You know what I like? Puzzles. You know what falls in that category? Jigsaw puzzles. So here’s Jigsaw Zen.
Jigsaw Zen is a chill jigsaw puzzle game featuring over 100 different puzzles ranging from 28 to 510 pieces. It features a variety of art styles, from landscapes to 3D models to anime. It also features an insanely easy platinum.
So the primary mechanic of the game, placing the actual pieces, works fairly well. You can choose between either having a visible background or an invisible background. With a visible background you can see a faded look at the image, and also have a highlight of the pieces. However, don’t rely on this in the high piece puzzles, specifically the 510 ones. In the one I pulled up for testing had inaccurate piece shapes.
As you start the puzzle, all your pieces will vanish into the tray below and it’s your job to place them back on. You can sort either by “All” or “Edges”, why an “Inner” option isn’t included I’m not sure. Filtering to only the edge pieces is definitely useful when it comes to trying to piece together the higher piece puzzles. Who doesn’t like doing the edges first?
I noted that the puzzle solving works fairly well, but there’s one gigantic flaw in there – as the pieces fly out of the puzzle and in to the tray, they are always in the exact same order. While you may not remember for the higher ones, if you watch them vanish you’ll always notice a “pause” on the last 1-2 pieces. If you go to these pieces in the tray, the last piece(s) are always the last ones in the tray. This means you could, in theory, record the pieces going away and pause/unpause the recording to find where every single piece goes. As I was spamming the 28 piece puzzles for the Platinum I kept track of this, leading me to find it. A simple algorithm to shuffle the pieces in the tray once they’re gone from the puzzle – or just not showing the “flying away” in the first place – would be an easy fix to this.
The music is very repetitive. It is “calming”, but it gets quite old and boring after a very short period. As far as the graphics go well… It’s the puzzle images. The style is all over the place. I’m not sure the source for them, but there was one – “Winter Wonderland” – that looked like I’d seen it in some other game promo before. I also felt like some of them were miscategorized difficulty wise. For instance, a butterfly image with a same-y background is a “Normal” difficulty, but it proved to actually be quite hard on a ~280 piece puzzle.
Jigsaw Zen fits the bill of a jigsaw video game alright, but the whole “you always know where the last piece goes if you pay attention” kind of just ruined it for me. So while the general premise works fairly well, there is a gigantic flaw holding this game back from being anything more than “hey, here’s an easy platinum game”. As it is, unless you want a ~2 hour platinum… Just pass on this and go get an actual jigsaw puzzle from the store to put together.
I was provided with a key for the game via Keymailer for coverage.