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Electron Dance Highlights


Puzzleworks, 7: Understand

The Witness does not explain how the puzzle panels are solved.

Instead, it offers a few easily-solved tutorial puzzles from which you can reverse engineer the rules. Sometimes it even makes sense to backtrack a little and test out your rule theories. Puzzles need rules. But, first, the rules themselves are the puzzle.

Now imagine a puzzle game that is just that: have you played Understand (Artless Games, 2020)?

Nutshell: Hard but addictive, replete with punch-the-air moments of victory.

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Puzzleworks, 6: The Confounding Calendar

Corey Hardt and beekie18 have organised The Confounding Calendar, a digital advent calendar that delivers a small puzzle every day until the 25th.

Most of the puzzles, so far, are Puzzlescript creations. I’ve tried all of them, solved some, abandoned others. My favourites are…

Nutshell: Selection of mainly shortform Puzzlescript puzzles: some easy, some hard, some ragequittable. Worth a gander.

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Puzzleworks, 5: Tres Undos

Tres Undos (Knexator, 2021) is a short 17-level puzzle game which is played in a browser. It’s a blockpusher whose undo is afflicted with some... cursed magic. Think of those Braid (Number None, 2009) levels where you could turn back time to undo but effects on green objects could not be fixed. Think of those Recursed (Portponky, 2016) levels where green objects maintained their state despite every time you jumped into a chest, everything inside was reset.

There are no green objects in Tres Undos. But there are yellow and red ones.

It’s a blisteringly hard puzzler which I described on Twitter as “a sequence of hate crimes against your brain”, especially as you need to figure out its strange rules as you progress. I’m going to spoil the beans below so, if you want to jump in fresh, go play it now. I will leave you one important tip - the weird-looking square block on the fourth level is just a wall.

Nutshell: Vicious, non-intuitive blockpusher but satisfying if your sort of thing.

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Puzzleworks, 4: Secure

Here's a short, clever PuzzleScript game called Secure by "Toombler". It's one of those PuzzleScript games that asks the player to work out the mechanics with no guidance. Zarawesome (Guilherme Töws) thrust it into my Twitter feed.

Nutshell: A clever twist on Sokoban, but you might get lost along the way.

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Puzzleworks, 3: Akurra

In April, good Electron Dance friend Maurycy Zarzycki, who designed the short, free puzzle game Machine at the Heart of the World (Evidently Cube, 2018), tweeted this right at my face: "You should check the demo of Akurra if you haven't yet heard about it. It's a bit of a cross between Sokoban, Legend of Zelda and The Witness - a freeroam puzzle game by [Jason Newman]. Something tells me you'll like it."

Come on, you can't namedrop The Witness carelessly like that in a tweet. That's like saying "if you like Citizen Kane, you might enjoy this film." Bwahahaha. Anyway joke's on me because I had far too much fun with Akurra.

Nutshell: Open-world Sokoban-variant rife with secrets to discover, still in development.

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Puzzleworks, 2: Tametsi

There was some excitement over a Sudoku video last week, the "Miracle Sudoku", where a handful of arcane rules and just two numbers allows a Sudoku expert to fill the board. And it blows him away after he initially thought it was a joke.

And I thought, well, that's how Tametsi makes me feel.

Nutshell: Hard Minesweeper with interesting ruleset. Later levels take me an hour per board. Unfinished.

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Puzzleworks 1: Puddle Knights

It's high time I wrote about some of the puzzle games I've been tearing through recently. Although "tearing through" is probably an exaggeration. It's more like syrup dribbling through a heap of used coffee filters. Anyway: the first is Puddle Knights.

Nutshell: Clever mechanic that tickles same neurons as a Sokoban game or Snakebird. I cheated on the final level.

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