Daily Rant, Video Games

Day 208: Puzzles in Non-Puzzle Games

Puzzles. One of the most common additions to any game, be it a tabletop game or a video game. They’re used to test your wits and understanding of the game’s rules and mechanics.

And there are just as many bad puzzles for every good one.

A classic example of a good puzzle is most of the Zelda games. These require the use of Link’s different items, maneuverability, and of course: the players wits. A truly spectacular case of this is the Shrines in Breath of the Wild. They require you to use the different items, weapons and gliding techniques to move forward and complete the puzzle. And most of them (key word being most) are really fun and challenging!

Except for those god damn motion control puzzles!! Those can suck a bundle of sweaty, greasy donkey dicks in the ninth circle of hell while Satan flays their asses!!

Sorry. Bad memories.

But then there are the puzzles that do the opposite of that. The puzzles that don’t test the skills and knowledge you’ve gained by playing the game up until that point. Puzzles that are essentially their own little mini-game. Now, this can be fine if the mini game is still challenging intellectually and fun.

A terrible example of this is the infamous pipe puzzles from Bioshock. These feel like they’re part of a completely different game. A much more mediocre game, at that. They’re neither fun nor challenging; they’re busy work through and through.

Honestly, I always get excited when I see puzzles (unless the game has already established itself to having bad puzzles). A fun and challenging puzzle can be some of the most fun I have in games.

They can also be really frustrating. I’m not the most patient person in the world.

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