My favorites

Last updated . Huge content update along with the full site revamp. New section for my own creations, a lot more subsections of favorite puzzles and games.

Also, the page becomes quite lengthy and so I've collapsed most of the sections.

Previous updates

. Some extra examples in the furry art section. And one new favorite puzzle game.

I have a broad range of interests. Puzzles and games obviously, but also other things such as music. This page has several lists of my favorite things spanning across many interests. Perhaps you might find something you also like in common, or perhaps you discover something new. Or at the very least, you get to know more about me.

Since the page is long, many sections on this page have been collapsed. Just click to reveal a collapsed section.

Table of contents

My creations

Of course I'm proud of my own work. Who doesn't? I think a main driving force of all my creative output is to share it to the world and feel giddy that people enjoy it.

That said, I think some of my works are exceptionally above the others. If you look at all I've created and are lost in what to try first, here's a personal recommendation.

I say "creations", reserving the possibility of including non-puzzle things here, but so far I only have puzzles in this section.

My logic puzzles

I'm proud of many of my logic puzzles, but I especially love some of them, which are listed here.

If I like a puzzle, it's for some reason. Perhaps it has an exceptionally good aesthetic theme (although never at the expense of the solve path). Perhaps the solve path is incredible and satisfying to find. Perhaps it looks surprising, crazy even; how on earth can that puzzle even exist? Sometimes it's for multiple reasons, and so I include it multiple times.

Aesthetically pleasing

Logically remarkable

Seemingly impossible

My other puzzles

These are for puzzles that are presented not in a logic puzzle context, including hunt puzzles that have logic components.

Back and Forth (Super Mario Maker 2 level)

Level code: R8H-174-52G. Also described on my works page.

It might be the only Mario level I've created so far, but I'm pretty proud of it. I especially like the fact that I focus on precision and execution, without any random surprises catching you off-guard.

Rock, Paper, Scissors (PuzzleScript)

Also described on my works page.

Among the PuzzleScript puzzle games I've written, this is easily the one I'm most proud of, because it has novel ideas. It might be a bit lacking in the levels, but I think the core concept is solid and so it's just a matter of making new levels some time.

Unusual and Strange Puzzle Collection (Galactic Puzzle Hunt 2018)

Also described on my works page and my logic archive.

While co-written with Anderson, a lot of the work in this puzzle is mine, including a majority of the puzzles. They are also great logic puzzles on their own, and I recommend you giving them a try.

Puzzles and other thinky stuff

Warning: There may be spoilers in my comments about each puzzle. I believe the comments shouldn't spoil much about the puzzles; for example, I might just mention something that should also be pretty clear when you first open the puzzle. That said, I'm warning in advance, and if you want to avoid spoilers entirely, try your best at not reading the comments.

Logic puzzles

I'll be honest. While I'm sure I like a lot of logic puzzles, with how much I've done them and how quickly a puzzle can pass, I tend to forget a lot of them. If you remember me loving a particular puzzle that's not listed here, feel free to remind me!

When listing my own logic puzzles I like the most above, I mentioned that I could like something because it looks pretty, it has a fun solve path, or it's simply mind-blowing. Likewise, the most memorable puzzles for me are the ones that do multiple of them. Usually if it looks incredibly scary and yet there's a clean solve path for it, it goes straight to my list. This is true for many of the puzzles below!

Click to reveal


Fillomino, the whole genre, is something that captivates me from when I started doing logic puzzles. I'm not entirely sure why, but I feel like it's rich and able to express a lot of ideas. The ruleset is also flexible enough that it allows a lot of variations.

Sometimes I want to make a logic puzzle, but I don't know what I want to make. Usually my mind comes to Fillomino first. I streamed my thought process of writing a puzzle by writing a Fillomino. When I was asked to contribute a puzzle to a logic puzzle issue, I submitted a Fillomino. A hunt puzzle with logic components? Also a Fillomino.

Safe to say it has a place dear to me. I may have tried various other genres and invented some of my own, and some of them have become favorite genres as well, but Fillomino is still a good one I often come back into.

Portals (MIT Mystery Hunt 2013)

Published by Palmer Mebane

Although this is technically a hunt puzzle, it's completely logical except for the extraction step, so you can just solve the big interlinked logic puzzle and ignore the extraction.

One big reason I remember this fondly was because this was also the first time I hunted for real. I practically soloed this puzzle for 8 hours or so; my memory is that I uploaded partial progress every so often but nobody picked it up. It's fair; it's probably because logic puzzles tend to be something you do solo.

