Puzzle

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build trailer introduces the charming, chilly puzzler

Phil Savage at

Take a short break from slowly toasting in the Summer heat to appreciate this trailer for the snow-filled puzzle game A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build. It's a Sokoban-style block-pushing game, in which you must create a snowman by rolling and stacking snowballs of descending size. It's as close to the Winter months as most of us will get without resting our head in a freezer.


Fleish and Cherry sets a puzzle-filled adventure in a 1930s cartoon

Omri Petitte at

Most of us weren't born early enough to witness the pioneering of American animation during the early 1900s. Classics such as Steamboat Willie, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat brightened many faces troubled by the Great Depression with a distinctive, bouncy style—a humble hand-drawn origin for the richly colored CGI of today's films. As games reflect the kind of art we enjoy in our culture, I'm glad for the extra attention given to Fleish & Cherry, a Greenlit puzzler themed after Fleischer-esque cartoons with a tale of rescue, jealousy, and obligatory slapstick humor.


Fract OSC review

Cory Banks at

I love music. I love the way it makes me feel, how a few simple notes strung together in a pattern can fill me with joy. Move the notes in just the right way and that joy becomes sadness. It’s a kind of magic, one that should be fertile ground to explore in a game. That’s what Fract OSC attempts to do, and I really wanted it to succeed. But after spending some time in the game’s world, I don’t find myself feeling much of anything at all.


Life Goes On review

Tyler Wilde at

I love how death is such a versatile tool in games. It can mean failure, total defeat, or be the first of many; it can be tragic, it can reveal new information, it can be funny. In Life Goes On, collapsing into a heap of silly limbs is the only way forward. Using death as a puzzle solving tool is a smart and inventive subversion of the usual fail state, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen it done like this before. I'm also disappointed that it was executed so weakly.


Source SDK mod Estranged: Act I now on Steam for free

Omri Petitte at

It's always nice to see a mod progress from humble beginnings to its own Steam product page, and Estranged is fully deserving of the achievement. Alan Edwardes' spooky, puzzle-filled FPS plays and looks like a first-person Alan Wake, and it's an excellent deviation from standard run-and-gun zombie-fragging with its supernatural twists and an atmospheric sense of foreboding. The first act is available on Steam as a free download independent of any Source-based game, so you won't need Half-Life 2 to jump in and start exploring.


Samorost 3 details revealed - will have three planets, each with their own distinct soundtracks

Tom Sykes at

Amanita Design's stunning adventure games have become inseparable from their beautifully jazzy, experimental soundtracks, provided by one of the very best in the business, Tomas Dvorak (AKA Floex). Now, a few details of the long-awaited Samorost 3 have come to light, courtesy of an Igloo Mag interview with the man himself. The full-length sequel will feature three different planets, each with their own "needs" - needs that Dvorak is meeting with a multi-part soundtrack that may be his most ambitious yet.

New indie puzzler Sokobond could be your next chemistry teacher

Patrick Carlson at

What's the difference between water and cyanide, anyway? Chemistry explains how the bits and pieces that make up the universe hold themselves together and Sokobond, a new indie puzzle game from developers Alan Hazelden and Harry Lee, wants to help you understand how all those elements, compounds, and molecules actually function.


The Swapper review

Cassandra Khaw at

Built of clay and the echoes of Stanley Kubrick’s creative ghost, sidescrolling puzzler The Swapper is superb. It’s clever, moody and forward-thinking in its disdain for conventional, permaroided protagonists, but also irrepressibly frustrating. Like the charming rapscallion you can’t help but like, The Swapper will drive you up the wall and have you coming back for more.


Magrunner: Dark Pulse review

Marsh Davies at

Magnets! How do they work?! Inquisitive rap artists will only be further confused by Magrunner: Dark Pulse, a firstperson Portal-alike in which the principle puzzle gimmick – magnetising stuff – functions in exactly the way reality doesn’t.

In Magrunner, similar charges attract one another and opposite charges repel. You can imbue selected objects with either polarity simply by clicking on them, thanks to a hand-mounted device that can also fire a magnetised robotic dog, enabling you to shunt polarised platforms hither and thither, or surf across test chambers on the back of a suddenly repelled cube.


