99Games iPhone application: Jigsaw Wild review

Platform: iPhone
Application Name: Jigsaw Wild
Application Type: Game
Cost: $1.99
Powered by: 99Games
Summary: If you’re looking for a simple jigsaw puzzle game then look no further.  Jigsaw Wild is a simple Jigsaw puzzle game with an exotic wildlife theme, hence the “Wild” in the title.

Pictures: 8/10
The photos the game comes with are pretty good quality and appropriately themed with exotic wildlife in mind.  Each category has about 8 to 20 different images to use.  As would be expected on a photo-centric iPhone application, the iPhone’s photo album is also an option, though you can only use the images that were taken with your iPhone’s camera, so the higher quality images that came from your computer’s photo album are off limits.


Settings: 8/10
There are configurable settings to change the puzzle difficulty and game play. You can play with anywhere from 4 to 24 pieces, and you have the option of making the jigsaw pieces rectangles instead of irregular if you want to make the game little more difficult.  The only gripe that I have with the settings menu is that it’s only accessible once you start the puzzle.  The standard location for settings menus is at the home screen.   While it’s nice to also have access to the settings once you start the puzzle, you should still be able to access the settings from the home screen.


Puzzle Play: 8/10
You start by choosing a picture and adjusting the settings.  Starting the puzzle involves either pressing the play button or shaking the phone to break apart the pieces. If you have the sound on this provokes a glass breaking sound as the puzzle pieces are broken apart.  Putting the puzzle back together is as simple as you would imagine – click and drag the pieces close to one another and if they fit together the pieces now stick to each other as if they were one piece.  Moving an edge piece to the edge of the screen does not stick that piece to the edge (like some other puzzle games do).  A timer keeps track of your time in the lower right hand corner. To pause the game you double tap the top section of the screen where the menu was and you press the pause button. You also have the option to save the game or resume the game in case somebody calls while you’re playing or you press the home button.

Sounds: [score N/A]
The implementation of the sounds is decent, but not amazing. While searching through their photos I find the safari/zoo sounds very appropriate for the “wild” theme, but once I start putting the puzzle together these same sounds play on a continuous loop. The sound file isn’t very long so it quickly becomes annoying. The sound effects that occur while connecting the pieces is also rather boring, but I guess if you want the sound on there aren’t many sounds that would be appropriate for putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  When you break apart the puzzle by shaking the device there is a sound of glass breaking.  I feel this is a little too sharp and noisy for a Jigsaw puzzle, but since the puzzle is being done on a glass screen perhaps the glass breaking sound is appropriate.  Jigsaw puzzles are generally a very quiet activity so I prefer to have the sound off, which is actually what the game defaults to.

Overall experience: Good [7/10]
The implementation of this game is good, but there was nothing that popped out and made me think, “wow, what a great use of technology.”  It was a rather standard implementation of classic Jigsaw puzzling, and if that’s what you’re looking for then go ahead and snatch this app up.

What’s great:

  • The ability to use the images that you took with your iPhone
  • Good range of configurable puzzle difficulty.

What’s missing:

  • Ability to use the rest of the images on your phone
  • Settings menu should be accessible before you start a puzzle from main screen
  • Could use better integration of the top scores to entice people to play more.

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