12 Video Games That Only Super Smart People Should Play Source:

Sometimes there’s just nothing that compares to the satisfaction that comes from finding the solution to a challenging problem. But when you find your average run-of-the-mill puzzle and strategy games just aren’t tough enough for your superior intellect, that’s when you need to find the games that were made specifically for an audience of certified geniuses. The games made by developers who don’t care whether or not you have any fun, just as long as your brain is constantly on the verge of hemorrhaging from trying to figure out how to beat it.

If you happen to be one of those people who are always looking for new ways to flex their mental muscles, the games on this list should be more than enough to keep you busy for quite some time.

12. Plague Inc.

In addition to being a highly refined strategy game, Plague Inc. is also a terrifyingly realistic simulation. The game has players create and evolve a deadly pathogen in an effort to wipe out humanity. After your pathogen infects ‘Patient Zero’ it’s up to you to adapt and evolve it so that it will survive everything the humans use to defend against it.

If you manage to beat the game on the normal difficulty setting you can try bumping it up to Mega Brutal where the doctors will stop at virtually nothing to cure the disease. Source:

11. Cogs

Cogs is an inventive puzzle game where players build machines out of sliding tiles. The ever-increasing difficulty of the levels coupled with the lack of a hint system makes Cogs a challenge for even the most seasoned of puzzle gamers. It also features three different game modes so even if you manage to beat all 50 levels in the Inventor Mode, you can do them again and see how well you fare in the Time Challenge Mode and Move Challenge Mode. Source:

10. Discworld

Based on the literary works of Terry Pratchett, the puzzles presented in this adventure game really push your mental capacities. Even seemingly easy quests, like finding simple items, will require you to go to extraordinary lengths and do things like travel into the past in order to tweak the future so you can get what you need. And since you’re often required to complete tasks in a very specific way, just clicking on everything in the area in the hopes that you’ll stumble on the correct solution will almost never work. In fact, more often than not the game imposes harsh punishment for doing things incorrectly.

But if you can get past some of the initial frustrations associated with having to be very meticulous about your actions, Discworld presents an incredibly creative and clever game that you can play for months if you try to beat it using nothing but your own wits. Source:

9. The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom explores the interesting relationship between a man, his numerous clones, and an insatiable craving for pies. And while you’d think that the ability to clone yourself at the drop of a hat would make life easier, it still takes a surprising amount of puzzle-solving brain power to figure out how to get all those hard-to-reach pies. You don’t have many abilities in the game, but the few you do possess are pushed to the max, so you’re forced to think long and hard about how to solve some of the more complex puzzles. Eventually you learn that perfect timing is the key, as keeping a record of your actions down to the second is the best way to ensure that your clones can work in perfect harmony to get past the tricky parts.

Getting past the harder levels can be extremely satisfying, though. Finally figuring out how to solve a puzzle that seems impossible at first is well worth the effort, and once you do all of your previous frustrations seem to just melt away. Source:

8. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a multiplayer game in which one player is trapped inside a room with a ticking time bomb that must be defused. The other players take on the role of the “experts” who need to relay instructions to the bomb defuser by interpreting the information found in each bomb’s defusal manual. However, the experts are never able to see the bomb, so effective verbal communication becomes your most valuable asset.

The bomb mechanics themselves can also get to be pretty elaborate. Only through intense concentration and organized cooperation will you and your team stand a chance of successfully defusing some of the game’s more challenging explosives. So not only does Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes require you to think like a genius, it requires you to find a few genius friends to work with if you hope to do well. Source:

7. EVE Online

Given that EVE Online is an MMO, your level of success can be gauged on many fronts. But whether you’re looking to become a wealthy trade tycoon, an exploration specialist, or a ruthless space pirate, before you start charting courses across the galaxy in search of fortunes and adventures, you should know that EVE Online has often been referred to as a spreadsheet simulator. Sure, if you just go by all the exciting screenshots used in the promo trailers it looks like the game is full of action-packed combat situations, but if you ever take the time to watch a stream of a high-level player you’ll notice that much of the actual gameplay involves making selections on a seemingly impossible series of menus, number and icons, all of which need to be thoroughly understood if you hope to accomplish anything.

