Puzzle Adventures isn’t truly an adventure, but still well worth your time

What do you get when you mix jigsaw puzzles with arcade action? Puzzle Adventures from Ravensburger Digital. Though its generic title might do little to pique the interest of social gamers, this is definitely one Facebook experience you won’t want to miss.

To be perfectly clear, Puzzle Adventures is something of a misnomer, as the game has no real story or adventure elements to speak of. The menu is designed in such a way as to suggest exploration, but each location is simply another jigsaw puzzle you’ll need to solve.

Puzzle Adventures

That’s okay, because what Puzzle Adventures does it does very well. There are tons of puzzles to play through and the developers offer some surprisingly exciting mechanics that spruce up what would otherwise be an antiquated gameplay experience.

As you play through a given jigsaw puzzle, occasionally pieces will flash with bonus options. If you match the flashing piece with its corresponding partner before the piece stops flashing, you’ll earn a key, which you can use to unlock the game’s latter puzzles.

In addition to bonuses, some pieces will also flash green, indicating they’ve been infected. Here, you’ll need to match the puzzle piece in time so as to prevent it from turning black and white, making it more difficult for you to make a successful match.

As for controlling the actual puzzle pieces, it’s a simple matter of clicking and dragging pieces together. If a piece is turned the wrong way, you just tap the middle of the piece until it’s turned in the direction you need it to be.

Puzzle Adventures

Before long, Puzzle Adventures ramps up its difficulty significantly, but you can purchase power-ups that make solving puzzles easier. My personal favorite is a power-up that rotates all tiles in their proper direction. There are 15 different power-ups in all, and the game allows you to bring up to five with you into each puzzle. The power-ups are an excellent addition that makes the more methodical exercise of solving a jigsaw puzzle feel completely fresh. With a timer constantly ticking away, Puzzle Adventures feels more like an arcade experience than a pastime your grandma might enjoy.

The game also has a great look to it. The visuals are polished and playful, and the music and sound effects make a solid backdrop without being either too sedate or overbearing. My only real complaints with the game are that the full-screen mode doesn’t actually expand to fit snuggly onto your average PC monitor and gold required to purchase power-ups can only be replenished by using Facebook credits.

In spite a couple of small bumps in the road, Puzzle Adventures is a delightful offering for both fans of jigsaw puzzles and arcade gamers. The inability to replenish gold through gameplay is disappointing, but there’s still quite a bit of fun to be had here while it lasts.