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The great puzzlefests - an IFDB Poll

by Victor Gijsbers
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Playing Curses!, I started wondering which games belong to the canon of great puzzlefests. With this term I mean puzzle based games that are long, difficult and punishing; but also fair, engaging and truly rewarding to work through. The best works of Infocom probably belong here, as do Curses!, Anchorhead, Savoir-Faire and Varicella. But my knowledge of this corpus is hazy. Titles like Christminster, Mulldoon Legacy and Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina strike a bell, but I've never played them. Among more recent works, Counterfeit Monkey and Hadean Lands might be good examples. (The Dreamhold is perhaps not quite what I have in mind, being on the shorter side.) But I'm probably unaware of many other gems, both old and more recent. So help me by voting in the poll!

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The Wand, by Arthur DiBianca
4 votes
"This game is pure puzzles - many of them, and clever" [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Counterfeit Monkey, by Emily Short
4 votes
"Large puzzle game based on wordplay" [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Curses!, by Graham Nelson
4 votes
"The great puzzlefest that showcased the strengths of Inform" [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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First Things First, by J. Robinson Wheeler
3 votes
(No comment) [+]... "Quite hard but..." [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Hadean Lands, by Andrew Plotkin
3 votes
"Alchemical puzzlefest in which repetition is avoided by powerful automatic puzzle solving" [+]... (No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Blue Lacuna, by Aaron A. Reed
2 votes
(No comment) [+]... "When played in..." [+]...

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Worldsmith, by Interactive Fables
2 votes
(No comment) [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Anchorhead, by Michael Gentry
2 votes
"Adds creepiness and suspense to a genre that often felt laid-back and purely cerebral" [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Savoir-Faire, by Emily Short
2 votes
"Brilliant game gets a distinctive feel because of the magic-based puzzles" [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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A Beauty Cold and Austere, by Mike Spivey
2 votes
"Math Puzzlefest" [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Cragne Manor, by Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, Adam Whybray, Adri, Andrew Plotkin, Andy Holloway, Austin Auclair, Baldur Brückner, Ben Collins-Sussman, Bill Maya, Brian Rushton, Buster Hudson, Caleb Wilson, Carl Muckenhoupt, Chandler Groover, Chris Jones, Christopher Conley, Damon L. Wakes, Daniel Ravipinto, Daniel Stelzer, David Jose, David Petrocco, David Sturgis, Drew Mochak, Edward B, Emily Short, Erica Newman, Feneric, Finn Rosenløv, Gary Butterfield, Gavin Inglis, Greg Frost, Hanon Ondricek, Harkness Munt, Harrison Gerard, Ian Holmes, Ivan Roth, Jack Welch, Jacqueline Ashwell, James Eagle, Jason Dyer, Jason Lautzenheiser, Jason Love, Jeremy Freese, Joey Jones, Joshua Porch, Justin de Vesine, Justin Melvin, Katherine Morayati, Kenneth Pedersen, Lane Puetz, Llew Mason, Lucian Smith, Marco Innocenti, Marius Müller, Mark Britton, Mark Sample, Marshal Tenner Winter, Matt Schneider, Matt Weiner, Matthew Korson, Michael Fessler, Michael Gentry, Michael Hilborn, Michael Lin, Mike Spivey, Molly Ying, Monique Padelis, Naomi Hinchen, Nate Edwards, Petter Sjölund, Q Pheevr, Rachel Spitler, Reed Lockwood, Reina Adair, Riff Conner, Roberto Colnaghi, Rowan Lipkovits, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Scott Hammack, Sean M. Shore, Wade Clarke, Zach Hodgens, Zack Johnson
1 vote
"The biggest puzzlefest" [+]...

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Lydia's Heart, by Jim Aikin
1 vote
"Creepy puzzlefest" [+]...

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The King of Shreds and Patches, by Jimmy Maher
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Augmented Fourth, by Brian Uri!
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosis, by One of the Bruces and Drunken Bastard
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Illuminismo Iniziato, by Michael J. Coyne
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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The Chinese Room, by Harry Giles and Joey Jones
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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The Mulldoon Legacy, by Jon Ingold
1 vote
"Great puzzle-fest game" [+]...

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The Dark World, by Terrence Bull
1 vote
"It is a very challenging game with lots of twists and turns, but is also very funny." [+]...

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The Temple of Shorgil, by Arthur DiBianca
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Adventurer's Consumer Guide, by Øyvind Thorsby
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Risorgimento Represso, by Michael J. Coyne
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Varicella, by Adam Cadre
1 vote
"You must defeat your enemies rather than pass locked doors, but still a puzzlefest" [+]...

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