Introducing the Puzzle Game Community Game-Along (with Giveaway!)

I can’t believe it’s already June – not only does that mean we’re halfway through 2014, but it also means we’ve successfully held a whopping five Community Game-Alongs, and we’re still going strong! But June is generally a busy month due to E3 excitement, schools finishing up for the year, and the usual new game releases, so I was a little stumped for a theme that would allow folks to pick up and play for short bursts when they have time during the month.

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But who doesn’t love a good puzzle game? While you could argue puzzle games aren’t at all niche – in fact, one of the most-played games of all time is undoubtedly Tetris, there are still so many puzzle games out there that haven’t had their chance in the spotlight. As such, in the “pick up and play” spirit of June, I would like to dedicate the month to all manner of puzzle games, from Professor Layton to Puyo Puyo!

To participate in June’s Community Game-Along, all you need to do is play a game that fits the theme and talk about your experiences using #PuzzleMonth on your favorite social media application of choice. I especially love to see blog posts, podcasts, or other types of long-form discussion, but recent months have seen a bit of a lull in participation outside of short-form social media venues… So get writing and send me your contributions so we can get the word out about Puzzle Month! You could talk about your favorite puzzle game, an under-appreciated gem, or even record yourself playing your pick for the month – there are tons of possibilities!

I know how hard it can be to make a decision when faced with so much choice, so here are a few puzzle games you may want to check out:

subaku (iOS) – So, you’re one of those people who thinks they’ve played everything, eh? Well, let me tell you, I can almost guarantee you’ve overlooked this little iOS gem. In this number matching game, you tap a number to decrease it by one, which causes the value of the adjacent numbers to increase by one. The goal is to match three in a row to clear the board in as few moves as possible. Created by Eric Koizol, it’s the perfect puzzle game in that it’s easy to learn but always keeps you on your toes, and there’s even a free trial version in the app store for you to try before you buy. Or, if you’d like to score yourself a copy, simply comment on this post with your favorite puzzle game to win a code! I’ll give them away to the first five people to comment, so be quick!

Pushmo series (3DS, Wii U) – I love scheduling a monthly Game-Along theme that coincides with a new release, but in the case of the upcoming Pushmo World, it was completely on accident! Pushmo and its sequel Crashmo were previously only available on the Nintendo 3DS, but the brand-new Pushmo World will be making its way to the Wii U on June 19th. In anticipation of its release, both Pushmo and Crashmo will be on sale in the eShop for a short period, so now’s a great time to pick up one or both if you haven’t had a chance to play them!

Mr. Driller series (various) – I’ll readily admit that I’m just including Mr. Driller on this list because I love the series and want to see more people play it! The art is adorable, gameplay addictive, and music amazingly catchy. It’s such a shame that we haven’t seen a good new Mr. Driller game in quite some time. If you’re looking to play it, it’s available for almost every system, but many would recommend the Dreamcast or PSone versions as the pinnacle of the series. You could always try the iOS version for $1.29, but, uh, don’t say I didn’t warn you if it isn’t any good. Just play Mr. Driller!


Touch Detective series (DS, 3DS, Android/iOS) – There are two reasons I wanted to highlight the Touch Detective series this month: 1. The 3rd entry was just released for the 3DS in Japan, and we still don’t have a localization announcement (c’mon E3!) and 2. The series is a great example of games with puzzle elements that might be closer to traditional adventure/point and click games, which are also fair game this month. Since Atlus was responsible for bringing over the past two games in the series, we need to make some noise and let them know that we’d like to see the third in English, as well! While the puzzles themselves may not be the real highlight of these games depending on who you ask, they’re certainly worth checking out if you want a quirky new experience.

Honorable import mentions: Guru Logi Champ, Airou de Puzzle, Osawari Tantei Nameko Daihanshoku (Touch Detective: Funghi’s Big Breed)… The options are limitless! I really encourage you to pick up some Japanese puzzle games you might not have tried otherwise, as they’re one of the few types of import titles that don’t really require any knowledge of the language to play.

