The 20 Best Puzzle Games on Steam

Image credit: Valve

Is there anything better than a great puzzle game on PC? These games are perfect for those of us who like to take our time to solve problems and plan out their moves well in advance.

If you love puzzles and games, Steam has plenty of great options to choose from.

Since you are here, I bet you’re looking for something new to play that belongs to the genre. Perhaps you want to find something that can really challenge your mind.

Well, good news: here are 20 of the best puzzle games on Steam you can play right now.

These titles require players to work out complex problems in order to progress through the game and often present unique challenges that will keep you entertained for hours.

These games will keep your brain busy with logic and problem-solving in some very creative ways, from block-sliding puzzlers to pipe-solving adventures.

Ready? Let’s dive in to the best puzzle games available on PC.

Trine

Trine originally debuted in 2009 and took players to a colorful fantasy world where they could fight monsters, rescue fairies, and solve puzzles. It is a side-scrolling fantasy action platformer starring three characters who offer different skills to solve the problems presented in each stage.

This is a brilliant and beautiful franchise that came up with a single concept, you need teamwork. In Trine, you switch characters as you wish to overcome different challenges by using the unique strengths of each hero.

In Trine, you control one character at a time. So you might play with either Zoya the thief, Pontius knight, or Amadeus wizard as they work together to progress through levels.

For instance, you might need Amadeus to lift objects, Zoya to swing and climb, and Pontius to break stuff and fight.

Trine is a generally well-received franchise by both critics and players. To this day, it remains one of Frozenbyte’s most popular titles.

The Talos Principle

This is one of my favorite puzzle games due to its sci-fi philosophical concept and themes where you explore a rich and captivating setting.

You’ll solve puzzles by manipulating robots and utilizing in-game physics. Although they are fun, the puzzles are just one of the things that make this game good.

This is not a game that is all about its gameplay. If that’s what you are looking for, The Talos Principle might still be fun, but you will only be enjoying half of what it offers. This game dives deeply into existential questions and gets you thinking about what it means to be human.

Although it isn’t as flashy as other puzzle games, it does offer challenges that can keep players engaged for many hours. Still, I was mostly interested to see how the narrative would hit me again with some other mind-bending thought exercise.

I would highly recommend any gamer interested in puzzles or philosophy to pick up The Talos Principle. If that’s the kind of thing you are into, this game is a must-play.

The Swapper

A unique puzzle game, The Swapper, has players exploring a space station using the main character’s ability to clone himself to solve puzzles. This is a stylish, well-designed puzzler that is worth your time. The puzzles are never too challenging, but you will be spending a lot of time with them.

The story is a bit complex, but it is very well written. It is really interesting and engaging, making for one of the most memorable experiences in gaming. There’s a fair amount of questions about humanity, existence, and consciousness for all fans of the usual kind of philosophical discussions seen in sci-fi stories.

I can definitely recommend The Swapper to anyone looking for a fun puzzle game on Steam.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s something everyone should play at least once. The Swapper is a quite unique, well-thought-out puzzle game. Besides, it is fun even without the fascinating story behind it.

The Witness

The Witness is a puzzle game that surprised me. It is by far one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve ever had with the genre.

In this game, filled with beautiful and mysterious but calm scenarios, you must solve the puzzles you find in panels and direct beams of light to the top of the Island.

The colorful, quiet setting emanates a sense of tranquility while you explore the Island. It gives The Witness a lack of urgency that is refreshing and calming when you are surrounded by puzzles to solve.

This game is not easy. It can cause you to roam lost, desperately looking for answers. This can happen to the fact that the Island is large, and the game doesn’t really lock you in any area.

There is a chance you will face puzzles you might not be ready to solve. If you do, you can just go to a different area and try something else. The Witness will introduce new mechanics and symbols that slowly make the puzzles more challenging and engaging.

This is an intelligently designed puzzle game that is easy to recommend to any fan of the genre.

