bending locales to romp across in search of them.
These levels range from vibrant tree structures to dreary ruins, all perked up thanks to the vibrant art style.
Note: This article reflects the author's views.