Digital Game Recommendations Pt. 4

Last year I wrote 3 posts with digital puzzle game recommendations:

  1. Narrative-driven puzzle games

  2. Puzzle Platformer games

  3. Puzzle-centric games

Since then I've played several other noteworthy games and thought they warranted a new post, especially with so many folks being stuck indoors these days. You may notice I left out the word "puzzle" in the title of this post, and that is because the first item on the list is Slay the Spire.

Slay the Spire

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Mac, Linux

What is it?

This is not a puzzle game, but if you like puzzles you may enjoy it. Though I warn you now: it is addicting as heck. Slay the Spire is a strategic deck-builder with turn-based combat where you battle monsters by creating synergies using different cards. If that doesn’t sound super unique or exciting, allow me to admit that I’ve sunk in dozens and dozens of hours into this game - it’s great.

Why play?

  • There are 4 characters to play with, each with different abilities and different sets of available cards. You can put together many different synergies with each character’s cards, so while the monsters don’t have a ton of variety, there are many strategies to victory, which keeps the game interesting.

  • When you first start out, there are lots of items to unlock, and if you’ve beaten the final boss you can always give yourself an extra challenge by starting to ascend to higher levels.

  • There are daily challenges and custom setups you can put together, plus some ridiculous trophies to win (like having 99 strength, etc.) There is a lot of replay value, which is good since a full run through (for me) takes an average of about 2 hours.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Available on: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows

What is it?

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a narrative-driven puzzle game in which the player investigates a series of events that led to the disappearance of a boy. The focus of the game is on exploration and discovery, and puzzles mostly involve reconstructing sequences of events from the past. The world is a bit large for the amount of content, and walking across long stretches of nothing became a bit tedious at times, but there are enough cues and guidance to keep it from being frustrating.

Why play?