Meta Loop (Logic Masters India)

Published by Jonah Ostroff

LMI Fun Contests are often the source of fun things, and this one is no exception. A big matchmaker puzzle with a lot of rules... except the matchmaker grid itself is the puzzle grid. I guess that's spoiling the surprise somewhat, but that's just the beginning of the puzzle, and there's still a lot of logical delight to go through.

14 Minesweeper Variants (Steam)

Published by Artless Games

Most logic puzzles are presented as static images, but it's very much possible to do a dynamic, interactive logic puzzle. Minesweeper (the game) is close enough to one, but it never guarantees you have a logical way forward without guessing.

This game scratches that itch and more. Every puzzle is made sure to have a purely logical way. In fact, you can enable a mode in which any guessing is penalized (by rearranging the mines so that your guess is wrong), which is incredible.

More than that, though, is that this game is not only vanilla Minesweeper. As the name says, it features 14 Minesweeper variants. I'm lying, there are more than 14 variants, way more if you count the puzzles that are two or more variants at the same time. It's a wealth of puzzles.

One main issue I have for this game is that all the puzzles are computer-generated. I believe they are still curated so that the puzzles are generally interesting, but they are still computer-generated. In fact, you're not even expected to finish everything. In a way, I wouldn't call them puzzles. But it's worth to play through the puzzles and pick up ideas and deductions that each variant teaches. However unfortunate the puzzles are, it's still a good game to spend a few minutes (or hours) on at a time.

Also, the sequel, aptly named 14 Minesweeper Variants 2, is coming out in 2024.

Rule discovery puzzles and games

First, a note: Although some of these might be more properly called puzzles, I'm calling them all games. For a good reason, read on.

This kind of games works as follows. A game consists of a collection of puzzles. Every puzzle in the collection follows the same rules, but you're not told what the rules are. You have to discover the rules yourself to make the puzzles work.

There are two flavors of this genre. The first flavor is a game that gives you feedback; upon submitting an answer, you know whether it's correct or not. (Some more generous games give you some cryptic explanation why an answer is wrong.) The second flavor doesn't give you feedback whatsoever, because it can't; the game is static, perhaps printed as a book or something of the sort.

Perhaps the most well-known kind of this game is The Witness, and for that reason, these games are sometimes called "Witness-likes". However, I actually don't like that game for several reasons, one of them being that I have motion sickness and can't play games with first-person view. That's okay, because I'm still glad it spawns a whole genre of games, many of which I can enjoy.

Rule discovery games can very easily go wrong. But when the author knows what they're doing, these games are a delight. That's why I have quite a lot of them listed, even though I haven't finished several of these.

Also, rule discovery games are closely related to "black box" puzzles. In a black box puzzle, you're presented with an interface. You can interact by giving an input, and the interface will reply with an output corresponding to it. However, you can't see how the it works; that's where the "black box" comes from. You have to figure out the inner workings this way.

But a key difference is that you get to decide the input for black box puzzles, and this lets you experiment in a lot of ways. For rule discovery games, often the input is fixed, and all you can do is to find the one solution. They lead to different experiences.

I also like black box puzzles, but I haven't quite found any that truly captivates me. Rule discovery games, on the other hand...

Click to reveal

Taiji (website)

Published by Matthew VanDevander

This is perhaps the game that looks like The Witness the most. Puzzles presented in a mysterious world. Some grids have clues whose meanings you have to deduce; other puzzles involve the environment. Pretty much the same. It's presented as a two-dimensional game, though, which is much, much more accessible for me.

It's a tad expensive for my tastes, but I very much enjoyed my time with it. I believe I 100%-ed it, too; if not, it must have been very close.

LOK (website)

Published by Blaž Urban Gracar

I got through it about halfway before deciding I had to actually print these out, and then I just forgot about it. But from what I did, these puzzles are a delight.

The same author also published Abdec the year after, which I haven't gotten around to try. I should.

Honorable mentions


Sokoban is perhaps the most famous puzzle game. Such simple rules lead to a lot of depth. It spawns an entire genre of puzzle games called Sokoban-likes. These games take place on a grid, and there is no timing or reflex involved; everything moves on a turn by turn basis, always waiting for your input. You're moving a particular player character (sometimes several), and you interact with various objects on the board. (Some definitions require the interaction to be pushing. Maybe I'm mis-using this term, but I can't think of a better one.)

Sokoban-likes are perhaps my favorite genre of games; not just puzzle games, but among all games. It's very easy to make something new with just a little change to the rules. Good developers will also plumb the depths of the mechanics, leading to a variety of exciting puzzles. I also don't need aesthetics — if any, I actually dislike games with fancy, realistic graphics — and since Sokoban-likes are puzzle games, they don't need graphics either. Something simple suffices just fine.

