Developer: Libii Inc.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 3.2 or later.
Download from iTunes (Free); $0.99 for ad-free version
The Testing Environment
About the Game
A timer keeps track of your solving time, which you can share via Facebook, Twitter or email, but the app is not OpenFeint enabled so you can't compare your scores with friends and other solvers.
How It Plays
When the jigsaw puzzle first opens, you're presented with a monstrous spider as a backdrop (see screen shot below). The puzzle pieces appear in a row below the image (swipe left/right to see more pieces).
Tap on the magnifying glass in the menu bar below the image, and you'll be shown a picture of what the puzzle will look like once completed. Unfortunately, the opaque image covers whatever pieces you have already placed on the board, so it's impossible to tell if the pieces are in their proper place or not. And, once you tap on a new piece to place it on the board, the background image disappears and you're left guessing. I'd much rather see a blank screen with grid lines at the start of the game with the magnifying glass icon being used as a toggle switch turning on/off a ghost image of the puzzle.
Pros and Cons
The puzzle pieces are crisp, but two-dimensional. Unfortunately, there's no reassuring snap when the pieces find their "home". This feature would be welcome as it can be difficult to ascertain where the pieces should go without a ghost image to guide you, especially for games with a higher piece count. Another problem is that due to the two dimensional nature of the puzzle, two or more pieces may overlap and it may not be obvious that a mistake has been made piecing it together until the puzzle is almost complete.
Also on my list of improvements for an upcoming version would be to enable pieces that are meant to go together to "lock" together as they would in a real-world jigsaw puzzle. That way, if necessary, they can be easily moved as a group instead of one at time, like in the current build.
The music can be turned off, but it took me a long time to figure out how as the icon to do so appears on the main menu, a page to which you seldom navigate when playing the game. The speaker icon appears in the upper right hand corner above the title when you first open the game, before tapping "Play" to view the list of puzzles. The game plays well on the iPad. The display area of the iPad makes for a much more entertaining game as the puzzle board is larger and more puzzle pieces, up to eight, can be displayed at one time. Nevertheless, I was surprised at the quality of the graphics on my iPod touch. However, you might want to avoid doing puzzles such as the fourth one shown in the screen shot above on this device as the nuances of color and shading are so subtle that it's next to impossible to distinguish them on such a small screen.