Pixel Puzzles Mosaics is yet another game in the Pixel Puzzles series, but this time you don’t get to solve puzzles like you usually do.
Developer: Decaying Logic
Publisher: KISS ltd
Release date: 9 Jun, 2017
Usually with jigsaw puzzles the shape of the pieces helps you figure out how they fit together, but pieces in Mosaics are all the same shape and size. They are already placed on the board and all you have to do is switch their places to get the full picture.
Main pros and cons
There are 34 different puzzles in total. There are different possible puzzle sizes, ranging from as low as 32 to as high as 168 pieces. A lower number of pieces doesn’t necessarily mean that the puzzle is easier, though, as the small piece count usually means that the picture features a repeating pattern or a lot of similar objects that are hard to tell apart. Although having different numbers of pieces is obviously a good thing, I am quite bothered by the fact that the puzzles aren’t sorted by that number. If, for example, you only prefer solving puzzles with fewer pieces, you have to click to all of them to see which ones actually feature your chosen criteria. I would suggest sorting the puzzles (unless they already are sorted in a way I can’t recognize).
Despite the poor sorting, I do like the way puzzles are presented in the main menu. Instead of showing the whole picture, you can only see cut out pieces of the main motifs, which are arranged in a mosaic as shown in the picture below.
I certainly enjoyed playing the game as the pictures are quite well chosen. The objects are usually bright, vibrant, and pleasant to look at, which makes putting the pieces in order a much more enjoyable thing to do. The only time the game is a bit less enjoyable is when you finally piece together the main object (the tiger, for example) and all you have to do is somehow complete the background which is usually a bit of a pain. Some of the pictures are from nature and some are of human-made objects, which increases diversity. The only photograph I don’t like is the one showing a forest fire. That puzzle is bland, low resolution, and completely unintriguing. At least there aren’t many pieces.
The controls are also quite good. To switch the places of two pieces, all you have to do is click on one of them and then click on the other one, simple as that. If you happen to select the wrong piece, you can right click on it to reverse the action. Two functions that help you to complete the puzzle are called Preview and Highlight. The first one, when held, shows you all the pieces in their correct position. Highlight, on the other hand, marks all the incorrectly positioned pieces with a neon green colour. Both of these two functions are also supposed to react to their assigned letter on the keyboard in case you don’t want to move your mouse too much, but those hotkeys, unfortunately, don’t work for me at all. I tried restarting and reinstalling, but none of those things seemed to work for me. What a shame.
The menu above the puzzle also lets you control the volume of the music and pause the game. However, I’m not too sure what the pause button is supposed to be doing since time isn’t tracked in this game and you can move pieces normally when paused anyway. The options menu also doesn’t offer a lot of settings, the only ones being the full-screen toggle and a button to reset the save file. You are not able to pick your own resolution and even when you use the windowed mode, you can’t resize the window yourself.
The main menu plays some country-ish music, which isn’t too bad to listen to. When you pick your desired puzzle, the music is gone and replaced by some nature sounds; you can usually hear water flowing. They call this “relaxing atmosphere” and in my opinion, they were right not to play the music in the actual game as well. That would’ve been pretty annoying. Instead, you actually can relax a bit while playing.
While checking this game’s Store page, I did find it interesting that they listed “Interactive play environment” as one of the features. Although that feature is at the very bottom of the features list, I was unable to figure out what they were trying to advertise with these words.
As you can see, there are quite a few negative things about this game, but I honestly think that this is still a good addition to the Pixel Puzzles series. I enjoyed playing Mosaics for most of the time and I still have a few puzzles to complete, which I will gladly do whenever I feel like playing with puzzles. For achievement hunters, each of the puzzles also unlocks an achievement for you so there are, obviously, 34 of them. A short warning for everyone who also enjoys playing Pixel Puzzles Ultimate: the puzzles from this game do NOT appear in Ultimate.
So, should you buy this game? If you are a fan of puzzles, you will probably enjoy playing Mosaics as well. Although I can’t say I fully agree with its full price of $10, I found the game quite enjoyable and, with a slight discount, the game is probably worthy of your time.