I recently completed Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers, a Puzzle game, that revolves around it's physics engine. The main game mechanic is being able to slice various parts of the terrain and objects, and then drag and push them around to solve puzzles.

For example in one of the levels you are confronted with a almost vertical cliff of stone and must slice of pieces to build ramps to get the the top.

I'm looking for another game like that:

  • Must be a Puzzle Game
  • Must involve Physics, in the puzzles (Eg momentum, object destruction etc)
  • Must be Character orientated, I want to play as a character.
  • Should be First Person, a third person games might work, but I liked the first person kinda deal.
  • Should NOT be combat focused, combat can be a thing, but it shouldn't be a FPS, with puzzle elements. The puzzles must be the true focus.
  • Should be 3D
  • Ideally would be available through Steam
  • Ideally would be for windows and linux, but being only availble for one of those would be Ok.
  • Ideally would cost less than $100

I don't care how old or new the game is, so long as it will run on modern windows/linux. I don't play many games, so even games that are super well known, I might have overlooked.

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    I do not believe this question should be closed, unlike some of the other game questions, this one is of a high enough quality with a narrow enough scope that it is easily answerable and meets the quality levels we should strive for on this site.
    – Flyk
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 10:29
  • 1
    It seems evident that this is too broad. Perhaps your criteria could be tightened up, but instict tell me the answer you want is probably a list to pick from. This is harder to formulate that most recomendaations because you aren't going to want just one per-se that gets the job done, you might move through the whole list over time and new ones might be added. This is an inherently bad math for the SE pattern.
    – Caleb
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 21:52
  • 3
    @AngeloNeuschitzer That's a common trapping of list questions: you start out thinking that oh, there'll only be a couple of matches tops, and then they keep pouring in. This question fails one of our two guidelines: while it has a nice set of requirements, it fundamentally lacks a purpose. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 22:03
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    @Caleb: I never wanted a list. I agree lists are bad. This question was created as a test question for if games questions could work. I attempted to write it such that it had one answer (In this case that answer i was trying to get was Portal, but the other some other answers are probably better) as best i could, but it seems evident that I failed, andthat it was too broad. This seems like it may be very commonly true of games questions and thus makes a argument that games questions should be banned. Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 2:09
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    Please do not delete this question. I find the answers very valuable.
    – miroxlav
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 1:39

7 Answers 7


Valve have released two games incorporating physics based puzzles: Portal and Portal 2. Both of these games are story driven puzzle games from a first person perspective where you take control of Chell and guide her through a variety of puzzles set up by an artificial intelligence, GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), at the Aperture Science testing facilities.

The game primarily revolves around the use of the "Portal Gun" (the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device), which can be used to open portals within the facility to navigate to otherwise inaccessible areas.

enter image description here

As for your list of requirements:

  • Both games are primarily puzzle games
  • Physics is included, for example, momentum through portals is maintained and this is a key gameplay element
  • You play as Chell, a survivor trapped in the Aperture Science Testing Facilities
  • Both games are first person
  • There is no "real" combat - in some scenes there are automated robots that will fire upon you, but this is just another part of the puzzle for that particular level
  • Both games are 3D (see above screenshot)
  • Both games are available on Steam
  • Both games are available on Windows and Linux
  • Both games can be purchased for less than $100
  • For reference, because this was a test question, Portal was the game I had in mind when I asked this. (Though I was actually interested in getting other answers) Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 3:10
  • I had figured as much, but since it wasn't mentioned anywhere I figured a high quality answer representing it would be the right thing to do. It's also why I provided two answers ;)
    – Flyk
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 8:22
  • @Oxinabox well, answering your own question is ok anyway ("official" blog post)
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 17:46


Antichamber is a first person puzzle game featuring non-Euclidean geometry in its level design, which leads to instances where corridors between rooms can take you to different places depending on the direction you're facing, along with otherwise impossible structures, etc.

