(By Paige, this review is made with a review code, with thanks to Japanesenintendo.com)
Do you love playing jigsaw puzzles? You won’t need to annoy your family member anymore by claiming the table. A new kind of game is entering the realm of the Switch. Animated Jigsaws: Beautiful Japanese Scenery is a jigsaw puzzle game now available (release April 5) on the Nintendo Switch eShop.
The price for this download only game is $9.99, € 8.99 and 7.99 GBP. It’s published by Rainy Frog and developed by DICO / BottleCube. It contains moving images from spring, summer, autumn and winter capturing the natural beauty of Japan from all four seasons.
Piece together scenes from some of Japanese most famous places including Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, Tokyo and the Snow Monkeys enjoying a bath in a natural hot spring! The hectic scramble crossing at the metropolitan Shibuya district in Tokyo is also included.
All in all, there are ten jigsaws puzzles. They are all videos of famous Japanese scenery and sights. The animated jigsaw pieces adds an extra element of challenge. The game has local co-op for up to four players.
When you complete a puzzle you unlock the next few puzzles and so on. The first three puzzles are 60 pieces, the next 120 and so forth. That said, once completing a picture you can play it again with more pieces. The number of puzzles might sound small but the bigger ones can take some time to complete. It also records the time it takes to complete the puzzle so you are able to try for better times.
This game has quite a few options for play. At first I preferred the touch screen controls but as the pieces became more numerous I preferred playing on the television. I found in both modes of play pieces would occasionally snag and have to be picked up again. Pieces click into place when placed correctly and can also click into each other while not in a particular spot.
There are three different background songs you can change between or turn off. You can choose to sort the puzzle pieces into inner and outer pieces if you want. Clicking the group button doesn’t rearrange moved pieces.
You can also change the background colour of the mat the pieces are going on to.
I played in co-op with both my little sister and grandmother. Each player has a different coloured hand. I think it would be best with older children at the least. As the size of the puzzles and the animation make it frustrating for younger players. I also learned you can take the piece someone else is holding, often by accident. The game also records how many pieces each player put down which makes it a more competitive experience.
The game does save your progress via autosave, but it also knows how many players were working on a puzzle. If you go back to the puzzle as single player it will reset the puzzle.
So far, it’s the only jigsaw puzzle game on the switch and as such doesn’t have any competition. Personally, I found the images used in some of the puzzles to be particularly frustrating. This being because of large chunks of water or clouds that are constantly moving. Because of this I find it best for older players.
I feel the addition of co-op play gives it more reason to pick this up over similar games on phone or tablet devices. At least you won’t have to worry about any missing pieces!
Animated Jigsaws: Beautiful Japanese Scenery scores a 7 out of 10.