How To Develop A Puzzle Game_ A Complete Guide

With engaging and thought-provoking gameplay, puzzle games offer an enhanced way to practice mental exercise.

At the present time, developing a puzzle game offer can be a profitable move due to its fast-growing market, in addition to turning out as an excellent investment for individuals.

As per a report from, the global market size of games and puzzles was valued at USD 15.09B in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.3% from 2023 to 2030.

Global Puzzle Market Size

However, developing a  puzzle game can be a challenging task, from creating gaming mechanics to implementing a difficulty curve, there are enormous game development aspects that need to be equally considered.

To simplify your puzzle game development journey, we’ll go through some of the most critical aspects of puzzle game design, such as development steps, important gaming elements, required technical stack, etc., throughout the blog.

What Are Puzzle Games?

A kind of video game that focuses on challenges rather than action or adventure. The players are required to complete puzzles that are based on logic and require players to think outside the box to solve challenges.

There are different kinds of challenges in puzzle games, from matching objects to completing circuits to reach a specific score. 

To create puzzle games that are both challenging and fun to play, designers carefully need to consider several aspects of puzzle game development, such as deciding on different kinds of logic-based puzzles.

Elements Of Puzzle Game

There are various kind of genres available in puzzle games where players can enhance their problem-solving skills and creativity. 

From traditional jigsaw puzzles to brand brain teasers, there are some key elements commonly found in different puzzle games.

1. Challenging Puzzles

The challenges can vary depending on the complexity of the puzzle games, which require players to think critically and strategically. The puzzle categories can range from reasoning tasks to simple pattern recognition puzzles.

2. Gradual Difficulty Curve

Implementing various difficulty levels will improve the engagement level of your game by bringing a sense of accomplishment among players. Players can move from a low difficulty level to a high difficulty level for an enhanced gaming experience.

3. Feedback and Rewards

You can keep your players motivated an engaging by offering them positive feedback in rewards for solving puzzles. The feedback and rewards can be submitted in various ways, such as unlocking new content, visual effects, sound cues, etc.

4. Variety of Puzzles

The monotonous experience in the puzzle gameplay may disturb your positive gameplay experience. Therefore, try to include different puzzle styles such as physics-based challenges, logic puzzles, spatial puzzles, and adding depth to the difficulty level.

5. Clear Goals and Objectives

Introduce clear objectives and goals to help your players understand the gameplay rules in a better way. Try to induce a sense of purpose among your game players in various ways, whether it is reaching a certain score completing a picture, or unlocking a new level.

6. Engaging Gameplay Mechanics

An interactive puzzle game often includes unique gameplay mechanics that define how players will interact in the gaming world. The gameplay mechanics involve shapes, matching colors, object manipulation, or combining different elements to achieve a specific gameplay goal.

7. Time Pressure or Limits:

Try to introduce move limits or time constraints to add a sensation of urgency to the gameplay that will require players to think quickly and make strategic decisions.

8. Hint Systems

Help your players complete the puzzles with in-game hints in various ways. The game hint will assist players and guide them toward solving a puzzle whenever they feel stuck in the game. 

9. User-Friendly Interface

For players to connect with gaming mechanics without needless complications, a user-friendly and intuitive user interface is essential. 

10. Exploration Components

Many puzzle games have exploration components that let players solve problems by finding hints in the gameplay world.

11. Narrative or Context:

Context & narratives add depth and meaning to the challenges, giving players a reason to continue solving puzzles.

Whether you’re arranging pieces in a classic jigsaw puzzle or solving intricate riddles in a digital adventure, these elements combine to create a captivating and enjoyable puzzle gaming experience.

Puzzle Game Development Steps

The development of puzzle games requires careful planning throughout different stages of game development, such as from idea exploration to launching your game to your targeted market. 

The general overview of puzzle game development steps is as follows:

1. Explore Different Puzzle Game Ideas

Spend time exploring different puzzle gaming ideas to select the best one for your project. The best way to explore different gaming ideas is to check the top downloaded puzzle games in the market and figure out the unique points that make them top performers.  

