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Favorite wordplay/puzzle/code games

Recommendations by MathBrush

Games whose main 'genre' is wordplay. This list does not include games like the Edifice or Suveh Nux which have significant wordplay elements, but which are not the focus of the story.

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1. Counterfeit Monkey
by Emily Short
(2012)
Average member rating: (85 ratings)

MathBrush says:

While I found this game overwhelming at first, there is no doubt that this is the ultimate wordplay game available. Escape from an island with secret plans using a variety of tools to manipulate words in just about any way imaginable. Extensively tested, with a huge database of words.

2. Ad Verbum
by Nick Montfort
(2000)
Average member rating: (108 ratings)

MathBrush says:

This was one of the first games I ever played, and it's a beauty. Clean out an old wizard's house by using constrained commands (e.g. every word must start with a W in one room).

3. Shuffling Around
by Andrew Schultz (as Ned Yompus)
(2012)
Average member rating: (14 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Andrew Schultz has a large number of good wordplay games. Shuffling Around is one of my favorites. Explore a mid-to-large map full of words that are or can be anagrammed. Change objects by anagramming. A huge amount of work went into adding as many anagrams as possible into this game.

4. Threediopolis
by Andrew Schultz
(2013)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)

MathBrush says:

My other favorite Schultz game. Use 3-dimensional movement to run a series of coded errands.

5. PataNoir
by Simon Christiansen
(2011)
Average member rating: (37 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Excellent game where you physically manipulate metaphors. Cold as ice? Take the ice!

6. Bee
by Emily Short
(2012)
Average member rating: (55 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Not really a wordplay game, but may be of interest to wordplay fans. Prepare for a spelling bee by learning actual spelling bee words and trying to spell them right on stage.

7. For a Change
by Dan Schmidt
(1999)
Average member rating: (88 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A game that attempts to use normal words in as awkward and stilted a way as possible.

8. Earl Grey, by Rob Dubbin and Allison Parrish (2009)
Average member rating: (26 ratings)
MathBrush says:

In many ways a "guess-the-author's-brain" game, but still fun. You can remove and add letters to words.

9. The Gostak
by Carl Muckenhoupt
(2001)
Average member rating: (48 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A game full of nonsense words whose meaning or use you must decipher.

10. In a Manor of Speaking, by Hulk Handsome (2012)
Average member rating: (22 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A funny and often juvenile game based entirely off of puns.

11. Missive, by Joey Fu (2014)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A Twine game with a series of coded messages in letters. I don't know if anyone's ever really solved these puzzles.

12. Praser 5, by Andrew Plotkin (1989)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
MathBrush says:

One of Plotkin's earliest works. Just pure riddles, including cryptic crosswords and Euclidean geometry.

13. Goose, Egg, Badger
by Brian Rapp
(2004)
Average member rating: (19 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A slice-of-life game about putting animals back in their pens; contains a secret mode that uses highly constrained inputs and wordplay.

14. Bad Machine
by Dan Shiovitz
(1998)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A game written in crazy pseudo-code. You are a bad machine, and have to figure out how to survive in a complicated and dangerous environment while decoding the text.

15. Which Describes How You're Feeling, by Adam Parrish (2012)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Rhyme to describe your feelings as fast as you can with a countdown timer.

16. Fourdiopolis, by Andrew Schultz (2016)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
MathBrush says:

The sequel to threediopolis, now with 4 unique extra directions.

17. Dream Pieces, by Iam Curio (2013)
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A quest game where you split up different pieces of words and connect them.


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