The sinisterly cute Ittle Dew is out today on Steam

Katie Williams at

Yes, I know Ittle Dew's name may sound like something you'd mumble into a fluffy cat's belly fur, but the Zelda-inspired puzzle-adventure is a little surlier than that. Ittle Dew—in which, as Tom noted, you get to play as a complete jerk—has been released on multiple channels, opening up the smacking of innocent RPG-dwelling crystals to PC gamers everywhere.


Toki Tori 2+ flutters onto Steam with massive discount, extended till end of Summer sale

Tom Sykes at

I can't decide if it's good luck or bad for the Steam summer sale to emerge from the undergrowth just as you're about to launch your new game - though it's almost certainly bad luck if you decide not to join in. Developers Two Tribes - Rush, Edge - did join in with the festivities, slashing 34% off their new game Toki Tori 2+ from its first day of appearing on Steam. If you missed the birdy metroidvania's daily deal, however, the good news is that Two Tribes have extended the savings for the entirety of the Steam sale, which runs until the 22nd of July.


Light-and-dark platformer Contrast looks appropriately shady in these screenshots

Katie Williams at

Ah—it's good to catch up with Contrast again, especially after the swank cabaret show that was its first trailer. Now the indie platformer's venturing out of the dark again, this time with a handful of screenshots demonstrating its vaudevillian flair.


Incredipede free for Linux users, 50% off for less open-source operating systems

Phil Savage at

Animal creation puzzler Incredipede is holding an "Open Source Appreciation week", in which Linux users are being rewarded with a free copy of the game. As users of the open-source OS crawl, roll and sproing away with their newly gifted present, there's no need for other platform users to feel abandoned. You're being given a not insignificant 50% off, instead.


Oknytt explores the dark forest of Swedish folklore as a puzzle adventure game

Ian Birnbaum at

Master Reboot: a gorgeous indie horror adventure set inside the Cloud (no, not that one)

Tom Sykes at

And now for a completely different kind of Cloud to the one that's hovering all around us, keeping us from playing certain games or consoles when our internet drops out. Indie adventure/puzzle/horror Master Reboot revolves around the Soul Cloud, which lets you "upload your soul to our dedicated servers and relax knowing that a part of you will live on for eternity". Sounds like a perfectly fine scenario where nothing at all will go wrong - oh, I mentioned this had horror elements, right? The gorgeous first-person adventure has just been added to Steam Greenlight, and it's worth a look if you're a fan of Kairo or Dear Esther.


Explore 7,000 years of family history in 7 Grand Steps

Katie Williams at

7 Grand Steps looks like a beautiful, compelling, hyper-intricate game. Out today, the board-game-like historical tale will have you traversing 7,000 years as easily as dropping coins into a slot.


Organic Panic has fruit fighting back against meat in destructible puzzle levels

Ian Birnbaum at

Organic Panic is what happens when destructible environments and robust level editing powers get blended up with a puzzle-platformer, ridiculous characters and a generous handful of kale. (I’m just guessing on the kale. I don’t know the real recipe.)

Gunpoint released: here's the launch trailer and the reason why we're not reviewing it

Graham Smith at

Gunpoint, the 2D stealth-puzzle game about rewiring electronics and falling from great heights, has been released and is now available from Steam and the Humble Store. To mark the occasion, game designer and PC Gamer section editor Tom Francis has released a trailer that explains what the game is about. (Hint: rewiring electronics and falling from great heights).

Watch the trailer below, and find an explanation of the extremely obvious reasons why we're not reviewing the game.


Contrast is a dual-world light-and-shadow platformer

Katie Williams at

Well, this sure is an oddball thing: Contrast has squished noir together with a vaguely circus-like aesthetic, and it actually kind of works. This good-looking platformer plays on light and shadow in the literal sense—you'll be able to run around normally one moment, and in the next, switch to the world of shadow to reach areas not otherwise within reach.


The Swapper clones itself to Steam May 30th, celebrates with a clayful new trailer

Tom Sykes at

You remember The Swapper, right? For beneath that rather bland name lies a gorgeous handmade science-fiction platformer in which you have the power to make clones of yourself. Rather than using them to do chores or carry him aloft like a war hero, Swapper Guy uses them to solve puzzles, admittedly in one of the most striking, atmospheric indie games of recent years. Head here for a reminder, then stick around for a very Promethean trailer - oh and the news that it's heading to Steam on May 30th.