Episode 70: More Puzzle Game Suggestions

We hit some of the highlights with our puzzle primer episode and Carlos certainly helped us fill in some of the gaps. But there's a lot of puzzle games we did not mention and still need some love.

That's where you come in! You challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to suggest another puzzle game we did not mention on the show and (when possible) tell us a little about it. Between the lot of us, I bet we can come up with a fairly comprehensive reference list for puzzle gamehounds new and old.

To get the ball rolling, we're giving away four copies of the Score application for the iPhone. These prizes were generously donated by Ryan Christianson, the masked programmer behind the app (thanks, Ryan!).

For each puzzle game you suggest, you'll get an entry into the contest. The deadline for the contest is January 11, midnight (EST). Four days for four prizes. Should be fun!

Of course, prize or not, we hope you'll participate in the forum and add to the list. It's amazing how many of these games are lurking in the shadows and need a champion, like you!

Good luck and thanks for your help!


I'll start the ball rolling (but you need not include me in the contest - international listener without an iphone) :)

Tantrix - Tantrix provides a pretty descent 2 to 4 player abstract game but also included with the game is about 35 puzzles to work out, albeit for only 1 player.  The game includes 56 hexagon tiles (think thin Hive tiles) with 3 different coloured lines on each.  Each line is one of 4 standard colours.  Tiles are placed to extend the curving paths of each colour with most of the puzzles requiring a loop in a particular colour.  

As it is durable and comes in a carry/draw bag, it is a really nice game to throw in the travel bag to play on the plane or in a restaurant.

BGG game number: 1038    

A couple of years ago I was given a set of 10 tiles which was a series of puzzles.  It's fun & just challening enough to keep my fully occupied for a couple of hours.  So it's cool that it's a game.  I am going to have to keep an eye out.  Thank you.

You can actually give the game a go online at www.tantrix.com against AI and real opponents to see if you like the game as much as the solo puzzles. Multiplayer has a very different feel.  

I've got to check that one out as well.  Boy this online/pbemail game thing may keep me from going into withdraws.  Thank you. I am hoping I enjoy the game.  Also, I probably ought to send my wife over to check it out as well.

Excellent choice.

We sold a TON of Tantrix at the local game store I worked at when I was in graduate school. We had a bunch of tiles set out on a display table for quick demos. It is so easy to learn and visually appealing.

I had NO idea about Tantrix spaghetti. Makes me want to dig out my set and see what I can come up with.

Then you can compete for a world record:


Wow.  I didn't realise that the record had been broken.

- Completed with 43,544 tiles

- Each game has 56 tiles

- So 777 complete games (plus some extra tiles?!?)

- Estimating that each game costs around $20 US

- That's over $15 000 US to challenge the record.  

Maybe the record for Carrcassonne would be easier to get. 


I don't know if it's even available anymore, but my wife came to the marriage with a kind of fun little puzzle solving  race game Rubik's Race.   Apparently she & her sister played quite a lot of it when they were growing up.  The game is kind of like a cross between a Mosaic puzzle and boggle.  Each side of the board had A four by four grid of mosaic tiles with an open space so you could slide them around.  (If I recall correctly,.) In between them was a hinged screen with an open 3 x 3 square.  Then there was a plastic box with a 3x3 grid i the floor and 9 multi-colored cubes.  similar to a small boggle box.   You would shake up the box and set it between the players and each player would then frenetically race to slide their tiles around so that the middle 3 squares matched the colors on the top of the cubes (color dice?).  Once having accomplished it, you would enthusiastically slam the screen down on your side of the board declaring your supremacy whilst your opponent studied the framed 3x3 square desperately hoping the pattern didn't match. 

 As I recall it was a fairly fun game.  very quick, and color blind friendly. 

Rubik's Race was recently re-published and is available at Toys'R Us as Frame It.  At least, they had it in stock about 5 months ago.

I don't think I have ever seen this one before. Looks like it would be great fun.

It's interesting how the Rubik's craze was able to get many other puzzle games to market.  I tend to think name branding like that can be double edged. The power of a brand is that people will perhaps try it because they liked the Rubik's Cube, but there are also people who won't give it a shot because these other titles are seen as knock-offs or money grabs by the company trying to milk the name for all it's worth.