TARTARUS is a unique concept in that it makes computer puzzles come alive with realistic representations, where most titles try to make abstract mini games out of “hacking.” The plot and overall horror atmosphere don’t come together, however. Overall, this is a solid attempt at making light programming puzzles interesting, but more work needs to be done in this area before we see a title that is truly free of tedium.

Developer and Publisher Headup Games announces that for the last year, they've been secretly working in their underground labs on the next iteration of the million-selling Bridge Constructor series. This new stand-alone title will release on PC, MacOS, Linux, mobile devices, and console, and fully embraces the Portal license, one of the most beloved video game franchises of the last decade.

Microïds Indie, the new publishing label of Microïds, and the studio Telehorse are thrilled to present the award-winning puzzle adventure game Steamburg, available since November 2nd on Steam.

Tauronos promises an intriguing story, but since running out of lives forces you to start your journey again from the beginning, few players will have the patience to persevere and experience more than a fraction of it. Even so, the perfectly fitted aesthetic supports a minimalist but hardworking narrative, guaranteeing that players who grow frustrated enough to walk away still do so with regret.

Inmates grabs you right off the bat and starts yelling in your face: you are screaming and afraid, but at the end of it all, you’ll probably tell your friends that they need to come over and get yelled at, too. Besides the game world being well designed, and the sounds making you check over your shoulder every few minutes, the creativity, the puzzles, and the story offer an experience that is to die for.

Even those who don’t normally play point-and-clicks can enjoy Darkestville Castle, but only the die-hard devotees of the genre will be able to persevere past the inevitable and frequent bouts of frustration from struggling through convoluted puzzles. An intriguing story and captivating art style round off this puzzling puzzler.

An atmospheric adventure called Growbot takes shape under the watchful eye of Lisa at Wabisabi Games. Classic point-and-click gameplay twines around puzzles like a clever vine. It’s all part of Lisa’s vision of integrating a diverse, dreamy score with biopunk illustrations and a picture book feel.

The uniqueness of this title carries it to the end, and is ready to go for a couple episodes more, leaving you intrigued about the conspiracies and ground-breaking truths you have discovered: a solid couple hours invested in a protagonist you care about, wanting to see it to its end, and then twice over.

Another Lost Phone is truly a masterpiece in its kind, setting a bar in both creativity and meaning that will be hard for future installments in the genre to match. In addition to being one of the most innovative vehicles for a puzzle-based story to be released in a long time, the story is immensely engaging from the moment you unlock the phone. Accidental Queens have now issued a challenge to game designers everywhere: use your art to tell stories that need to be told.

With deadly bugs that prevent key gameplay mechanics, zero replayability, and an astonishingly small amount of content (<30 minutes to complete), Beat the Game is a visual masterpiece more akin to a brief bad trip at a Tomorrowland than an actual game. If you’re into audio or music production and are looking for something that will let you develop and explore it in a different light, you will be disappointed. However, when it comes to cinematography, BtG is a high nine. With a bit more care and effort from solid game and sound designers, this novelty release could have been great. And if you need drugs to enjoy music, you’re doing it wrong.

Suicide Guy caters to the underserved demographic of people who enjoy 3D puzzle platformers, except this serving is more of a home-cooked meal from Grandma’s house after she had gotten dementia. It’s made with love, and is good at certain parts, but in the end, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Graphics and level design can be clever at times, but are essentially ruined by the frustrating physics and collision, lack of any good music, repetitive sound effects, half-finished animations, and stale platforming. I want to love Suicide Guy, and I do, in a way -- I appreciate the effort that was made, but when I was done I felt unsatisfied and dead inside.

KISS Ltd and Hydra Interactive Entertainment announced that as of today, PC gamers can play their paper platformer via Steam Early Access, highlighting that Upside-Down Dimensions is an enchanting and unique game that combines action, hack n slash, RPG, stealth, platform and co-op puzzles for a truly remarkable gameplay experience.

The Gardens Between is a surreal puzzle adventure that follows best friends, Arina and Frendt, as they fall into a mysterious world of beautiful garden islands. The player can traverse back and forwards in time to discover each garden's secrets and, along the way, reveal a story about friendship, childhood and growing up.

No70: Eye of Basir is an ambitious title; while the visuals and audio are noteworthy, in the critical areas of story and gameplay, Basir is passable, not exceptional. The brief plot explores, then seems to abandon, what appeared to have been a key plot point, and, at times, it’s a bit unclear who your character even is. Issues with performance and geometry clipping, combined with some sloppy foliage and prop placement, occasionally break immersion: No70: Eye of Basir is a flawed gem with some good facets.

Embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration in The Search - a story-driven puzzle-adventure set in a mysterious world where art comes to life! In an unknown world, you'll search for clues about the nature of this place, as well as your own past. Guided only by the letters of a mysterious stranger, you'll find that this universe works differently from our own.

Subject A-119 makes a strong showing with a variety of abilities, but the puzzles, through mechanical and logical limitations, quickly fatigue the player. Puzzle addicts might be tempted to explore this title but, overall, Subject A-119 mechanics are more confusing than the actual puzzles, ultimately leaving players underwhelmed.

After decades of toil, an old machinist plots his escape from Communism, through manipulation and scheming. Along the road, he befriends the most unlikely creature, an abandoned robot. Could they solve the puzzles and flee this bleak world together?

Black The Fall has the makings of a deep and emotional retelling of life under a totalitarian communist regime. The literally dark, oppressive, and intimidating imagery combines with the music, sound effects, and mechanics to narrate scenes without using a single word, and that alone has to be respected.

Empathy: Path of Whispers is an atmospheric and story-driven adventure game where you explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once inhabited it, trying to restore the world’s lost balance by journeying through its past.

In the brief time it takes to complete it, Old Man’s Journey plays out the calm yet deliberate journey of an aging man, set to right the wrongs of his youth once upon a time he chose the call of the sea to that of family. Here is a title that shines a positive philosophy onto a player’s path, reminding us that not everything about life must be hard and complicated. The Old Man’s Journey made me cry, but it also left me with a smile.

While The Franz Kafka Videogame ends up feeling a tad pretentious in its use of Kafka’s name, the artwork and some of the puzzles are worth appreciating. Bits and pieces can be frustrating, and the short play time is a downside, but fans of experimental point-and-click adventures might still want to check this one out.

Five Elements is an original, challenging, and solid real-time strategy game. Apart from those accolades, though, there’s not much else to wow the player. If you're a lover of strategy and puzzles for the sake of strategy and puzzles, you will most likely find it a worthy addition to your collection. If you aren't, then Five Elements may prove to be frustratingly challenging and lacking enough of a storyline to keep you going.

Saucer-Like is a short-form art piece in its genre. Beautiful art is the main focus in the narrative, with over forty hand-drawn backgrounds, each featuring rich contrasts. Saucer-Like is a solid recommendation to classic point-and-click adventure devotees, and to gamers who seek stories that stick in their heads, the sole caveat being the length of the title, which leaves much to be desired.

Manipulated creates a unique experience with a simple structure by implementing multiple different types of puzzles and challenges throughout the various levels. The art style is cartoonish and elementary, and the humor and voice-acting can be overdone, but it fits with the overall silly feel of the game. If you are looking for a whimsical side-scroller that will test your brain power, Manipulated is the game to buy. If slapstick comedy is not your cup of tea, the narration might come off as excessive, but the puzzles are sure to rope you back in.

The Sexy Brutale is a lush, deliciously dark game that’s part murder mystery, part puzzle-adventure.Taken individually, the components of the gameplay in The Sexy Brutale are not groundbreaking: time reversal, stealth, and puzzle-solving are fun, but not innovative, elements. How they’re combined in this game, however, is fresh and unusual. The fantastic art and flawless execution of the game make this one must-have for fans of the genre.

While Algotica isn’t likely to blow your mind with excitement from its gameplay, and it’s not going to make you a master programmer, it is an excellent first step into the world of coding done up inside an adorable, engaging and truly fun indie game package, even if it’s one that has some flaws in the writing and pacing. And while it’s a lighthearted and low-stress good time to play even if taken as just a game, for those of us who have always wanted an intro into the labyrinthine world of programming but who were too overwhelmed to dive in on our own, it’s almost a godsend.

Bomb Squad Academy is more fun than it is challenging. Negative feedback to the player, other than the bomb blowing up (of course), is thin, but this results in an approachable, replayable atmosphere. This is a fantastic puzzler with complex and unique mechanics that are presented to the player in an easily digestible way.

Kronos uses uninspired or recycled art style, storyline, and dialogue, but that's just that start of what's wrong with this title. Beyond the aesthetic issues, the bugs in Kronos are too much to ignore. Maybe with more work on bugs and glitches, Kronos could be playable enough to enjoy; for now, Kronos doesn’t come close to standing out in an already competitive genre.

Entangle is a great game. It costs ten bucks to go watch a two-hour-long movie in the theater. Entangle costs less than that for the same amount of entertainment (or potentially more). And you don’t have to put on pants for it. Seems like a deal to me.

Semispheres runs very smoothly. The controls are simple and intuitive, the design is beautiful, and the music only adds to the overall meditative aesthetic. However, Semispheres is over just as it begins, providing only a fleeting, though pleasant, challenge to the player.

