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5 Ruthless Puzzle Games That Will Test Your IQ

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Puzzle games The Talos Principle

There are different levels of puzzles in terms of complexity. While some may be easy to solve thoughtlessly, others can be so tough that most players just give up on them. Such games may appear to be of simple design but carry complicated content. This is mostly fine because puzzle games are not known for their graphics but for their intricate content. Some players enjoy a challenge, but after playing most puzzle games and completing them effortlessly, they may become dull. 

That's when the need to venture into more challenging puzzles emerges. We look at some of the hardest puzzle games of all time and find out what makes them so tough. As a puzzle game fan, you can finally consider yourself a puzzle master after completing every puzzle game on this list. Do you dare accept the challenge? Well, let's take a look at what's in store for you in this list of five ruthless puzzle games that will test your IQ.


5. The Witness

The Witness - Release Date Trailer | PS4

First, we have The Witness, a fantastic adventure game that serves you both amazing scenery and mind-boggling puzzles. The game features a scenic island containing both artificial and natural structures. Your task is simple; unlock new domains on the map, one puzzle at a time. What is not simple, however, is solving the puzzles. 

Mainly because the game does not offer you any guidelines on how to solve these challenges, you have to decipher the symbols in the puzzle solely on your own. However, the game lets you try and fail without consequence to enable you to come up with the right solutions. Many people find the game too difficult due to the complexity of its puzzles.


4. SpaceChem

For science-loving puzzle fans, we have SpaceChem, a puzzle game based on chemical bonding and automation principles. Here, your task is to manipulate molecules to form new ones. You do this by programming two manipulators known as waldos that can interact with molecules and atoms. You have to accurately assemble these molecules in order to come up with new particles. The more you build, the more complex the new batch of molecules gets. However, you don't necessarily need to be an expert in chemistry to play; you only need to understand the instructions, as the game offers guidelines on what you need to know. 

Like most puzzle games, the more you play SpaceChem, the more complex it gets. It even gets to a point where going forward seems impossible. In most cases, people just give up and end up never completing the game because it is too tough to crack. As if that's not enough, SpaceChem also includes additional but optional hard modes as well as final boss levels. Because of the nature of the puzzles, the game has been incorporated in some educational institutions to help teach chemistry and programming-related concepts.


3. Fez

FEZ - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Moving on to an indie production, we have Fez, a 2D game set in a 3D world. That's right, Fez is both 2D and 3D in that you play in 2D and can also rotate the world in 90-degrees increments. This feature is essential to the gameplay and Fez's main puzzle conclusion. The rotation mechanism lets you view four facings, discovering new paths as you play. Your main task is to collect particular cubes meant to restore the fate of the universe; by exploring the 3D world and tackling variant puzzles as you progress. 

Here, you don't have to fight enemies or bosses. Your sole task is puzzle solving. The game's playable character, Gomez, resides on a 2D plane until there is a break in spacetime, which leads to the opening of a third dimension. By jumping between ledges, he can traverse the environment that is falling apart. There are various factors in his path that can either boost or slow down his movements. These include bombs, crates, and pistons.


2. Discworld

Discworld Trailer 1995

Coming up next is Discworld, one of the most complex point-and-click puzzle games you will ever play. Step into the shoes of Rincewind, a wizard in the fantastical city of Ankh-Morpork. Rincewind is on a mission to stop a dragon from terrorizing the people of his city. Many elements of the game come from various “Discworld” novels. Point-and-click puzzle games are always challenging; however, this game takes the bar a bit higher in regard to its puzzles. Discworld contains some of the toughest puzzles, known to give even the best puzzle game players a tough time. 

This is a third-person game that involves exploring different parts of Discworld in search of items to solve puzzles. You can interact with different people in each location in the game. Collect objects required to obtain other items and solve puzzles, after which you can get rid of obstacles and progress in the game. There are also new subjects to learn during the game by interacting with various people in it.


1. The Talos Principle

Talos Principle - Launch Trailer

Going deeper into a more philosophical puzzle game is The Talos Principle. This is a narrative-based game that you can play from either a third or first-person perspective. The game borrows a few elements from Greek mythology, including its name, Talos, who is the robotic giant that protected Europe from invaders. The Talos Principle gives you the role of a robot with a consciousness similar to that of a human. There are over 100 puzzles to decipher as you move through different environments in the game. 

You have to solve a puzzle to move to the next area, and failure to do so may lead to your death. The difficulty levels intensify with the more puzzles you solve, with the addition of even more puzzle elements. These include AI-controlled drones that can blow you up if they get too close. If you die before completing a particular section, the game takes you to the beginning of the puzzle. This is one of the games that will test your IQ as well as your patience.

Which video game from the list above do you think is the most ruthless puzzle game that will test your IQ? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!


Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.