December 15, 2019 at 7:20 AM #898
Puzzle Showdown 4K
Rating: 2.5 – Playable
You know, because real-life puzzles are boring!
"Puzzle Showdown 4K" is quite the unusual video game title. This game is all about… doing puzzles. You know, old-school puzzles. 500 pieces, jagged edges, snap them into place to make the picture on the box? Yeah. Not something you see as a video game title all that often! You can probably tell right away based on this opening description if this game is for your or not, but hey, it’s my job to tell you exactly what you can expect out of this title so let’s get into it!
Still here? Oh good! Well, if it isn’t obvious there is nothing in the way of a "story" in the game, so don’t expect an epic journey here (again, obvious, but it is worth pointing out!).
The game play here consists of first selecting a picture from one of the game’s dozens of pictures, all of which are separated by category (think "Scenic" or "Architecture"). After finding a picture you like, you can then set some options such as the puzzle size (from 20-something pieces as "easy" to 500 pieces as "very hard) or even rotation or highlighting options. From there, it is puzzle time! You are given pieces of the puzzle off to the side of the screen (only 3-5 pieces at a time) and then you assemble the puzzle. Pretty basic.
Being a game about putting together puzzles, the puzzle pictures better be good! And they are. There’s a good selection of images used here and many of them are definitely "wallpaper/screensaver worthy". Not all of them, but most of them. Short of some sort of 3D puzzle game, I’m not sure how you would get any better graphics than you would here for this, um… type of game.
One thing that did take me by surprise was the music selection in the game. Much like the puzzles, the music is separated into categories and you can select the type of music you want to listen to as you play. There is quite a bit of easy-listening choices here that, honestly… are just great to have on as background music.
The game does have multi-player in it, which is where the "Showdown" part of "Puzzle Showdown 4K" comes from I suppose. Other players can join in and be assigned a number of pieces, which surprisingly come from the same puzzle the first player is doing. The players then compete to see who can use the most pieces before the puzzle is completed. You are actually scored while you do this, gaining points for puzzles placed and getting bonuses for stringing pieces and islands of pieces together (pro tip: always go for the edge and corner pieces first!). I actually played this competitive mode with my wife and kids for quite awhile as its easy to pick up and play. Not much staying power though. The kids aren’t exactly clamoring for me to turn on "Puzzle Showdown 4K", but they’ll play it. I’m pretty sure they’d be just as happy with bubble wrap though…
In the end, Puzzle Showdown 4K is just fine for what it is… it’s appeal is what I question. If all you are looking for is a virtual space to put together puzzles, or perhaps compete with someone to put together puzzles then this is definitely your game. If you’re expecting anything else, you are going to be very disappointed! Have fun and keep playing!
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