Those looking to test their intelligence, problem-solving, reflexes, and wit will find some of the best mind-benders on PlayStation 4 below. Puzzles and platformers tend to go hand-in-hand in a lot of cases, so you'll see a few on this list, along with games that are primarily puzzle-based.
★ Featured favorite
You can teach an old dog new tricks, or you can still innovate on a decades-old classic like Tetris. It might be hard to imagine how to keep such a simple premise fresh for all this time, but Tetris Effect does so with a spectacular blast of colors and music. Everything on the screen — from the background and special effects to the Tetris pieces themselves — reacts with your input as you progress through its dozens of stages.
Inside/Limbo Double Pack
Whereas many of the aforementioned games are full of color (even going as far as utilizing color in their puzzles), Inside and Limbo are the exact opposite. These sidescrollers are almost entirely monochromatic, save for a few specifically placed drops of colors, giving them both a morose atmosphere. If that isn't enough to get your spirits down, the puzzles in these games are absolutely unforgiving. One false move and you'll quickly suffer a gruesome death.
Connect the dots
The sheer scale of The Witness in terms of a puzzle game is immense. Featuring several hundred puzzles across a sprawling island, you'll be occupied for quite some time trying to solve them all. Some of these mind benders, which are usually found in the form of grids and mazes around the environment, even caused a lot of players to bust out the old pen and paper to try and help figure them out.
While you wait for Portal 3…
To scratch that itch in the long (likely indefinite) wait for a possible new Portal game, try Q.U.B.E. 2. It doesn't quite have that same dark humor and charm that Portal does, but Q.U.B.E.2 is a fantastic substitute when it comes to its physics-based puzzles. With only a pair of gloves, you'll be restructuring and manipulating the environment to work your way towards the center of the complex you're in.
Grief and loss
RiME is one-part puzzler, one-part 3D platformer, and another part depressing as you metaphorically work through the five stages of grief by solving various kinds of puzzles around an uninhabited island with a spirit guiding your path. The ups and downs of this emotional journey are well worth any frustrations the environmental puzzles give you.
The Turing Test
As its name suggests, The Turing Test plays with themes of artificial intelligence and humanity. Set on the base of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, The Turing Test challenges you to redistribute power throughout the facility with the use of a special device to unlock doors and other machines. Don't always trust what the AI tells you, though.
Not your typical hotel
The Spectrum Retreat
The Penrose Hotel is full of mysteries, and the only way to solve them is by working your way to the top. To do so, you'll be tasked with completing dozens of levels of color-based puzzles, all the while learning the truth behind your unfortunate stay. Not everything is as it first seems, and The Spectrum Retreat has a lot to say about today's politics and our health care system.
Match the colors
In a world devoid of color, anything other than black and white is a breath of fresh air. To save your missing mother, you'll need to collect several color fragments and bring color back into the world. The more colors you unlock, the harder the puzzles get. And you'll need to switch between them on-the-go to progress.
The Talos Principle
The Talos Principle is there for all you history buffs and philosophy nerds. Puzzles integrated within the ruins of ancient civilizations await you along with a thought-provoking story taking cues from various mythologies. Turrets and roaming bombs are just some of the obstacles blocking your path to enlightenment.
All shapes and sizes
Thomas Was Alone
Part puzzle game and part platformer, Thomas Was Alone remains one of the better puzzle games of this generation due to its minimalist style, incredibly addicting gameplay, and a group of characters that is surprisingly charming and endearing. Not many games can get you to relate to simple shapes and blocks, but Thomas Was Alone is witty enough to get you to.
Letters of love
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
It isn't often that a puzzle game comes packaged with an incredibly heartwarming story, but Valiant Hearts: The Great War does. Valiant Hearts is inspired by letters written during World War I, and follows four friends on the battlefield as you assist a solider in his search for love. Progressing through the story involves collecting items and solving puzzles, and due to how engaging the story is, you won't want to stop until you've finished.
Pick your puzzle
Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, but a well-polished title like Tetris Effect (opens in new tab) proves that sometimes what seems to be the simplest of tasks are the most challenging (and fun). There's a reason the series has withstood the test of time and is even popular today, decades after its initial inception.
If that doesn't do it for you, try out the Inside/Limbo Double Pack (opens in new tab) to test your skills. They're both nearly-perfect platformers full of diabolical puzzles that'll require quick thinking lest you befall a gruesome death. No pressure or anything.
If you're looking for something that will tug at your heartstrings, try out Valiant Hearts: The Great War, or something like Thomas Was Alone. Both games are not only incredible puzzle titles, but also provide surprisingly gripping stories in the process. Regardless of what type of puzzle game you're looking for, there's tons to choose from.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.