Best Nintendo Switch puzzle games in 2023
- Snipperclips Plus - Cut it out, together!
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Picross S6
- Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain
- Tetris Effect: Connected
- Cozy Grove
- Luigi's Mansion 3
- Untitled Goose Game
- Little Nightmares II
- Chicory: A Colorful Tale
- Baba Is You
- Yoku's Island Express
- Donut County
- Puyo Puyo Tetris 2
If you're looking to beef up your brain after a long session of Ring Fit Adventure, or just need to wind down before bed, then a puzzle game may just be up your alley. Puzzle games take on many forms, with straight-forward brain teasers like Picross, or more in-depth puzzles that integrate themselves into the gameplay, such as Luigi's Mansion 3. No matter whether you're looking for something classic, a cheerful adventure or a spooky thriller, there are tons of great puzzle games waiting to be played on your Nintendo Switch.
Snipperclips Plus — Cut it out, together!
This great puzzle game has been around ever since the Nintendo Switch launched, and it's still just as good as it was back then. Two adorable paper cutouts named Snip and Clip help each other solve puzzles by snipping and clipping each other into unique shapes. Snipperclips Plus — Cut it out, together! includes both the base game and the DLC, which offers two new worlds, new activities, and a stamp mode. It's the definitive way to play, and one of the best couch co-op games.
Play as paper characters Snip and Clip as you solve puzzles by cutting each other into various shapes. With all-new worlds, modes, and options, this version of the game includes the DLC and is the definitive way to play.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
What started out as a fun little side-game in Super Mario 3D World ended up becoming its own game. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker sees you guide the adorable Captain Toad through puzzle box levels. There's only one catch, though — you can't jump! Use the environment to your advantage as you try to collect all the stars in every level. The Nintendo Switch version even comes with some exclusive levels based on Super Mario Odyssey, if you can't get enough of New Donk City!
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a puzzle platformer where you have to make it through the level without jumping. Collect stars, solve secret objectives, and save Toadette!
It may be difficult to imagine that a game about unpacking boxes could be any fun, but Unpacking is a real gem to behold. As you've moved homes, sort your belongings and place them where they belong. A person's possessions say a lot about them, and you may not expect to embark on a personal journey with only the objects before you to tell the story.
As you unpack your life once again, find a new home for your belongings, while uncovering the touching secrets of the items that come, and those that go.
Picross is a classic number puzzle where you fill in the blocks to reveal a hidden image. If you enjoy playing Sudoku, this is right up your alley. As you advance, you can attempt more difficult puzzles, with different modes to shake things up. Try your hand at Mega Picross, Color Picross, and more! If you have save data for any other Picross S games, you'll even get an additional three puzzles for free.
Use deductive reasoning to fill in the spaces in Picross S6. Up to 485 mind-bending puzzles await you in this classic number puzzle game.
Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain
This series made its debut on the Wii, with the rise of educational games for everyone. Choose from various categories such as Compute, Visualize, Analyze, and Identify as you complete related mini-games that test each of the abilities you're training in. You can play against other in both local multiplayer and online multiplayer, by challenging player ghost data uploaded to the internet. Players can choose their difficulty level to determine the challenges they face, meaning you can play with anyone and everyone, even if they don't play video games very often!
Battle your friends and family both locally and online in this collection of brain-teasing mini games. No matter your skill level, you'll find something to challenge your noggin!
Tetris Effect: Connected
Tetris is one of the most classic puzzle games. Align the blocks, clear the lines. It's not the game you expect to invoke an emotional connection though, which is what Tetris Effect: Connected provides for the first time on the Nintendo Switch. Think of gaming meets synesthesia, where movements and touch translate to subtle visual and audio effects on the screen, slowly amounting to a crescendo of effects that will totally change the way you experience this game.
You know it, you love it, we all played it on the Game Boy: it's Tetris. Every move creates an ethereal effect on the screen, evoking a kind of serenity and experience the likes of which you've never seen before
If cheerful, bright art styles aren't your thing, and spooky games are more up your alley, you'll have a grand time in LIMBO. This side-scrolling puzzle adventure sees a boy enter limbo, trying to save his sister. With a monochrome art style, misty environments, and a minimal user interface, players will have to escape horrors and monsters the size of buildings, figuring things out as they go along. It's a unique journey that's perfect as both a Halloween game and a puzzle game.