Any way you slice it EVE Online is a highly complex game. No matter what you want to do, there is always something to learn about it and other activities to compliment it. There’s a lot to be said for preparation in this game. If your goals aren’t a good match for your skill set, you’ll surely find yourself having difficulties. Luckily it’s got a large community players who are very willing to offer up advice and strategies to help you get started. Source:

6. Hacknet

Hacknet is an immersive, terminal-based hacking simulator that forces you to use real life hacking methods in order to solve a mystery involving the recent death of a prominent hacker. Much of the gameplay involves a screen of generic code and it’s mostly left to players to figure out exactly what it is you’re supposed to do and what consequences might result from your actions. By learning (or recalling) how to use old school command prompts, you hack your way into various systems where you can access and alter sensitive information, diving ever deeper into the volatile nature of personal privacy and learning how widespread the prevalence of corporate greed has become. Ultimately, Hacknet delivers a very realistic hacking simulation that’s not only fun to play but could also serve as an introduction to some very complex coding. Source:

5. Digital Combat Simulator

Without a doubt, Digital Combat Simulator is the most intricate and complicated flight simulator game ever created. Granted, nobody ever said piloting fighter jets was easy, but when every switch and toggle in the cockpit has a dramatic effect, the game puts a lot of pressure on players to be extremely timely and accurate with every button press.

Before taking flight, players are expected to intimately know their aircraft inside and out. And you best do so because once you get into a combat situation you’ll need to account for the physics of flight while ace pilots in enemy aircrafts try their best to blow you out of the sky.

If any game were to give you a deeper appreciation for stresses faced every day by tactical air force pilots, surely its Digital Combat Simulator. Source:

4. Kerbal Space Program

Rocket science has always been associated with high levels of intelligence, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that this game is on the list. In Kerbal Space Program, players are tasked with building a spacecraft that’s capable of blasting its crew to the farthest reaches of space without killing them.

Each part you use in the construction has its own function that will affect the way the ship operates. Although your first few attempts will probably act a lot like firecrackers that explode shortly after takeoff, after taking the time to really explore the enormous amount of depth and detail this game has to offer, you’ll start to get a handle on what might work and what might blow up in your face. After a while you’ll find yourself making decisions like a NASA specialist, double checking every detail that goes into the process of sending a crew into space and spending hours scrutinizing over minute details. You might not have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy Kerbal, but unless you’re planning to play the game as an elaborate crash simulator, you had better be prepared to think like one. Source:

3. Victoria II

Victoria II is a grandiose strategy game that takes place during the colonial era of the 19th century. Players take control of a nation and carefully guide it from the height of monarchies in the early 19th century through expansion, colonization and industrialization in the hopes of becoming one of the most powerful countries by the turn of the century.

While Vitoria II is similar to other strategy games in the sense that you need to manage resources wisely in order to increase your chances of victory, its point of differentiation is the ludicrous amount of analytical data provided and the way in which even the smallest statistic can influence the outcome of a confrontation. Victory almost never feels certain as every action you take will have various consequences that ripple across the world. The population will also react to your decisions based on their political awareness, social class and level of satisfaction with their current government.

Even if you’re a military General with a PhD in international politics, chances are you’ll still find this game more than challenging. Source:

2. The Talos Principle

Similar to the Portal games, The Talos Principle is a narrative-based puzzle game that requires players to make their way through a series of elaborate puzzle rooms. Though the first few puzzles can be solved with relative ease, as you progress through the game you acquire new abilities that must be used to get through the subsequent stages. Before you know it, the puzzles become so elaborate that you’ll feel you can’t even find a safe place to stand let alone let alone a way through.

The game is also a philosophical treasure trove held together by a rich, thought-provoking narrative that will keep you contemplating questions like “Who am I?,” “What is my purpose?,” and “What can I do about the situations I’m placed in?”

If you’re someone who likes dealing with physics and math-related problems and enjoy discussions centered around philosophy and religion, The Talos Principle should be right up your alley. Source:

1. SpaceChem

Developed by Zachtronics Industries, SpaceChem is a refreshingly original puzzle game where players take on the role of a Reactor Engineer working for SpaceChem—the leading chemical synthesizer for frontier colonies. The objective of the game is to construct sophisticated factories that can transform raw materials into valuable chemical products. Sounds easy enough, right? The problem is that things get broken down to the molecular scale where even the slightest miscalculation can completely ruin all your work and take hours to correct. Of course, that’s assuming you can even figure out what the hell you’re supposed to do in the first place. Basically you’ve got “bonders” that can bond and unbond atoms, and “waldos” that can grab, rotate and drop atoms. By assembling your bonders and waldos in a particular configuration you should be able to combine atoms to form the required molecules.

Anyone who can make it beyond the first few stages in SpaceChem deserves an honorary degree in chemical engineering. Source: YouTube

Wes Walcott

Wes Walcott

Wes is a devourer of media. He ravenously consumes podcasts, books, and TV shows with seemingly no regard for review scores or subject matter. If encountered in the wild, Wes is said to respond positively to verbal cues relating to X-Men or the SNES. The subject can be easily captured and tamed using Transformers or Gundam models.