FRACT first teased our eyes and ears back at the beginning of 2011. It's been a few years, but the full release is finally upon us in the form of FRACT OST, an abstract first person puzzle game steeped in mystery and musical riddles. It's the kind of game that rewards you for jotting down notes on a piece of paper, as you never know what odd shape/color combination might be used to solve a puzzle later on.
Oquonie is one of those puzzle games that will befuddle you with its complex no-assistance design. Created by Hiversaires developer Aliceffekt and illustrated by Rekka Bellum, you must work your way through the innards of a twisty isometric megastructure as you "speak" to various characters to unlock "clues" that will apparently help you proceed. Or maybe you, as a player, are just going mad and the whole thing is really a flashlight app?
The simple things in life are often the best, and Green-Eyed Games has managed to turn a simple sliding-block puzzle into a game about flowers, just by arranging blocks the right way. The rules of Petals are as simple as the idea behind it: click to combine like-colored tiles in a grid, but avoid combining tiles of different colors. That's all there is to it, and it's a great way to spend a few minutes stretching your mind. You don't even have to water it.
The winner of the minimalism-themed Ludum Dare 26 game jam, Mono, a Java game by Timtip Games, is a uniquely artistic top-down mix of puzzles and skill. In it, you must guide an eye through a series of eight levels. It's over far too fast, but it's densely packed with interesting ideas and a well deserved victor.
Now you too can be a minimalist artist! Mondrianism is an ingenious interactive art game, in which you get to play with Mondrian's paintings. Move one coloured rectangle around, absorbing all the others, until there's only one colour left on the screen. And you thought this art thing was difficult...
Starseed Pilgrim is a very, very unusual game. Created by droqen, author of Probability 0, it's best described as an abstract puzzle game with some light musical elements and a touch of sandbox-style gameplay. That doesn't do the experience justice, though, as its real value comes from the sense of exploration and wonder you'll get trying to figure out which seeds grow which blocks and what exactly you're trying to accomplish in this bleak world.
It's Snake! It's Snazzy! It's Snazzle! A simple idea puzzle game by Amidos, Snazzle takes its inspiration from the classic formula of slithering reptiles extending themselves by chomping on fruit, and trying to avoid crashing into itself. However, by modifying the premise with a shiny coating of tile-based programming logic, it makes for a fresh and cleverly designed experience, though perhaps a little off-putting in its symbolic minimalism.
Robot wants dots! Okay, the star of Robot Arm, a simple idea puzzle game by Amidos2006 might be missing his torso, head, and legs, but his desires are no less poignant. Robotic Arm offers a cunning test of spatial logic that should appeal to any fan of mechanical manipulation puzzles.
Drop is a fine physics-puzzle game with a musical theme that shows a little clever attention to detail can liven up an otherwise ordinary game. Offering both Sandbox and Puzzle modes, the goal of Puzzle mode is to fill all the end pipes with bouncy white projectiles. Draw lines across the screen to maneuver those projectiles around obstacles and to their goal.
If you like edgy atmosphere, mysterious trappings, and figuring things out without instructions, Eli Piilonon's puzzle/riddle game This is a Work of Fiction is well worth your time. Just be persistent, and don't let the paranoid ambiance get to you. It is a Work of Fiction, after all.
Actionscript guru Keith Peters has released a sequel to Gravity Pods, his unforgiving physics puzzle challenge from last year. Place gravity pods to direct a projectile from your turret to a purple exit gate. The level design is stunningly difficult, but that kind of adversity can be rewarding.