What Makes a Good Puzzle? | Game Maker’s Toolkit

What Makes a Good Puzzle? | Game Maker’s Toolkit


If there’s one episode of this show that
I’ve wanted to make, but have never had the guts to actually attempt, it’s this
one: puzzle design. Because I love puzzle games – like the time-travelling
platformer Braid, the comedy sci-fi gem Portal, and the cult hit Stephen’s Sausage Roll
– but I have no idea what actually goes in to making one of the puzzles for these games. How do you make something that leaves a player
stumped and scratching their head, and then makes them feel very smart when they finally
figure out the answer? What makes a puzzle too hard, or too easy? And so that’s what I’ve been trying to
figure out these past few months. I’ve been talking to the creators of great puzzle games,
tried making my own puzzles in different editors, revisited my video on Jonathan Blow’s puzzle
design philosophy, and have analysed loads and loads of different levels from different
games. And in this episode, I’m going to share
what I’ve found out. So this is Game Maker’s Toolkit, I’m Mark Brown, and here’s what
I think makes a good puzzle. Part One: The Mechanics Every puzzle game starts with its mechanics:
a set of ironclad rules that govern how the game works. So in a game like Cosmic Express, you can
draw train tracks on a grid – but you can’t cross over the tracks. One alien can jump
into each train car, and then hop out into the first box of the same colour they pass
by. These rules, and perhaps more importantly
these limitations, are used to create puzzles. The fact that you can’t cross over tracks,
for example, might stop you getting back through a tight gap – forcing you to find a different
approach. The overall… let’s say, cleverness, of
the main mechanic will ultimately decide the number and difficulty of the puzzles in the
game. And so this favours outlandish concepts like time travel and wormholes – as well as
funky movement controls like those found in Snakebird. The way these creatures move – how their body
follows their head, how they’re affected by gravity, the way eating fruit makes you
longer, which is both a blessing and a curse – all leads to creative puzzles. Of course, temporary tools can be used to
augment the main mechanic – like light bridges, coloured paint, and turrets in the Portal
games. And they can even be used in place of a main mechanic, as in a game like The
Talos Principle which generates all of its puzzles from external sources like jammers,
cubes, and repeaters. Mechanics that can combine together create even more possibilities. A puzzle game also needs a goal. This is usually
just an exit door, or some kind of collectible. The important thing is that it’s clear what
the player is trying to achieve. The player shouldn’t be figuring out what to do – just
how to do it. Okay. Now it’s time it’s time to actually
make a puzzle. Part Two: The Catch So I think a good puzzle is often built around
a catch. Which is a logical contradiction, where two things are seemingly in direct conflict
with one another. Here’s the absolutely most basic version
of that idea, just to help explain what I mean. There’s a door and a button. Standing
on the button opens the door, but when you walk to the door the button raises back up
and the door shuts. You need to stand on the button. And you need
to walk to the door. But you can’t do both, because doing one makes the other impossible. The solution, of course, is to put a box on
the button. So that’s a really crappy example, but I think you can find some version of this
conflict at the heart of every good puzzle. Here’s an example from The Talos Principle,
where, at this point in the game, we’re using these tripods to route coloured light
beams from these orbs, to these panels – which makes nearby doors open. So, after a bit of messing around we’ve
got the puzzle like this. Two tripods are being used to get blue light to this panel,
and open a door. And one tripod is being used to get red light to this panel, and open another
door. But, unfortunately, we need to put one of
those tripods on this pressure sensitive switch. Now the plan actually seems quite simple.
Send red light to panel C to open this door, and then use the opening to send blue light
to A with just one tripod, instead of two. Except… here’s that catch. You can’t get red light to panel C, without
already having blue light in panel A. So if you remove either of these tripods, this door
will shut and put a stop to your plan. Now, resolving a conflict like this can come
