Putting together a jigsaw puzzle is a pleasant, relaxing way to pass a lazy afternoon. Until you’re kicked off of the dining room table because it’s time for dinner, the pieces you been painstakingly put together over the past three hours fall apart as you try to move them, and the dog hoovers up the pieces that have fallen on the floor, meaning that no matter how far you get in the puzzle you’ll be left with nagging holes.
If this scene sound familiar, then you owe it to yourself to give Super Jigsaw Beach Holiday a try. As it turns out, puzzles are a joy to put together on a computer. There are no missing pieces or having to store half-finished puzzle and pray nothing gets lost, and the only surface you need to take up is your computer screen. And the best part is, you can do things that aren’t even possible in “real life.”
Super Jigsaw might be a bit of a departure from what casual game fans are used to. There’s no story, no characters, no levels, and really no game play to speak of. It’s literally a collection of 50 jigsaw puzzles to be leisurely put together. This particular “Beach Holiday” pack offers a collection of gorgeous tropical paradise-themed photographs. For puzzle geeks, the experience is heavenly.
The interface is easy to get the hang of. Simply click and drag pieces with the mouse to move them around the virtual table-top, and drop them where you wish. If two pieces fit together, you’ll hear a “click” sound and the pieces will lock into place so that the next time you click on them they’ll move as one unit. You can quickly clear all the pieces out of an area by right-clicking the mouse, which blows them out of the way. A preview of the completed image appears in a little moveable window of adjustable size.
You can leave a puzzle in progress and come back to it, and can start as many puzzles as you like at the same time. The difficulty is adjustable, meaning you can create a puzzle with as few as four large pieces for very young children, to more than 1,000 small pieces for experts looking for a serious challenge.
And it doesn’t stop there. You can further customize your experience by changing the skew and shape of the pieces, from the traditional interlocking style to perfect squares or slightly off-kilter polygons. There’s also an option to make all pieces right side up (so you don’t have to rotate them). An “edges only” command hides everything except the edge pieces, which helps out a lot of puzzlers who make it their first task to build the outside of the puzzle before tackling the middle.
Other puzzle packs can be purchased separately with themes that include lighthouses, flowers and landscapes. As for the Beach Holiday pack, the photos are all very pretty but do tend to get a little repetitive. There are some beautiful sunsets, and some cool images of shells, cresting waves, beach houses and snorkelling, but there are also a whole lot of photographs of beaches with white sand bottoms, aquamarine middles and blue tops with a palm tree or two thrown in. Some more variety among the pictures might have been appreciated – but then again, this is a “beach holiday” pack, and it’s a nice way to do some Caribbean Dreamin’ without having to shell out the requisite cash.