How do you feel about jigsaw puzzles? Do you fondly remember sitting around Grandma’s kitchen table piecing together great works of art such as “Dogs Playing Poker” with your family? Or are you the one with a closet stocked full of unopened jigsaws that your Aunt Edna keeps giving you as birthday presents? Your opinion of jigsaw puzzles in general will greatly influence how much enjoyment you are likely to get from Jigsaws Galore as the game is pretty much a direct representation of the official pass-time of grandparents everywhere.
Pretty much everyone knows what a jigsaw puzzle is, but just in case you live under a rock, or were raised by wild marmosets, or you are from the state of Alabama I will give you the general idea of what Jigsaws Galore is trying to emulate:
- Take a pretty picture, or photo and glue it to a thin board.
- Pull out a saw and cut the picture into a whole bunch of similar but not identical shapes
- Take shapes you cut out, mix them up and throw them in a big ol’ pile.
- Wonder what the hell you were thinking when you performed step 3.
- Put the whole mess back together so you can see the pretty picture again
Jigsaws Galore Gameplay
Jigsaws Galore is a best-case scenario as far as accurately recreating the jigsaw experience. The game starts with a picture that you choose from either your own collection or from well over 100 pictures the game has built in. While there are suggested settings for each of the included puzzles all of them allow you to set the number of pieces you would like (from 4 to 64000), the shape of the pieces including “fun” pieces (shaped like objects or animals), and the thickness of stock that the puzzle is printed on. The pieces are then randomly scattered across the board (you can choose whether the puzzle pieces will be rotated or not). Once the puzzle pieces are thoroughly thrown all over the place it is time to put it all back together again. Fortunately reassembly is made painless as the pieces will “snap” into place once you align them correctly, and there are trays available to place them in if you like to be organized during reassembly. If you get stuck, you can get hints or use the cheat system to have some pieces assembled automatically. You can also add a time limit if you would like to add a bit of a challenge.
Fortunately, the interface is very clean and functional. It’s very easy to find the command or option you are looking for. Everything is quite intuitive. Unfortunately the user interface is also very, very bland: It looks like something from the Windows 95 era, not a program running on a state of the art Mac. That said, I’m guessing that the menus are pretty visible for those with weaker vision. It just would be nice to have a modernized look and feel. There is a wide selection of puzzle pictures available, and they are all pretty high quality. As mentioned above you can import your own photos if you wish. Sound is limited to a muffled thud when you place the puzzle pieces, but there is nothing stopping you from running iTunes in the background.
Jigsaws Galore is a competent, feature rich jigsaw puzzle simulation. If you don’t like assembling jigsaw puzzles, you probably won’t like this game much, but if you are a jigsaw nut, there are enough features here to keep you busy for a long time. The best part: you never have to worry about missing pieces!
Publisher: Gray Design Associates
Price: $2.99 (£2.99)
Description: A Simple Puzzle Simulator
Pros: Chock full of options and extras, works as a jigsaw simulator.
Cons: Strictly a simulation of a Jigsaw puzzle, interface a little drab.