Puzzle Difficulty

Posted by Cha

I recently finished playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Yes, the first Layton game -- I haven't had my DS for very long and have a lot of catching up to do.

I've been thinking about what makes a puzzle satisfying. Too easy and it's not really worthy of being called a puzzle. But too hard and I'll soon check a walkthrough rather than fruitlessly bashing my head against it.

Everyone finds different things challenging, though. For example, my partner has me well and truly beaten on number problems, while I have an easier time with spatial puzzles. Puzzle difficulty is quite individual. That said, I've yet to meet someone who didn't consider that map puzzle in Riven too damn hard. If you have played it you'll probably remember the one I mean.

"Hardcore" is another one of those terms thrown around a lot in relation to gaming, even though the definition is pretty fuzzy. Ditto "casual" on the other end of that supposed spectrum.

I don't own an XBox 360, rarely play FPS games, and don't usually enjoy competitive multiplayer. That rules me out of most of the stereotypes that pop into my head when someone uses the phrase "hardcore gamer". Also, although I find games fun and interesting I've never considered myself particularly skilled at them (though I have improved a lot in recent years).

I don't think that makes me a casual gamer, either (although the fun I've been having recently with Endless Ocean 2 may beg to differ). I'm pretty happy with my average-skilled, variable-genre approach to gaming.