So I just started Lost Winds on WiiWare and it further confirmed something that I've been suspecting for awhile lately: No genre hooks me quite like puzzle platformers, or PPs (god there's gotta be better shorthand that I'm missing). Here are some of my favorite things about the genre:
1.) Easy to pick up and play - This is especially true of 2D PPs. 2D platformers in general have always been perhaps the best genre for accessibility, and puzzle platformers, even though they obviously require more thought than the standard version, are really no exception. There's rarely anything intimidating in PPs that might give you pause before you dive in. Good examples start simple and ease you into the complexity so that you barely realize you're doing things you couldn't have done when you started.
2.) Heavy on variety - Not all PPs are like this, of course, but the best ones never stop introducing new gameplay or new ways of using the same mechanics.
3.) The right amount of challenge - As an old school NES game enthusiast, I like to be frustrated sometimes. But more often these days I like games to be just hard enough to be satisfying without making me break any controllers. With PPs, this means making the puzzles hard enough for me to feel clever but easy enough to not be stumped for more than a few minutes. This is a balance that most PPs I've played seem to strike quite well.
4.) Perfect as downloadable titles - These days I don't have as much time to sink 20+ hours into a game and retail games often find ways to pad the content in order to make it feel like it's worth the hefty price tag. Downloadable games don't need to do this and so they give you all the goodness they can come up with and then call it a day. PPs fit this perfectly because they can get stale quickly if they aren't changing things up (see #2). Even a 2 or 3 hour PP can be incredibly satisfying if it keeps you on your toes the whole game.
Limbo (PC) Vessel (PC) Rochard (PC) Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA) Klonoa: Dream Champ Tournament (GBA) Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands (Wii) Portal (PC) Portal 2 (PC)
I'm sure I'm missing some other greats but I'm rushing this.
I guess I'm just saying that you don't turn to Pushmo for platforming. It technically has some marginal platforming, but mostly only because it is a 3D puzzle game that has a character moving around in it.
I feel like calling it a puzzle / platformer is the equivalent of calling I dunno... Boom Blox a puzzle / SHMUP. Because you technically shoot things in it.
I can dig it.
Pushmo/Crashmo falls into the same category as Wario's Woods, I think.
I just found out today that Another World is on Steam. How is it? Back when Limbo came out e eryone said that the two games are similar, and as much as I love Limbo, I think I should play Another World.
@GameDadGrant Nah, I don't think so at all. Wario's Woods is a match 3 puzzle game where you move Toad around instead of a cursor. It's a puzzle game with 'platforming' elements I suppose, but it's not really a platformer with puzzle elements, which I think Jargon is aiming for.
@Secret_Tunnel You never played Another World? Weird. I remember playing it on the SNES oh so long ago. I didn't like it, too much trial and error for me, but it was definitely a seminal title that many love.
My absolute favourite is A Boy and His Blob for Wii. I'm madly in love with everything about it, apart from the far too common hint boards that give away the solutions to the puzzles early on. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the very prettiest, best-sounding and most enjoyable games on the system.
Also, does Spacestation Silicon Valley count? I found an N64 copy for cheap just a couple of months ago, and ended up liking the game a whole lot. The concept of possessing cybernetic animals to overcome environmental obstacles, solve puzzles and defeat other animals to get new host bodies is pretty fantastic, and the game's got this lovely sense of humor that reminds me of Rare's games from days gone by.
Honorable mentions to Donkey Kong ´94 and the Fluidity/Hydroventure games.
I wasn't exactly sure what a puzzle/platformer was, so I had to read through the thread to get some examples.
I didn't like LostWinds myself, I found it incredibly bland and boring. Fluidity was pretty good. The final level was poorly-designed, but the main pages had some clever and cute elements to them. I didn't collect all the drops though, because there were a few that required more precision than the controls and water physics could realistically allow. Donkey Kong for the Game Boy was surprisingly fun, I got the cartridge last year shortly after it came to the 3DS VC. I ended up liking it better than Mario vs Donkey Kong, feeling it had better stage designs and more variety. I haven't played any of the MvsDK sequels though. I've played a bit of A Boy and His Blob on Wii, and it seemed decent enough. I believe I had also gotten another game along with it that I wanted to play more, and I still haven't gotten back to it yet.
Some people consider Bomberman 64 to be a puzzle/platformer, though I'm not sure if it counts since Bomberman can't jump on his own, he bounces off his bombs. If it does count, I enjoyed both games.