Here is a screenshot of Antichamber:

enter image description here

As for your list of requirements:

  • Antichamber is a puzzle game
  • Antichamber is a first person game (see above screenshot)
  • There is no combat in Antichamber
  • It is available on Steam
  • It is available on Windows only
  • Antichamber costs less than $100

Some further reading:

  • 1
    I'm a bit sad I can upvote only once. Nice answer you have here.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 17:47
  • I'm with @Olli - Antichamber is the most mindblowing fun I've had in a physics game.
    – dotVezz
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 15:07

You might like LIMBO. Although LIMBO is more oriented around the puzzle aspects, it does have some physics aspects as well. There are a couple enemies but the game doesn't focus a lot on combat. It is cross-platform, including Android and iOS mobile platforms.

The game is $10 on steam.

Limbo logo

Limbo is a 2D sidescroller, incorporating the physics system Box2D to govern environmental objects and the player character. The player guides an unnamed boy through dangerous environments and traps as he searches for his sister.

Here is a trailer and some screenshots:

Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 Screenshot 3



Game Homepage | IndieDB Page

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Distribution: DRM-Free, Desura, coming to Steam ($3.99)



Note: This game is not complete yet. It is still in alpha state.

  • More of a platformer, similar to Portal. I still think you may be interested though.
    • Main mechanic is the ability to change the direction of gravity to move yourself and environmental objects around.
  • First person, 3D
  • You are a character, but so far he doesn't really have much actual character
  • No combat
  • Currently priced at only $3.99 during alpha
  • If you purchase on IndieGameStand you will recieve a Steam activation code when it becomes available on the platform (which should be soon).
  • There's also a demo you can check out
  • The game also has a planned update for 'HD' graphics. Sample

Magrunner: Dark Pulse

Game Homepage

Platforms: Windows

Distribution: Steam ($19.99)


The game's description on Steam probably does a better job of summing this up than I can, so I'll just paste it.

You are Dax, one of seven Magrunners selected among the elite to participate in MagTech Corporation's space training program. But, what should be the chance of a lifetime quickly becomes a horrific nightmare.

Equipped with your Magtech glove, you must harness the ability to magnetically polarize and manipulate objects in the environment to survive and surpass challenging puzzles. Your reflexes and ingenuity will be pushed to their limits as you make your way through 40+ immense and dangerous levels, including high-tech training rooms and the endless chasms of the lost cosmos, on a path to confront the horrendous creatures of Cthulhu!

  • First person, 3D
  • Platforming similar to Portal, with more physics interactions
    • Use magnetism to move objects and platforms around
  • Not combat focused, but I think there may be some puzzly 'boss fights' towards the end
  • You play a fully voiced character (Dax), who interacts with other characters throughout the game
  • Strange mashup of a puzzle game and the Cthulhu mythos, but it's not too bad

Quantum Conundrum

Game Homepage

Platforms: Windows

Distribution: Steam ($8.99)

Quantum Conundrum has you travelling through the vast rooms and areas of your genius uncle's estate, trying to rescue him from the alternate dimension he's trapped in. He's been busy though, and you'll swap at will between four unique dimensions with different properties to help you solve the puzzles. For example, one of the dimensions makes everything light, so even heavy objects can be carried. One reverses gravity. One slows down time, and one makes everything super heavy.

It's a really interesting game, one of my personal favourites.

  • First person, 3D
  • I believe the main person behind this also worked on Portal. Game feels similar in some regards.
  • No combat at all
  • Nearly every object can be interacted with, and used in some way. You can pile up books to climb on top of things if you want.
  • You play a silent character, much like in Portal, but the game is voiced by the uncle, who talks at length about various things, including the player
    • As a bonus, the uncle is voiced by John de Lancie!

Quantum Conundrum 1

Quantum Conundrum 2


Pandora: Purge of Pride

Trailer here


  • Puzzle game, with physics. You can pull and move objects around.
  • First person
  • You play as a character (Pandora)
  • No combat (I think)
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Priced at $9.99
  • Not on Steam yet, but you can vote for it on Greenlight

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