in many forms. Sometimes it’s about changing the sequence of events that led up to the
conflict. Other times it’s about rethinking your spacial position, perhaps starting the
puzzle from a different location. But there’s another way, that I think is the gold standard
that every puzzle designer should be shooting for. Part Three: The Revelation. So, the solution to that puzzle in The Talos
Principle is to make this tripod connect to the other tripod, and panel A – even though
the door is in the way. Because when you then open the door with the red beam, the connection
is made and you can remove the second tripod without breaking the link. This puzzle is incredibly simple once you
know the answer – and it’s effortless to actually execute the solution, which is always
a plus in my book. But it’s still really challenging. And that’s because it asks
you to think outside the box, reconsider how the game works, and approach the concept
in a lateral manner. And, beyond that, it also reveals a non-obvious
– but also totally logical consequence of the game’s rules that now becomes a part
of your toolbox going forward. And, in fact, this Talos Principle solution does crop up
in future puzzles as just one part of a larger conundrum. So solving the puzzle is like a revelation.
A discovery. An epiphany of some deeper understanding. And I think that’s, often, where those “eureka!”
moments come from. Now they can be quite significant revelations.
So in the time travelling puzzler P B Winterbottom, you’ve got this conundrum where you need
to record a clone to help you pick up pies in numerical order – but picking up pie three
cuts off access to pie four. After a lot of messing about, you’ll eventually
realise that clones loop when they reach the end of the recording. So if you have the clone
start at pie number four, it will appear there when it finishes its recording and loops back
around. Boom. Revelation. But often they’re just tiny, subtle things
that you might not even think of as being important lessons. Like, in Snakebird, where
you need to understand that the bird can change shape and fall in the same turn, to create
shapes that protect you from spikes. Now, this is actually a very delicate balance
to hit. Because when you’re asking the player to think outside the box and do things that
are perhaps not obvious, or not entirely intuitive, you could leave the player thinking “oh,
I literally didn’t even know I could do that”. Often after looking up the answer in a walkthrough. Here’s an example of that from Braid, which
largely has excellent puzzles but there’s one that stumps a lot of people. So in the
puzzle you essentially need to have an enemy bounce off your clone’s head, and then you
can bounce off the enemy to jump up very high. Ultimately, yes, it makes sense. It is a natural
consequence of a game where characters bounce up when they kill other characters. But for
many, it felt more like a trick than a revelation. And it really didn’t help that there’s
only one specific moment when it can happen, meaning players couldn’t easily experiment. So. Anyway. Lemme give one more example of
a puzzle with a catch, and a revelation. In Lara Croft GO, there are tiles that crumble
when you first stand on them – and then break if you stand on them again. And you can use
that to deal with lizards that chase after you – just lead one over a crumbling wall
tile, and it will fall to the floor below. That happens in this puzzle too, but if you
go to break the tile, the lizard will kill you before you can get back. That’s the
catch. The solution is to pre-break the tile once, then go taunt the lizard, and actually
use the tile’s falling effect to make Lara fall down, not the lizard. That’s the revelation. But here’s something else interesting about
that puzzle. This other lizard. It’s not really part of the solution. You could actually
remove all of these elements and the puzzle would still make sense. So what’s the point?
Is it just something to waste your time? No, I don’t think so. Part Four: The Assumption The first lizard is actually there, I think,
to trick you into making the wrong assumption about how the puzzle works. Because you will use the ol’ walk over a
tile trick to defeat the first lizard, and most players will assume that they need to
do the same on the second – which leads to failure. It’s only when they break that
assumption and start thinking about other avenues, that the solution can be found. And you can find this sort of cheeky misdirection
all over the place. Take this puzzle from Stephen’s Sausage
