We’ve all been there.
You’re playing a game and you get stuck, your gamer’s honour rivals Ned Stark’s, so a YouTube walkthrough is out of the question. You feel like leaving it for a while when all of a sudden, the penny drops and it all comes together and the puzzle is solved. Everyone experiences this sweet moment of serendipity, when for a few seconds you wonder if Einstein is going to rise from the grave and hand you a Nobel Prize for Gaming. I love to actively seek out these moments, and for anyone else who does this, I want to recommend a few titles that are ripe with opportunity.
Valve’s Portal 2 Smash TV Achievement (Named after the excellent arcade game) is an excellent source of puzzles that can make you feel incredibly intellectual. It requires you to smash 11 televisions during the eighth chapter of the game. This just happens to be the last puzzle section before the final boss so you can probably guess that these puzzles are pretty taxing on your noodle. Now imagine having to solve each problem twice, with the solution for smashing the TVs being even more obtuse and generally aggravating than the norm. It just makes you feel that much better when you figure it out.
Next on my list is Minecraft. I have been playing Minecraft since Beta 1.5, and I have seen the game grow and get more complex. However, one feature which has always baffled my brainbox is Redstone, the game’s main source of power. It works similarly to digital electronics (based on Boolean algebra). If your brain switched off just then, I don’t blame you, writing that sentence is the most boring thing I’ve done today. This element of the game is way too complicated for me, so when I can achieve anything with it, I feel absolutely great. For instance, the other day, I built this:
I had a few problems with it, misplaced redstone torches here and there, but this inspired me to try to make my own contraptions. While not being anywhere near the magnitude of the people making massive computers and such, just working out how to make simple doors and drawbridges made me feel like a certified computer genius.
Finally on this fairly short list, we have Nintendo’s Big Brain Academy on the Nintendo Wii and DS.
This one is more of a creeper, it’s just great working on the puzzles and getting better at them, then having your daily “brain weighing” and finding you’ve improved so much you’ve gone up a few ranks, bring in the competitive side of going against family members and suddenly the fact that your brain weight is 100g more than your mum’s become a very contentious issue in the house. (And by “contentious issue” I mean massive argument.)
I’m sure there are many more games that could be added to this list, why not leave a comment below, and “weigh in” on the matter?
That joke was terrible.