The Vault №64
Forget world peace, nothing brings a community together like a good puzzle! Time and time again you guys (yes, you out there on the other end of that interwebs pipeline) have proven you're willing to combine your Wonder Twins powers to solve even the most confounding conundrums developers have devised. Here are three of our favourite puzzle games of all varieties designed to get your grey matter churning and wanting to help out a fellow reader in need with a hint. Or, you know, post about your glorious puzzle supremacy and bathe in their tears. Whichever.
- Shift - Not everything is black and white, you know! At least, not unless you're playing Antony Lavalle's sneaky platform puzzle series, the Shift games. On the surface, your objective is simple; find the keys you need and get to the door. It sounds easy, at least until you realise that it involves flipping back and forth between black and white planes to get around. Shift has had its share of sequels, but if you've never dipped your toe into its fiendishly clever pool, there's no time like the present to start.
- Hanna in a Choppa - We've all wanted to get to da choppa at some point in our lives, and Chris Underwood's gloriously silly physics puzzler finally gives you the chance. There are 21 levels you have to win, using a helicopter to accomplish whatever task the game sees fit to give you... usually parodying a well-known game in the process. Hanna in a Choppa is one of those rare funny games where the satire feels like it runs confidently alongside the gameplay, rather than becoming the whole point of the experience, and its silly atmosphere combined with the creative level design makes this an easy choice for just about anyone to enjoy.
- The Codex of Alchemical Engineering - If you like logic and programming puzzles, few are finer and smarter than Zachtronics' exercise in science, patience, and brainpower. The goal of building a machine to complete a specific task may be simple, but achieving it is not... or at least, achieving it efficiently is hard, and if you approach the Codex wanting to prove your worth you can expect to lock horns with it for quite some time. It's more than a little challenging, but it's also one of those games that best displays the talent and goodwill of the community here (that's you guys!) because players are always willing to pool their knowledge. If you like easy, simple puzzle games then this one might be a bit much, but if you want a puzzling experience you can sit down to gnaw at for a long time, you'll definitely want to check this (and indeed all of the Zachtronics games) out.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!