When a game doesn’t involve you swinging a sword, shooting a gun or dodging spike traps, what else is there to do? Not always slower, puzzle games exercise that grey matter and make us think about problems in new ways, looking for the solution to what looks impossible. If you like those bits of action-adventure games between the shooty bits, this genre is all about those puzzling moments and quandaries.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
The story of Queen Meve is something we cannot recommend enough. It is a tale of betrayal, of overcoming impossible odds and rallying the North to fight back against the Nilfgaardian Empire. Forced from her home in the early stages of the game, with a small force of soldiers under her command, you will need to use clever strategies and tactics to win the day.
To illustrate leading an army and fighting against some of the terrible evils that reside in the Witcher universe, the game plays out in a Gwent format, with many of the fights being puzzles. These puzzles are sometimes devilishly clever, requiring out of the box thinking and odd tactics to overcome. From outright silly (cows eating your soldiers) to eery (fighting an elder spirit or witch that can revive units at will) the game will throw all manner of puzzles at you, with some requiring turn perfect card usage to beat. If you like scratching your head a bit and then feeling really smart once you win, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tale is where you should be. And it means more Witcher goodness too, so why not?
Runner-Up: Tetris Effect
Honourable Mentions: Sushi Striker