I like a lot of these games; if you like them, you'll want to try all of these too. But a few of them climb above and beyond.

Click to reveal

N Step Steve (Part 1 on, Part 2 on

Published (Part 1) and (Part 2)

This is, bar none, my favorite Sokoban-like. It's even competing for not only favorite puzzle game, but my favorite game of all-time.

The mechanics are fairly straightforward, but they have a ton of hidden subtleties. Edge cases are not only handled well; they sometimes hold a secret, or even become key features of the game. One notable moment was at the end of Part 1, where you're introduced to a new mechanic just before you finish Part 1, and it makes you think in a totally new way for every single level you've seen.

Speaking of levels, the game presents an incredible puzzle design. Each level has multiple purposes, and it seems to be tuned well. Of course levels are designed to be traversed through, and they present a nice challenge for people that are just starting new. But once you realize how you can get a secret, you suddenly look at the level in a whole new way; it's challenging to get the secret, but you already have the experience and you know what you should do. And sometimes there are even more secrets! The level stays the same, but your perception of it evolves.

It's truly a great game, and I can't do it justice describing it. Do play it; it's completely free. You do want to play Part 1 fully before starting Part 2, though.

Paquerette Down the Bunburrows (Steam)

Published by Bunstack

Months after N Step Steve: Part 2 was released, this game came out and it was incredible. N Step Steve had some incredible moments of ahas and surprises, and this game delivered more. I kept learning new interactions, new techniques, ways to try to "break" the game and get rewarded for doing so.

On release, I said that this could possibly overtake N Step Steve as my favorite game. Sadly it doesn't; I ultimately think N Step Steve is still better. But this does come close, and it's still very much worth it to play the game. For me, it started to feel like it was dragging on at the end of the current content, when it was a lot of grinding for babies. But I still very well got my money's worth even before that point.

Isles of Sea and Sky (website)

To be released by Cicada Games

I'm impressed whenever games mix genres. This is a puzzle game that is somehow also a metroidvania.

I forgot how I found the demo, but it was a fascinating game. I don't think I've played anything like that before then. Puzzles scattered around the world, but sometimes you don't yet have the ability or the knowledge to solve them yet, giving that exploration aspect. The demo was big, too; it might conceivably have been the first 3–4 hours of the game.

I wasn't particularly fond of a few of the puzzles, because they relied more on finding hidden objects and such. But ultimately the rest of the game more than made up for it.

Sadly, the demo has been taken down since then, because they were preparing for the full release. But playing the demo was enough to make me excited about the game.

Honorable mentions

  • Sokobond (website), by Draknek ()
  • Snakebird (website), by Noumenon Games ()
  • Baba Is You (website), by Hempuli ()
  • A Monster's Expedition (website), by Draknek ()
  • Puddle Knights (website), by Lockpickle ()
  • Bean and Nothingness (website), by RBOR Games ()
  • Yugo Puzzle (website), by qrostar ()
  • Patrick's Parabox (website), by Patrick Traynor ()

Programming games

I'm hesitant to call programming games "puzzle games". In my essay, I said a puzzle must convey an idea through its solution. But most programming games don't have any such thing; any solution you get is good enough. Often, the author/developer doesn't even have any solution that's "intended"! If any, the closest equivalent to these would be solving math problems or competitive programming tasks.

However, this section is called "puzzles and other thinky stuff", and programming games sure are thinky. (So as math problems and competitive programming tasks.) Besides, people that like puzzle games usually like this too. So, they are here.

Programming games are closely related to esoteric programming languages (esolang). After all, a programming game just gives you a brand new esolang and asks you to program in it! Esolangs interest me due to how quirky they are, which is why I tend to like programming games that offer brand new languages for my head to think about.

Zachtronics are (or were) likely the most well-known developer of programming games, to the point that these games are occasionally called Zach-likes. Not all of these games in my list are Zach-likes, but most sure are.

Click to reveal

Manufactoria 2022 (website)

Published by PleasingFungus

The original was a Flash game in 2010. The graphics were barebones, and at times pretty busy and messy enough to make it hard to tell what's going on. But it was still incredible. I don't think I fully finished it.

Then it was announced there would be a new release of the game. I got it, and then promptly didn't play it for quite some time. When I added this game to this page in May 2023, I believe I still haven't gotten really far. I have since fixed it and reached the end of the story, although I believe I still have several optional puzzles to go.

It is still incredible. The graphics are better and I can actually read my programs now, although the three-dimensional perspective was a bit unnecessary. The puzzles are varied and well-made. Some of them are a bit contrived and part of starting the level is to parse what you actually have to do, but for a thinky game, that actually gives a nice touch.

