The best PC games of 2013
Publisher: Golden Tricycle
Isometric puzzler where the player guides a quadrupedal robot through a series of cel-shaded challenge rooms. It's all about manipulating blocks to unlock routes and prevent an enemy robot from catching you. Manipulating lasers using reflective cubes give it a touch of Portal.
Publisher: Suspicious Developments
Release: June 3
PC Gamer’s Tom Francis is making a 2D stealth game where the player attempts to break into a series of high-security facilities using a tool that allows you to rewire electronic equipment - making a lightswitch open a door, for example. Don’t tell him, but it’s looking pretty good.
Tetrobot And Co.
Publisher: Swing Swing Submarine
Release: October 15
Swing Swing Submarine!'s follow-up to Blocks that Matter is taking criticism of the original to heart, dialing back the frustration and attempting to make the core game more accessible. Fans of Blocks that Matter should still expect a challenge, however.
Publisher: Tom Jubert
A spoof noir story, Ir/rational Investigator may look like an adventure game, but it departs from rote in a big way: pointing-and-clicking is replaced by a puzzle minigame in which you unpick bits of if-then-else propositional logic.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release: March 28
Dungeon Hearts is a hybrid puzzle and roleplaying game that combines match-three and JRPG-style battling with, in the words of the developers, 'the ever-escalating pace of Canabalt'. It was picked up by Devolver Digital during GDC 2012 when the Serious Sam publisher had indie devs jump on a bus to pitch them games.
Publisher: Jason Roberts
Release: Late 2013
Gorogoa is a puzzle game where the play rearranges tiles to change the properties of the environment. Each tile is a self-contained puzzle, and each puzzle informs the whole. It sounds brain-achingly complicated, and the classical art style helps it to stand out.
The Franz Kafka Videogame
Release: TBC 2013
There's little to go on with The Franz Kafka Videogame right now, beyond the fact it's an adventure/puzzle game featuring everyone's favourite existentialist author. Alright, not everyone's favourite, because you can never know everyone. In fact, do you even know yourself? Because to truly know yourself you surely have to be confident in your own existence, and to... oh my.
Publisher: Haptix Games
H2Flow sees players trying to guide a flow of water from the top of a level to the bottom, avoiding obstacles along the way. Sort of like a liquid Lemmings. It looks to be primarily an iOS project, but will be coming to PC too.
Publisher: Rain Games
2D puzzle-platformer in which you change the polarity of platforms with a handheld device, sending them hurtling to or from their magnetic opposites - all in aid of solving a conspiracy.
Release: May 1
Shortly before creator Phil Fish's dramatic departure from game development, astonishingly beautiful puzzle-platformer Fez finally came to PC, after a year's exclusivity to the Xbox 360. Fez eschews combat for cryptic puzzles, which tend to be based around hero Gomez's ability to revolve his three-dimensional world a bit like a Rubik's cube. A sequel was briefly announced, before being cancelled just a few weeks later.
Publisher: Facepalm Games
Release: May 30
An atmospheric sci-fi title made out of clay and other bits and bobs. No, it's not Aardman's long-awaited remake of 2001; The Swapper is a contemplative, clone-based puzzle-platformer that will stick with you – and you, and you and you and you – for quite some time.