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The Best Puzzle Games Of 2021

You don't even have to be a puzzle enthusiast to enjoy a good puzzle game. There's a reason that games like Tetris have stood the test of time. Puzzle games might not dominate the gaming world, but they're always going to be made and people will always play them. Puzzles in games have even helped major world issues. Foldit, a game that offers puzzles for players to solve dealing with vaccines, even helped some scientists search for the COVID-19 vaccine.


There are very few things more rewarding than finally figuring out how to get through a difficult puzzle level in a video game, even for players who generally prefer horror games or playing games with friends. These 2021 puzzle games didn't disappoint when it comes to satisfying the drive to complete something. With releases for PlayStation, PC, Switch, and Xbox, there's a brain-teasing puzzle here for every kind of gamer.

The Pedestrian

The Pedestrian kicked off 2021 with favorable reviews from critics. Described by the developer as "2.5D side scrolling puzzle platformer," the game took the cake on unique puzzles. The goal is to use public signs in order to explore the city environment as a little stick figure, solving increasingly intricate puzzles on each sign. Beyond that, there are other interactions that you can do in between the obstacle course of signs, all of which add to the immersive feel of the game. The Pedestrian requires creativity, so be ready to think outside of the box.


The game's website shows a lot of support from popular creators like Jacksepticeye and Markiplier, along with raving reviews from PC Gamer and Kotaku. They're not the only supporters — the Steam page for the game has overwhelmingly positive reviews, too. Some players finished the game in just a few hours, but others took up to 10 hours to complete the game. If you're someone who's always picking up and conquering a new puzzle game, this game might zoom by.

Little Nightmares 2

If you love horror games and a good puzzle, then Little Nightmares 2 is the perfect title for you. This creepy puzzle-platformer takes you on an adventure with the characters of Mono and Six, forcing you to solve puzzles and escape from a world that's dead set on killing them — or at the least, stopping the two kids from achieving their goal of stopping the mysterious Signal Tower.


The reviews on Steam explained that some of these puzzles are hardcore. You'll need to really use your head, and you'll probably need to go through parts of the game multiple times to do things correctly. If you enjoy puzzles, then you'll probably enjoy this aspect of the game. However, if you're someone who likes a little more direction, then this might be pushing you outside of your comfort zone. Despite the high level of difficulty, the game still received positive reviews from both critics and fans alike.


Fan of a synthwave or retro-futuristic aesthetic? Check out SOLAS 128. Despite the number in the title, this puzzle game swept critics off their feet with 150 different interconnected rooms. The goal is to get different laser-like lights from one point in a room to another. In the beginning, it's fairly easy — players only need to direct one light source around a room in a fairly simple pattern. However, things start to get truly challenging as new light colors come in and the rooms start to connect.


This "beam deflection game" also has its own driving soundtrack to match the atmosphere, which will have you tapping your toes while you try to solve increasingly complex puzzles. Speaking of which, the puzzles in the game have commonly been praised by critics for being among the best logic-type puzzles on the market. GodisaGeek's review called the end result "a beautiful logical mess."

Because of this, the game has a much longer life than some easier puzzle games. Some Steam users have even pointed to SOLAS 128 as a perfect entry point into the world of puzzle games.


TOHU is a straightforward puzzle game set in a unique universe of fish planets. Players take on the role of The Girl, and who wanders around with her alter-ego, Cubus. The two are working to fix the Sacred Engine, a job that no one else on any of the fish planets can do — because they're just too heavy.


In addition to having plenty of puzzles to solve, the game also sought to create beautiful locations for players to enjoy. According to the game's website, each planet is "brought to life through bewitchingly beautiful artwork and packed with detail." Some of these details will be brought out to the surface in characters or even collectables around the map. There's also a beautiful soundtrack to relax to while you're trying to solve the puzzles — something every good puzzle game should have. 

With very positive reviews on the game's Steam page and a solid Metacritic score for the PC versionTOHU is perfect for a light-hearted adventure with puzzles packed in.

Heaven's Vault

Heaven's Vault is a puzzle game that centers around linguistics. Players will work as an archaeologist to decipher a hieroglyphic language that pushes the story to unfold. According to the game's site, these hieroglyphics are modeled after "Ancient Egyptian and Chinese writing systems." Be careful, though; translating something wrong could send you backwards instead of forwards.


One review from Rock Paper Shotgun discussed how the game's unique mechanics mean that it isn't even comparable to other games. The puzzles definitely stand out — after all, how many other language puzzle games can you think of? Additionally, the atmosphere is breathtaking and does a solid job at combining 2D and 3D elements, similar to the aforementioned The Pedestrian.

The science fiction-puzzle game also incorporated elements of adventure to satisfy players while looking for puzzles. Players can actually sail around the world as they explore different sites. There are also a lot of interactions with NPCs that can help you (or distract you) from the storyline. According to the game's site, NPCs will actually judge your player, depending on how you interact with them. For people who love well-rounded adventures and puzzles, Heaven's Vault might be a perfect fit.