If you liked the original, or if you like any sort of programming game, this is well worth your time. It certainly was worth my time. I'd say this is possibly the best programming game I've played.

Also, this is equivalent to a queue automaton and hence is Turing-complete.

Bombe (Steam)

Published by Charlie Brej

This is definitely not your usual kind of programming games, but it sure feels like one. You construct new deduction rules for Minesweeper, and the game will happily run them on all the levels, automatically solving ones it can. You end up creating new rules to handle more situations, occasionally refactoring to write your rules better, and so on.

The concept of the game is fantastic. I played it quite a lot back then, although I have since felt stuck and haven't had the urge to get back into the game. I still left a legacy for the game, though; I wrote up a theory for a particular set of rules and posted it on the game's Discord, which helped players understand the reasoning behind them.

For me, I find this game kind of similar to Sudoku solvers, coming up with various rules to be able to solve puzzles. Many Sudoku solvers clearly name their steps and explain why those steps are valid, and my approach for Bombe is the same. I want to be able to explain my rules, so whenever I add a rule, I ask myself whether I know why it's true and what its purpose is. This does make me unable to come up with some really complicated rules (because then I can't explain it, or its purpose is highly limited), but I don't mind that; I enjoy my approach better.

I may one day come back to the game, but even if not, I've had plenty of fun with it.

Honorable mentions

  • SpaceChem (website), by Zachtronics ()
  • A=B (Steam), by Artless Games ()

Other puzzles and puzzle games

Puzzle is a very broad term. Although I managed to see a lot of similar games, filed in the above sections, there are plenty that are out of the norm. Perhaps I will categorize some in a new section in the future.

Click to reveal

Retrograde analysis chess problems

Chess problems present you with a chess position and ask you to solve some objective. The main difference between chess problems and chess puzzles is that chess problems are composed by people and intended to have a certain pretty solution; on the other hand, chess puzzles are often taken from actual games and are meant for improving actual chess play.

Chess puzzles may have their purpose, but I definitely prefer chess problems more. But even among chess problems, I usually prefer stipulations that don't require "two-sided thinking" of anticipating every move from the opponent. This means helpmates or, the subject of this, retros.

In a retrograde analysis problem, the question is not about asking forward in time; it's asking backward in time. What was the last move? Where did the captures happen? Sometimes, it does stipulate forward, but you have to use the past; for example, showing that an opponent's pawn must have moved two spaces, so that you can capture en passant.

Retros are fascinating. I admit I usually appreciate them from afar; I don't solve them often, and I barely wrote any. But they look really cool. The Retrograde Analysis Corner, maintained by Joost de Heer and Otto Janko, has a wealth of problems.

Here are two of my favorite problems that are also pretty accessible for new people.

Tibor Orbán, published in Die Schwalbe ()
Proof game in 4.0 moves

Find a game that arrives at this position after Black's 4th move, exactly.

It's actually easier to arrive at this position after Black's 3rd or 5th move. The difficulty is doing it in exactly 4 moves.

Eric Angelini, published in Europe Echecs ()
Black to move. What was the last move?

Black to move. What move did White just play?

Note that you have to specify the complete move. If it's a capture move, you have to figure out what unit was captured.

The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening (Ryan Veeder's website)

Published by Ryan Veeder, for MIT Mystery Hunt

This puzzle originally appeared as part of the MIT Mystery Hunt, and I loved it. It's not really logic, but it's exploration in a nice and compact environment. Although it's a hunt puzzle, it doesn't require any outside research whatsoever. It really is just a piece of interactive fiction, which also happens to extract to an answer for the hunt.

I have fond memories of this game because I basically soloed it. Well, not really. Our team's sheet on this had a complete work, but nobody was around to explain where we were stuck, so I replayed the game entirely from the beginning just to double-check things. And then I got the extraction to solve the puzzle. In a sense, I truly soloed the puzzle.

Speaking of IF games, it's also a genre of games that can easily be puzzly. I once played Counterfeit Monkey, which was also a very puzzly IF game. It was an interesting experience, but I didn't fare well with words. There might be more great puzzly IF games, but I don't play them too much to be able to list more.

Gabbuchi (website)

Published 2019 by h.a.n.d.

Some games are big-name AAA games. Some games are indie but well-known. Some games are indie, even less well-known, but at least the name is occasionally mentioned in specialized interest groups (like a puzzle community). And then there's this.

I have never heard of anyone else talking about this game. It's a shame, because it has such an interesting concept. It's a puzzle platformer where you gobble up blocks of the same color as yourself. However, said blocks will also be a platform you're standing on, so you have to figure out which blocks are safe to gobble and which should be used to stand on.

