Game/puzzle suggestions please! I like unravelling things, solving a mystery or puzzle backwards.
June 5, 2011 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Game/puzzle suggestions please! I like unravelling things, solving a mystery or puzzle backwards.

Looking for the Columbo of games. Like: picture finds, spot the difference drawings, some mazes, word searches. I dislike card games, crossword puzzles, scrabble, knitting. Odd as it might seem, I really enjoy untying knots. I'm not that skilled at those bar puzzles where there is just one solution.

I like puzzles that are more like work, where you chip away to get to the beginning. Is there anyone like me out there? Any suggestions for games or puzzles, or any kind of hobby that allows you to work backwards, solve a mystery (even a simple one)? Is there such a game as "un-connect the dots"?
posted by belau to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I don't imagine you are a gamer (computer or console), or you would have mentioned it, but the Portal and Portal 2 games are designed for minds just like yours! You'd definitely enjoy them.

And there are also computer 'hidden item' games that have a storyline with a mystery, and as you wirk to solve the main, big mystery, you will find yourself getting stuck, and then have to solve other smaller puzzles to move forward, including finding hidden items in dark rooms, frequently having to combine them in some specific way before you can make use of them.

There's also board games like Clue, of course.
posted by misha at 3:16 PM on June 5, 2011

work, not wirk! Arggh. I came back in to say that the hidden item games aren't very expensive and you can find them through the App store if you have an Apple, or Big Fish, for PC or Mac, etc.
posted by misha at 3:19 PM on June 5, 2011

In my opinion, these are the best free room escape games online: Neutral's Room Escape Games.
posted by phunniemee at 3:38 PM on June 5, 2011

You might like the puzzles at Conceptis. Check out especially the Pic-a-Pix and maybe Nurikabe.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:46 PM on June 5, 2011

You might enjoy Raymond Smullyan's Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of problems in retrograde analysis where you start with the position at the end of the game and have to reconstruct the moves that led up to it. Smullyan wraps the whole thing up in a Holmes-and-Watson narrative which is quite amusing.
posted by verstegan at 3:47 PM on June 5, 2011

oops, that Crimson room seems a dead link. this works however I just played it and there seems to be a bug. ROT-13 for the bugfix/spoiler: Vs gur pbzovangvba sbe gur fnsr qbrf abg jbex, tb gb uggc://fcrrqehajvxv.pbz/Pevzfba_Ebbz sbe n jbex-nebhaq.
posted by K.P. at 3:55 PM on June 5, 2011

Response by poster: Yes - I have a mac and also an xbox 360 with kinect. And the concept of retrograde analysis is exactly what I was thinking about... maybe just dumbed down (at least sometimes) to the untying a ball of knots kind of level just to pass time.
posted by belau at 3:56 PM on June 5, 2011

Do you like logic problems - the kind with the grid and the statements like "Mary lives two houses left of the girl with the parrot and one house to the right of the red-head."

If so, you might like Sherlock, by Everett Kaser Software. I have played over a thousand at the hardest level and I still love them.

Also similar is Inspector Parker.
posted by CathyG at 4:19 PM on June 5, 2011

Best answer: If you like untying knots, you may like the "Untangle" puzzle in Simon Tatham's puzzle collection, which is quite literally that. The others are pretty good too. Looks like there's some sort of Mac version down the page.
posted by alexei at 4:32 PM on June 5, 2011

Response by poster: Less a fan of logic puzzles, more likely to enjoy games like the kid's game memory. Is there an adult version of that?

Untangle is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for! Neat!
posted by belau at 4:42 PM on June 5, 2011

The Longest Journey (PC game) was a great adventure game that had you solving a mystery. (Adventure games, as a genre, usually involve solving many tiny puzzles using things you've picked up along the way.)
posted by saveyoursanity at 4:56 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Grim Fandango!
posted by New England Cultist at 5:30 PM on June 5, 2011

I just spent the morning learning why my great-great uncle could marry his second wife - because her husband died from treatment he endured when he was captured by the Union Army and incarcerated in Camp Chase, Ohio. Then I learned that the home she inherited from her husband and turned into an inn is on the historic register and I found pictures of it on the Internet.

I have American Civil War and Revolutionary War soldiers, Mormons with six wives, Picts, murderers who were hanged, Alsatians, Shawnee Indians, and Long Hunters in my family. Something for everyone. The Civil War is not that interesting to me, but I am having a blast reading about my Long Hunters in documents from the 1780s.

I use WeRelate to keep my notes. We are actually going to start having competitions there but we haven't gotten it together yet. So if this sounds at all interesting you should just pick some side of your family or a friend's and jump in.

Or try to solve a crime by reading about the evidence on Websleuths.
posted by cda at 5:53 PM on June 5, 2011

Kongregate has a lot of great free puzzle games. When you said untying knots, Loops of Zen is the first thing I thought of. There's also a nice spot the differences game with nice illustrations.
posted by segfault at 5:01 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love mini puzzles within the a larger story frame. My favorites:

The PC games (unsure if they're available for Macs) Mystery Case Files series. These are almost entirely 'Hidden object' games, but the illustrations in which the objects are hidden are very well done. If you decide to try one of these, opt for one of the earlier ones, as I feel the latest ones MCF: Dire Grove and MCF: 13th Skull have gone severly downhill.

As for games that have a plot, but are driven by solving mini puzzles, I -love- the Professor Layton series. The type of mini puzzles vary widely, which helps to keep my interest. Unfortunately, they have only been release for the Nintendo DS, but if you do ever obtain that system, keep them in mind.
posted by waxlight at 1:44 PM on June 6, 2011

Ooh, second Loops of Zen!
posted by Addlepated at 3:11 PM on June 6, 2011

The Tiny Bang Story for PC?
posted by tra at 7:54 PM on June 6, 2011

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