After thinking about portals, non-Euclidean physics, relative gravity, and forced perspective shenanigans, I wasn’t sure how a puzzle game could come up with stranger ways to surprise me – but the fractal world of Maquette certainly has. succeeded. It’s lovely, the dynamic levels are nested in ever-increasing versions of themselves, cleverly allowing you to influence their layout through manipulation of your own smaller version of that level. Drop a small key into the model and a big key will appear behind you, but remove an item and you’ll have your own portable version instead. While this concept is entertaining enough thanks to its short runtime, it’s also paired with a straightforward but still quite sweet story about how a relationship evolves that makes its puzzles a bit more personal. – Tom Marks
To find out more, consult IGN’s Maquette magazine.
TOEM is a puzzle game, but not in the way we’d expect. Yes, it’s a world filled with doors, unlocked as you uncover miniature mysteries in his world – but he’s less concerned with solutions than with self-expression. Almost all of the quests in the game are completed, at least in part, using a camera, which actually means I spent more time getting exactly the right shrewd plan (I might want the hang on a wall somewhere!) know what to do. It creates a beautifully relaxing atmosphere, not asking you, “How do you solve this problem?” But rather, “How do you remember solving it?” ” – Joe Skrebels
To find out more, consult IGN’s TOEM magazine.
The hidden depth of unboxing may come as a surprise if all you’ve seen of this little box unboxing game is the satisfying gifs of arranging dishes in neat piles on a shelf. On the surface, Unpacking is all about finding the right place for everything that is important to an anonymous protagonist throughout their life, movement by movement, from childhood to adulthood. There’s nothing slyly complex about the task, stories of young gamers putting GameCubes in the kitchen aside. Rather, Unpacking is an enjoyable series of soft organizational puzzles adorned with cute, colorful art styles and a calming soundtrack. But at its heart is an emotionally unexpected story told entirely through these organizational puzzles and the simple act of finding and creating space. – Rebecca Valentine
To learn more, see IGN’s Unpacking review.
World of zookeepers
Conceptually, Zookeeper World is a match-three puzzle game like many before it, and it might not be your favorite genre of game – but it’s also so much deeper than that, and not just because that you can use your progress through its 275 levels to build a zoo with playgrounds and popcorn machines and animals that you can dress up in chef hats. More importantly than the super cute zoo building feature, the match-three vanity also plays with special combos and special obstacles with different behaviors inside cleverly formatted and always challenging level designs. If you like to hone your gaming ability to any degree, Zookeeper World is uniquely suited for pushing your understanding of its systems to the max while giving you the chance to learn a new technique or familiarize yourself with a new challenge to overcome it. . And if you’re a legitimate zookeeper, you can redo all 275 levels to get a Gold Star in each. – Tina Amini
All IGN Best Of 2021 Game Categories
The IGN Best of 2021 awards were designed by:
Lead Design + Artistic Direction: Julia Rago
Animated Graphics: Will Batchelor