Linelight is fresh, inventive, and offers a deceivingly simple premise with incredibly engaging and satisfying gameplay; it is a crowning achievement in the puzzle genre, proving that simplicity, when used correctly, can create an unforgettably unique gaming experience.

Warlock's Tower is overall well developed, and it definitely shows; the gameplay is smooth, and the puzzles are carefully crafted.  What you get is a challenging but fair experience layered under a bundle of silly and retro enjoyment. Retro is a common and almost diluted theme in many indie titles nowadays, but in this case, it's pulled off extremely well and looks beautifully authentic.  While the price point is a little steep for what seems like a simple old-school puzzler, there is a lot of depth and mechanics to make it worth it for those who can appreciate good design.

Causality is a frustrating, yet relaxing, puzzler – a fitting paradox for a game comprised chock-full of them. If you’re brave and looking for a challenge, or if you’re bored and looking to space out, the simply sleek Causality will be there for you.

Mainlining puts you in the shoes (and at the desktop) of an agent for the government spy directorate MI7. Occasionally irksome gameplay is balanced with rich aesthetics and an engaging story, making Mainlining a fine choice for fans of the point-and-click genre.

As much as I wanted to recommend Don't Chat With Strangers, your time and money are better spent elsewhere. Accumulating Steam Achievements which are, essentially, a scrapbook of the many ways in which Lucy killed you, is undeniably fun. Sadly, these aren't enough to make the title shine: Don't Chat With Strangers is another retro, point-and-click adventure with much novelty and a great premise to begin with, yet it ultimately fails as a puzzle horror game.

Tomlab Games is off to a great start in introducing a classic from Japan to the Sudoku lovers past its borders. Pictopix is a fun and relaxing game that anyone can play. It lets you relax while working your brain in an entertaining way. If you're the creative type but can’t draw to save your life, if you have $6 to spare, then consider buying this game. Chances are, you won't regret it.

I’d like to think that most readers find OPNoobs reviews to be helpful. We are gamers, not activists, and we report on the experience as such. Before I began writing for OPNoobs, I emailed Fred Brizzi, the original OPNoob, the following: “The work I read on your site is no-nonsense game reviews with the welcome infusion of personality, and I think the gaming community benefits from such an approach.” It’s as true today as it was when I wrote it, if not more so. We really just care about games here, and the gamers that play them. So, with this benevolent concern in mind, my advice to the readers regarding Zenza is a hard pass.

I completed Blue Tear in 4.5 hours and for the original price of $8, I think it was well worth it. After getting through the nonsense of Blue Tear’s African travels, the story becomes creepy and engaging, and just like a great horror novel; you don’t want to turn it off. Continuing to play will not disappoint you. The story builds and builds as you progress, and increasingly becomes more intricate and scary. The puzzles integrated within the story are excellent and cover the whole spectrum of puzzles from hidden objects to codes to jigsaw puzzles. Blue Tear combines all the great puzzles classics and is a true delight for any puzzle seeker.

The goal of Maize is simply to make you laugh. It is refreshingly hilarious and provides a randomly unique movie-quality storyline that you can’t get anywhere else. If you need a break from life, or from other serious games, this is just the laugh that you need. You will enter a world of idiots, where you reign supreme.

All in all, Quern is the ultimate scavenger hunt, and perfect for any exploring puzzle master. It is great for its genre and definitely a must have if you love brainteasers, exploration, and uncovering mysteries. Zadbox Entertainment very elegantly integrated cryptic puzzles into a well-designed and even more cryptic world that any challenge seeker would love to explore for hours on end. My advice to you… leave no stone unturned and CLICK EVERYTHING. Good luck!

My experience with Yesterday Origins as a whole was wonderfully enjoyable, to say the least. Interesting characters living in curious locales, all interacting throughout different time periods help Yesterday Origins tell a mature story full of compelling twists and copious amounts of dark humor. Thought provoking puzzles add to the appeal, mixing great gameplay with great storytelling. Pendulo Studios is back!

Secrets of Magic: The Book of Spells is an indie match-3 type game that features more or less the same mechanics as the popular Facebook Candy Crush Saga; note, that this is not simply a mere duplicate of Candy Crush Saga or any other similar ones you might find online or as a mobile app.

The folks at Fakt Software have created a winner in the puzzle genre. With 80 machines to solve, the "invent" mode of infinite possibilities, and the inclusion of community creation, boredom will not find the player easily. Plus, the art and music create an ambiance that is flat out relaxing. So whether you’re an avid puzzle player, or someone who enjoys stretching the limits of creation, Crazy Machines 3 is sure to provide an enjoyable experience and leave you wanting more!