Portal

Portal is a mind-bending game that will force you to think outside your comfort zone. The plot is a bit unorthodox in the best of ways, and it might sometimes feel really over the top, but it’s a game that never takes itself seriously.

When it first came out, Portal was mind-blowing. The Portal Gun makes you think about space-time and physics in ways that would not make sense in any other context.

Thanks to Portal, the portal gun became one of the most popular items in pop culture. The game’s puzzles are inventive and original and take the game’s mechanics to the limit.

Considering that the concept of the game itself was original, it was expected to see many unusual puzzles to solve in Portal. However, the mechanic is pretty much the same until the end of the game, and it is never dull, so it says a lot about the level design.

Portal has a great sense of humor, a story with a dark twist, and a primary tool that might require a certain degree of patience and logic to master. It’s good for quick bursts when you have time to kill or for intense gaming sessions that will keep you busy for hours at a time.

Portal 2

Portal 2 feels much more like a reboot than a sequel to the original Portal game. In fact, it does feel like they’re the same game in many ways until it doesn’t.

Although Portal is a funny game, its dark humor and creepy twists are a big part of its identity. However, Portal 2 takes a different road, being unapologetically silly and directing its comedy to something less dark.

There are enough tweaks and changes in gameplay and storytelling to make Portal 2 something else once you pass through the Portal gun and mouse lab intro. Portal 2 has many different mechanics and easier puzzles with several mechanics that are not present in the first game.

It is argued among fans that Portal 2’s puzzles are never fully fleshed out or explored to their limit, as it happens in the first game. Gameplaywise, this is when the games start feeling completely different. The first game extracts all it can from physics puzzles using the Portal Gun. In contrast, the second game introduces many things that change the rules and moves on to an entirely different mechanic right after.

Despite the fact that Portal 2 lacks the heavier tone of its predecessor, it is nonetheless a well-written game, but a different one, which is why both are on the list.

If you like the original Portal, there’s a good chance you’ll like Portal 2 as well. It makes no difference whether you think the first one is better than the second or vice versa. Both games are fantastic, and I’m sure that any PC puzzle games fan will have a blast playing either.

Braid

Braid is a puzzle-platformer where you rewind time to solve puzzles. It’s also one of those games that makes you feel really smart when you figure out how to beat it—which is exactly what we want from puzzle games.

There are tons of little details and secrets in Braid, and each level gets increasingly more complex as you progress through its complex, metaphorical story.

Braid is simple enough for almost anyone to play and understand at first but deep enough for hardcore players looking for challenging brain teasers with multiple levels of completion.

As the game progresses, the way your time rewind ability interferes with the world changes as new mechanics appear in the different phases of the game. Each world has a unique characteristic that is differently affected by time, time reward, or even by how you move your main character.

Due to those new concepts constantly being introduced, Braid ends up being an incredible experience that keeps you playing for hours.

Limbo

When it comes to puzzle games, Limbo’s unique brand of hand-drawn black and white graphics stands out from its rivals. The game has players take control of a boy who must traverse hellish environments in search of his sister.

For a 2D platformer, Limbo’s atmosphere can be a bit dark. Limbo has levels that are filled with puzzles and obstacles for players to overcome, forcing them to use their brains instead of brute force.

It’s not the most challenging puzzle game out there, but it is entertaining enough to be remarkable. Although it was originally released in 2010, Limbo remains one of the top puzzle games on Steam.

Limbo is not a long game, but by playing through its world, you’ll see why so many people have fallen in love with it. Even if you’re not typically into puzzle games, I recommend giving Limbo a try; perhaps you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a puzzle game set during World War I that follows several characters from different sides of the conflict.

The game features puzzles to solve with help from your canine companion and follow narratives based on real-life letters and journals of men and women who lived during that time.

It’s a heartfelt and touching adventure for people looking for a historical setting for their puzzle games or anyone curious about life in France during World War I.

This game is a beautifully crafted artistic expression of a harsh and difficult era of human history. Its story has a few ups and serious downs. It might not be for everyone, and it is a hard story to tell, but it’s told brilliantly.

