5 Toughest Puzzle Games on Xbox Series X|S
With time, seeing how much the puzzle genre has transformed since its inception is impressive. At the start, I would engage in puzzle games similar to jigsaw puzzles. I just had to move pieces around until they arrived at the end of the level. In some way, such a manner of game does not call into my more profound thoughts.
Nowadays, there is no limit to how far and how complicated puzzle games can go. There are those that adhere to the older style but add new elements. The first glance at a puzzle game lures you in with colorful graphics and seemingly simple mechanics. As I have played, I now know that beneath such charming exteriors lie some brutal riddles and mind-bending challenges that would leave me scratching my head for hours on end. As a passionate game enthusiast, I’ve embarked on a challenging adventure to explore the Xbox Series X|S. On this journey, I have handpicked the toughest puzzle games on Xbox Series X|S that will test your wits, problem-solving skills, and patience.
5. A Plague Tale: Innocence
Developed by Asobo Studio, A Plague Tale: Innocence takes the player on a delving and emotional journey through medieval France. I am a fan of the 2019 survival-horror game. As such, a treatment for the Xbox series X|S was a fantastic step. As I began my playthrough, I forgot how amazing the game looked. Set in medieval France, the game is so mesmerizing that I am not ashamed to admit that I spent a good chunk of my time just glued to it, exploring, and absorbing my surroundings. Such an amazing game combines stealth, puzzles, and a compelling narrative to create an unforgettable gaming experience.
A Plague Tale: Innocence puts you in the shoes of Amicia, a girl desperately trying to protect her younger brother, Hugo, from the Inquisition and the plague-infested rats that ravage the land. As a player, you need to make sure that you manage to avoid the Inquisition soldiers and protect yourself and your brother.
You may think that the game entails running from threats. However, it also entails a lot of puzzle-solving that will be necessary for you and Hugo to get out of a tight spot. Just remember that this is not a co-op game.
Superliminal is a first-person game that challenges your perception of reality. Imagine yourself sleeping at 2:00 a.m. You close your eyes to a particular dream therapy program. When waking up, you wake up in an unfamiliar environment, only to see that you are stuck in a dream where perception is reality. That is Superliminal for you. The game is a first-person puzzle game inspired by perspective and optical illusions. As a player, you must tackle impossible puzzles by thinking outside the box and learning to expect the unexpected.
The game brings a delightfully subdued world, a fascinatingly spoken narrative, and peculiar things.
Superliminal has some mind-bending mechanics surrounding a forced perspective, which will make you question everything you see. As you progress through the game’s dreamlike environments, it is necessary for you to manipulate objects and solve puzzles by exploiting the game’s unique perspective-based mechanics. Superliminal brings a surreal atmosphere and clever puzzle design, paving the way for a mentally demanding experience.
3. The Talos Principle
The Talos Principle presents players with an introspective journey. If you love brain teasers and philosophy, this game is better than a movie night. It entails an intelligent game that does not punish you for it. It is also a puzzle game that paves the way for a sense of creativity.
The game has several mechanical processes underpinned by a compelling breadcrumb-trail narrative that tackles the intangible notions of humanity and consciousness. It is a first-person game that requires playing as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot in simulation. The setting is a world in ruins, and it requires you to understand what is going on, who you are, and what intelligence really means. As such, the game calls for you to solve a number of puzzles. The game features a variety of puzzle types, from classic logic puzzles to manipulating lasers and drones. Its thought-provoking storyline and challenging puzzles make the game captivating and present an intellectually stimulating experience.
Developed by Housemarque, Returnal is a roguelike puzzle-combat extravaganza on this list. The roguelike third-person shooter happens on an ever-changing alien planet, where, as a player, you assume the role of Selene, an astronaut trapped in an endless loop of resurrection. When the game opens, it does so abruptly, setting you among the stars as deep space voyager Selene Vassos.
In the game, Selene is stuck in a bizarre, infinite time loop in which every death brings her back to the crash site and scrambles her brain a little. As you battle many hostile creatures, you will likely encounter some intricate puzzles that unlock new areas and reveal the planet’s mysteries. With such challenging combat mechanics and complicated level design, Returnal blends action and puzzle-solving, ensuring an adrenaline-fueled experience.
1. The Witness
Topping our list of the toughest puzzle games on Xbox Series X|S is The Witness. Developed by Jonathan Blow, The Witness sets players on a mysterious, beautiful island filled with complex puzzles. In the game, you wake up on a strange island, unaware of where and why you are there. The island is filled with puzzles you will need to solve. There are over 500 puzzles in the game, with every single one of them providing more information on why you are on the island. The most exciting thing about the puzzles is that no two puzzles are the same. As such, each one brings something new into the mix, keeping the game fresh.
As the game progresses, it progressively introduces new mechanics and challenges that call for careful observation and logical thinking. The Witness has a non-linear structure, which encourages exploration and rewards players who dare to go deeper. I enjoyed playing this game because of its minimalistic visuals and ambient soundtracks that create an immersive atmosphere—an experience you cannot miss since it enhances some enigmatic experiences. Be prepared for several “aha!” moments as you unlock the island’s secrets.
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