While I could go back and pick up my copy of Picross DS or finally sit down and play some of the Professor Layton games I’ve never touched, I’m going to try something totally off the hook this month – Tetris with CardCaptor Sakura: Eternal Heart! That’s right, Tetris mixed with CardCaptor Sakura… What could be better? I can’t wait to try it out and share my experiences with everyone!

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.

  • Magical Drop 3 will always have a special place in my heart. I can’t think of many other games that are as frantic and action packed. (And most tiring if you have ever tried this one in the arcade.)

    I’ve also been playing the most recent addition of the Zero Escape series, and while they are one-shot puzzles, they have been most enjoyable for me.

    (Also, I’ll pass on the code, I just wanted to share.)

  • apricotsushi

    Embarrassingly, I’ve never played a Magical Drop game! I’ve heard many good things… I should try to pick up a copy of 3.

    I’m a fan of the Zero Escape games, as well! I was almost going to include them in this list but at the last minute I swapped them out for Touch Detective.

    Thanks for your comment! I hope you’ll participate in Puzzle Month!

  • Randomdude1801

    When you say Puzzle Games, I say Professor Layton. Simple as that.
    Pick any Layton game. I can guarantee the story is amazing, the puzzles are good, and the ending beautiful.

  • apricotsushi

    Any Layton game? But do you have a *favorite* Layton game? 😉

    Let me know if you want one of the Subaku codes and it’s yours! Just send an email to chicpixelblog@gmail

  • Randomdude1801

    But of course! My personal favorite Layton game is Unwound Future! I cried when I saw the ending. Not many games or movies made me cry.

  • Night Dreamer

    I just so happen to be playing the most recent Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy! So hurray me for participating in themed month!

    Anyway, a puzzle game I’d recommend is It’s Mr Pants for the GBA. It’s one of the last Rare games for a Nintendo console too, and is quite overlooked.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueZvTkVcz3Q

  • Night Dreamer

    Just keep in mind that you’d want to get the Japanese version of Magical Drop 3, because in the EN version everyone had the same voice clip, and sounded dumb. Yes, this is relevant to the enjoyment of the game! (And it’s a great game!)

  • Azntkd

    I love the Professor Layton series and I’m hoping for a Layton vs Ace Attorney localization in the U.S.

    9 Hours, Persons, Doors was also a fun escape-the-room sort of puzzle game for me as well as Pushmo and Crashmo. I just wish I was skilled enough to make my own puzzles though XP I hope I’ll get to try subaku ^-^

  • Wait, Tetris with Cardcaptors?! TELL ME MORE! Hehe

    I’ve been looking in to Touch Detectives, it’s good to know that my lack of Japanese skills won’t be too much of an issue when trying to play it 😀
    But I think the Tetris x Puyo Puyo is the next game I want to buy!

    SAMI★SPOON

  • apricotsushi

    I had a feeling you would be interested in Cardcaptor Sakura Tetris 😉 I’ll be posting about it shortly! I’m also thinking of doing a few videos to go with it so people can see what it’s like.

    I really want to get my hands on Puyo Puyo Tetris, but I think I’ll wait to pick up a physical copy when I’m in Japan. As for Touch Detectives, the main series may be a little harder depending on your level of Japanese, but there’s a puzzle game that should be easy to pick up regardless of your JP proficiency! It’s also really cheap now, too!

    If you’d a Subaku code, send me an a email at chicpixelblog@gmail!

  • apricotsushi

    I believe they did release that Layton vs Ace Attorney would be getting a US release sometime this year! Hopefully there will be a date announced at E3…

    I’m a big fan of 999 as well! Did you play the sequel, Virtue’s Last Reward?

    Email me at chicpixelblog@gmail to claim your Subaku code!

  • apricotsushi

    It’s Mr. Pants has the weirdest art style, haha! I love it! And hooray for participating in #PuzzleMonth!

    Send me an email at chicpixelblog@gmail if you’d like a Subaku code ^^

  • apricotsushi

    It’s Mr. Pants has the weirdest art style, haha! I love it! And
    hooray for participating in #PuzzleMonth!

    Send me an email at chicpixelblog@gmail if you’d like a Subaku code ^^