The puzzle genre has adapted incredibly well to the Nintendo Switch as a platform. Perhaps because of its unique gameplay mechanics, industry-changing controller, or impressive capabilities, the console has become home to a wide range of puzzle games. Titles like Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 or Carto flip the genre on its head and provide whimsical family fun.
These titles all approach the genre itself in varying ways. Playing off of well-known Nintendo characters, morphing what audiences have come to know about the traditional side-scroller, or perhaps taking a console-wide game and adapting it to the Switch; the newest Nintendo product has certainly made waves in this gaming category. Players will be thrilled with the many alternative puzzling adventures on offer.
UPDATE: 2022/09/05 09:20 EST BY GEORGE CHRYSOSTOMOU
The Nintendo Switch is still one of the most popular consoles in the world, and for good reason. With 2022 marking the release of plenty more puzzle titles, it’s important to revisit some of the previous hits of the genre.
TT Games and Warner Bros. Entertainment Interactive have worked with some of the biggest titles and franchises in the world to create the LEGO games. All of the releases from this line have been extraordinary, with brilliant animation, gameplay mechanics, and excellent comedy moments.
While they might be adventure titles, often with open worlds, puzzle-solving is a huge aspect of these games. Ultimately, they are more fun when played in co-op, meaning players can work together, as a number of familiar characters, to solve some of the riddles and physical challenges.
Moving Out (2020)
Moving Out from SMG Studio, Devm Games, and Team17 is a bit of a modern classic within the genre. Co-op play is available, as the players team up to try and move all the items out of a designated house. It’s not as easy as it sounds though, with other challenges popping up to complete.
The fun cartoon nature of the visuals adds something to this hyperactive experience, which can turn chaotic extremely quickly. What’s so tricky about the game is that players will have to work out the best route for larger objects, how to pick up heavy items, and how to dodge the many challenging obstacles.
Picross S6 (2021)
Sometimes a puzzle game needs to take it back to basics, and that’s exactly what the Picross series has been doing since its initial release. Always popular despite what critics might say, Jupiter Corporation might have put out the best variation of this title yet.
It’s incredibly simple in its concept, with a grid-like design and number puzzles forming the basis of the idea. However, it’s highly addictive and so satisfying to complete, with an intuitive interface and perfect sound design. There’s something very calming about the title.
Snipperclips Plus (2017)
From SFB Games and Nintendo comes the absolutely ridiculous puzzle game, Snipperclips Plus which builds on the Snipperclips brand by adding additional levels and lots more fun. The stationary-themed title is packed full of humor-filled situations to unravel.
As a couch co-op, it really has thought of it all, crafting puzzles that involve interactivity above everything else. It’s whimsical and fast-paced, with the worlds that the player travels through showcasing all of their imaginative detail. It’s never too frustrating either!
Yoshi’s Crafted World (2019)
Good-Feel and Nintendo went to work on one of the latest Mario world titles, Yoshi’s Crafted World. The beautifully designed levels take players across multiple different settings, as they hunt down the gems that have been stolen. In the process they go along a platformer style of game with a difference.
While it might feel a bit like a traditional side-scroller, this isn’t a simple beat-em-up. Instead, players can work together or independently, to solve the different physical challenges that await Yoshi, while collecting all the hidden coins and daisies along the way.
Untitled Goose Game (2019)
The Untitled Goose Game really took the industry by storm. As an independent title with a strange premise, it was always possible that the game could have lived in obscurity. But developer House House ensured it would be memorable, challenging, fun, and visually stimulating despite its length.
Available on other consoles, there’s nothing like picking up the Switch to try and solve some of these complex puzzles, like attempting to carry a bell across the entirety of a town, breaking into a pub, and tricking the neighbors into thinking the goose is a statue. There are so many activities to tick off on this seemingly neverending list of tasks.
Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy (2017)
The Professor Layton franchise has been a staple of Nintendo for some time, but the Switch has continued to reinvent the title for new fans and old alike. The game series has often been the measuring stick of the puzzle genre, with players acting as detectives trying to solve many complicated mysteries.
