Is there anything more satisfying than clearing lines in Tetris? Pressing buttons to twist those pesky tetrominoes into the right position, and slam them down to clear four lines at once. It was fun 30 years ago and it’s still fun now, and it helped create so many other puzzle games along the way.
Not every puzzle game is as stressful though, as some titles are designed to help you unwind. Take your time and solve simple challenges, alongside some relaxing music, and release the tension of a long day.
Then some titles dial the action up to 11, and expect you to play two different games at once, or battle 98 different opponents! There’s a whole heap of puzzle goodness on Nintendo Switch nowadays, so no matter how you want your fix, there’s something for you. So, let’s dive right into the best Switch puzzle games.
Here is our guide to the best Switch puzzle games;
Puyo Puyo Tetris
The crossover of the century, this fast-paced puzzler developed by Sonic Team (no wonder it’s quick) mashes together the two iconic puzzle franchises and blends elements from both. There’s a story mode that demands a mastery of both elements, as the games can switch at any moment, or you can play exactly how you like online with friends. It’s also full of personality with great characters and music, and there’s even a sequel (you can take a look at the Puyo Puyo Tetris review here) if you want more!
Yup, Tetris again. And it’s not the last time you’ll see it on this list. But Tetris 99 adds some fire to the formula, as you face 98 opponents in rapid online matches that demand sharp thinking. This twist to the formula is a blast thanks to many unlockable modes, and it regularly adds new themes for ardent players to unlock. If you like your puzzle with some real peril, this tough challenge could be for you. Though we’re yet to achieve a Tetris Maximus!
Picross S Mega Drive & Master System Edition
This snappily titled entry brings over all the joy of a good Picross game, but slaps on some Sega nostalgia to really bring it home. Picross is a slow-paced game where you methodically hunt for the exact position of each pixel, and a failure will add to your time. It’s a great way to unwind as it’s up to you how you play, and it’s so satisfying to complete. This special version features pixel art of Sonic, Streets of Rage, and many other Sega properties, so it’s a dream come true for nerdy puzzle aficionados.
A Playstation Vita classic is given new life with this fantastic Switch port. Twist blocks and drop them, matching three or above to clear space. But the twist is, you’re trying to do it all to the beat. Lumines demands you play to the rhythm of the music, and luckily offers a stellar soundtrack as an incentive. The rush of feeling perfectly in sync with this game is incredible, and it adds enough variation with different themes to keep you going to beat your high score. If you’re tired of Tetris, this is a great alternative.
This stylish puzzler is drenched in Y2K aesthetics, from the animated menus to the pumping throwback soundtrack. You move the entire grid-based board, hoping to line up matching coloured blocks to form crosses, and it’s tougher than it sounds. You have to wrap your head around moving the board in any direction, but it’s a blast once you understand the pattern. You can even take your time in chillout mode and get to grips with it first, as this is a unique puzzler that deserves more attention.
A mixture of platforming and puzzle prowess, not only do you have to twist falling blocks into place, but you do so by controlling a character. Jumping up and over blocks gets more difficult as more blocks fall, but this is a title that feels immensely satisfying to come back from the brink and snatch a victory. There are robust multiplayer options to battle friends online, and a host of unlockable characters that bear a cheeky resemblance to many pop-culture favourites. A hidden gem in the treasure trove that is the eShop.
Part Time UFO
This adorable entry started off life as a mobile game, made by Kirby’s creators Hal Laboratory. It’s found a perfect home on Switch though, as the cute crane-game shenanigans still look fantastic on the big screen, and now even feature multiplayer. As the titular UFO, you must help people by moving items, just like a claw machine, but it’s easier said than done. Balancing things quickly becomes a challenge, and you get more points for better accuracy. This could be the ideal game for younger puzzle fans, and with the multiplayer options, parents can still lend a hand.
Tetris Effect: Connected
I promise this is the last Tetris game, but it deserves it honestly. If Tetris 99 is the game for thrill-seeking puzzlers, then Tetris Effect is the yin to that yang. This zen take on the classic franchise is more of an experience, offering dazzling boards with effects floating around the screen, and a mind-melting soundtrack that actually reacts to each movement of blocks. Dropping blocks and clearing lines only to hear the music swell and see dolphins jump out of water is a transcendent experience, and it all looks vividly gorgeous on the Nintendo Switch OLED Model if you’re lucky enough to nab one. A different take but an incredible one, Tetris Effect somehow proves this franchise just keeps getting better.
Check out our Tetris Effect: Connected review to find out why this is an essential puzzle game.
Hopefully, that’s plenty of blocks for your bucks, and puzzle fans of all types can find a new title to dive into here. Nintendo Switch owners should also check out our best Switch adventure games guide, for when you want a different way to relax.