2. Define The Concept Of Your Puzzle Game

The next part is strategizing your overall puzzle game development project, such as monetization methods, gaming characters, assets, environment, UI/UX design selection, etc. 

Strong game challenges can vary depending on the complexity of the puzzle games, which require players to think critically and strategically. The puzzle categories can range from reasoning tasks to simple pattern recognition puzzles in your puzzle game.

3. Improve The Engagement Level Of Your Game

Implement the various engaging parameters to your puzzle games, such as eye-catching graphics and challenging and fun-to-play gameplay with varying difficulty levels to enhance the overall experience of your puzzle game.

4. Decide The Platform To Launch Your Puzzle Game

Several options are available to launch and distribute your game to your app users, such as mobile platforms, web consoles, etc. Currently, Android and iOS are dominating platforms and are suitable for game launches due to their massive audience base and ease of assessment. 

5. Design The Puzzle Game UI/UX

A visually appealing game with engaging UI/UX is crucial for your game’s success, as it can allow you to capture your audience’s imagination and support your game concept.

6. Introduce and Implement a Profit-making Strategy

An effective monetization strategy will help you to make money from your puzzle game at great potential. There are various monetization options available, such as in-app purchases, advertisements, etc. 

7. Technology Selection For Puzzle Game Development

Selecting a suitable game engine will directly affect your game performance and the platform accessibility for your puzzle game. Unity Engine and Unreal Engine are the two main popular game engines for puzzle game development. 

However, there are many other options you can explore for selecting an appropriate game development engine for your puzzle game project.

8. Work With A Game Development Company

It would be best to work with an experienced game development company that can help you identify your project needs to launch your puzzle game to your targeted market. Explore the game development portfolio of a specific company you want to work with for your project.

Top 5 Puzzle Game Examples

In this section, we will explore the top puzzle gaming apps and their gameplay rules to help you gain an idea about what most playable puzzle games are offering to their players.

1. Cut The Rope

Cut The Rope

The game starts with a central character named On Nom, who loves to eat candy. Cut the Rope game comprises 425 levels where players can guide the main character on their sweet adventure.

The game comprises physics-based gameplay where players can incorporate the rules of physics, which makes the game addictive and fun at the same time.

Founded In 2010
Developed ByZeptoLab
Available OnAndroid & iOS
App Ratings4.8
App Downloads 100M+
HeadquartersBarcelona, Spain

2. Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles

An engaging jigsaw puzzle game where players can solve puzzles with over 13,000+ HD pictures. The game features exciting gaming aspects such as rotation mode and customizable background with various pictures, including nature, animals, flowers, colors, landmarks, etc.

The game even offers coins that players can collect by completing puzzles, which can be redeemed later for accessing exclusive puzzles. 

Founded In 2016
Developed ByEasyBrain
Available OnAndroid & iOS
App Ratings4.7
App Downloads 50M+
HeadquartersLimassol, Cyprus .

3. Where’s My Water

Where’s My Water

It is an addictive physics-based puzzle game with various locations such as the soap factory, sewer, and beach. 

The game features over 100 challenging levels where players must guide water and steam to their target. Players can even use game hints whenever they are stuck at any level. Where’s My Water can be downloaded for free; however, it may include some in-app purchases to allow players to get boosts.

Founded In 2013
Developed ByKongregate
Available OnAndroid & iOS
App Ratings4.3
App Downloads 100M+
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, United States

4. Water Sort Puzzle

Water Sort Puzzle

A kind of color-sorting game where players can access many levels. However, there are no time limits or penalties, and allows players to play at their own pace. 

The players can play the game for free but must spend money for an ad-free experience. The game becomes challenging as players move forward by completing different kinds of gaming levels.

Founded In 2021
Available OnAndroid & iOS
App Ratings4.7
App Downloads 100M+
HeadquartersVictoria, Australia

5. Flow Free

Flow Free

A simple and relaxing brain puzzle game where players must match colors using pipes without overlapping or crossing each other.

The players can go through 2500+ levels in free play mode or use time trial mode to complete the level in a given time. The players can select from 10 different board sizes and track levels that must be completed in a free-play mode.

