One of my great loves, as you may well know from my other articles, is the puzzle genre of games. These are for when you just need to kick back and enjoy solving problems at your own pace. Sure, there’s something to be said for fast-paced action and drama, but you can’t beat a refined, satisfying puzzle experience. Here are two awesome puzzle games I’ve enjoyed recently; as with most of what I review, they can be found on Steam.
Zen Bound 2 by Secret Exit
Whenever the challenges of life get you down, you just need to unwind… and that is a pretty lame pun regarding the gameplay of this beautiful-looking title. Actually, you’re holding a strange, magical rope and are in control of a wooden figurine of some sort, and your mission is, by turning and rotating it, to cover as much of the figurine with paint (which is spread by the rope) as possible. This sounds pretty simple, and it is, but this second game in the series (which started out for iOS devices like iPod, iPhone and iPad) adds nail bombs, which explode upon being touched by the rope, spreading paint, and rope bombs, nodules of paint located along the rope which explode as the rope as laid against the figurine.
The game has a very oriental feel to it, with paper lamps, tea-bag tags and relaxing music. I very highly recommend it, and give it five stars!
Bejeweled 3 by Popcap Games
Popcap have released many casual games in the span of their existence, but few have had the staying power of the Bejeweled series. The simple concept – match three jewels together, they disappear, the rest come down – has captured gamers’ attention for years. But now Popcap’s most ambitious offering, on par with the also-revolutionary Bejeweled Twist (which involves matching four jewels together in a square pattern), is the third in the main Bejeweled series.
Initially offering four modes, including the Classic mode (see how many matches you can make before you run out of moves), Zen (match while never worrying about running out), Lightning (make as many matches as you can in one minute) and Quest (40 levels in all challenge you in various ways), four more may be unlocked: Poker, Butterflies, Ice Storm and Diamond Mine. This pretty much results in endless replay value depending on your playing preference.
I never get bored when I play this game, no matter which mode I choose. I give this one a solid five stars!