11 Best Puzzle Board Games for a Challenging and Engaging Time


Puzzle board games are the best escape from a world filled with screens and digital distractions. In this era, where we only like to spend our time watching TV shows and movies, everyone needs a digital detox, and there is no better way to do this than living the good old days playing indoor board games.

Whether you prefer unraveling intricate mysteries, solving complex riddles, or navigating labyrinthine mazes, there’s a game out there waiting to captivate your imagination. Not only are these perfect for spending some time away from screens, but you can actually gather your friends, family and have some essential social interactions.

There are multiple types of puzzle board games you will come across. It could be strategy games such as Chess, Go, etc., and Cooperative Games such as Pandemic or Forbidden Island that are highly popular.

So, I did some research and listed down some of the best puzzle board games that are both challenging at times but also highly interesting.

Before we dive into the list, let’s check out what makes a puzzle game exciting and what you should look for when purchasing one.

Characteristics of a Good Puzzle Game

Characteristics of a Good Puzzle Game

Before we move to the list, it can get confusing when selecting the right one for you and your friends. There are certain keys to look for when seeking out a captivating puzzle board game.

Below are some of them for you to look into.

#1. Engaging Gameplay 🎮

Any good puzzle board game must be engaging enough to keep you hooked for hours, especially when looking for a digital detox. It should be challenging as well at the same time without becoming overwhelming, striking a balance between difficulty and enjoyment.

#2. Replayability 🔁

Any board game needs to have a replayability factor so that it can be played over and over again without losing its appeal. Such games ensure that you can enjoy the game repeatedly, discovering new strategies and approaches with each session.

#3. Design 🗺️

The first impression of any board game comes from the design. The better it looks, the more you will be thrilled to play with it. Any puzzle board game must have high-quality components or pieces that you would love playing with.

These are a few of the characteristics you will find in a good puzzle board game. Some of the other characteristics that you will find are clear goals and objectives defined in the game, scalability, and so many more.

Now that you know what to look for in a board game, let’s check out the best puzzle board games you can play today!

Azul Summer Glazed Pavilion Board Game

Have you played the Azul series board games? If you have, then the newly introduced Summer Glazed Pavilion version will blow you away. As a standalone expansion to the original Azul, it maintains the familiar mechanics while introducing enticing new elements that add an extra layer of depth and strategy.

The best part of this version is its exceptional aesthetic. The game features intricately designed tiles that look remarkable. Moreover, the stunning patterns on the tiles alone create an immersive and delightful playing experience.

Azul Summer Glazed Pavilion Board Game

Speaking of the gameplay, it is suitable for adults as well as kids starting from age 8. The average playtime is around 30-45 minutes, meant to be played by 2-4 players. This new version adds 3 new boards along with their matching scoring boards to give you more options and keep you intrigued. 

The game has some new elements, such as a glass tower and window crafting mechanism, that you learn from the manual itself or from multiple gameplays on YouTube.

Chronicles of Crime Board Game

I am a massive fan of crime-based games involving solving mysteries and investigating. If you are somewhat like me, Chronicles of Crime might be your best choice. This captivating board game combines the thrill of crime-solving with the immersive possibilities of modern technology.

Chronicles of Crime Board Game

By modern, I mean you can download the official app that will be used to scan and play the game. The game has different components, such as locations, characters, etc., that have a unique QR code that you can scan, making it highly interactive.

Each player or team will be given unique stories to solve that have been designed by professional storytellers. With each new case, players must analyze clues, interview witnesses, and make informed decisions to progress in the investigation. (I am already intrigued while writing this, aren’t you?)

It takes around 60-90 minutes to play involving 1-4 players. It does check your reasoning and problem-solving skills.; hence the age limit starts from 12 years and above.

Galison Charlie Brown Peanuts Christmas 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Get yourself a warm cup of coffee and gather all your friends or family to play this massive 1000 pieces jigsaw puzzle. It is a holiday-themed puzzle that invokes nostalgia and brings out a certain warmth, especially for those who have been fans of Charlie Brown back in the golden days.

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Once you get a hands-on experience with these puzzle pieces, you will be stunned at the high-quality craftsmanship. Each piece has been made with the highest quality material to give you that satisfying experience. 

Above all, it is a 1000-piece puzzle that will require a significant amount of time and keep you engaged for a long. Whether you are a newbie who has never done this before or someone who loves doing it, there is no backing down from it.

Jumanji Deluxe Game

Every Millenial knows Jumanji. The 1995 movie changed all our childhood, and you get to relive it in real life. The Jumanji Deluxe Game looks as real as you can imagine it to be. The game takes you on a wild ride and offers an engaging and suspenseful gameplay experience for players of all ages.

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This game takes you on a quest around the jungle while solving riddles, surviving events, and other challenges you must complete to complete the game. Similar to the movie franchise, you have the green button in the middle that gives you the beating sound of Jumanji.

There are cards that tell you about the different challenges and riddles you need to solve to proceed further in the game. To win the game, you need to reach the center of the board and yell Jumanji.

Anyone above the age of 8 can play this game, making it perfect for a family night. The game includes 1 electronic board, 100 challenge cards, 4 rhino movers, 12 life tokens, 2 regular & 4 challenge dice, and 1 sand timer.

Project L Strategy

You may not have yet heard of the unique puzzle board game named Project L. Everything about this is unique, starting from its name to its design. It is a strategy-based puzzle game that gives players the opportunity to assemble and optimize their own unique patterns.

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It is perfectly suited for kids and adults as well; however, it might feel a bit complicated to get started with. In order to win the game, you need to complete the puzzles to gather as many points as you can. However, to complete the puzzles, you need to have a massive pool of pieces.

