I liked that Machinarium had an in-game hint system, so that you could move on before getting too bored if you got stuck, but still not feel too bad about "cheating" (and also only get the hint for the area you're standing, so future puzzles remain unspoiled). Too bad the way it was implemented was with a terribly tedious shmup.
Another alternative answer to "who killed adventure games"?
That's why I don't like video game puzzles. I can usually think of plenty of my own solutions that make more sense but isn't what the developer wanted me to do.
Played the Dig a while back and I am not ashamed to admit I used google for that damn bit with the skeleton. I remember the day when you would walk around for hours rubbing items up against everything and one day click on the right pixel. I have a rule no where if I am getting really frustrated I'll look up google. I only feel bad if it's a solution I should have figured out like using the stick to prop up whatever but sometimes I know I would NEVER actually figure something out and guessing by chance is pretty much the same as looking it up. You haven't figured it out you just worked it out by elimination.
And anyway considering I am mostly catching up on ancient adventure games I got for cheap I don't feel too bad about looking up where to kick that damn wall in full throttle
In the before times, I remember a friend and I playing through one of the King's Quest (as well as the other "Quest" games...and Leisure Suit Larry games) titles and getting stuck. Near the back of the manual was a 900-number (do they still even have those?) help-line for stuck players. As the cost of the call was based on how long one was on the line we'd note down the question-trees to help minimize how long we were on listening to the questions read off to us. We'd get the answer, hang up, then back to the PC!
In the before-before times, on the C64, I remember Infocom's games coming with a hint-book that used an invisible-ink-revealer pen to show you clues to the puzzles' answers. If I remember correctly, there were degrees of how much of a clue the book would give you and you could choose how much of the answer you wanted it to spell out for you, up to giving you the answer outright.
I got stuck pretty early on with the first Professor Layton game for the DS. My first thought was to hit up GameFAQs for what I was sure would be a walkthrough for the game which would definitely get me through the stuck points. Then I realized I'd just take the lazy way out whenever I could and just look the damned puzzle's answer up. I didn't bother completing the game, I'd ruined the challenge for myself.
Dammit why am I skint. I just played the demo, loved it, went to buy the game and saw the £13 price tag. I can't afford that much right now :(
Hmmm.. Didn't find them that hard. :\ Challenging in some place, but not hard. The Myst games pissed me off more... mainly for back-tracking and note-taking purposes.. and that the fact that someone locks a door with a puzzle.. REALLY??