Poll Question 007 – What kind of puzzle do you prefer?

1st December 2006

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3


There are a few different types of puzzles used in FPS games but the most obvious are Jumping, Logistical (Press this button, get the power supply etc.) and Physics. Now, having to choose one is difficult because it depends on the implementation.

PLEASE NOTE: The map is for illustration purposes only. I’m not asking if you prefer THIS map.

Jumping Puzzles

I generally don’t like these because they test my ability to control the character’s movements. I’m not particularly good at that. They also rarely require and thinking, just jump and jump again. I never played Kreedz Climbing but I respect the concept of the mod. For me the worst thing is falling and dying. I think that’s just bad design.

Logistical Puzzles

By far the most common type of puzzle but getting very old and boring. Normally it’s just a simple sequence to complete. Sometimes the objectives are obscure, making it very annoying.

Physics Puzzles

the new kid on the block, as far as puzzles are concerned. This type, more than any other, depends on excellent implementation, otherwise it’s just too easy or else incredibly hard.

Can you think of any other type of puzzle?

  • Jumping: 11%
  • Logistical: 52%
  • Physics: 37%
  • Total votes: 54

Well, the results were as expected, nothing surprising from this poll. All we need now is omebody to analyze HL2 for the different proportions!


  1. Jimbo

    Remember the Conc maps in TFC? I don’t know if you guys count those as puzzles, but I hated those maps beyond belief. I’m not super-great at stuff like that, and I find it pointless to try to get good at it. But what’s this? There’s dozens of conc maps out and two of my friends are extremely good at it. It’s ridiculous! That and those bunny hopping maps. What the heck.

    I’m one to think puzzle-type areas of games are just in the eye of the beholder. Different people like different things– either extreme or basic.

    I guess I’m one to enjoy when a game mixes elements of these puzzles– for instance in HL2 episode 1 in the Citadel core you had to use the gravity gun to grab those energy spheres and throw them into the power nodes to activate certain bridges, lasers, etc. You got a logistical and physics thing going on, and I loved it.

    I know I’ve seen some other great ideas in some sven coop maps, but I can’t think of any at the moment….and I can’t think of any custom ideas to add to this post. Maybe later!

  2. what type of puzzle game would you call Mistake of Pythagarus or Peaces Like Us ?

  3. Different people like different things– either extreme or basic.

    I think that’s a given. This is just a semi-serious pop-poll to gauge preferences.

    what type of puzzle game would you call Mistake of Pythagarus or Peaces Like Us

    I haven’t played (Or can’t remember) Peaces Like Us, but I suppose MOP is mostly Logistical. Doing things in certain order.

  4. Jimbo

    I think MoP was another logistical and physics puzzle idea– especially at the end with the square you had to make with the triangle peices. Peaces like us…in that weird part in the game with all the anime art littered about…I think that was a jumping/logistical idea. Good stuff on both mods. (as you can tell, I love HL mods!)

  5. Fluffy The Hamster

    The puzzle preference depends on the game. I mostly lean towards logistical puzzles. When it comes to the run-of-the-mill FPS games/mods such as Half-Life and such, I enjoy logistical puzzles more since it’s the easiest, more used puzzle there is. Jumping puzzles depend on the enjoyment you get from the actual act of movement. In games such as Starsiege: Tribes, jumping puzzles (for lack of a better word) are as fun as hell.

    When it comes to physics puzzles, it depends on the complexity. You need to pick up a plug and plug it into the socket: Boring. You drag a heavily explosive barrel next to a tower, and shoot it so that the tower falls, destroying the bridge and allowing you the ability to cut off the enemy retreat and finish them off: Awesome.

    When it comes to making sucessful mods and maps, it usually leans on the orchestrated combination of the three.

    On preference, though. I’m going for logistic. You have an unlimited field of which to do with just the press of a button, ranging from the dispensement of a can of soda to the nuclear destruction of the entire state of California.

  6. if we say PLU and MOP ate more logical puzzle and Rock-24 more physical puzzle then I vote for physical

  7. Zockopa

    Personally I think the killing of the tentacle monster in HL1 was one of the best implemented puzzles ever done in a fps. It was a large puzzle,covering a couple maps,but was in no way a gamestopper. And mostly exactly that,the stop-effect of most puzzles implemented in fps,kills the fun out of me.


    Let it be known that I hate jumping puxxles. I was playing Blue-Shift the other day, going for no deaths. It was going great until I got to Xen and the “lame run and jump” section (quoting Planet Half-Life’s reveiw) and I missed a jump and died.

  9. Anonymous

    What about mazes? Wouldn’t mazes be in it’s own category, as they usually do not involve moving anything or using buttons? (I’m a little “iffy” on the definition of logistic puzzles)

    I hate maze maps by the way. Any map that gets it’s own puzzle category is a bad map: logistic, jumping, or even physics maps included. Maps shouldn’t be limited to puzzles.

  10. What about mazes?

    I would class mazes as logistical puzzles – doing something in the correct order.

    It seems that people are trying to classify mods according to a puzzle. I don’t think that’s needed. A mod or map could easily contain all three, the question was to see if there was any one that people hated
    (I suspected that Jumping was going to receive the fewest votes).

    Personally I think the killing of the tentacle monster in HL1 was one of the best implemented puzzles ever done in a fps.


  11. If I vote on the current poll it would probably be logistical since I cant vote my preference of Logistical & Physics combined.Jumping can go jump in the toilet along with stacking boxes.

  12. Tetzlaff

    The kind of puzzles you call “logistical puzzles” is often misunderstood by leveldesigners. Key- and lever puzzles simply exist to create a motivation for the player to explore different parts of the level with a goal that lies inside the level itself (the closed area that needs to be accessed by solving the key puzzle). The distance between the locked door and the key (or switch) creates opportunity for multiple routes (non-linear leveldesign) and various combat situations. There could be one or more routes leading from the door to the key, and one or more routes from the key location back to the door. And on the way there’s plenty of opportunity for combat (which is after all the most important gameplay element in FPS games).

    Newer games like FEAR don’t get this simple idea, they handle lever puzzles like something that gives the player a break from the combat, so that he just has to do “something else” for a short while. That’s not how it’s meant to be.

  13. I’m really fascinated with the Myst puzzles because they use sounds, shapes, levers, buttons, gravity and timing. I guess these are all considered logistical, but they add a lot of variety because of all the variables you can get. I think games should include all of the types of puzzles for variety.
    The puzzles I hate the most are the ones where you have a time-limit to complete it. Which means re-loading, re-loading, re-loading!

  14. Again, having a variety keeps things fresh and enjoyable. I prefer a logical focus, but with the other puzzle aspects supporting it.

  15. Chris

    I like Jumping Puzzles in game like Mirrors Edge. So really it depends on the game, but jumping puzzles have to be my fave

  16. Dusty


  17. I’m numerically illiterate…lol// So I’d have to say tricks and traps..

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