Roll. The goal of this game is to roll sausages over grills to cook them on both sides, and
like Snakebird, the weirdo movement controls leads to many tricky levels. So this puzzle, The Clover, looks really easy.
The player assumes that they can just roll the three sausages onto their closest grills
and finish the stage. But actually, no, because doing that means they cannot then manoeuvre
themselves onto the exit. The developer, Stephen Lavelle, has used an
assumption to walk the player right into the puzzle’s central catch. And it almost feels
like a joke at your expense, with this moment being a cruel punchline. But setting up the puzzle in such a way that
the player will make these wrong assumptions, actually offers some key benefits. One is that the player is not completely overwhelmed
when they start the puzzle. Luring the player into thinking they know how to solve the puzzle
gives them a starting point. And then, two, while they’re working on
this wrong assumption they’re actually seeing how the puzzle works and they get to build
a mental model of how this conundrum is put together. Three is that it largely ensures that the
player will fail the puzzle their first time. They’re not going to just waltz into the
solution, but will be carefully led astray to create that feeling of being stumped. And four is that it really focuses the player’s
attention on the catch at the heart of the puzzle. That Talos Principle puzzle isn’t
really about “how do I get to the collectible”, but it’s “how do I get these two doors
open simultaneously”. You want the player to be thinking critically
and logically about the situation. And getting them to walk themselves into the puzzle’s
catch is a good way to achieve this. So here’s an example of the assumption,
the catch, and the revelation working wonderfully together, in Snakebird level 10. So, to finish the level, you need to eat these
two fruits. You’re too short to get the bottom one, so the assumption is that you
should get the one on the left, go down, get the bottom one, and then turn around and come
back… except… You’re now too long to turn around. So that’s the assumption. Which focuses
us on the catch: that you’re either too short or too long to get the bottom fruit.
And this forces us to reassess what we know, and come at the puzzle from a very different
angle – and do this. Yeah. Not only is it a clever solution, but
it’s also subtly revelatory as it it teaches you important stuff about how Snakebirds move,
which you can use in future puzzles. Part Five: Presentation. Now all of this stuff we’ve learnt so far
can fall apart if you don’t present the puzzle properly. Check this out. There’s this really cool puzzle in Portal
2 where a laser beam powers up an elevator, and a button opens the exit door. It has a
small assumption, where you might think that you can just release the laser beam, and then
place the cube on the button. But then you’ll realise that the elevator has gone up without
you – revealing the catch. You need to use this cube to weigh down the
button. But you also need to use it to temporarily block the laser beam. Huh! Now the solution is pretty clever. You need
to place the cube on a light bridge so that it blocks the laser. Then stand on the elevator
and remove the bridge so the cube falls down, releases the laser, and lands on the button
– simultaneously lifting the elevator and opening the exit door. I really liked this puzzle. It had that revelatory
moment of being like “yeah – I can use gravity to move blocks from afar”. And while it’s
a very simple puzzle with very few moving parts, the lateral thinking needed meant it
took me a good few minutes to figure out the answer. It definitely took me longer than when I encountered,
essentially, the exact same puzzle in another game, called The Turing Test. Now it’s not
because I remembered the solution from Portal 2. I played the games like five years apart
and didn’t recognise the set-up at all when I first played The Turing Test. No, the reason it’s so much easier in the
second game is because of how the puzzles are laid out. So in The Turing Test, the light bridge is
already over the button. You just have to remove it. Whereas in Portal, you have to
both make and remove the light bridge yourself. Also in The Turing Test, the button serves
two purposes: it opens one door and shuts the other. So it’s a lot more obvious that
you need to press it when you’re in between the two doors. In Portal, you’ve got to
juggle both a laser and the button. And finally, Portal requires a bit of manoeuvring
