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App review: Jigsaw Puzzle

Family fun and brainless entertainment.

Lately I have found myself losing steam on 100 Floors. I seem to have stalled out around floor 64 or so. The problem is that I typically want to play games on my iPad late in the evening, in between watching something on Netflix or during commercial breaks. And after about 8 p.m., my brain is completely off-line. It's the worst possible time to try playing something that requires a lot of mental engagement, either in the form of thinking (100 Floors) or reflex activity (Robot Unicorn Attack).

That's why Jigsaw Puzzle has become my new favorite app.
 
I love doing jigsaw puzzles. But I never do, because my home is too small, and I have cats, and what do you do with the puzzle once you're done? Jigsaw puzzles present many problems of form factor. Problems which have all been solved by this clever little app.
 
The gameplay is about what you would expect. The graphics look pretty good, at least on my iPad 1. You touch the pieces and move them about. It comes with a "table" so you can move pieces in or out of the frame. Within the frame, there is a button you can touch to make the completed picture appear. It's either there or it isn't, so it's not entirely like doing a real-world puzzle where you can have the picture beside the puzzle as you work on it.
 
When you put together two pieces that match, there is a satisfying "click" sound. You can then move all of the joined pieces together as a unit.
 
Jigsaw Puzzle is free to download, and comes with several puzzles you can play before you decide whether or not to upgrade. You start with a basic pack of eight puzzles. For each puzzle, you choose the number of pieces. It ranges from 4 to 400, although you can only have a maximum number of 49 pieces in the free version.
 
I was lucky enough (or it was sales-trickery enough) to hit the game during a sale: only $2.99 to upgrade to the Premium version. I found it well worth the three bucks. In addition to having the ads removed and getting more puzzles and more pieces, you also gain the ability to create custom puzzles from your own pictures. You get about 100 puzzles, plus 10 super-hard puzzles in the Tournament Pack. And of course, you can buy more puzzle packs from their store, to the tune of about 70 puzzles for $5.