Best puzzle game

Board Games

Puzzle games in a basket on your coffee table can be a great ice breaker during a cocktail party or even as the prelude to a dinner party.

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Which puzzle game is best?

The next time you want to give your brain a little test, try a puzzle game. Whether you want a way to keep your mind occupied in a waiting room or you need to keep your kids entertained on a long car ride, puzzle games do the job. There are an almost limitless array of puzzle games available, so choosing one can feel like an impossible task.

Our useful buying guide, which includes reviews of our favorites at the end, can help you narrow down your options. Our top pick, Sea team’s Assorted Brain Teasers, will keep you and your kids busy for hours.

What to know before you buy a puzzle game

Puzzle types

There are more types of puzzle games than you can imagine. From color-matching games to escape games to mazes, there’s no limit to the different ways you can tease your brain. Here are a few of the most popular styles:

  • Maze games usually require that you direct a ball through a series of tunnels and holes in order to get to the end. Some are constructed as a cube or sphere with the maze built inside. Others ask you to create the maze yourself using the materials provided.
  • Strategy puzzle games usually have several steps you must complete in order to solve them. The “Chinese Tea” puzzle is a classic example of this kind of puzzle game. It involves moving pieces of the game in order to totally dismantle it, so you can then put the pieces back together in the proper fashion. These games are usually meant to challenge your logic skills.
  • Building puzzles can be similar to maze games, as they ask you to build a structure in the hopes that a ball or marble can successfully traverse your creation. Others ask you to recreate a design provided on paper to see how close you can come to the original.

Uses

Think about where you’ll be using the puzzle game before buying. If you plan to use it on a long trip, you might want a puzzle game that doesn’t have too many pieces. If you think you’ll be using it mostly at home where you have a dedicated space, it’s probably fine to get a larger, more complex game that includes more pieces.

Number of solutions

While many puzzle games have a single possible solution, others have various ways to solve them. If you’re already pretty good at solving logic puzzles, it may be best to get a game that has more than one way to solve it — you can try to solve it using different possible solutions. It also increases the longevity of the game.

What to look for in a quality puzzle game

Difficulty

Most puzzle games specify their difficulty level on the box. Keep in mind that some puzzle games are explicitly intended for adult use, making them too difficult for children to play. If you’re choosing a puzzle game for a child, look for one that falls within their age range according to the game’s packaging.

Carrying case

Games that include many small pieces may include their own carrying case or bag. This is especially useful for games you travel with, as it’s easy to lose pieces in transit.

How much you can expect to spend on a puzzle game

Most puzzle games cost between $5 and $20. For around $5, games are often single-use or quite easy to solve. For $10, you can get a more complex game that might take some time to solve. If you spend $20, you can probably find a puzzle that includes multiple games and offers a carrying case or bag.

Puzzle games FAQ

Q. How can I determine the difficulty of a puzzle game before buying?

A. The best indicator of a puzzle game’s difficulty is the specifications on the outside of the box. This is usually categorized by an age group recommendation and is of more importance if you plan to buy the game for a child.

Q. Can I order replacement parts if I lose a piece of a puzzle game?

A. That depends on the specific puzzle. If you lose an important piece of your puzzle, contact the manufacturer to see if they offer replacement parts for that game. If not, you may need to buy a whole new game.

What puzzle games are best to buy?

Top puzzle game

Sea Team’s Assorted Brain Teasers

Sea Team’s Assorted Brain Teasers

Our take: These 30 different puzzles will keep you entertained for hours on end.

What we like: Choose your own difficulty level. Great for teens and adults alike. Helps develop strategic thinking.

What we dislike: Small pieces can be dangerous for small kids.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top puzzle game for the money

Hasbro’s Rubik’s Cube

Hasbro Rubik’s Cube

Our take: It’s hard to beat the most iconic puzzle game of all time.

What we like: A different experience each time you play. Booklet shows you how to solve the cube. Challenging for both adults and kids.

What we dislike: Plastic squares can sometimes fall off.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ThinkFun’s Gravity Maze

ThinkFun’s Gravity Maze

Our take: A combination logic game and marble run. What could be more fun?

What we like: STEM and engineering focus. Uses cards, blocks, and marbles for a multidimensional game.

What we dislike: Almost impossible for players with any level of color-blindness.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Adam Reeder writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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