to get the cube up on the light bridge, whereas The Turing Test makes it obvious and effortless. So you’ve got two puzzles with almost the
exact same concept, but Portal’s presentation is just so much more effective than The Turing
Test. I mean, you could make Portal 2 even harder
if you wanted. The puzzle is actually full of pretty obvious hints like how the cube
starts off being in front of the laser, showing that you can use it to block the beam. The
only wall you can place a portal on will make a bridge right over the button. And when you
stand on the semi-transparent bridge, you’ll immediately see the button right below you.
But, hey, not every game needs to be as hard as Stephen’s Sausage Roll. So. Some other presentation tips. I think
a good puzzle is pretty minimalist, with almost no extraneous elements. If you ask me, the
best puzzles are those that are so small, with so few moving parts, that you can’t
believe that it’s not more simple to figure out. A puzzle with too many elements is either
too complicated, or – more likely – most of those elements aren’t actually part of the
core puzzle and are just busy work that will frustrate you when you need to reset the level. A puzzle’s presentation should also provide
clear feedback. Portal has lines running from buttons to doors, which change colour when
powered up, to clearly explain how the room is put together. The puzzle is not, after
all, just figuring out how the level is rigged up. But feedback is also really important when working
with assumptions. There’s a puzzle in Rise of the Tomb Raider where you make a platform
rise up and then run to the exit – but the platform drops before you get there. You definitely don’t want to make it look
like Lara could make it in time if she was just a bit quicker. Instead, the platform
is positioned significantly far away so it’s clearly impossible to get there in time – and
the player immediately knows to break this assumption and try a different approach. Part Six: The Curve No puzzle is given to the player in isolation.
Every conundrum is designed to build on top of the puzzles that came before. Because if you randomly jumbled up all the
levels in, say, Portal, the game would be practically impossible for a new player to
get into it. For one, puzzles use all of the stuff you’ve
learnt so far. From stuff that’s explained in clear tutorials, to the subtle revelatory
moments I discussed earlier. And secondly, puzzles should generally ramp up in difficulty
from one to the other. There are lots of ways to establish a puzzle’s
difficulty, but at Square Enix Montreal, where they make the GO games, they use four criteria.
The number of possible solutions – the more there are, the easier the puzzle is. The number
of steps required – more is more difficult, but too many is tedious. The number of options
the player can choose from at each moment. And which mechanics the player needs to be
familiar with beforehand. Those criteria help put the puzzles in a sensible
order – but that’s not to mention some heavy play testing – puzzle games perhaps need more
playtesting than most other genres, according to the devs I talked to So that’s what I learned. I think a good puzzle is derived from the
game’s rules, and has a catch that makes the puzzle seem impossible to finish at first
glance. The player can be made to stumble upon that catch, if the developer exploits
an assumption that the player will make. To overcome the catch, and resolve the conflict,
the best puzzles ask the player to think laterally, and uncover a hidden nugget of knowledge about
the game’s rules. Does every puzzle need to be exactly like
this? No, probably not. But I think you’ll find that any puzzle worth its salt will have
some version of this stuff. And puzzles that feel lacking are probably
missing a key aspect. Maybe they have a conflict that’s too easy to resolve. Maybe it’s
missing the assumption, so many players just stumble into the right answer. Maybe the puzzle
doesn’t offer enough of a revelation, and just feels like busywork. The main thing I’ve learned is that puzzle
design is a very difficult craft, and the very best examples of the genre require years
of design, iteration, playtesting, and ruthless cutting. If you’re a developer watching
and you want to make a puzzle game, be prepared to put in some hard work. Hey thanks for watching. And a huge thank
you to indie puzzle maker Alan Hazelden, Pierre Mongrain and Etienne Jauvin from Square Enix
Montreal, and some puzzle making Patrons of mine, who all took time to answer my questions
about making puzzles.

