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Top 10 Mind Bending Modern Puzzle Games

VO: Dan Paradis

Script Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Which are the best and most recent games to make you think outside the box, the games that force you to use your brain, make you feel smarter, the one’s that basically eff your head up real good? Which games take the puzzle genre to new, sometimes dizzying heights? Well, you’re about to find out, because is here to count down our picks for the Top 10 Mind Bending Modern Puzzle Games!

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Prepare to test your wits. Welcome to and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten modern puzzle games.

For this list we’ll be looking at puzzle games released within the last 10 years that have been great successes and offered players a unique gaming experience. This can apply to any genre or platform, just as long as solving the puzzle is the central element, as such games such as Uncharted or the Tomb Raider reboot won’t be counted as they put far more emphasis on the combat rather on the actual puzzle-solving.

#10: “The Witness” (2016)

With the goal of reaching the mountain at the centre of this vast and gorgeous looking island, our silent protagonist must complete a series of challenges that mostly revolve around navigating small maze-like devices. For the completionists out there, be warned that there are 650 puzzles in total scattered about the island, along with various audio logs. It’s a beauty to be behold, but don’t let yourself get too distracted since the challenges by the creator’s own admission can become near unbeatable

#9: “Antichamber” (2013)

Prepare to be dazed, confused and thoroughly entertained. Trapped in an antechamber, players must navigate through a series of rooms, whose layouts take on radical new dimensions to the point where you’ll have trouble accounting whether you’ve actually made any progress at all. Which is to be expected since the game’s core mechanic revolves around turning optical illusions into puzzle-platforms. With a series of cryptic hints as your only guide, your journey will leave you with a great sense of accomplishment after having your brain leaping through all kind of hoops.

#8: “Professor Layton and the Unwound Future” (2008)

In the final adventure of the original Professor Layton trilogy, video games’ most famous English detective must deal with mysterious disappearances, alternate futures and even an evil version of himself. Just like the previous Professor Layton games before it, The titular character along with his sidekick Luke solve problems for various townsfolk’s by solving puzzles that are analogous to their situation, though this time at the centre of it all lies a really heartbreaking love story between Layton and his late girlfriend Claire, guaranteed to leave you very teary eyed by the end of the adventure.

#7: “The Talos Principle” (2015)

What does it mean to be alive? As a nameless robot, you’ll find yourself dodging turrets, dealing with increasingly complex puzzles and exploring the world around you. You will also find all manner of equally potent philosophical questions thrown your way. Aside from overcoming the challenges set out by the seemingly all-knowing, deity-figure Elohim, players will encounter audio logs that discuss the extinction of humanity, the birth of artificial intelligence, as well as on the nature of sentient beings. With so much of the game dedicated to dealing with issues like spirituality and free-will, chances are you won’t just be left thinking about the puzzles.

#6: “Braid” (2008)

Not only is this game revered for its brilliant and harrowing twist ending that turned the “saving the damsel in distress” concept on its head, but the levels that lead towards it offered their own thrills. Despite having the power to reverse time, each of the six settings bends this concept to the point where players won’t just have to be worrying about avoiding spikes, but also whether time is suddenly going accelerate or subside at any given moment. Throw in stunning backdrops and you have a game that will truly test your skills, with a bittersweet climax just waiting at the end to throw you off guard.

#5: “Obduction” (2016)

Are you a fan of classic puzzle masterpieces such as Myst and Riven? Well, we present to you with Cyan Games’ spiritual successor, now with an extra dose of alien abduction added to the mix. After being dropped off in an environment made up of a familiar but abandoned human town along an extra-terrestrial landscape, players have to traverse the bizarrely contrasting terrain and figure out what happened in this strange world. Making ample use of puzzles that feel like they’re actual mechanisms of this strange world, which made the original Myst famous, the surreal experience is not only entrancing but oddly eerie.

#4: “Monument Valley” (2014)

And you thought you’d seen the last of the optical illusions, granted this time around there’s a much more peaceful and fantastical side to them. Tasked with leading Princess Ida on what becomes increasingly evident as a journey of repentance and rediscovery, players must change and adjust the various environments around her to ensure she makes it to the end. While its length and overall difficulty can be debated, the sheer beauty of each piece of sacred geometry makes every level seem like a moving painting. For those looking for a more serene and relaxing experience, this might be your cup of tea.

#3: “World of Goo” (2008)

Turns out when it comes to video games you can literally take a concept as simple as a blob of goo and turn it into a household name. The basic premise follows the player as they pieces of goo and form them into various constructs in order to reach the level’s exit. What could amount to a rather droll and repetitive gaming experience is turned into a visual wonder, with each stage being completely unique with increasingly crazy and difficult settings just round the next corner. Everything from sawblades, fire, insane weather and even a virtual dimension gets thrown at you, forcing you to think outside the box and try to make even more ludicrous constructions.

#2: The Room” (2012)

No, not that Room. Far removed from Tommy Wiseau’s passion project, this hauntingly atmospheric title has you tasked with trying to open a series of boxes that continually reduce in size but double in complexity. With your only tools being your observational skill as well as a lens that reveals unseen objects and codes, you’ll find yourself astounded at how many enigmatic contraptions can fit in even the tiniest of spaces. Highly engaging with an air of dread about it as you slowly uncover the history of the fifth element known as Null, this is one room that you’ll be wanting to revisit again and again.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“2048” (2014)

“Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective” (2010)

“Catherine” (2011)

#1: “Portal 2” (2011)

As if we weren’t going to include one of the greatest video game sequels of all time. Stepping back into Chell’s Long Fall Boots, players not only got to experience the fun of using the portal gun again, they were also treated to a narrative that explored the dark past of the Aperture Science Facility, not to mention a frightful reunion with GLaDOS. Throw in new mechanics such as the momentum gels, even more difficult tests to overcome, another hilarious warped ending song, not to mention a sympathetic villain in the form of Wheatley, and you’ve got a game that’s yet to be dethroned.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the best modern puzzle game? With new top tens published every day be sure to subscribe to

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