The game also comes with in-app purchases with a colorful UI and smooth navigation.

Founded In 2012
Developed ByBig Duck Games LLC
Available OnAndroid & iOS
App Ratings4.8
App Downloads 100M+
HeadquartersFlorida, United States

Tech Stack For Puzzle Game Development 

The choice of a tech stack depends on various aspects of game design, programming, and technology. 

Moreover, the platform(s) you’re targeting, your team’s expertise, and the specific requirements of your game are other important factors that determine the selection of tech stack for your game. 

However, the common tech stack for puzzle game development is as follows:

1. Game Engine

Choose a game engine that suits your needs. Some popular options include:

  • Unreal Engine: Known for its stunning visuals, more suitable for larger teams and complex projects.
  • Unity: Provides a wide range of tools and assets for 2D and 3D game development
  • Godot: An open-source option for 2D and simpler 3D games.
  • Construct A beginner-friendly visual game development platform for creating 2D games.

2. Programming Languages

  • C#: Used with Unity.
  • C++: Used with Unreal Engine.
  • GDScript: Used with Godot.
  • JavaScript: Used with Construct and for web-based games.

3. Graphics

  • 2D Graphics: Tools like Adobe Photoshop, Aseprite, or Procreate for creating sprites, backgrounds, and UI elements.
  • 3D Graphics: Software like Blender, Maya, or 3ds Max for creating 3D models, environments, and animations.

4. UI/UX Design

Adobe XD, Figma, or Sketch: For designing user interfaces and user experience flow.

5. Version Control

Git: Essential for collaboration and tracking changes in your game’s source code and assets.

6. Sound and Music

  • Audacity: For editing sound effects.
  • FL Studio, Ableton Live, or Logic Pro: For composing music.
  • Wwise or FMOD: For implementing sound effects and music in the game.

7. Physics Engine

  • Unity and Unreal: For accessing built-in physics engines that handle collision detection, gravity, and other physics interactions.

8. Monetization and Analytics

  • Ad Networks: AdMob or Unity Ads.
  • Mobile In-App Purchases: Apple’s StoreKit or Google Play Billing.
  • Analytics: Google Analytics or Unity Analytics (for tracking player behavior) 

9. Platform Specific Tools

  • iOS: Xcode
  • Android: Android Studio

10. Distribution

  • Mobile App Stores: Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  • PC or console distribution: Steam, Epic Games Store, etc.

Remember that the particular tools and technologies you select will rely on the specifications of your game, the level of tool knowledge among your team, and the platforms you want to distribute the game on. The gaming business is also always changing, so keeping up with new tools and technology may help your game succeed.


Developing a puzzle game offer can be a profitable move due to its fast-growing market, where players are fast adopting digitalization. 

When developing a puzzle game, it is crucial to focus on several important aspects, such as testing your mechanics thoroughly and getting feedback from players to offer an enhanced gaming experience.

However, developing a puzzle game requires expertise in several areas of game development, including programming, graphic design, UI/UX design, app marketing, etc.

Working with an experienced game development company can be the best move to simplify your puzzle game development journey and successfully launch your game to your target market.

You can work with us if you are looking for a game development firm that can help you with developing and launching your engaging and fun-to-play puzzle game to your targeted market.

We are a team of game developers with years of experience creating games across different genres.

Our team can also help you implement advanced technology in your game, such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality, further to enhance the gameplay experience of your puzzle game.  

Here is more information about our game development services. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help develop and launch your puzzle game.

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Q. What are the different types of puzzle games?

A. There are many varieties of puzzle games, such as crossword puzzles, adventure and action puzzle games, hidden object games, and traditional puzzle games.

Q. What are the top puzzle games in the market?

A. Jigsaw puzzles, Cut the Rope, Where’s My Water, Water Sort Puzzle, and Flow Free are some of the top puzzle games in the market.

Q. How large is the puzzle game market?

A. Global sales of games and puzzles were worth $15.09 B in 2022 and are projected to grow at a CAGR of 17.3% during the forecast period of 2023 to 2030.

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