In the world of puzzle games, 2015 was an especially thinking-heavy year. It always is, I suppose! But this year, it wasn’t counter-balanced by a desire for speed or complicated by physics or other traversal challenges. It was, as it happens, a pure year for the genre. And one dominated by Nintendo.
Best Puzzle Game of 2015: Boxboy!
Boxboy! hit the 3DS eShop with little fanfare early this year, but it didn’t need it: it’s a pure puzzle with an intuitive hook and just the right balance of difficulty. You can breeze through the game with no problems; after all, that’s what HAL Laboratory, the team behind Kirby, does best. But it’s going for that full completion that’s truly rewarding. Add to that an unwavering commitment to its aesthetic and a bunch of silly little extras like costumes, and Boxboy! never fails to exceed its meager expectations. – Graham
Everybody needs a good stretch now and again, and Stretchmo lets you flex your most important muscle – your brain. It’s fantastic because this entry not only lets Mallo stretch blocks out when he’s pushing and pulling them into place, but also gives people five different areas with their own theme. Papa Blox’s NES Expo, with its Nintendo-inspired puzzles, is clearly the best, but each one offers its own take on the Pushmo formula to get people thinking. Do your best, master those dimensions and maybe even put what you’ve learned into original puzzles created in the editor. With Stretchmo, everything fits into place. – Jenni