Croteam’s The Talos Principle has a combination of neatly designed puzzles and philosophical pondering. It tickled my brainbuds and got inside my head in that way which sees you drawing diagrams of levels while on the tube or puzzling them out as you lie in bed pretending sleep might turn up at any moment. It’s one of my favourite games from 2014.
The game breaks neatly into two parts: there’s the Portal-esque first person puzzle element where you figure out how to reach and collect tetromino puzzle pieces which are used to advance you through the world; there’s also a philosophical/existential aspect which gradually feeds you scraps of text from a corrupted archive and asks you to consider things like the nature of consciousness and what it means to be human.
I’ll talk about the puzzles first.