10 Infuriating Video Game Puzzles Fans Hated

When calm and logical gets replaced with rage and frustration.

Fez final puzzle
Polytron Corporation

Puzzles in video games are great when they're done right. Having something challenge your grey matter and test your mettle can be just as entertaining as mindlessly shooting hordes of Nazis, zombies, or Nazi zombies.

Throughout the decades, we've had some absolute corkers, too. Just look at Portal, Braid, the classics of LucasArts or even Tetris for their ingenuity. When a puzzle is rewarding to gameplay or story, it becomes memorable for all the right reasons.

However, when a rollercoaster of an adventure comes to a grinding halt mid-ride because of a nefarious puzzle solution, it's a different feeling. One of rage, usually.

Such as using a clumsily handled bird analogy for piano keys, or an antagonising grass-muncher causing endless headache. Or that old favourite, the "pick the wrong exit and be sent back to the start" trap?

How about a game that has you translate its own obscure language to solve a puzzle, or a riddle so dastardly and randomised, you can't just chance your way through it?

Puzzles in games, be it core gameplay or set piece, are normally fun. But there's a time when one will push you too far. So just to remind you, here are ten of the most hated puzzles in gaming...

10. Resident Evil 3 - Water Treatment Plant

Fez final puzzle
Capcom

It becomes apparent quite early on in Resident Evil 3 that the focus has shifted more to action than the first game. The puzzles are more logical - in a "fire hose to put out fire" sense - than cryptic mansion meanderings.

This is all well and good - it fits the faster pace. But you know what doesn't fit that mold?

A puzzle that involves lining up three separate bars to match a top one that's randomised each time you play. Well, one of four possible solutions, at least.

It may be well documented on how to solve it now, but back in 1999 the luxury of popping online to check wasn't there for many. That you have a one-in-four chance of it being the solution you remembered from your last playthrough would also bring players to a halt.

On the one hand, it was a great reminder of lateral thinking not being overshadowed by the violence that the series was renowned for.

On the other, it was enough to make you sigh and mutter, "F*cking water sample puzzle" under your breath whenever you got to it.

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Player of games, watcher of films. Has a bad habit of buying remastered games. Senior critic over at fingerguns.net. Found at @GregatonBomb on Twitter/Instagram. Subpar gaming over at twitch.tv/gregatonbomb