World of Goo

World of Goo is a charming game with a simple but cute art style and an attractive enough. This award-winning physics-based puzzle game is a favorite among fans.

Players are tasked with creating bridges and towers out of balls of goo, guiding other balls to their goals, and escaping each level before they fall off. As you solve puzzles and make your way through increasingly challenging levels, you’ll be kept entertained by adorable sound effects and a minimalist aesthetic.

World of Goo is a game for kids as well as adults. It is easy to pick up but hard to put down. World of Goo was made by 2D Boy, an indie gaming duo consisting of Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel. Its graphics were designed to resemble beloved construction toys, making the game both familiar and charming.

This is a fun game that can be pretty entertaining to play casually, but it can also be addictive if you’re fond of puzzle games on PC. Give it a shot; you might be surprised at how challenging and addicting it can be.

Baba is You

This game is so much fun! It may not look like it, but Baba Is You actually has some of the most mentally engaging gameplay in any puzzle game I’ve ever played. It’s a game that is constantly forcing you to think outside the box because the puzzles involve changing the fundamental laws of how the game works in the first place.

I know it sounds weird and a bit crazy, but that’s pretty much how the game is. The more you play, the more you want to see what kind of weird things you have to come up with to progress.

Even though Baba is You might be a really unusual game in many ways, you don’t really feel frustrated since every puzzle somehow feels doable. When it comes to unique puzzle gameplay, it’s hard to be as unique as Baba is You.

This is a fantastic game with an unusual concept that managed to work against all odds. I definitely recommend you to try this game out, even if you don’t like puzzle games just for their uniqueness.

Hoa

That is a game that will easily please fans of the genre. Hoa is a puzzle-platforming game with a lot of personalities due to its emotionally charged music and hand-painted art style.

Hoa is the ideal game for when you want to be entertained by your favorite genre, but you also want to relax and admire a beautiful work of art as opposed to getting disappointed or frustrated after spending an hour on the same puzzle.

The world of the game is diverse and beautifully designed with breathtaking art. Besides, Hoa is relatively simple. The game’s mechanics are not complicated, so you get to enjoy it easily.

There’s no question that Hoa has a lot of charm and identity. This game is so captivating that it is nearly impossible not to give it a shot. That’s how they make people play, by causing them to check a beautiful, hand-drawn game. I checked Hoa out of curiosity, and I was hooked right from the start.

Biped

In my honest opinion, Biped is a game that does not receive as much attention as it deserves. This game is a puzzle-platformer with a lot of heart. Its cute design and fun gameplay are more than enough for me to recommend it. 

Biped’s unique gameplay mechanics make it very special. In this game, you must move each leg of the main character independently. That alone completely changes how you navigate the 3D environment and solve issues.

Even walking can be a struggle since you have to move each leg individually, one before the other. It might take you some time to get used to it, but that’s what allows this game to think outside the box and provide some of the greatest and most fun puzzles you’ll see in a cute puzzle game that doesn’t feel intimidating.

The Room

The Room is a BAFTA-winning 3D puzzler from Fireproof Games where you immerse yourself in a world of strange contraptions and alchemical machines. This game takes you to a setting where machines meet myth. You will follow a trail of cryptic cards and solve numerous unusual devices in even more extraordinary places.

The Steam version of The Room is a completely updated HD version of the original Mobile Version of The Room, but it still is the same game. I do prefer playing it on the PC anyway.

Fireproof Games is a tiny, independent studio based in Guildford, United Kingdom. The Room is the first game they ever published, but they made an excellent product. The Room has been very well received by puzzle game fans and reviewers, which did a lot for the game’s reputation and the studio.

There’s a reason why this game received so many prizes for best gameplay and best design. The Room has clearly been acknowledged among critics as a magnificent game of its genre.

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares is surprisingly scary for a game that uses such a cartoon-like art style. You play as a kid in a yellow coat who’s trying to survive and escape from a massive and strange ship populated by corrupted souls vying for the next meal.

