Puzzle Arcade Reviews

Shadow 00 Fox
537,658 (230,668)
Shadow 00 Fox
TA Score for this game: 409
Posted on 20 March 13 at 05:09, Edited on 21 March 13 at 07:28
This review has 6 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This is my first review, and I'm making it rather quick! Especially because I discovered a nasty glitch this game has.
**This game has a game saving glitch--I do not know much more about it than what I have discovered, however at random times the game completely erased all my puzzle history and saves. It was all gone except for the achievements. I have no idea why, but this glitch makes it very hard to get the 5 puzzles of 250+ pieces achievement, unless you do it in one sitting. Using a somewhat cheating method of stacking the pieces all in one pile, this will still take you with really fast fingers nearly two hours of tiny piece moving back and forth.**

This game was quite enjoyable at first, then became a bit of a bore. However, things you can do to enjoy this game more: talk to other people while building puzzles, that really helps the time fly while the pieces are flying. Make sure you have plenty of time when starting a puzzle, although you can save any puzzle you are building by the quit option in the menu's, and the game then gives you the option of saving.
Some of the puzzles are tremendously difficult, and a few of the achievements are going to require you to build a single puzzle, or parts of a puzzle, for anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours.
In particular, Fractal puzzles, which consist of puzzles within a puzzle, in which you start building small segments of the original, each segment being enlarged to the same size or larger than the original--those can take a long time, but if you get a rhythm going, listen to music, and have something else going on, the 3 hours might pass quickly and enjoyably.

The base game has several different categories to choose from;
Picture puzzles, a category in which you can choose from 39 different puzzles that came with the game and for you to test out;
Dynamic puzzles, where you can choose from 14 of the above puzzles, and the picture morphs the more pieces you get together;
And Fractal's, HUGE puzzles, especially on the 3rd layer: a 2 layer fractal puzzle of the smallest size would have 16 pieces on the first layer, and then approximately 16-25 puzzles of 16-25 pieces on the 2nd layer. The 3rd layer! A base approximation is somewhere around 400-450 individual puzzles each with 20+ pieces. And keep in mind, this is for the smallest size of starting puzzle.

The controls for the game really made me feel hampered; I absolutely love real life puzzles, and I felt tremendously cramped being able to use only a single joystick for moving and selecting pieces. For the interface, the controls are fairly smart, with a simple LT or RT to rotate a selected piece or segment as necessary, A to select and A to place, drop, or connect. This game almost made me feel claustrophobic, but I am a fairly high energy person, so that might just be me!

There are multiple options for every puzzle. You can choose:
Construction modes: Classic, where the pieces are scattered around the screen for you to go to work on, and a Turbo mode, which is pretty neat; you are given a picture of the puzzle, with the piece location edges all highlighted as you mouse over them, and queues of pieces ready to select on the left side of the screen. Simply, drag and drop the piece in the right location!
Experience level: Beginner, all the pieces are oriented the right way up. Intermediate, and Expert, where the pieces are half upside down, and all of them are rotated somehow incorrectly from their true direction.
Number of pieces! You can select for various puzzles a number of pieces anywhere from a low of 16 up to 1000+ pieces.
Piece shapes: there are 4 different shapes; solid squares, standard jigsaw, a slightly geometric shape, and another that I can only describe as a rather 'bricky' cut. Think LEGO, and you'll probably get it.

Other features this game has:
A terrific Puzzle Challenge feature, where you go through 20 different puzzles each with a different twist. You unlock them as you go, and challenges vary from AI taking your pieces apart while you're building your puzzle, to pieces flipping back upside down, to an absolutely ridiculous puzzle that is one giant checkerboard for you to put together, and lots more!
Online multiplayer, where you can compete against up to 3 friends or enemies building puzzles. You all move the pieces around, and once selected you have control of what you clicked until you put it down. This can be quite fun of you find the friends to do it with!
Offline/local multiplayer/AI bots: plug in extra controllers, or play the AI if you want a tough challenge against AI that always knows which pieces connect! (If you want to beat the AI, you can be really mean and lift the piece they are trying to connect to just as they are connecting it--they give up in disgust, drop their piece, and you can happily make the connection they worked so hard for.)
Weekly puzzles, still updated, in which you can download a fresh puzzle to solve!
Xbox Live Vision camera; I do not have one, but the idea is you take a picture with your camera, and then the game generates that into a puzzle you can solve!
A gallery of your solved puzzles: this I've had glitch on me multiple times when my saves got randomly erased, however it was nice while it lasted; you can tour 3 different styles of houses with all your solved pictures placed into frames throughout the house. An interesting and nice idea for a puzzle game like this!
The Music: I am a VERY picky musical listener, and was very impressed. I NEVER once got annoyed with the music that is playing constantly in the background(in fact, I'm listening to it right now). It's a mix of various easy listening styles, probably repetitive, but very smartly matched to the game.

I'm giving this game 3 stars. It definitely lost at least two stars for the save erasing glitches; without those, this would've been an all round enjoyable experience, if just a little boring at times. If you love jigsaws, and are patient, this is for you!
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