Best of 2011 (Top 5):
The creator of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering and Bureau of Steam Engineering (not to mention the grandaddy of Minecraft, Infiniminer) is back with a full-fledged indie game ready to provide a serious logic puzzle challenge. SpaceChem is anything but simple, anything but easy, and one of the most satisfying puzzle games released. If you can solve its challenges, that is. SpaceChem is a game you'll spend a few minutes learning but weeks trying to master, and its 50+ levels are more than enough to strain your poor brain matter more than it's been strained in quite some time.
Q.U.B.E.: Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion is one of those special games you don't get to see as often as you would like. It's a first person puzzle game, which is rare enough in its own right, but then you combine that with a stark method of storytelling, creative use of environmental puzzles, and an interface that's as smooth as the shiny blocks that make up the levels. What you're left with is a thoroughly satisfying game with masterfully designed puzzles from beginning to end.
Blocks That Matter, an indie game from Swing Swing Submarine, likes to do things a little bit differently. It likes to break the rules, mix up genres, tear down that fourth wall, and borrow the best from some of the most popular games ever released and turn it into something new. Blocks That Matter is part Tetris, part Minecraft, part Dig Dug, part platformer all wrapped into one, with a cute main character leading the whole thing up that serves as the perfect gateway to a game you won't be able to get enough of.
Lume is a new puzzle adventure game from State of Play, creators of a few browser games you might know, such as A Short History of the World and A Break in the Road. The visual style is by far the game's most standout feature, as everything you see was created out of paper and cardboard before getting filmed in high definition. The awesomeness doesn't end with the graphics, though. Lume features some solidly challenging point-and-click puzzles that will cause even seasoned room escape veterans to stop and think on more than one occasion.
A short but phenomenal first person puzzle game created by students at DigiPen, Singapore. Void takes place in a library ruined in a recent disaster. You're trying to find a way out, but that doesn't really seem possible given the state of things. Fortunately, time is on your site. More specifically, the past, and your ability to both see it and open pockets of the past using limited portals. For example, a platform may be out of reach because the ground beneath it has crumbled. Open a portal to the past, though, and the floor is intact, giving you a few seconds to walk across. It's a great game mechanic, and the team used it in some very creative ways, including a stint in the sewers that were once filled with water. It's a short, experimental sort of game, but one you'll be glad to have tried!