After a year filled with a ton of fantastic PSVR games, I didn’t expect to end off this year by covering a jigsaw puzzle game. While this game was announced earlier in the year, it somehow slipped under my radar, and before seeing any trailers I really wasn’t sold on the concept of just completing jigsaw puzzles but in VR. But upon seeing the trailer I was charmed with its relaxing atmosphere, impressive puzzle designs, and the overall look of it. So now that I’ve had the chance to play it for myself, the question becomes: is puzzling places any good?
The gameplay of Puzzling Places, as you can imagine, is pretty self-explanatory. Just like any jigsaw puzzle, you’ll put pieces together to create a complete image, but what makes Puzzling Places more intriguing is that instead of building a flat puzzle, you’re instead building 3D models. These models range from The Fortress of Amberd, a Kushi Yalu Restaurant, or even the Musk Observatory. Each of these models are very realistic and detailed, basically taking a part of our world and turning it into a puzzle.
There are a total of 20 puzzles, with each puzzle having multiple versions to solve, due to their differing amount of pieces. You can choose between having 25, 50, 100, 200, or 400 pieces to put together, which really adds some nice replayability to puzzles you’ve already completed. I loved this choice, as it gave me the freedom to dedicate as much or as little time as I wanted for a puzzle. In addition to this, the game automatically saves your progress, so you can choose to return to your puzzles later. This was a lifesaver for me, as while I was working on one of the puzzles my power went off, and when I returned to the game nothing had changed despite the sudden shutoff.
As for actually solving the puzzles, it’s made convenient through a set of tools given to the player. There are reference images, a peek tool for peeking inside of connected puzzle pieces, as well as a grouping tool for better organization of the pieces.
On top of all this, the game has a great relaxing atmosphere. The background is subtle and keeps the pieces distinct, there’s some nice and calm music, as well as ambient sounds fitting with the puzzle you’re building. I was really surprised with the overall care and polish that’s gone into the game and its individual puzzles.
Overall, I had a great time with Puzzling Places! Everything is easy to learn, and it’s something you can easily hop into, relax, and mess around with for a while. The puzzles are unique, fun, and well-designed. The background, music, and ambient sounds are great. It’s just a solid game all around, and with there being 20 puzzles I feel this is a great value if you’re looking for a simple and relaxing VR puzzle game that you can hop into whenever.