I think the game is really fun. Despite the platformer aspect, there's not too much reflex needed; I end up learning what moves are "legal". (That said, there are a few unintended moves; I ended up using them to speedrun the game. Well, I got a few worlds in and I should work on more some time, but I did try.)

The game can be improved, mainly with some user interface stuff. But the mechanics are fun and the game is so obscure, that it's still worth to try.

Linelith (Steam)

Published 2022 by Patrick Traynor

This is one of my favorite games. And it's under an hour long! Patrick (of Patrick's Parabox fame) has been making some amazing games.

This game shows how you can pack delightful puzzles and surprises in such a small package. No need for anything big or flashy. No need to draw it out with too much unnecessary content. I don't want to talk too much about this game just because the surprises are so satisfying.

The worst thing about this game is that I can't relive the experience again; it was so great. At least I can console myself in watching people play the game, like in this Aliensrock video (28 minutes, will entirely spoil the game).

This game is part of the CosmOS 9 bundle, a bundle of 9 bite-sized puzzle games. I personally only recommend Linelith out of the whole bundle. Among the rest, some of them are fine, some of them are... not so good. Linelith is by far the best of the bunch.

Games and other activities

Besides thinky puzzles, I also enjoy other kinds of games.

Rhythm games

I'm a big fan of rhythm games. Why? I'm not sure myself. Perhaps it's because they often have really fun songs. Perhaps challenging myself to do them well is fun. Either way, I do play a lot of rhythm games regularly.

That said, I do value innovation too. Many of these games below have an unusual gimmick that makes them fresh. I don't really like simple VSRGs; I want something quirky.

Click to reveal

NOISZ (website)

Published by Anarch Entertainment

Strictly speaking, the rhythm part of this game isn't that big; it's primarily a danmaku game. But it's there, and it makes the game really interesting.

You can only do one action per beat: either shoot the boss, or shield and be able to absorb some of the bullets. You have to not only think on the fly, but keep the rhythm steady. The charts are timed to the song, so it's about anticipating bullet patterns as well.

I found this game when it was a Kickstarter project. It failed the campaign, but it kept on chugging. I played the demo, I played the release, I bought all the DLCs.

There's a lot of content with varying difficulty. It's extremely packed for a danmaku game, since 40 bosses is way more than a regular 8 or so you find in Touhou Project games. (For a rhythm game, it's quite modest, but there's so much to master that comparing it to a normal rhythm game isn't quite right.) It challenges me, and it challenges me well. Some of the hardest difficulties are out of my reach, but that's okay; the game is well worth it far before I ran out of content to do.


Published by Anarch Entertainment

A game in the same universe as NOISZ, but with a wholly different gameplay. While NOISZ emphasized the danmaku portion, SL puts greater importance in the rhythm game part. It's closer to a regular mobile rhythm game, with notes faling down in four columns, although you have to switch your attention between notes and bullets — and sometimes both.

It's a different take from the original, but it's still an incredible concept. The charts are fun to play and the songs are bangers.

That said, I think I prefer the original more. This game also has a lot of meta-gaming content, by requiring you to level up your styles to gain power and stat points. In theory, creating your builds is fun; in practice, grinding all about it gets really boring. Probably because I tend to play rhythm games as a pursuit for all perfects or such, and if I already fully clear a chart, I don't often play it again. Also, the hardest difficulty may require way more fingers than just two, and that gets really messy on my phone. I'd need a larger tablet to play the game, and it feels bad that a rhythm game is gated by a hardware component like this.

It's still a good game on its own, though. Given the original is largely finished and updates are mostly coming to this one, I do end up playing this more often. I feel it could have been better, but it's still enjoyable nonetheless.

Phigros (Google Play, App Store)

Published by PigeonGames

This game is a crime, because it's so good and it's completely free.

It looks sort of like your usual mobile rhythm game. Notes fall down to a judgment line; there are no columns, but that's standard for a mobile rhythm game.

But the judgment line moves around. Or rotates. There might be even multiple lines at once. All of these are choreographed by the song, although it does require you to truly learn the charts, possibly memorizing them to some extent.

Normally I'm not that fond of memorization, but this game manages to appeal to me somehow. It feels great to learn the chart and manage to figure out how to actually hit all those notes properly.

There are some aspects I don't like about the game, because of course. The "singles" songs need a lot of grinding to unlock. The game does include puzzles throughout its main story, but those puzzles are... kind of lacking, for me, to the point that I just look up the answers. Even then, the gameplay loop and the main mechanics of playing a chart are still so much fun that it's very much worth the time to play and master it.

