Given my near a decade work experience as a web designer, I have gained particular aesthetic taste and originative atmospheric indulgement for anything interactive. I look for the distinct, the pioneer, an infant of an idea destined to make waves in the digital world.
Thus, this article might be a little biased since (1) I know I haven’t played all puzzle games there is out there (nor do so in limited amount of time), (2) I’m basing this to games I have played and (3) I have an eclectic taste others might not be able to dig.
These 5 selections I consider most beautiful in terms of atmosphere, playability and if available, the ingenious plot integrated into the gameplay.
These are all premium apps and for me, are worth every penny.
5. Sword & Sworcery
A superb magical indie adventure game by Superbrothers and Capybara Games launched initially for iOS in year 2011.
Rarely does a puzzle game come out a different kind of retro-flavor, from smooth animation use of pixel graphics, exquisite atmospheric sounds, a cool use of street-vibe and poetic narration, real time world moon phases gameplay (no kidding. This game tracks actual moon phases which are essential in the game) and how the narrator passes the game as an “experimental treatment” of some kind.
If anything else, the ingenious plot and particular way of third-party poetic storytelling is what makes this game so unique.
4. Zen Bound 2
This is a meditative, tactile puzzle with over 100 levels. Each level has the goal of wrapping rope around wooden and stone sculptures, making sure you reach the necessary amount of surface to be covered using limited amount of rope given to finish a level.
Colourful atmospheric backgrounds complement highly detailed sculpture surface with downtempo music to accentuate focus and patience while steering the rope to your preference. You will definitely feel the ‘zen’ of this game because just like in real life, you can’t rush perfection.
At first glance, Machinarium’s visuals reminded me of a children’s storybook. Upon playing, the storyline made a mark in my heart and I found myself having tender feelings for one small, normal robot find his way back home. You, as the player, will help him find his place back into the society that dumped him elsewhere by avoiding bullies, interact with items or other robots, and solve puzzles.
This point and click adventure can be a bit frustrating but it has been advised from many review sites not to take the hints provided in each level for the rewards of accomplishing each stage is worth the effort.
The first of its kind in game apps, Tengami is a game inside a pop-up book. Creators of this app created a pop-up book technology just for Tengami, resulting into an immersive, magical journey of ancient Japanese fairy tales featuring striking visuals, unique gameplay and haunting music. Best used with head phones and make sure you aren’t sleepy for you need to have an eagle’s eye to solve some of the puzzles to progress.
Truly fascinating is the smooth storyline transition that happens when flipping, folding or sliding parts of the world to go deeper into this mysterious journey to save a magical tree. The only downside I can say is some puzzles are too easy and the gameplay too short. Yet, the magic and sophistication of the of poetic storyline will remain.
1. The Room 1 & 2
Highly immersive, incredibly detailed, hauntingly beautiful 3D detective game. The goal: solve puzzles to escape the creepy room. You roleplay like Sherlock Holmes, twisting, combining, tweaking mechanisms through a very tactile gameplay to progress. This game has won numerous awards for its ingenious graphics and intuitive gameplay. These are worth your money.
Do you want to share a puzzle game app you think is absolutely beautiful to play? Don’t hesitate to reply!