Lumines Remastered (Switch eShop)

Lumines Remastered (Switch eShop)Lumines Remastered (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Enhance Games / Developer: Resonair
Release Date: 26th Jun 2018 (USA) / 26th Jun 2018 (UK/EU)

A PSP mainstay, the Switch edition delivers most everything you could want from a modern version of Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s musical puzzle classic. 2x2 blocks containing two colours fall steadily onto the field and you must rotate these to form 2x2 squares of the same colour which disappear in time to the beat with the regular arrival of a sweeping time line. Although not particularly challenging, the focus is more on the synaesthesia that characterises Mizuguchi’s work (famously Rez, and more recently Tetris Effect). Paired with some decent headphones, Lumines Remastered is the perfect game to zone out with on public transport. Maybe set an alarm so you don’t miss your stop, though. Don’t be silly; of course that’s never happened to us.

Subsurface Circular (Switch eShop)

Subsurface Circular (Switch eShop)Subsurface Circular (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Bithell Games / Developer: Ant Workshop
Release Date: 1st Mar 2018 (USA) / 1st Mar 2018 (UK/EU)

On the topic of public transport, this text-based narrative game has you using your best detective skills as you puzzle through conversation trees with people you meet on the metro. We say ‘people’, they’re actually android commuters going about their business in a future world you only glimpse through the doors of the train. Listening for clues and asking the right questions is the name of the game in this ‘talking simulator’, and we adored our time with Subsurface Circular. Again, it’s a blessedly short two-three-hour journey, so we recommend everyone jump aboard and experience it.

Puyo Puyo Champions (Switch eShop)

Puyo Puyo Champions (Switch eShop)Puyo Puyo Champions (Switch eShop)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 7th May 2019 (USA) / 7th May 2019 (UK/EU)

Puyo Puyo Champions ably covers the essentials of the series at a great price point. The inclusion of the Fever ruleset provides something of interest for veteran players and the most enthusiastic of new fans created by Puyo Puyo Tetris, and should be at least considered for any party game library. However, the lack of other single or multiplayer modes or a real tutorial make this less of a definitive entry-point or second helping for newly created casual fans than it perhaps could be. Regardless, it's still Puyo Puyo, and in a similar way to the Picross S series, you can't go too far wrong.

World of Goo (Switch eShop)

World of Goo (Switch eShop)World of Goo (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Tomorrow Corporation / Developer: Tomorrow Corporation
Release Date: 16th Mar 2017 (USA) / 23rd Mar 2017 (UK/EU)

We were ecstatic when this Wiiware game came to Switch at launch, and it’s still one of the smartest, funniest physics puzzlers you’ll find anywhere. Controlled with a pointer or the touchscreen, you must assemble a gooey framework and negotiate ever more hazardous environments while guiding your precious goo balls to an exit pipe. Excelling with its satirical narrative as well as its mechanics, Kyle Gabler’s unmistakable art style would go on to form the basis of the Tomorrow Corporation games from earlier in the list. If World of Goo somehow passed you by, do yourself a favour and indulge your rampant consumerist tendencies immediately.

Baba Is You (Switch eShop)

Baba Is You (Switch eShop)Baba Is You (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Hempuli / Developer: Hempuli
Release Date: 13th Mar 2019 (USA) / 13th Mar 2019 (UK/EU)

Baba Is You is like a compilation of gift shop brain teasers; they’re not for everyone, but some people can’t get enough of them. A Sokoban-like grid-based 2D puzzler that lays out its rules and then asks you kindly to break them, you play as a little white rabbit-ish creature called Baba, which spends its time pushing word blocks around levels which are used to formulate the rules of each level. It's one of the most unique puzzlers you can find on the Switch and the way in which it encourages you to break its rules and create your own ones is refreshing and unique. Its sudden difficulty spike and lack of a hint system could easily discourage some from continuing, but if you enjoy a good brain teasing, you could easily spend hours getting lost within Baba’s puzzles. Just make sure to take a break or two, or you may forget which Baba is you.

The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition (Switch eShop)

The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition (Switch eShop)The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Croteam
Release Date: 10th Dec 2019 (USA) / 10th Dec 2019 (UK/EU)

Croteam, the creators of The Talos Principle, were previously known primarily for their silly (but fun) Serious Sam titles. The Talos Principle shows a remarkable maturity and depth of scope that's perhaps surprising, but in a very good way. It poses interesting questions, allows the player to progress at their own pace - mostly in a non-linear fashion - and is a hugely satisfying piece of game design. Utterly entrancing and highly recommended.

TENS! (Switch eShop)

TENS! (Switch eShop)TENS! (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Kwalee / Developer: Kwalee
Release Date: 5th Nov 2020 (USA) / 5th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

TENS! is very much like Sudoku; it’s the kind of puzzle game that is so immediately accessible to everyone, it’s actually quite difficult to pick out any significant flaws. Ultimately, your enjoyment of the title will come down to how much you want to play a game that’s essentially about adding and subtracting numbers. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re up for it, then TENS! will sink its hooks in you and won’t let go for a long time.

Mr. Driller: DrillLand (Switch eShop)

Mr. Driller: DrillLand (Switch eShop)Mr. Driller: DrillLand (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco
Release Date: 25th Jun 2020 (USA) / 25th Jun 2020 (UK/EU)

Mr. Driller is one of those elite few puzzle games that, like Tetris, remain immensely playable no matter what year it is. The GameCube edition was one of the finest examples of this and, a full 18 years later, it hasn't aged a single day. Given that you can easily enjoy it in 10-minute bursts or epic three-hour sessions, there are fewer games better suited to the Switch. A must-have for puzzle fans.

Tetris 99 (Switch eShop)

Tetris 99 (Switch eShop)Tetris 99 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Arika
Release Date: 13th Feb 2019 (USA) / 14th Feb 2019 (UK/EU)

Exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, Tetris 99 offers a truly unique way to play the tried-and-tested classic, even if the overall package feels a little lightweight. Essentially a battle royale take on Tetris, playing live against 98 others is chaotic, and the action feels fast, precise, and wonderfully addictive. It’s seriously difficult, too – we’d fancy our chances in Fortnite over this any day – and we’re impressed with the fact that it's forced us to play the game with a completely different approach to our usual slow-and-steady ways. Signing up for Nintendo Switch Online just to play this game might be a bit of a stretch, but if you’re already a member, what are you waiting for? It’s free, and it might just become your next favourite time sink.

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