PAX Aus: Top 4 Puzzle Games

The whirlwind phenomenon of PAX Aus took over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this past weekend, mesmerising video game enthusiasts mind, body and soul. The puzzle genre was alive and well, catapulting players through haunted castles, metallic grids, and even back through time. Here’s a collection of the most thought-provoking titles we encountered on the show floor.

1. The Eyes of Ara

  • Developer: 100 Stones Interactive
  • Publisher: 100 Stones Interactive
  • Platform/s: Nintendo Switch
  • Release: Out now

Named after a southern constellation, The Eyes of Ara is an award-winning first person adventure that was designed with a mobile audience in mind. In it, you become a technician called to investigate a faulty radio signal, and end up discovering a whole lot more than you bargained for. Astronomy, elaborate puzzles, and a minimalist user interface conspire to fully absorb your attention. To unravel the truth, you’ll need to cross the threshold of an ancient castle that has a pulse of its own, tantalising all who visit with letters, hidden passageways, and an unsettling history. The Eyes of Ara will eventually release for iOS and possibly Android devices.

2. Death Squared

  • Developer: SMG Studio
  • Publisher: SMG Studio
  • Platform/s: Windows, Mac, XB1, PS4, Nintendo Switch
  • Release: Out now

A humorous and multi-tiered experience, Death Squared celebrates the joy of team-based cooperative play. SMG Studio is serving up more than 80 levels of pure escapism, which invite you to skillfully manoeuvre a robot towards a colour-coded goal. But you’ll need to be mindful of deadly traps, hazards, and environmental threats that won’t hesitate to destroy your hexangular existence. At heart, Death Squared is a casual party game that can be enjoyed by all.

3. The Gardens Between

  • Developer: The Voxel Agents
  • Publisher: The Voxel Agents
  • Platform/s: Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4
  • Release: Q3 2018

For its latest venture, The Voxel Agents is planning a surrealist romp across time. As childhood friends Arina and Frendt, players navigate a mysterious series of islands that slowly burst into life. The Gardens Between invades your visual field with oversized soda bottles, powerpoints plugged into dirt, and a beacon of light that shoots constellations skyward at the end of each chapter. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guide the youngsters around beautiful environments, solving puzzles, and rewriting the pages of history, Minority Report style. Time isn’t always of the essence, it seems.

4. Duped

  • Developer: Reuben Moorhouse
  • Publisher: No Moss Studios
  • Platform/s: Windows, Mac
  • Release: Out now

Duped might resemble Thomas Was Alone, but its minimalist graphics pack in a touch more personality. Tiny, softly-coloured cubes find themselves stuck inside cold caverns, blinking in pain whenever they make contact with the ground. Your job is to guide them, clone them, and flip switches beside them in an effort to escape their cave prison. Be prepared for over 40 levels of physics-based puzzles that will happily pick your brains.

For more PAX Aus coverage, make sure to check out the following:

PAX Aus: Top 5 Platformers

PAX Aus: Top 4 Narrative Games