Puzzle (Genre)

Puyo Puyo


There is no strict definition of "puzzle games". In general, however, ALL puzzle game must include shapes, colors or symbols which can be rearranged into a pattern [1]. Aside from this one criteria, puzzle games are rather open-ended. They can usually be grouped by challenge type - the most common ones being speed/reflex based, strategy, or some combination of the above. (Tetris would be an example of combination. The player must plan out how to arrange pieces, which becomes more difficult as the game speeds up.)


The gameplay for puzzles tends to be easy to pick up, since most puzzle games are intended for casual gamers. Many of the games within the genre could be considered Tetris "clones" [1] as they tend to emulate the look (everything falling into a box) and basic gameplay (eliminate pieces via mix-and-match before the box is filled) of Tetris. For this reason, Tetris is considered the game that cemented the genre [1].

In two-player games, the players are often allowed to select from a variety of characters. These characters come with their own stages and special moves, similar to Fighting Games. In puzzles, however, the "special" moves effect the game board rather than the character. Common moves include: erasing or hiding pieces, swapping colors, inserting new or immovable objects, and removing random objects. Examples: Puyo Puyo, Magical Drop Series

It is also common for puzzle games to include "good" and "bad" objects mixed up with the pieces. "Good" objects could do the following: stop new pieces from falling, make all colors match, eliminate a row of pieces, eliminate all of a certain piece type (all blues or circles, for example), etc. "Bad" objects may do the following: eliminate vital pieces, create unmovable objects, freeze pieces (essentially stopping the player), etc.


Magical Drop 2, a 2-Player Puzzle Game

Examples (including genre)

  • Amazing Maze [1]
  • Bejeweled
  • Bust-A-Move
  • Dr. Mario
  • Magical Drop
    • Speed Based Puzzle
  • Minesweeper
  • Puyo Puyo [2]
    • Strategy Based Puzzle
  • Tetris
    • Strategy and Speed Based Puzzle


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