While not the most prolific year for puzzle games, 2017 delivered a stellar entry in each of the genre’s three pillars: traversal, pen-and-paper and good old falling-block are represented in our awards with games you should absolutely play.
The best puzzle game of 2017: Puyo Puyo Tetris
Puyo Puyo Tetris has everything a puzzle fan, nay a person with a PlayStation 4 or Switch, could need. Do you like Tetris? You can play Tetris. Do you like Puyo Puyo? You can play Puyo Puyo. Want to experiment and do both at once? You really should, because they work so well together. There is even an incredibly charming story mode that makes the fusion of the two worlds make sense and gives people a chance to develop their skills in both games. Whether you play alone or with friends, it is a sublime experience. – Jenni
It finally made it to the West! While we’re fairly experienced at predicting these things, we were as surprised as everyone else to learn that Sega’s puzzle mashup had worked out the licensing needed for a global release after years of remaining in Japan. But boy, are we glad it did, because it’s both a combination of two stellar games and a great one in its own right. It’s the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of games, and for us, it’s just as much of a staple.– Graham
Runner-up: Bye-Bye Boxboy!
We always knew Qbby was a stand up guy, but Bye-Bye Boxboy! shows he is always ready to exceed our expectations. In his last(?) adventure, he goes through 18 worlds, making the universe a better place. Not only does he save multiple Qbabies, he cosplays as iconic Kirby characters and uses an array of new abilities that help him deal with issues and square everything away. If this really is goodbye, then what a way to go!
Runner-up: Picross S
The train keeps on rolling! Jupiter’s Picross series jumped to the Switch this year, and… well, it’s more Picross! The team keeps cranking out great puzzles, and now it’s on a new platform. It is consistently very good and that shouldn’t be ignored. – Graham