Each component has been built with high-quality material and is highly durable. The game’s visual aesthetics are pleasing, and the clean design allows players such as yourself to focus on the puzzle-solving aspect without unnecessary distractions.

There are multiple gaming modes as well. The best part is you can play it all by yourself and enjoy that quiet time while sharpening up your brain along with it. Initially, it might take time for newbies to learn the strategies, and you will eventually master them as you practice.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

“To a great mind, nothing is little”- Sherlock Homes.

The dream to think and walk his talk can finally come true with the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective board game. This game will transport you into the intricate world of Victorian-era London. You can step in the shoes of the legendary detective and solve cases, putting your problem-solving skills to the test.

The biggest strength of this board game is its emphasis on storytelling and deduction. You can play this game alone or gather a team of detectives to solve cases like never before. This set consists of 6 classic cases and 4 other linked cases that lead to solving the murders by Jack the Ripper.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

The cases can be solved by following through a variety of clues, newspapers, witness statements, and other components that are included in the game set. You can even work in a team and collaborate to solve cases together or competitively. 

If all this is new to you, it will take time to navigate through the concept and learn more about it. However, once you understand the gameplay, you will never be able to let go of it.

The Initiative Board Game

The Initiative Board Game is one of the best puzzle board games on the market; it is unique and combines elements of strategy, puzzle-solving, and storytelling. If you are a fan of immersing in a game that involves storytelling of the highest caliber, this is for you.

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The gameplay unfolds gradually through a series of interconnected missions, creating a sense of suspense and discovery. The storytelling element adds depth and immersion, allowing players to feel like they are part of a thrilling espionage adventure.

The board is designed in a grid-like illustration that each player must travel through uncovering hidden information, deciphering codes, and solving puzzles to progress in the game. As you advance in the game, you will unravel mysteries and special abilities and tackle complex challenges. 

The only drawback of this game is that it may not serve to be for light gaming purposes. This game involves critical thinking, reasoning, planning, and much more that will give your brain a lifetime workout. 

The Isle of Cats

Welcome to the world of adorable cats who need your help to be rescued. The Isle of Cats is an adorable yet engaging gameplay concept that is visually stunning. With its unique gameplay mechanics, charming artwork, and strategic decision-making, this game offers a perfect blend of fun and challenge for both cat lovers and board game enthusiasts.

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You are on a quest on an island and on a rescue mission to save as many cats as possible. You will notice a small puzzle-like piece on the board that adds a tactile and enjoyable dimension to the gameplay.

Whether you are a child or an adult, this game suits every age group. You can either choose the solo mode or the family mode, whichever suits you the best and sounds more enjoyable. 

Furthermore, the game has a scoring system where your scores are based on adopting cats and achieving various objectives. You can plan your moves strategically to win the game.

Ticket to Ride Europe Board Game

This is my personal favorite, and the name exactly sounds like the concept of the game. Yes, the game takes players on an exciting railway adventure across the scenic landscapes of Europe. Players compete to claim routes on the map, connecting various cities and fulfilling destination tickets.

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There are multiple colored small train compartments that you will be using to build tracks across the cities. All the components are of the highest quality, and everything looks colorful and stunning as well.

Ticket to Ride Europe offers a variety of route cards and destination tickets, ensuring that each playthrough presents new and exciting challenges. It comes with proper instructions and a rule book that you can follow and learn before you get started. 

Furthermore, station tokens add an extra layer of tactical decision-making, allowing players to block opponents’ routes or secure crucial connections. The game will eventually keep you hooked for hours. Around 2-5 players can play the game at the same time, which lasts for 30-60 minutes.

Trekking The National Parks

Trekking The National Parks is an award-winning game that is both educational and engaging, especially for small kids. One of the standout features of Trekking The National Parks is its stunning artwork and attention to detail. 

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The game board showcases vibrant illustrations of iconic national parks, capturing their natural beauty and inspiring a sense of wonder.

You will love the little details mentioned in the components, such as park cards and wooden player tokens. You can use this game to help your child learn more about the National Parks. 

The gameplay instructs the players to collect cards representing national parks, strategically plan their routes, and trek across the map to visit as many parks as possible. It has been designed by a family that has visited every national park in the country.

Escape Room In a Box

Have you physically visited an Escape Room? If yes, then you must be aware of this game and what it tends to offer to game enthusiasts. This game brings the excitement of an escape room experience to the comfort of your own home. 

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The box has a series of puzzles, codes, and clues that players must decipher and solve to progress through the storyline. The puzzles are well-designed and offer a satisfying level of challenge, requiring players to think critically and work together to unlock the next step.

To give the game an authentic escape room experience, the components here are designed to keep every attention to detail and provide an immersive experience overall. The best way to play the game is through teamwork, which will make it easier for you to escape.

Not only this, the game offers multiple scenarios or “rooms” to choose from, providing replayability and a variety of challenges. This basically covers all the characteristics of a game that will keep you engaged for hours on end.


Did you pick out the right puzzle board game for you? I have mentioned the best ones in the market and the most interesting ones. You might have never heard about these board games, which makes them all the more interesting.

Make sure you go through each of the descriptions to learn more about the games. Some fit right in your budget, while some may be a bit more on the expensive side. There are multiple videos and tutorials you can check out and learn whichever game you choose.

Kanika Modi
Kanika Modi
Kanika is a freelance writer that is looking to add meaning to what you read and consume in the digital World for 7 years now. She loves writing about Gaming related content for both pro and casual Gamers. You can find hundreds of reviews, guides, and more on multiple websites around Apple ecosystem that has been curated specially for tech enthusiast like herself.

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