Overall, I enjoyed my brief time with The Day Before, and if you do too, consider buying Scrap Garden, as there’s much more to enjoy with extra variation and substance to bite into. If Scrap Garden is a meal, consider The Day Before to be the complementary chips and salsa. They’re free, they’re great, but it’s not gonna fill you up unless you really try.

If you’re ready to let go of the hustle and hurry of the week, sink into the beguiling mystery of Pavilion. There are so many questions when you start the game. Is this all a dream? Why are we here? Who is the woman in white? The only way to discover the answer is to play.  I found Pavilion to be more than a puzzle game, it was an interactive art piece, where I was allowed to participate.

When judging an Early Access game, you have to judge it on its potential as much as on what’s already there, and SPAERA is already off to a great start, with all signs pointing toward an even better game in the future. Depending on your tolerance for Early Access, it may or may not be worth getting now, but you must check this one out when it releases.

Hands-on learners will enjoy Super Markup Man. If you're the type and are looking for a fun approach to web development, then don't think twice and go for it. Super Markup Man will teach you the building blocks, with an emphasis on fun.

Kuraburo Kai is a very fun game, and I appreciate what the game does to a genre that, let’s face it, is in dire need of a makeover. Sadly, the game needs many fixes before it be one I recommend, but its problems aside, I'll admit it: I love it.

Bear With Me isn’t a stand-out example of a Point-&-Click adventure, but the fact that it’s episodic makes me hope that some of the bugs and complications in this first chapter are ironed out in later additions. The dark humor and Noir vibe of the game are a great contrast to the nostalgia of playing through a child’s imaginary adventure, and it reminded me of Among the Sleep and Fran Bow with all the toys, puzzles, and make-believe.

Experience the hacker's side of cyberpunk in Cyber Sentinel! This design-based puzzle game features a complete visual programming kit for designing your own viruses.

With the different modes, scores, and levels, Chime Sharp has a very high replay value and doesn’t fall into the usual pitfalls of redundancy, to which other puzzlers are prone. The challenges do get increasingly difficult, but not to the point of unapproachability. Even with the initial hype that started with the announcement and lasted all through development, Chime Sharp does not disappoint.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another game that puts the pressure on when solving difficult tasks and it’ll certainly be one of the most unique additions to your Steam library.

this is one of the best puzzlers I’ve seen in a LONG time, and easily since the Portal games. HFF is completely different in every single way, though. But you will laugh out loud, you will potentially cry, and you will have an amazing time.

Fast head-to-head fighting like you’ve never seen. Welcome to Ember Strike. Join the first PVP fighter of its kind! Ember Strike is the perfect mix of speed and action with live, competitive, head-to-head battles. Collect and upgrade a team of unique fighters and strike down your opponents in a totally unique mix of hardcore fighting, mini-games, and puzzle action. Steal moves, throw Strikes, reign destruction on your enemies!

Metamorphic has a great foundation for building something engaging and fun. I look forward to the dev coming back to this game and adding some of the sorely missed storyline context, and perhaps even a talking potato.

INSIDE is a wonderful experience and I would recommend it if you can see yourself enjoying a sacrifice in gameplay for a memorable journey, with a bit of “WTF did I just do” thrown in for good measure.

Overall, Quatros Origins is just a really solid game. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does give the wheel a shiny new coat of paint and puts on some treads so the wheel can go to more exciting places. If you’ve enjoyed the time you’ve spent throughout your life rotating little pieces around and fitting them together, you’ll really like the chance to do it again on a larger scale in Quatros Origins.

Doodle God is a game that offers a lot of value in the first twenty minutes of play.  Beyond that, the fun breaks down. The frustrating issues grow exponentially the further the player progresses until it reaches that deadly place where gaming becomes a chore.  Players who can walk away from a game if it stops being fun may enjoy Doodle God for its good qualities; however, completionist gamers who have to finish no matter what may want to give this one a pass.

Demetrios is a full-length adventure game packed with silly humor. 8 to 12 hours of fun!

Light Repair Team #4 is a light-reflection puzzle game where you play as a light-pipe repair person. Figure out how to properly bounce, combine and split light so that you can return power to nearby buildings.

It may never get its due in the mainstream consciousness as a tremendously important title, but Hitman: GO The Definitive Edition deserves to be considered a classic, as it is perhaps the best thing to come from mobile gaming in the medium's history to date.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I fired up STASIS for the first time. Based on the limited materials I had previously been exposed to, I assumed it was a standard isometric shooter. I was dead wrong. Its roots are deep in the point-and-click exploration genre of yesteryear, complete with pre-rendered 3D backgrounds and character animations. WASD is not welcome here. Time is NOT an issue. Brain Activity IS required.