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EngadgetMay 27, 2024
It's a golden age of puzzle games, even for people who suck at puzzle games
I'm a big fan of the British comedy game show Taskmaster. Each season, five comedians compete against each other to complete ridiculous objectives. The competitors are often rewarded for lateral thinking, as long as they stick within each task's rules.

Every time I watch a player hilariously mess up, I often think "well, I could do better than that." But sit me down in front of a puzzle game that demands adept use of logic or pushes me to think outside of the box, and l often get frustrated and give up quickly (unless I find a decent guide to help me out). That's quite irritating, especially since we're in a golden age of puzzle games.

After a busy day of work, I'm far more inclined to play something relatively mindless, like Overwatch 2 or Fortnite. I tend to bristle at anything that slows me down, such as turn-based games. But the more I push myself to stick with puzzle games, the more I appreciate them. There are three recently released options that I've been bouncing between recently in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, Animal Well and Paper Trail.

I had enormous expectations for Lo

EngadgetMay 27, 2024
Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K Max is better as a retro gaming device than a streamer
Here's an open secret: Every cheap streaming stick kind of sucks. Yes, it's great that people can access so many shows and movies with devices that cost less than $50. It's great that the best of them no longer force you to suffer through constant lag and performance hiccups, too. But over time, the Faustian bargain we make with these things becomes increasingly obvious. We save cash upfront, then we repay our debt through a shoddy user experience.

I've been thinking about this since buying Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K Max a couple of months ago. It's a good example of that handshake: It's been on sale for $40 for most of the past few months, and at that price, its hardware is a tremendous bargain. It's fast, it works with the major HDR formats and Dolby Atmos and it supports all the requisite apps.

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