From mini-games to wordplay, riddles, and physical challenges, one of the most recent games, Layton’s Mystery Journey, focuses on the Professor’s daughter and sees players interact with all of these sorts of puzzles. Level-5 made a smart move in making Katrielle the protagonist for the seventh installment.
Human Fall Flat (2017)
Human Fall Flat is another independent title, this time developed by No Brakes Games and Codeglue. It’s available on a variety of platforms, from consoles like the Xbox One to mobile devices and of course, the Nintendo Switch. Its gameplay is certainly unique.
While players do have to solve a number of tricky puzzles to try and get their character to the next level, the problem is that the protagonists of Human Fall Flat are incredibly difficult to control and move. It makes for some hilarious moments and is perhaps one of the most light-hearted additions to the genre, acting as a great co-op title.
Tetris 99 (2019)/Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (2020)
Tetris is an absolutely classic title, so those who want to experience the arcade puzzle game in some of its original glory will likely enjoy Tetris 99, which feels like a real throwback brought to modern consoles. However, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is also worth a mention.
A modern take on the puzzle game, it combines a couple of different Nintendo brands, with appearances from even the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and while it might not appeal to Tetris purists, is certainly a welcome step for the franchise.
Pokémon Café Mix (2020)
The Pokémon franchise has stepped into a variety of genres. While fans of the series are certainly eager for the new Detective Pikachu on Switch devices, those wanting a simpler kind of puzzle will likely enjoy Café Mix.
Inspired partially by mobile platform puzzle games, this title is compatible with smartphone devices as well. With players building their own café, they will be able to expand and customize their space, bringing in new Pokémon staff and customers, all while solving unique puzzles that play into the franchise’s strengths.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2018)
Available on both the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS, this video game takes the classic Mario franchise characters and pits them against a variety of unique challenges and puzzles. Searching for that “hidden treasure,” players get to interact with the 3D gameplay capabilities of the Switch like never before.
Presented almost like a traditional side-scroller before morphing into a much wider game, the puzzle genre hasn’t had a title quite like this before. In fact, it combines some of the elements of what may be expected from a Mario series and turns them on their head. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has garnered great critical acclaim.
Available on the Switch digital shop, Humble Games and Sunhead have created a whimsical adventure for the whole family to enjoy. With young Carto getting torn away from her family, she has to search for a way back home; players must to solve a variety of physical riddles to unlock her path.
While not a Switch exclusive, Carto takes full advantage of Switch as a platform. Players use pieces of a map almost like a jigsaw, building Carto’s path so that she can journey forward. It’s incredibly charming and certainly a peaceful game to experience as a contrast to some of the chaotic titles available on the console.
There’s something very appealing about this side-scroller with a twist. Bright, colorful, and incredibly wacky, from the charming dialogue to the witty puzzles, there’s really a golden nugget in every aspect of this game. Pikuniku isn’t a Switch exclusive as it’s also available on Microsoft Store and EpicGames, yet the retro feel of the title makes it feel right at home on the Nintendo Switch.
The handheld option for the Switch is perhaps the best choice for this Sectordub and Devolver Digital title. With the animation based upon simplistic 2D shapes, it means a lot of attention has gone into the sorts of puzzles that players will have to solve to continue on their quest. The allies they pick up on the journey are often more useful than one might expect!
Donut County (2018)
Designed for optimized play on Nintendo Switch, Donut County had been enjoying success on other platforms, but the indie title developed by Ben Esposito and published by Annapurna Interactive certainly feels at home on this platform.
Players control a large hole which they can use to swallow up buildings, objects, and people. The many ways that the players can use this donut hole will ultimately become the key to solving the puzzles set out. Putting out fires, operating machinery, and destroying civilizations are just some of the ways this hole can be utilized.
Good Job! (2020)
There are plenty of titles that seem to capitalize on this recent trend in co-op-style gameplay based on real-life jobs. From Moving Out to Overcooked, Good Job! seems to very much be in the same vein as these puzzle-solving experiences.
With players thrown into an office, they must undertake a series of tasks that seem mundane on the surface. Developed by Paladin Studios and published by Nintendo as a Switch exclusive, this is a title that players need to get their hands on to find all sorts of creative solutions for the most boring of jobs.
NEXT: 10 Hidden Gems On Nintendo Switch That Released In 2021 (So Far)