A Dance of Fire and Ice (website)

Published by 7th Beat Games

Rhythm games that look really, really unlike usual rhythm games are fascinating. It feels like it humbles you down; you're forced to learn how to read all over again, and it's satisfying when you start to get it. Instead of testing whether you can tap the input keys rapidly or anything, it tests whether you can even read what's going on. It makes it so listening to the music is important.

This game is definitely one such game, and it's a lot of fun to play. I believe the developer mentioned this had a mathematical grounding: since a beat is half a circle, your position is always determined by the song, possibly with parity determined by whether you've hit an even or odd number of beats. (Well, before spins mess it all up.) And even knowing the dev thought of that is fascinating.

It also supports Steam Workshop! But I'm not too fond of custom levels for rhythm games, because they are often geared for extremely high level play. I'm not interested in going that far, but then it's not easy to filter out which levels are good and reasonable. I usually only play the built-in levels, perhaps plus the featured Workshop levels.

Honorable mentions

  • Rhythm Doctor (website), by 7th Beat Games (, still early access)
  • Rotaeno (website), by Dream Engine Games ()

PvP games

Here I use the term PvP to mean a game where you're pitted against human opponents, and the best player wins. Moreover, games are discrete. I'm not talking about MMORPGs, where experience and loot directly impact your winning chances. More like sports, board games, MOBAs, and such.

I do generally prefer single-player games. However, I occasionally play PvP games too; outsmarting an opponent feels great as well. Sometimes solving puzzles is compared to a fight against the author, where the author wants to lose but makes it hard to do so. Well, PvP games are just puzzles where the "author" (opponent) wants to win instead.

I don't generally like action games that much, so even though it's PvP, these games are still more about thinking.

Click to reveal

Puyo Puyo

Published by SEGA

There are some games that people like to call "action puzzle games", such as Tetris. I don't think they are really puzzles, but they sure look like some: colored abstract blocks on a grid, to be arranged to form patterns.

Some such games are single-player games. Tetris was originally made to be one, although games such as Tetris Friends, Tetris Effect: Connected, and popularized head-to-head, 1v1 Tetris. I do prefer 1v1 Tetris than single-player Tetris.

But some games are designed to be 1v1 first and foremost, and they are usually even better. Puyo Puyo is one such series, and I find its design truly amazing.

For example, some people in Tetris like playing at speed, removing the delay animation for locking a piece and clearing lines. In Puyo Puyo, all animation timing is standardized, and it's intentional it takes forever to resolve a long chain. This means it's not just about who can build a chain the fastest, because if you send yours first, your opponent will have a few extra seconds to build a longer chain. Instead, it's about watching your opponent, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Perhaps you send a couple lines of garbage just so your opponent struggles clearing them while you send your big chain. Perhaps you bait them into sending their chain early, meaning you're the one getting extra time to build. It's a lot of back and forth, and it's incredible; I don't find this in Tetris.

That said, it's true that learning Puyo Puyo takes a lot of time. Even building nontrivial chains is pretty difficult. It means there are less people playing, and it's a shame. I wish for Puyo Puyo to be on the big screen some time (in the international scene; there are several tournaments in Japan). It would be so cool to watch.

Side note: I learned about Puyo Puyo from Puyo Puyo Tetris; I started from Tetris and struggled with Puyo Puyo for a while. But after playing it, I ended up liking Puyo Puyo more than Tetris. Nowadays I play on Puyo Puyo Champions, although I'm not very active any more due to a pretty silly reason. I still try to play it when I can, though.

Magic: The Gathering

Published by Wizards of the Coast

I do play Magic. I play exclusively on Arena, though.

I mainly play Standard and Draft. My pet Standard deck is white/green, +1/+1 counter-themed, enabled by various cards in MOM such as Botanical Brawler, Kami of Whispered Hopes, and Ozolith, the Shattered Spire. It's not a meta deck with heavy removal in the format, but I'm having fun playing it, and that's what matters. In that sense, you can say I'm a Timmy.

I actually only started playing Magic in 2021; I remember STX was the most recent set, although AFR was rapidly approaching. I love the setting of the magical school of Strixhaven. I started learning the rules of the game, and I'm impressed at how comprehensive everything is. I learned about Mark Rosewater. I read up about the color pie. It's truly a fascinating game.

Nowadays, I hang out in r/magicTCG answering rules questions, because they often feel like puzzles. I've read most of Maro's archive and deeply admire him as a game designer; you'll find me citing several pieces of his writing across my website and posts. I might be nowhere near a competitive Magic player, but I appreciate the game and the various lessons I've learned from it.

