The best Puzzle/platformers
Puzzle/platformers tend to go hand in hand, blending the two genres, but not always. So if you're in the market for a good mind-bender or want to test your reflexes, you'll find what you need on PS4, be it one of its many fantastic puzzle games or impeccable platformers that became beloved titles among fans.
Inside and Limbo
Inside couldn't be on this list without Limbo, and vice versa, so what better way to include them than in a bundle? Both feature physics-based puzzles, 2.5D graphics, and a minimalist color palette using mostly blacks and whites with some muted colors. The eerie atmosphere that developer Playdead can create through visuals and sound is second to none.
Neither game has a word of spoken dialogue or text and yet has some of the most thought-provoking narratives to come out in years. I won't spoil the ending of either one, but just know that they're open for plenty of interpretation. Inside takes place in a dystopic world where a factory appears to be experimenting on people, bending the laws of reality. Limbo takes place in what appears to be a forest meant to symbolize the titular limbo on the edge of hell.
Inside/Limbo Double Pack
Inside and Limbo are both impeccable platformers with their own unique styles, and developer Playdead bundled them both up in one package. Even though no words are spoken in either game, they somehow have a lot to say.
The Witness is strictly a puzzle game with little platforming involved. Across a sprawling island, you'll come to find several hundred puzzles, most of which can be solved through the manipulation of grids and mazes. I know that might sound simple, but it really isn't. You'll come to find some of the hardest puzzles you've ever had to solve in The Witness.
There's no in-game menu to give you hints or tell you what to do. Instead, the Witness drops you in and completely lets go of your hand. Tackle the puzzles as you see fit, and be sure to pay attention to the environment. While some puzzles are easily identifiable, others are not. It's best to keep a pen and paper on hand to keep track of what you do and help solve puzzles along the way.
Don't let it fool you. The Witness is one of the hardest puzzle games out there, some you might even need a pen and paper for. However, when you finally solve them, you'll feel like a certified genius.
To make it to the top of Celeste Mountain, you'll need some fast reflexes. Despite its cute, pixelated art style, Celeste is an unforgiving platformer unless you use its Assist Mode. Part of what makes Celeste so good is that almost anyone can play it from start to finish with little resistance if they so choose.
Celeste also features a touching story surrounding mental illness and anxiety, one that's done with more sensitivity than most. Much like Madeline in the game, you too can overcome your hardships. The journey isn't always easy, but it is possible.
Not only is this a stellar platformer, but it also has a touching story to boot. It might appear extremely difficult at first, but Celeste has an assist mode that modifies the difficulty and makes it accessible to nearly anyone
Everyone loves a good Metroidvania. I just hope they like bugs as well. Hollow Knight takes place in the insect-ridden kingdom of Hallownest. As the playable Knight, also known as the vessel, explores Hallownext, you'll come to discover the mysteries of the land and what led to the plague slowly consuming its inhabitants.
Hollow Knight has multiple endings depending on some of your actions within the game, leading the infection to either be destroyed and continue thriving. If you start playing and find yourself really enjoying it, Hollow Knight has a couple of expansions to keep you busy.
Sometimes nothing's better than a good ol' Metroidvania. Hollow Knight is a great example of the power of Kickstarter. Not all projects are doomed. Pick up your sword (nail) and take on the enemies of Hallownest.
This is another Metroidvania that's near-perfect. Axiom Verge takes place in the alien world of Sudra. After your character, a scientist, is knocked out during an explosion, you awake on this alien planet and attempt to uncover its secrets, all the while being led by a massive mechanical being known as Elsenova, one of the only survivors of a pathogen that decimated the Sudrans.
Axiom Verge has some of the best boss battles in a Metroidvania to date, and its platforming sections are nothing to sneeze at either. A sequel is being planned to release at some point, but I highly recommend playing this one first. I guarantee you won't regret it.
Axiom Verge is the pinnacle of a modern-day platformer that takes inspiration from retro games before it. Explore the ancient alien world of Sudra and battle monstrous bosses as you uncover the long-forgotten secrets of its inhabitants.
Axiom Verge 2
When Axion Verge first launched, it harkened back to the days of Metroid and Castlevania. Featuring responsive controls, a gorgeous retro art style, rewarding exploration, and difficult gameplay, it was hard to see how a sequel could live up to the high bar it set, but Axiom Verge did just that. While it takes place in the same universe as the first, Axiom Verge 2, it features a new set of weapons, maps, and a new character. You don't need to play the original to fully enjoy it.
In this reality-bending adventure, you'll discover what appears to be the ruins of an alien Earth. Using some handy tools and weapons at your disposal, you'll traverse a variety of landscapes as you hope to uncover the secrets behind the mysterious civilization. Any fan of Metroidvanias will want to give this a go.
Axiom Verge 2
Axiom Verge 2 takes everything that made the first game so good and refines it for an even better experience. This new world holds a vast amount of secrets awaiting players.
2D side-scrollers don't get much better than Shovel Knight. At first glance, you might mistake it as a game from the '80s or '90s, but it's a modern title made to emulate those retro classics. Its platforming is impeccable, and the way it utilizes checkpoints with risk/reward mechanics adds a nice twist. Should you destroy a checkpoint, you'll be granted more treasure, but be careful because one wrong move could have you start the entire level over.
Take on the Order of No Quarter and the evil Enchantress to save Shield Knight, all with your trusty shovel at your side. Shovel Knight features a couple of DLC campaigns where players can control Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight. This is one of the most successful Kickstarted games to date.
Defeat the Order of No Quarter and save your beloved Shield Knight in this excellent 2D side-scrolling platformer, complete with its amazing campaign expansions.
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.