This award-winning puzzle game is perfect for horror fans. Enter Limbo and try to survive until the end, making sure not to faint in the path of giant s-s-spiders!
INSIDE is another game from Playdead, the genius team behind LIMBO. Whereas LIMBO was a 2D game, INSIDE is a 3D game that follows a boy as he uncovers an unsettling experiment. With moody lighting, suspenseful music, and a chilling atmosphere, it's no wonder that this game is critically acclaimed.
If you couldn't get enough of LIMBO, then INSIDE is for you. Now featuring puzzles in a 3D landscape, journey further and further as the hairs on your neck stand on end as you unveil the horrors in this world.
Cozy Grove was one of the best hit indie games to make its debut in 2021. With a gorgeous hand-drawn aesthetic, endearing dialogue and writing, and soothing music, this game is a treasure. Find and collect spirits on a mysterious haunted island, completing tasks for them and developing your campsite as you progress. With relaxing tasks and interesting puzzles, this game is great for any fan of both management sims and puzzle games.
Collect ghosts around your campsite and complete tasks to keep them happy. As you progress, you'll have more tasks to do and puzzles to solve, making it a relaxing little management sim with an adorable spooky theme.
Luigi's Mansion 3
The third entry in the series, Luigi's Mansion 3 sees Luigi get scammed by a shady home owner, once again. Explore the haunted, eerily-named Last Resort Hotel and solve puzzles on each floor. The more floors you clear, the closer you get to saving your dear brother Mario and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom gang. Work alongside Polterpup, Professor E. Gadd and the newest mechanic, Gooigi, as you fight ghosts and collect an obscene amount of money in the process.
Fight swarms of ghosts, save Mario and the gang, all while collecting some cold, hard cash. This entry in the Luigi's Mansion series is the best it's ever been, complete with multiplayer elements for quadruple the fun!
Untitled Goose Game
As far as animals go, geese are some of the biggest jerks. If this is appealing to you, you may want to pick up Untitled Goose Game. You're presented with a checklist of tasks, which needs to be completed by solving puzzles. You'll be honking, hiding, flapping your wings, and playing pranks on the townsfolk; basically being a menace to everyone you encounter. Though short, it's a hilarious game that will leave you honking with laughter.
Peace was never an option. Play as the titular goose as you check off your daily list by solving puzzles and wreaking absolute havoc. Honk, flap, and move things around as you leave the town residents trembling before you!
Little Nightmares II
The sequel to the well-received Little Nightmares stars a new character Mono, as he's accompanied by the first game's protagonist, Six. Make your way through unsettling environments as you try to uncover the secret of the Signal Tower that's keeping you trapped there. Solve puzzles and travel with Six, who guides you in a world that's trying to make sure you don't escape with your life.
Traverse through the world as Mono, making your way through creepy landscapes and rooms. This game's moody setting is quite unnerving, making solving puzzles more difficult as you avoid monsters and, y'know, dying.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
The world has lost its color, and the brilliant artist Chicory is nowhere to be found. How could this have happened? Set out on a journey with Chicory's paintbrush as you restore the bland world to its former colorful glory. With a host of charming characters, a brilliant soundtrack, and a plethora of interesting puzzles that use paint to change the environment, this game is certain to brighten your spirits.
After a famous artist mysteriously disappears, it's up to you to bring color back to the world. Solve puzzles, unlock new abilities, and show off your creative skills by filling the world with paint.
Baba Is You
Baba Is You is a quirky minimalist game that tasks the player with using conditional if-then-else statements to solve puzzles. Baba can be you, but you can also be a door, or a key! Shuffle the words around the screen to change the scenario in your favor. The puzzles get even more difficult as you go on, becoming increasingly mind-bending and fun.
This charming puzzle game combines the use of conditional expressions and logical reasoning. Change the world with a simple shuffle of words, solving increasingly difficult puzzles.