100 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Puzzle? | Game Maker’s Toolkit

  1. I love Kami 2. When I solve a difficult one after failing dozens of times, I feel like a dumbass and so goddamn smart at the same time

  2. I would imagine some programmers have revelations of their own, and then have to restart some areas, or full games to incorporate that revelation.

  3. I'm making a puzzle game myself with a fellow classmate of mine for a competition and this video really helped change my perspective on puzzle design. Before I didn't understand the concept of making puzzles and I'm really glad I found this when I had the chance.

    …Also, strangely, the four puzzle design elements spell out "crap." ._. Nonetheless, it's still a good watch. Good work!

  4. I disagree that the Tomb Raider lizard puzzle is a misdirection. I think they're actually training the player – showing them you can fall from the tile by being on it when it breaks. They're mirroring your solution by using the lizard on the left. Great video, overall.

  5. I actually stopped in the middle of Talos Principle, but the concept of sketching out the puzzle makes me think of trying to finish it. Funny how I never thought of trying to do that when I already used a notebook througd most of The Witness.

  6. Great video! Thanks for doing the research for us and putting it in a way that is intuitive, easy to grasp and entertaining.

  7. I want to make a normal game with secret puzzles inside it like scott cawthon…mah idol…a mad genius that gets noticed alot by game theory! (notice meh matpat)

  8. I have a great example of a bad puzzle from Twilight Princess. It is one from the Temple of Time (you can see it here: https://youtu.be/vg60V6QSmwA?t=1387) where you have to move a statue using the Dominion Rod through a scale. The scale has one pot on each side, and you have to find an way to manage the weight of the pieces to make the statue pass. Sounds very simple, right? The catch is that you have to use the Dominion Rod on pots that are outside of the scale to move them remotely.

    It means that the puzzle not only relies on a mechanic that isn't taught before (and probably unknown to the player), but also on elements that are outside of the puzzle's supposed area: the statue, scale and the two pots. I spent like half an hour, wondering how to put the two pots, only to find a pathetic and simple, yet hidden, solution.

  9. In 4D puzzles games like portal people forget to think in a 4D way they only ever think about the three dimensions and forget about time.

  10. as a developper I'll make sure to put up the work :p, could you tell me from which game the rotating puzzle at 16:45 is pls?

  11. 6:23 – A great example for this is the cross-over randomizer for Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. If you need to defeat Agahnim in Light World’s Castle Tower, you normally need to destroy the seal in front of the door with the Master Sword. But what if you don’t have the Master Sword? You can simply walk through the seal with the Magic Cape. I didn’t know that was an option…

  12. Hmm… I think I understand why the LA-MULANA series is still the best despite not meeting most of these standards:. It isn't a "puzzle" game, it's a "riddle" game. Riddles are mostly based in words rather than with mechanical situations, and are designed to make a person pull a lot of information from various places rather than interpret the information present in one place. Really, there are no other games out there like the LA-MULANA series, and the gaming world is better off for having those "Archaeological Ruins Action Exploration" games. My favourite genre!

  13. One game that has loads of solutions but is difficult nonetheless is Atlus' Catherine.
    It's almost a sandbox puzzle game. But the thing is that the devs did put solutions in there, it's just so easy to cut your own path that can sometimes make the solution impossible.

  14. I've watched quite a few people play puzzles games and it's frustrating when people only do what they're told and don't try anything outside the box. "I didn't know you could do that" well you didn't try.

  15. Oh man, I was legitimately expecting either Professor Layton or Ghost Trick. Given the nature of puzzles in Professor Layton, though, it makes sense you didn't talk about them, but still, Ghost Trick perfectly fit into the theme of this video.
    Edit: Spoilers ahead, I am adding this edit to share my love for the game.
    If you are reading this, I am guessing you know about Ghost Trick already, so I will knock myself out. I really liked the idea behind the, I think, chapter 6: the whole game, you are taught to directly save the victim through your own means, and in fact, fresh puzzle players will feel discouraged to trigger the 5 seconds timedown (this kind of twist is seen in every puzzle, though, where answers are almost always laid out in the last 5 seconds, actually encouraging letting the victim die once again, and there is also another twist with this very same countdown, I think in chapter 15, where the key to saving the victim is not only being VERY stealthy and careful about what you do, but also letting the 4 minute timer run out after doing a specific set of things). Anyways, with chapter 6, the twist is that you actually have to wait until the victim almost dies, to trigger the car crash (again I am assuming you played the game and know exactly what I am talking about) and then travel onto another victim and travel way back in the past, and in the 'past of the past' is where you save the first victim. Very clever twist in my opinion.

  16. On the portal one I acualy got so frustrated I went to a room that had other objects in it and put one in the way if the laser. It's not a secret room but unless you look for it your not going to notice it

  17. The worst puzzles are when:a) you have no idea what the goal is even supposed to be. This happens a lot and is the most frustrating because you just end up doing things at random trying to see what happens with on logic or reasoning behind it.b) it is timed, so even if you understand the process, your physical inability to do it fast enough causes you to fail and blocks progress. Some people literally cannot have fast enough reflexes to pull it off so these puzzles are game enders.

