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Jigsaw Puzzles: most of us fall either in the love 'em or hate 'em group. I have many fond memories of completing jigsaw puzzles (the real kind, not the virtual one) during winter break from school. Of my three kids, one loves to do puzzles and he loves Aqua Jigsaw. This jigsaw puzzle game has gentle and calming underwater effects that can mesmerize and put you in a zen-like state. You can also take pictures with your iPhone's camera to add to the photo library collection.
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How to Play
Double tap any place to view the icons to access options to toggle sound, change backgrounds and disable animations. You have the option of doing a puzzle with jigsaw-style edges or straight edges plus controlling the number of pieces you want to put together from six choices ranging from 4 to 24. While a 24-piece puzzle (my six-year-old can easily do 100 on the real thing) doesn't sound like much, anything higher would turn tedious and frustrating on a small screen.
A timer sits out of the way to compel you to work as fast as you can to put the puzzle together. Unfortunately, the game doesn't allow you to turn off the timer to make it less stressful.
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How it Fares
The animated ripple effect of the marine backgrounds do wow and relax you. Then you realize you're on the clock and want to beat your best time. Good-bye serenity, hello breaking records. The puzzles can help you past a little time while waiting somewhere unexpectedly. The fact you can add your own photos from the iPhone's camera or photo library enhances the play as you can put together your favorite scenes from your town or trips, or family members' smiling faces. You can still see the ripple effects on your own photos.
The only troublesome feature in the game is the puzzle pieces falling behind the puzzle itself. You have to move the entire puzzle to locate the remaining pieces. It's tough to have an elegant solution with so little space on the screen.
While the small screen isn't ideal for doing jigsaw puzzles, 99 Games makes the best of the experience by adding the rippling water effect and breathtaking photos. I don't think the developer or any other company could do any better with the iPhone's limitations. Priced right at $0.99 with the ability to add your own photos, Aqua Jigsaw is worth adding to any puzzler's collection of iPhone apps.
Aqua Jigsaw sells for $0.99 at the iTunes store.
Images credit: All images are screen shots of Aqua Jigsaw by 99 Games.