‘Puzzling Places’ Review – Putting Conventional Jigsaw Puzzles to Shame
AnonymousSeptember 3, 2021 at 10:21 AM
Puzzling Places takes jigsaw puzzles in a new and clever direction by offering up multiple difficulties of some highly textured and interesting 3D scenes, making for an experience that’s better than either physical 2D or 3D puzzles in almost every way.
Puzzling Places Details:
Available On: Oculus Quest, (PSVR coming in 2021)
Release Date: September 2nd, 2021
Reviewed On: Oculus Quest 2
The concept is simple: the game includes 16 puzzles at launch, all of which can be fractured into 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 pieces. All scenes are based on photogrammetry—a technique for taking high resolution photos of a thing and stitching them together to make a 3D model—so puzzles have an extreme lifelike quality to them that wholly artificial objects typically don’t. Click the pieces together in any order you like and voilà: you have a detailed little model of something cool in front of you.
In Puzzling Places you’ll be able to build things like millennia-old temples in Armenia, a delicate and expressive Japanese kimono, and a densely-packed drawing room in Sweden that, when pushed to the max 400-piece difficulty becomes a smorgasbord of chairs, rich tapestries, and all sorts of finery that may take you literal hours to assemble. Playing Puzzling Places really can be as simple as clicking a large stretch of beach together like a Hot Wheels tracks, or going in to match miniscule bits of houses that all look very similar.
After the tutorial, the game invites you to run through a few 25-piece puzzles first to get your legs. Beyond that, you won’t hear a peep out of the game, even as you head on to more difficult puzzle configurations. Although the full gamut of puzzles available at launch feels fairly low in number, all puzzles have been thoughtfully fragmented from 25-400 pieces so you can play each level as if it were new. There’s multiple hours of puzzling here and Realities.io promises more is yet to come post-launch. A bit more on difficulty in Immersion though.
Anyway, here’s a great mixed reality look at what it feels like to build in Puzzling Places, courtesy of Fabio Dela Antonio:
The first time I played @PuzzlingPlaces it was still in beta, and it’s now available on the Oculus store so I had to try recording it in #MixedReality again. There were a few video artifacts, but the game ran perfectly and it has so many new puzzles now 😃 #OculusQuest2 #VR pic.twitter.com/WFB6gYsi0a
— Fabio Dela Antonio (@fabio914) September 3, 2021
Like conventional puzzles, you’re not only tasked with matching the crenelated edges of each piece, but also keeping tabs on the image’s different textures and how they align. An efficient puzzler tends to group pieces and solve the most obvious bits first, which thankfully is an uncomplicated thing in Puzzling Places since you can easily summon pieces from the puzzle backboard and either leave them anywhere in mid-air, or return them to any spot on the board you want.