Puzzle Book

Played on: Nintendo Switch, via eshop

Puzzle Book is a decent jigsaw puzzle simulator, although it doesn't have a big list of features — or puzzles, for that matter.


Ah, I love a good jigsaw puzzle, me. The smell of the pieces, the dilemma of how to approach the task, the suspense of wondering whether or not all the pieces are in the box. Puzzle Book, of course, can only offer one of these experiences, but digital puzzles have advantages of their own.


First off, you should know that there are 35 puzzles and each can be tackled with a varying number of pieces, from 6 to 150 (via the free dlc). Half are aimed at children, half at a wider audience. The themes include landscapes, fantasy, and animals. The themes aimed at children are taken from the companion Coloring Book app.


The game supports touch-screen mode and controller. I expected the former to be by far the better experience, but it turned out otherwise. Touch-screen felt maybe a bit laggy sometimes, your finger gets in the way a bit — playing with a controller is just a nicer experience all round.


Rather than try to make all pieces available at once, the game sort of ‘deals’ a number to you at a time. You can shuffle the set, but you’ll always be working with a small number of pieces. The grid snaps generously when placing a piece, sometimes too generously. Pieces can only be placed if they're in the correct place, which I found awkward at first, but even the biggest puzzles available here are very small, so this isn't really a problem.


So far, Puzzle Book isn’t particularly appealing — it’s OK, but feels a bit clunky at times and the selection of puzzles isn’t great, without diving into the dlc I can’t judge beyond those available for the base price. I guess it could be an ok distraction for younger children.

However, Puzzle Book absolutely nails one minor feature which deserves a mention. I haven’t seen this in a jigsaw game before, but holding down L overlays the finished image directly onto the board. This helps immensely when placing pieces, and it’s nice to find in an otherwise run-of-the-mill game.