This is an unnerving dark tale that will cause nightmares to your inner child! Explore the most unsettling settings to uncover their secrets as you proceed on your trip. 

Mechanically speaking, Little Nightmares takes a lot from games like Limbo and modern survival games that have a hiding mechanic. Still, the way it’s used and the way that the setting is put together make Little Nightmare a quite well-executed game. It might not be the most challenging puzzle game out there, but if you like horror, it is undoubtedly worth your time.

Inside

Although this game is a brilliant puzzle-platformer, its meaning, plot, and ending are mysteries open to interpretation. The many discussions and fan theories about Inside exist mainly due to the way that the game’s story is told, especially in its endings.

Inside is a puzzle-platformer in which the player is a boy who explores a nearly gritty, nearly black and white world where there are many threads about to end his life.

The boy can run, jump, and use some objects to overcome certain challenges. Later in the game, the boy gains the ability to control the bodies of the dead. Sometimes, this new power can feel like a weirdly dark and somewhat disturbing idea.

Still, it does allow the game to introduce new and exciting mechanics and puzzles. The main character can die, much like in Limbo, from enemies and from challenges that you did not succeed in completing. Death animations are often brutal, making you feel like a lot is at stake after the first time you see it happening.

Klocki

When it comes to puzzles, at least in my opinion, it isn’t easy to find anything that is more authentic than klocki. Something about its minimalistic style feels like old-school puzzle games, but there’s enough in its design to make it feel clean and modern.

In this game, you basically have a bunch of tiles or pieces, and you have to switch and match all those pieces in a way that the lines are not broken.

Klocki doesn’t repeat itself too much. However, it will sometimes introduce new ways to move the pieces and add variations that keep things interesting when there aren’t really new ideas to be introduced.

This is the second game from the developers of Hook, and it is pretty well rated on Steam. If you are okay with a minimalistic art style and a more relaxing kind of puzzle game, you should definitely give klocki a shot.

Opus Magnum

This game was very well received by critics and players. It is an open-ended puzzle game from Zachtronics.

In Opus Magnum, you do alchemical engineering by building transmutation machines that you even get to watch running.

I’m not going to lie; this is an odd game. For many people, this might feel like doing homework. On the other hand, once you get the hang of it and see your formula in action, you feel pretty smart for pulling it off.

Honestly, though, watching your design functioning is already super pleasant to see, but making it compact and faster is just as fun — for those who enjoy this sort of open-ended puzzle, of course.

Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise

I seriously love self-aware games, so there was no way I wouldn’t like Agent A: A puzzle in disguise.

As the brilliant title suggests, you play as Agent A in this clever puzzle game. You are given the mission to invade Ruby La Rouge’s secret hideout. Once you succeed, you have to either neutralize or capture the enemy spy.

Once you have the chance or the patience, pay attention to this stylized art style. It allows the game to be functional and have an eye-catching theme. It also makes it much easier for smaller studios to put the game together than making or paying for something with high fidelity graphics.

Explore a maze of mind-blowing puzzles in this quirky cat-and-mouse game that will have you wondering who’s the cat and who’s the mouse! Did you find something strange or out of place? You must think like a good secret agent, so taking notes and mental observations will help you solve the most important puzzles.

In Ruby’s secret hideout, you will be picking up objects and using them in clever ways. Sometimes, you will have to think outside the box to progress through the puzzles that will get you closer to your target!

Superliminal

If you are looking for the most original puzzle game on Steam, I couldn’t find anything that remotely feels like what Superliminal has to offer.

This puzzle game focuses on using optical illusions and depth perspective to make the most unique and clever puzzles I have ever seen in a long time.

When I solve a puzzle in Superliminal, I often catch myself just thinking about how cool that puzzle was. The best thing about this game is that it keeps happening. It never takes too long for the game to surprise me with another fantastic twist on how to use depth perspective in the game’s context.

In the world of Superliminal, what is perceived is what is real. This game’s surreal, strange, dream-like world is like a weird place where things can be both what they are and what they seem to be.

0 comments

Leave a Comment