Table of Contents

Text Adventure Puzzle Types

This page outlines some basic types of puzzle encountered in games as well as some examples and ideas for how to expand upon them. The categories are based on those in this article by Emily Short.

Mystery / Research

The focus of these puzzles is locating and combining information. General themes which can occur:

Diagnostic

These puzzles involve collecting information about a subject until it can be identified or some other conclusion drawn. Examples include:

Resource Management

The player must decide how to expend a limited resource (time, money, space, etc.) to achieve a set of conflicting goals in a satisfactory manner. Examples of the resources used are:

Geographical

Dealing with locations and their relationships.

Timing

The timing and ordering of events.

Cryptographic

Secret codes and ciphers which need to be solved by the player.

Word Puzzles

The language of the game itself can become a puzzle, either in-game or beyond the fourth wall.