Thinky Third Thursday

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Thinky Third Thursday
April 2024

Welcome to Thinky Third Thursday, curated by Alan Hazelden of Draknek & Friends - a monthly roundup of thinky puzzle games that have caught my eye.

It's been a busy couple of weeks at Draknek & Friends, but never too busy that we can't take a break and play some excellent thinky games!

Our recent announcements:

Sokobond Express, by José Hernández and Draknek & Friends (Windows/macOS/Linux, Nintendo Switch)
José Hernández's path-drawing chemistry puzzler is out TODAY on Nintendo Switch! Plus, if you already own any other Draknek & Friends game, you'll get a special 15% discount. (And if you don't, they're all currently discounted at their lowest ever prices.)

LOK Digital, by Letibus Design, Icedrop Games, and Draknek & Friends (Windows/macOS demo available)
We also announced this month that we're publishing LOK Digital, a charming game based on the critically acclaimed puzzle book LOK. I've been playing it a lot recently, and I love it (well, we wouldn't be publishing it if I didn't!). If you'd like to try it too, there's a demo available on Steam.

Recent thinky highlights:

Now, those two games aside - it's onto some recent releases I loved.

Botany Manor, by Balloon Studios and Whitethorn Games (Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One/Series X/Series S)
Play as elderly botanist Arabella and wander around an old Victorian manor as you complete your compendium of peculiar and unusual plants. All the game's puzzles have one anchoring goal: make plants grow. Gorgeously peaceful and elegant, Botany Manor rewards exploration and thinking outside the box (or rather, plant pot).

Sokobrawn, by Steven Miller (free, browser)
I have an endless love for block-pushing puzzle games and their ability to find incredible depth and mindblowing puzzles from just a handful of often-familiar mechanics. Enter Sokobrawl, a mostly-familiar block-pushing game with one exception - the player character is so strong that wooden crates will get smashed to pieces if you try to push them. You'll have to use that incredible strength in some less direct way...

Thinky releases from the past month:

Upcoming games to watch for:

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, by Simogo and Annapurna Interactive
The developers have been playing coy about this game since it was announced, but a new trailer dropped yesterday revealing a release date of May 16th. It's still cryptic, but you can see a lot of different codes and contraptions - this one is going to be for puzzle hunt/escape room sickos.

Lab Rat, by Chump Squad and Klei Publishing
I've been playtesting this recently, and I can promise that it's a treat. The "evil AI wants you to solve puzzles" thing has been done before, but it goes in some unexpected directions and supports some great block-pushing puzzles.

Arranger: A Role-Puzzling Adventure, by Furniture & Mattress LLC
Another one that I've playtested recently, Arranger has a lovely art style and a simple gameplay hook: shift objects around as you move towards or away from them. Over the course of the game it throws a lot of twists onto that central mechanic, none overstaying their welcome.

That's it!

Thanks to our new studio manager Mairi for some support with this edition. She's also helping with the upcoming Cerebral Puzzle Showcase: make sure May 23-30 is on your calendar for a week of great discounts on Steam.

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