Some puzzle games, instead of simply being Match-Three Game variants, Tetris clones, or Puzzle Platformers, are insanely weird, mind-defying things, where classifying a game into a genre can be as much a puzzle as the game itself. This seems to apply to Capcom puzzle games more than those by any other company.
This doesn't include games which are just weird because the developers decided that Tetris should have an Excuse Plot that involves evacuating a planet via Tetris-powered portals to other planets. Framing a paddle and ball game in a trapped spaceship plot, like in Arkanoid, is either an example of an unholy amount of abstraction or Serious Business. Running round on giant dice trying to match numbers in order to blow them up, on the other hand, can best be described as "the hell?"
See also Widget Series.
- Lemmings: Seriously, you try describing it beyond naming the title. "It's kind of like a platform game save 'em up (but not quite) where you have to save these multiple suicidal units with a time limit and other constraints put on you: warning addictive gameplay and music. Also, none of that really tells you everything. Comes with a nuke button for when you can't save them or are feeling vindictive."
- Gregory Horror Show has you creeping around a hotel spying on guests, such as anthropomorphic roulette wheels and giant pink lizard nurses with blood taking fetishes, in order to steal their souls while trying not to go insane and get trapped there forever yourself.
- Bombastic and Devil Dice are about aligning dice in just the right way to make them explode.
- Mondo Medicals. Go through creepy featureless gray levels, solving unintuitive puzzles to get to the exit, all while TV-headed people are yelling weird Engrish stuff at you.
- Zack & Wiki has you playing a 10-year-old pirate who obsessively munches on chocolate bars, and works for a bunch of rabbits, and who seeks the body parts of a cursed pirate which have turned into solid gold things. Your best friend is a flying monkey thing who turns into a bell on command, and the ringing of the bell has the power to turn enemies into items and items into enemies. Oh, and the tutorial has you throw away your Parasol Parachute while you're still falling.
- Viewtiful Joe is technically a platformer, but may involve possibly even more puzzle solving than fighting. It shows how Capcom can make this thing apply even if the game isn't a puzzle game.
- Talismania may qualify, as the player has to connect two identical coins by the longest route possible.
- Intelligent Qube sees you setting traps on a giant grid to capture cubes that are steadily rolling at you while trying not to be crushed.
- The similarly named Q.U.B.E. is a first person platformer puzzle game in which the player uses some kind of high-tech gloves to move different types of blocks with dots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iABxhj0ExA0
- Galapagos has you escorting a (suicidal) artificial intelligence in a little spider body named Mendel around a gigantic random collection of platforms and things by randomly clicking on stuff to clear a path by manipulating the environment. This is supposedly to save its potent AI from being used in a weapon.
- While Spin Jam has a match-three element, that ain't how you win levels. The three matched balls provide a force (of sorts) in a straight line that runs through the center spindle, which will cause affected balls to be shot away from the center and (hopefully) into matching-colored flower petals. Filling those petals is the ultimate goal.
- Story of Seasons:
- Puzzle De Harvest Moon is nearly impossible to classify, being a truly bizarre game that's closer to Reversi than anything. Unfortunately, the complex and arcane rules that go with this make it too complex to be engaging as a Puzzle Game.
- Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming is similarly impossible to classify, but a much simpler and more entertaining game.
- Today I Die is one of these, and a beautiful one at that. Basically, it's playing a metaphor for returning from the brink of suicide.
- The object of World of Goo is to build bridges across levels by stringing together balls of goo.
- Pang has you popping balloons with a harpoon while trying to dodge them at the same time.
- Saw. While there are a couple of actual video games that fit this trope (think Professor Layton meets Hostel), the "games" played in the movie series will occasionally fit this bill as well.
- Katamari Damacy. You visit Earth to roll up objects into a ball so that the whole mass can be turned into a star. In the first game alone, this is because your dad, the King of All Cosmos, accidentally destroyed all the stars while drunk.
- Catherine has a guy who's cheating on his bossy girlfriend suffering crazy nightmares where he's forced to climb a tower of blocks in his underwear while dodging traps and sheep-men. Occasionally he gets chased up the towers by embodiments of his fears of commitment/parenthood/relationships.
- Illusions. You're trying to help giant amoebae navigate paradoxical structures so that they can merge into a single being and pass through a mirror to Another Dimension.
- Helter Skelter superficially resembles an Elimination Platformer, but you don't walk or jump, and there's no attack button. All you have is this bouncy ball thing.
- Wetrix has you placing Tetris-type pieces on a field to raise and lower walls, creating lakes you then fill with water. Your goal is to collect massive amounts of water then dry it up with a meteor for points, while trying not to lose too much water through gaps in the walls/over the edges; the game is over when you fill the "drain" (meter measuring how much water you've lost). Ice cubes, bombs, and rainbows are also involved. The fact that the game explains itself very very poorly makes it seem even more bizarre, especially to those expecting some sort of Tetris variant.
- The Karoshi series is about a Salary Man who has to find increasingly more unorthodox methods to kill himself, including falling in Spikes of Doom, dropping crates on himself, shooting straight ahead, falling in Bottomless Pits and eventually leaving the fourth wall shattered to pieces.
- Roundabout looks like a driving game, but it's more of a puzzle game of trying to fit your bizarrely moving limo through increasingly complex obstacle courses.
- Turtle Pop on the Nintendo Switch is a Puzzle Platformer that's like a hybrid of Lemmings and a Match 3 Game. It's a platformer where you have to lead multiple turtles through a level, you control them directly but can also place items throughout the level to help their progress, and a significant portion of the obstacles you'll encounter are swapable, matchable tiles which you'll have to clear to progress and which also can have an affect on the world like causing explosions for matching certain tiles.