  18. Can't play puzzle games anymore, I just don't have that logical sense needed to solve logical problems so every time I start playing one of those games I end up spending more time on Gamefaqs than playing the actual game. Great video of course.

  19. This was an excellent, interesting and useful exploration of puzzle mechanics, goals, and design. Thank you! to the creator.

  20. look at "Squishy the Suicidal Pig." Its a puzzle game that turns the whole concept on its head. Kill your character when you, as a player, are hardwired to keep it alive. Clever in all the right ways

  21. Nice analysis of puzzles. Maybe you could start a series about puzzles from Cyan, the ones in the Myst series and Obduction. That would be a blast because oh boy you need to think way outside the box and the sky box for those ones. And I am interesting in how they could approach such solutions and why it feels frustrating, specially the ones in Uru expansions. Thanks for the video.

  22. I love this video! I've watched it like 10 times now. It's so helpful especially when I consider the fact that I am making a puzzle game right now and am almost watching this video every day. I love the clearness of all the points in it as well. I watch this, then play my game and am like, "Yeah, not good. This isn't a puzzle, it's a bad platformer." and I want to make it a good puzzle game so I watch the video again. It just helps me so much so thanks for taking the time and effort to make it Mr. Brown! Keep up the great work!

  23. I love puzzle games and I develop games as my hobby but I can't fathom the idea of creating a Puzzle game I'd enjoy myself… it takes a lot of work to create a good one, now think of a whole game full of them.

  24. There's a recently released puzzle game called Baba Is You that I wish came out before the creation of this video, it's such a beautifully executed game that touches on nearly every concept in this video.

  25. I'm working on a 3d puzzle game with a level editor and this video is really helpfull ! It's helped me figured out whether or not I should implement such or such component in my editor, to serve a purpose. thanks for the awesome video.

  26. 15:23: A worthwhile attempt at pronouncing "Montréal" in a way that makes Francophones happy, but unfortunately just off in a weird way. Anglophones in Québec just pronounce it pretty much the usual English way and save the French for when they need to talk about Pie-XI Boulevard.

    Unless that's just how British people say Montreal, in which case, that's fine buddy!

    I mean either way, great video made like a year ago which I'm only commenting on now while going through my backlog of unwatched Toolkit videos and fixating on weird things! I actually got around to playing Portal 2 recently (I know) and it pretty much broke down the way puzzle-solving happens, mostly unconsciously.

  27. What makes a good puzzle:
    Me: a puzzle that is interesting and creative entertaining and understandable for everyone if their home language isn’t in the game and can solve it also so younger and older people can solve it.

  28. +Game Maker's Toolkit Even though I was aware about your channel and had also even watch some of your videos. It's only recently from past few days that I have watched almost 10-15 Videos of your 'Game Makers Toolkit' Series.

    And I have to say, your videos are even more excellent than I remembered them to be. I love both your editing and the fact how eloquently you present all your videos.

    Not only I learned so much about the games that I already loved and how they actually work and Why I loved them in the first place.

    But also discovered so many new games in the form of the examples you used.

    So thanks a lot for consistently providing such a quality content. 😃🙏👏

  29. "Every puzzle starts with its mechanics : a set of ironclad rules that governs how the game works .."

    BABA IS YOU: HOLD MY BEER

  30. Hello we are looking for a game developer who would be willing to partner with us on some projects. if you are interested please let me know. Cheers

  31. It's funny that you gave that Rise of the Tomb Raider puzzle (14:30) as an example of good setup, because I immediately thought of that puzzle when you mentioned unclear mechanics. I got stuck on that puzzle and was so frustrated to find out that the solution is really easy and I was only stuck because I couldn't see a tiny barely visible switch. I'm pretty sure it was the first rope arrow switch in the game too. More of an eye test than a logic puzzle.

  32. Footnote: The puzzle from The Talos Principle that Mark uses as an example is 'Biochromatic Entanglement', found in level A-6.