Board games

When talking about PvP games, the most natural example that comes to my head is the wealth of board games. Most board games are played with two or more people, and they are often competitive, which naturally means they are PvP: you're competing against the opponents to be victorious. For that reason, I also like quite a number of board games.

It's worth pointing out that this is the main driving force of me playing board games. Many people play board games for the social aspect, but I tend to look for the competitive aspect. For that reason, I often play my board games digitally. It still offers the same mental challenge, and there's no expectation to socialize when you can't even see the other players.

As a puzzle person, there are some genres of board games that I naturally gravitate into, described below.

...what? Which of these is my most favorite overall? I'd say Alchemists.

Abstract strategy games, sometimes called combinatorial games, have exactly two players that take turns. There is no randomness or hidden information during the game. One way to view these games is that the players alternately pose harder and harder puzzles to the opponent, winning if the opponent makes a mistake and doesn't solve the puzzle correctly.

  • ZÈRTZ, by Kris Burm ()
  • Patchwork, by Uwe Rosenberg ()
  • Blooms, by Nick Bentley ()

Action chaining game is a term I coin to describe a very particular kind of games. On your turn, you have pretty simple actions: place one piece, play one card, activate one ability, things like that. But you get several actions on your turn, and these actions can be combined in many ways to achieve things that look impossible. You can think big and try to do something grand on your turn; it's usually possible, and you feel smart about it. It feels quite a lot like solving puzzles, and I'm a big fan of these games.

  • The Castles of Burgundy, by Stefan Feld ()
  • Kingdom Builder, by Donald X. Vaccarino ()
  • Tash-Kalar, by Vlaada Chvátil ()

Engine builders are games where you build an "engine", turning resources into other resources in a rapidly-increasing pace. They can feel puzzly, because the components for an obvious engine might not be there and you have to figure something out. And it's fun to see it pop off. My Magic deck described above is basically an engine too.

  • Dominion, by Donald X. Vaccarino ()
  • Gizmos, by Phil Walker-Harding ()

Logical deduction games are about deducing hidden information. Unlike social deduction games (such as Mafia and The Resistance), these games are more about logic.

  • Alchemists, by Matúš Kotry ()
  • Turing Machine, by Fabien Gridel and Yoann Levet ()

Other games

And here are some other games I like that I can't put into any of the previous categories.

Click to reveal

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 (website)

Published by Bandai Namco

I started by finding the original version. (Well, the DX.) It's really unusual from what I knew about Pac-Man at the time: instead of survival, you have score attack in a limited time. I love the concept and I love playing it, especially as I figured out that I wasn't restricted to the routes the game gave me. Routing and optimization became an interesting challenge. It reminded me of speedrunning.

Then the sequel released. At first I resisted because the mechanics felt different and I didn't feel it would have depth to it, but I was wrong. It's just a different way of optimizing; it's still a lot of "which dots I'm eating" kind of routing.

Some people prefer the original. For me, I think I like them both. I guess my main issue is just that they have very fancy graphics and few options to change that. But they are still fun games.

Galactic Diner (website)

To be released by Spicy Curry Games

This is basically a full game version of Normal Diner.

I loved Normal Diner. When the game throws something completely bizarre and unexpected at you, sometimes it can ruin the experience... but sometimes it makes you laugh, and I certainly had that playing the original. Then the demo for Galactic Diner was released, I played it a bit, and I decided this would be incredibly fun that I stopped playing the demo so I could play the whole game on release.

Incremental games

This is a rather quirky genre that amuses me. "Number go up" summarizes those games pretty well. It's about getting numbers to go up, buying upgrades and doing things to allow you to get numbers to go up further, and so on. It's kind of a deconstruction of video games in general. Many incremental games also have idle components, but not always.

Incremental games captivate me due to the unfolding nature. Besides about feeling good to see numbers go up, it's also about seeing what new surprises are in store. Some good incremental games tend to shift what they are about as new mechanics get unlocked, often in a radical way.

That said, I do usually tire out of incrementals pretty quickly. It's fine; some incrementals are meant to be finished quickly. Some others last for a really long time and they get quite boring.

Here are some incrementals that I've enjoyed:

  • Caveronus II (website), by nucaranlaeg ()
  • FE000000 (website), by Dan Simon
  • Increlution (Steam), by Gniller (, early access)
  • Orb of Creation (Steam), by MarpleGames (, early access)
  • Oscillight (website), by buck4437 ()

Old games

By "old", I mean something like in the decade of the 2000's. Many of these were published by companies like GameHouse, PlayFirst, PopCap Games, and so on.

