Gaming on the Mac isnt limited to high-adrenaline adventures, simulations, and combat. Puzzle and trivia titles offer a break from the mayhem, testing your knowledge and intelligence with clever situations instead of massive explosions. These games can be engaging, amusing, and often a great diversion for families and friends.
Puzzle and trivia games are designed to give your mind a workout. Instead of worrying about hand-eye coordination, youll have to piece together simple clues to find a solution, or reach deep into the recesses of your brain to recall long-forgotten facts.
Many puzzle and trivia games allow two or three people to crowd around the computer for heated head-to-head competition. Although some games are turn-based, others require you to buzz-in by pressing a designated key on the keyboard. The first one to buzz-in must then enter the correct answer to claim the prize.
Its a well-known fact that regular play of puzzles and teasers will help your long-term mental development, and Brain Challenge offers just the right prescription with 20 games spread across five categories: Memory, Visual (process information and complete a related task), Logic (pattern solving), Math, and Focus (respond to a fluid situation). Daily tests take you for a spin through all five categories while the training room lets you work out a specific area. Stress tests provide a unique challenge by sending critters crawling around the screen or forcing you to divert some of your focus to a mini-game.
Big Bang Brain Games gives you Freeverses tongue-in-cheek spin on one new game, Reaction (clear the board with chain reactions caused by clicking the right particles), and five classics: Sudoku, Fallacy (a test of logic), Echo (a 21st century version of that 70s electronic game, Simon), NovaSweeper (The most impressive Minesweeper game ever created.), and Remembrance (that card-matching game also known as Memory). See if you can get the best of your three hosts: Sol, Luna, and Wisdom.
Hoyle Puzzle & Board Games 2011 brings you Hangman, Mahjong, Anagrams, Chess, Battling Ships, Sudoku, and more. You can challenge friends and family or play against colorful characters. The Hoyle Face Creator lets you design your own custom character, while Hoyle Rewards let you unlock bonuses.
GameHouse is another publisher well-known to card and puzzle game aficionados, and theyve continued their popular SuperCollapse series with the third edition, which offers ten unique lands in the new Quest mode. Earn coins you can use to buy strategic items in the Shop, and take a break during your adventure to play the ten mini-games in the Casino. The Quick Play mode brings back the classic Collapse gameplay with endless challenges.
Speaking of classics, William Goldmans timeless book The Princess Bride was abridged from Simon Morgensterns lengthy novel and adapted into a 1987 movie that has finally become The Princess Bride Game (Worldwide Biggies). While Morgenstern scholars might be aghast at their favorite work being turned into a plaything, you can use it to revisit the world of Florin and the adventures of Westley and Buttercup through a series of trivia, puzzle, and action games. Some of the films cast members returned to record new dialogue.
Perhaps those disgruntled Morgenstern academics would prefer to drown their grief in World of Goo (2D Boy), a physics-based puzzle game in which you must help those sticky Goo Balls traverse obstacles. Unfortunately, they dont know theyre in a game, nor do they realize that theyre delicious.
If you want to keep exploring, check out Travelogue 360 Paris, which takes you to the City of Lights for a whirlwind tour of the Champs Elysees, the Arc dTriomphe, and 20 other famous landmarks. Uncover souvenirs, learn fun facts, and play mini games. All in 3D, of course.
The touristy fun continues in Rome: Curse of the Necklace, another Travelogue 360 game that takes you to Tevi Fountain, the Colosseum, St. Peters Square and other well-known, and not-so-well-known, locations. Along the way, find objects that you can swap for clues which will help solve the mystery of the cursed necklace.
And if discovering mysterious places is up your alley, Hidden Expedition: Everest teams you with expert Everest climber Ed Viesturs as you compete with other teams to be the first to reach the Roof of the World. Youll come across plenty of enigmatic places during your journey.
Puzzles and trivia titles tend to have minimal system requirements, and rarely require graphics acceleration. Please check the box of any game that appeals to you to ensure that it will run on your Macintosh. And just remember, youll need an extra chair for head-to-head competition!
Sharpen your mind
Puzzle and trivia games let you flex your brain without flexing your muscles. Many titles also allow you to test your intellect by pitting you against your friends. Its a great way to spend an evening!