  33. My wife recently binge-played all three of "The Room" series. The majority of the puzzles revolved around simply finding the right macguffin to make it work. It's not the worst mechanic, you still have to analyze the situation to understand what is missing so you can find it. But there were a few puzzles that relied on infuriating "twitch" mechanics so that it wasn't so much a puzzle as a test of your mouse skills.

  34. This reminds me of the controversy over Antichamber. It has been one of my favorite games, but many people complain that the rules are too random and that there was no way to figure them out on your own. However, I think because it is so minimalist, the whole point is that your are curious and have no other option but to try random stuff until you figure out something new.

  35. Ok now I really appreciate that intro. The rest of his video he comes of as an actual game designer but he has never designed one game. In this video he at least states that what he is saying is from what he found when he played and analysed games.

  36. Y'know, before we had Braid, we had The Bridge.
    The Bridge didn't actually do anything with its time reversal mechanic except as an emergency undo button, because The Bridge was more about solving puzzles in M.C. Escher drawings than anything.

  37. I downloaded The Witness and played it for an hour. Easy puzzles everywhere. Then I got stuck for an hour, and I literally started to feel like the game was bugged. Of course, my little brother who never played or watched me play the game instantly came up with a solution after I showed him the basic premise of the puzzle.

    It's incredibly weird how simple solutions just slip past us when we have an assumption. Thinking outside of the box is something I definitely should learn to do more. But even when I try to do so, I still think inside a damn box.

  38. Your channel along with games from scratch, raycevick, noclip and Kim justice are my favourite channels. Keep up the very excellent work

  39. One thing I learned from Nintendo games is, that they allow you to learn the mechanics in a simple, save, playful and sometimes inevitable way, first.
    Lets say in one puzzle you have to run somewhere and on the way you pass through a field of water melons. They are so many and so close to one another that you can not get through without running into one, realizing at that point: your character will kick water melons away upon contact. Then in the next puzzle it is important to get a water melon to a specific spot and kicking it there is the only way.
    They make it so subtle, you barely notice.

  40. When Mark starting talking about the delicate balance of making players think outside of the box and making things to obscure to the point where players think "Oh, I didn't know I could do that." I was literally thinking of that puzzle shown from Skyward Sword when it popped up on screen!!! What a freaking coincidence! I mean that particular puzzle shown is a perfect example of what he was talking about but I can't believe I that he and I would think of THE same puzzle like that. So weird and cool at the same time!!! CHEERS MARK!

  41. I remember being stuck for way too long in Wind Waker's first dungeon.
    In a room you have to throw a flower bomb over giant thorns

    It never occured to me i COULD throw it between the plants because i was conditioned by many other games that such obstacles go with some invisible wall preventing you from doing anything.

  42. portal 2 was amazing. there were quite a few puzzles where i'd just fuck around and find myself at the exit just trying to traverse the level in fun ways. i still remember the first time i did it. i was stoned as hell and was having fun fucking around with portals and a series of launch pads and when i stopped getting launched i turned around to see the door behind me. part of me wondered if that was supposed to happen. if i was supposed to be able to solve the puzzle just by having a bit of distracting fun.

  43. Finally a great Note 10+ review! i.e a detailed and objective review from someone who understands what the Note is all about and actually used it. Thank you!
    Other top reviewers gave a subjective generic quick review without delving deep and they dismissed some features too quickly.

  44. The only problem I have with portal is that it feels like 90% of the game is the tutorial and then the last 10% is the actual game.

  45. Super simple, with catches, … Do you know Jelly No Puzzle? It is a pretty difficult game with a really good puzzle design.

  46. 12:32 You make it sound as if the Turing Test puzzle is bad and the puzzle from Portal is superior, but you failed to mention how early on in the game they are. If I recall, that puzzle isn't meant to be hard in the Turing test as its really early on and serves more as a teaching level

  47. Finished lara croft go in a week then started the dlc levels but i think i got tired by then and gave up. Puzzle games really test your brain cells but they definitely a good brain exercise.

  48. Car Eats Car 3 hudgames is a very good game!It's not a whole new concept but it's quite different. The upgrade system is pretty good and the car's appearance change according to upgrades!

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