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We focus on the best puzzle games we’ve come across. Puzzle can be pretty abstract but that’s the point. Gets your brain working.

We have picked 5 of the best games we own or have played. Every game in this list has been played by Flashback Generations and comes with our recommendation.

#5 Blokus

Blokus (officially pronounced “Block us”) is an abstract strategy game with transparent, Tetris-shaped, colored pieces that players are trying to play onto the board. The only caveat to placing a piece is that it may not lie adjacent to your other pieces, but instead must be placed touching at least one corner of your pieces already on the board.

There is a solitaire variation where one player tries to get rid of all the pieces in a single sitting.

 

#4 Clacks: A Discworld Board Game

Clacks: A Discworld Board Game is based on the “Clacks” semaphore messaging system — the fastest (non-magical) messaging system on the Discworld — featured in Sir Terry Pratchett’s novel Going Postal.

Using a semaphore system of shuttered lamps on top of high towers, the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company has revolutionized long-distance communications on the Discworld. Their network of towers covers most of the Unnamed Continent, but now the old postal service is fighting back. Driven by the determination of newly “volunteered” Post Master Moist Von Lipwig, the Ankh-Morpork Post Office has challenged the Clacks operators to a race from Ankh-Morpork to Genua.

Play against your friends and claim the title of Fastest Clacks Operator on the line, or play together as a team to win the race across­ the Discworld and prove that Clacks is here to stay. In more detail, Clacks: A Discworld Board Game contains rules for a player vs. player game, a co-operative race game against the Post Office, and a children’s introductory game.

 

#3 Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of his meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.

During a game of Carcassonne, players are faced with decisions like: “Is it really worth putting my last meeple there?” or “Should I use this tile to expand my city, or should I place it near my opponent instead, giving him a hard time to complete his project and score points?” Since players place only one tile and have the option to place one meeple on it, turns proceed quickly even if it is a game full of options and possibilities.

 

#2 Tsuro

A beautiful and beautifully simple game of laying a tile before your own token to continue its path on each turn. The goal is to keep your token on the board longer than anyone else’s, but as the board fills up this becomes harder because there are fewer empty spaces left… and another player’s tile may also extend your own path in a direction you’d rather not go. Easy to introduce to new players, Tsuro lasts a mere 15 minutes and actually does work for any number from 2 to 8.

Theme:

Tsuro has an Asian spiritual theme – the lines representing the “many roads that lead to divine wisdom”, and the game as a whole representing “the classic quest for enlightenment”.

This theme is very light and the game essentially plays as an abstract.

 

#1 Splendor

Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you’re wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.

On your turn, you may (1) collect chips (gems), or (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you take either three different kinds of chips or two chips of the same kind. If you buy a card, you pay its price in chips and add it to your playing area. To reserve a card—in order to make sure you get it, or, why not, your opponents don’t get it—you place it in front of you face down for later building; this costs you a round, but you also get gold in the form of a joker chip, which you can use as any gem.

All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.

 

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