These are mainly nostalgic. I learned about the world of computer games from these. I remember occasionally going to the teacher's office of my primary/middle school to copy some games from the office computers. (Piracy starts early, huh?)

Here's a non-exhaustive list of games I remember enjoying: Bejeweled series; Bookworm Adventures series; Chocolatier series; Collapse! series; Diner Dash series; Feeding Frenzy series; Iggle Pop!; Insaniquarium; Peggle series; Plants vs. Zombies (only the first one); Typer Shark!; Zuma series


"Art" is such a broad term. I think puzzles are also an art form. For this section, though, I'm talking about things like pictures, music, and writing.


I'm an avid music listener, although my tastes are perhaps not too common. Just like I prefer indie games, I also like music that are of more niche genres. Pop, rock, songs with vocals are generally frowned upon. I instead listen to electronic and instrumental music, things you generally find in rhythm games.

My favorite songs tend to be happy and upbeat, and are electronic and instrumental with complex rhythms. The more they deviate from this, the less I like them. Rhythm game songs are often still a favorite, even if they sound less happy and more "boss song" nature. Songs with vocal tend to turn me off, but they get a little extra if they are upbeat or have other redeeming features.

I generally like specific songs instead of artists. However, I do notice when a single artist writes several of my favorite songs, and I start to follow them. Often, songs are also influenced by what rhythm game I find them in; if they are fun in the game, it might make me like the song more.

YouTube playlist: I have a public YouTube playlist of many of my favorite songs. I don't update it too often though. In particular, I usually sort the songs to form some sort of flow from one to the next, but many songs I only added recently haven't been sorted yet.

Click to reveal

Below, you'll find some of the artists I follow the most, with some of their songs.

ああ・・・翡翠茶漬け・・・ (Bandcamp)

Also known as "AHC" and "Ahicha"; transliterated to "aa...hisuichazuke..."

Made of three composers: ああああ (aaaa), 翡乃イスカ (Hino Isuka), and 梅干茶漬け (Umeboshi Chazuke).

Quite a lot of their songs are of that happy kind, with a chiptune touch.

  • #be_fortunate / 翡乃イスカ (YouTube)
  • #SUP3RORBITAL / ああ・・・翡翠茶漬け・・・ (YouTube)
  • NAGAREBOSHI☆ROCKET / 梅干茶漬け (YouTube)
  • pl∞f. / 梅干茶漬け (YouTube)
  • rainbow / ああああ (YouTube)

MYUKKE. (website)

A lot of variety with this artist, including a lot of upbeat ones. There's a distinct "MYUKKE. style" in many of their songs.


Rhythm game originals

All of these songs are originally made for rhythm games, often as "boss songs". For that reason, it's pretty hard to separate the song from the presence in the game, whether its charts or its context or anything else.

  • / 黒皇帝 (YouTube), from NOISZ episode G
  • Divine Intervention / DM DOKURO (YouTube), from A Dance of Fire and Ice: Neo Cosmos
  • Dreams Don't Stop / fizzd (YouTube), from Rhythm Doctor
  • D.S. al fine / kors k & Camellia (YouTube), from NOISZ re:||VERSE
  • MVURBD / ETIA. (YouTube), from Rotaeno

Other songs

Songs by other artists I didn't mention above.

Pokémon-related songs

While puzzles are a big part of my life, Pokémon also shape a lot of my identity. Saying something is related to Pokémon often makes me pretty interested.

Game soundtracks. These songs are heard in the Pokémon games. They aren't properly songs (they are meant to be played in a loop), but they are still fun. It helps these are pretty much instrumental. Some of these songs are here because of nostalgia.

Spoiler warning: The descriptive titles I use for these might be spoilery.

  • Battle vs. Iris in Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 (YouTube)
  • Battle vs. Leon in Pokémon Sword & Shield (YouTube)
  • Battle vs. Origin Dialga/Palkia in Pokémon Legends: Arceus (YouTube)
  • Battle vs. Champion Nemona in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet (YouTube)
  • Battle vs. Professor Sada/Turo in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet (YouTube)

Animation-related songs. These songs mainly come from animations, whether anime or elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, they are full of vocals; surprisingly, I still find them fine. This is clearly the Pokémon bias in action.

  • Acacia / BUMP OF CHICKEN (YouTube)
  • ドリドリ / 中川 翔子 (YouTube)
  • JUVENILE / 初音ミク feat. じん (YouTube)
  • What Kind of Future / Mitchie M (YouTube)

Furry art

The kind of pictures I like is pretty much exclusively furry art, with a huge Pokémon bias.

Go to my furry page to see more about it.