Yoku's Island Express
Platforming meets arcade pinball mechanics in this wacky game. Explore Mokumana Island as Yoku, a cute little beetle who just wants to be the best postman around. Set out on an epic journey to awaken the island's deity from its slumber, unlocking new abilities as you move around the world. If you're unsure about this game, don't worry! There's a free demo available on the Nintendo eShop.
This brilliant platformer uses pinball mechanics to guide the protagonist around. Solve puzzles, explore vibrant areas, and face epic bosses in one of the most unique games on the system.
Pikuniku is, in short, weird. You play as a bipedal red blob and traverse a world with vibrant colors and distinct landscapes. Solve puzzles made for everyone and engage in quirky side quests. Two players can engage in this game for double the fun in a split-screen co-op. This puzzler, with its upbeat setting, is perfect for a rainy day.
This wacky and weird platformer sees a little red blob with legs fulfill requests, explore the world, and solve fun puzzles.
If you think you've seen all the weird protagonists that gaming has to offer, think again. In Donut County, you play as a hole in the ground that grows as more things get swallowed. Well, it's a hole controlled by a raccoon. Explore the landscape and solve puzzles as you engage in increasingly absurd situations. With a cast of fun characters, witty scenarios, and a charming art style, the game will have you in stitches.
Play as a hole in the ground as you solve puzzles and explore Donut County, a place taken over by raccoons. No, that was not a typo.
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is the perfect sequel, keeping the main idea while making things even bigger and better, with an all-new story mode and improved online functionality. Whether you want to strictly play Puyo Puyo, Tetris, or a combination of both, this game provides hours of content and incentivizes improving your skills.
Can't get enough of Puyo Puyo and Tetris? Why not have both? This sequel improves on the first game with all-new content.
GRIS follows a girl traveling across melancholy pastel landscapes, trying to cope with the sorrow felt after a painful experience. Solve puzzles to advance as you gain new abilities that bring you to new heights. The emotional weight of this game may just surprise you, leaving you with an experience you'll continue to think about long after you've finished playing.
Embark on an emotional journey as you travel across lonely landscapes in pastel tones. Art meets gaming in GRIS, an unforgettable experience.
The best puzzle games on Switch
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There are tons of great games on the Nintendo Switch, all of which serve different audiences. Games have evolved so much in the past 30 years, allowing developers to incorporate puzzle elements seamlessly into gameplay. No longer is the idea of a "puzzle" confined to something you put together on your living room table.
My favorite game on this list is Snipperclips Plus - Cut it out, together!. Couch co-op games are my favorite way to play multiplayer and this game really encourages both you and your partner to work together — even if it means your voices may get a little raised in the process. If things are getting too stressful, you can always take a break in the Dojo or Stamp mode, featured in the included DLC.
If you're looking for a puzzle game that most resembles classic pen-and-paper play, I recommend Picross S6. Picross is an interesting number puzzler that really encourages you to think ahead, making the game more about the journey than the destination. Picross S6 is the latest game available in the series, but don't be afraid to check out any of the other Picross S games.
Want something a little more spooky? Check out INSIDE. OF course, LIMBO is a great entry in this list as well, but INSIDE builds on the mechanics found in its predecessor. Of course, if you're a scaredy-cat like me, maybe you should pick up Cozy Grove instead, where the ghosts are friendly.
A new and improved Nintendo Switch
The newest member of the Nintendo Switch family is the OLED model, which incorporates new and improved features to the system including a larger OLED display, a more stable kickstand for tabletop play, a LAN port, and an upgraded 64GB of internal storage. It's the classic Nintendo Switch, but better.
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Nadine is a freelance writer for iMore with a specialty in all things Nintendo, often working on news, guides, reviews, and editorials. She's been a huge Nintendo fan ever since she got to pet her very own Nintendog, and enjoys looking at Nintendo's place in the video game industry. Writing is her passion, but she mostly does it so that she can pay off her ever-growing debt to Tom Nook. Her favorite genres are simulation games, rhythm games, visual novels, and platformers. You can find her at @stopthenadness on Twitter, where she'll more than likely be reposting cute Animal Crossing content.