Sessler's Soapbox: Puzzles are Fun!

Posted: February 8, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Puzzles are Fun!
Adam discusses the use of puzzles in video games, and how they can break up the action, or bring your progress to a screeching halt.

Comments are Closed

  • liarsthieves

    I like adam he's old like me hint alway buy boardwalk. weres my teeth ?

    Posted: March 21, 2012 8:02 AM
  • ArrenKae

    The puzzle in the quest for the ashes from Dragon Age is the best I've played.

    Posted: March 22, 2011 11:49 AM
  • Sally Wong

    Just to let you all know. I have both systems, and Bulletstorm looks much better on the 360, and as we all know Killzone 3 is just for the PS3.

    Sessler was correct on his evaluation of both featured games, and all other games he commented on. THere really wan't anything that I can think of, that was outstanding or memorable in Killzone 3.

    Love and Kisses: Sally Wong :

    Posted: March 1, 2011 5:11 PM
  • comedeyzoner

    i just finished playing half life 2 so you like read my mind. you know that part in the game were you have to create a makeshift road across the sand so you dont step on it. the whole time i was thinking "i can do this but am i supposed to be doing this".. and thats just one example of that in that game.

    Posted: February 19, 2011 9:14 AM
  • comedeyzoner

    i just finished playing half life 2 before watching this so you like read my mind. when you have to create like a makeshift road across the sand so you dont step on it the whole time i was like i can do this but is this what im supposed to do. because it was so tedious and just plane silly. its a cool idea but it took way too long. and thats just one example of that in that game

    Posted: February 19, 2011 9:10 AM
  • Spybreak

    A good puzzle game gets you thinking to the point that you don't realize you're putting everything together and you just do it. I sort of think it's like drawing, after a while you just get good enough to draw without even thinking about the basic principles. If anyone liked this soapbox then check out:
    http://www.gamesradar.com/f/ the-top-7-games-that-make-us-f eel-like-geniuses/a-2011013110 4415928008/p-3

    Posted: February 12, 2011 10:00 PM
  • silent_deadly_6

    I say bring on more puzzle based games. Limbo was the first puzzle game I've played through multiple times and I hope play dead's next game is just as awesome as limbo was.

    Posted: February 12, 2011 8:54 AM
  • Natedizzy

    The only puzzle game I ever really liked was Limbo so I wish there were more puzzle games out there like that. I also can't wait for Limbo 2.

    Posted: February 9, 2011 11:51 AM
  • playsbydesign

    Puzzles in video games certainly have come a long way, both in variety of puzzles and their execution within games themselves. In fact, I don't think I would be too far off if I said most modern games now include puzzles in one form or another.

    Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed 2/Brotherhood, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Gears of War, Folklore, Metal Gear Solid 4...they all contain puzzles in varying applications. Some more obvious than others.

    Mass Effect 2's hacking system is a wonderful application of puzzles within a game. They are very simple puzzles, they are timed to keep the flow and pacing from growing stale, and they give a clear and fast reward for completion to help you feel that sense of satisfaction spite it being easy.

    Gears of War and other shooters use puzzles in a more subtle way. Remember the Berserker in Gears? You had to manipulate the creature into smashing it's way outside for you so you could destroy it. That was a puzzle. Seamlessly placed within the mechanics and context of the game.

    There are many many more examples of puzzles in games and I hope others will take a look at the list above and try to see if they can recognize not only the puzzle but reason for it being there other than the obvious.

    Puzzles have never left games, we have just gotten a bit more clever about what a puzzles can be and how we can apply them in games. Something not separated from the rest of the game, but rather seamlessly integrated. Naturally we still have our this is a puzzle part moments as described in the soapbox and that's fine. Again, we've come a long way.

    Posted: February 9, 2011 8:37 AM
  • V_Translanka

    It seems as if when they're taping ahead (Soapbox, Feedback, w/e) they really DON'T know when it'll be put up...I mean, I love the Twisted Pixel art stuff, but so far that's all that's in the DICE 2011 section right now...

    Posted: February 9, 2011 7:53 AM
  • Notafanboythatiknow

    A very good commentary as always Mr. Sessler. I agree; we need more puzzles but like you said, developers need to be careful about how they approached them. I enjoyed the small puzzle elements in Uncharted 2 but the ones in God of War (although relatively easy) felt annoying. Will it be possible Adam to have more discussions like this about other genres/styles of games?

    Posted: February 9, 2011 3:13 AM
  • Aerindel_Prime

    I disagree about limbo.

    In ever section there is always a point of no return that once you pass you cannot back track, this always limits the playing field for any given puzzle so you can logically figure out what you have to work with. You know that whatever you have to do it takes place between point X and point Y. All you have to do is systematically work through it and you won't get frustrated.

    Posted: February 9, 2011 2:29 AM
  • SBanks

    I enjoyed the in game puzzles in Assassin's Creed games. They brought in a sense of intrigue and helped add fodder to the conspiracy theories in the games too. Those were fun more so because they did not figure in to your completion of the game, just side games or missions if you will.

    One game that ticked me off as bad as an un-solvable puzzle... the damn asteroid portion of Dead Space. Had to quit the game and couldn't go any frickin' further. Now guess if I bought DS2?

    Off-Topic but kind of a rant, I hate it when a game includes multi-player achievements in the completion process of a game. That takes out a lot of folks who want to get 100%, but don't like MP action. Boo!

    Posted: February 9, 2011 12:30 AM
  • orangecrow

    RTS games can be quite puzzling

    Posted: February 9, 2011 12:03 AM
  • kanabo master

    Puzzle board games are fun....Puzzle video games,the worst gaming idea........ever

    Posted: February 8, 2011 8:32 PM
  • Angelicsin87

    grammer nazis

    Posted: February 8, 2011 8:23 PM
  • rikkuster

    Very well put, Adam. I agree. When puzzles are too difficult in a game that isn't a puzzle game by nature it can really take me out of the experience and frustrate me.

    Posted: February 8, 2011 5:40 PM
  • kings_legacy

    Yeah I use to feel bad about cheating on puzzles for a game but they were only the ones that stopped me from progressing anymore. I changed my mind frame as sometimes they hinder my progress from enjoying the game further.

    With that said I will spend some time on it but after that expires and turns to complete frustration its gamefaqs for me. Damn that site has saved quite few controllers from getting broken.

    Posted: February 8, 2011 5:22 PM
  • wiggum

    I like puzzles in games. Unless I can't solve them. Then I get mad. But I think God of Castlevania, oops, I mean Castlevania: Gods of Shadow (!) got it right. Players were rewarded for solving the puzzles but if they got stuck, they could unlock the solutions anyway and forfeit the reward. That's a really cool concept and one I think more games should try to incorporate somehow. 'Cause there's nothing worse than having a game come to a grinding halt because you can't figure something out and you have to pause it and go look up the solution online or something, which is just a giant pain in the patootie. Hee, I said patootie.

    Posted: February 8, 2011 4:20 PM
  • mdevlin3107

    puzzles are a great thing for games. it is puzzles that I feel keep games like Adam said as shooters from being just that. developers should really incorporate puzzles into all genres of games because without them everything seems to just get repetative. now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't like to see a puzzle in madden, but without puzzles we would have never been able to experence games like Ico, Limbo, Braid, Echochrome...etc.

    Posted: February 8, 2011 4:09 PM