ravensburgerpuzzlelogoThe arrival of the iPad has revolutionized many classic gaming pastimes. One example would be board games. While not a complete replacement for physically rolling dice and moving pieces across a board, it sure is convenient to be able to take many board games with you wherever you go, all stored neatly in digital form on your iPad. No pieces to worry about losing, no fuss and no muss. The same can be said about physical jigsaw puzzles. While snapping tiny cardboard pieces together will always have a satisfaction that's hard to match in digital form, the iPad should be a great way to enjoy a jigsaw puzzle experience without the clunkiness of physical pieces.

Well, Ravensburger are legendary in the world of both board games and puzzles, and they've done an excellent job bringing the board game experience to the iOS platform over the years. Now they're ready to do the same with jigsaw puzzles with their upcoming Ravensburger Puzzle app for iPad. It's pretty much what you might expect–a digital hub to host a wide collection of digital puzzles. What stands out about Ravensburger Puzzle is its numerous features and options that make it easy to tailor the experience to suit your taste. Check out our hands-on video where we take Ravensburger Puzzle for a spin.

The iPad is a perfect place for digitized jigsaw puzzles, and there are plenty of jigsaw puzzle games on the App Store, but none of them have really felt like a killer app in the genre. I think Ravensburger Puzzle has nailed it though. In talking with them during GDC, I was interested to learn that they'd been working on a jigsaw puzzle game for some time but had issues getting it just right. They'd built an engine with complex physics and fully 3D puzzle pieces that could be manipulated by the player any way they saw fit, but it just didn't feel good.

In the end, fancy physics complicated the experience, and it wasn't until they scaled things back that Ravensburger Puzzle finally "fit into place" (sorry I couldn't help myself). In this case, less was more, and offering a clean interface that was easy to manage and let players simply place pieces where they needed to go worked out best in the end. I also really love the amount of options in the game, like choosing how many pieces you want a puzzle to be and watching your puzzle's image be "cut" into individual shapes right before your eyes. The hint system is also well done, allowing players to use various levels of assistance should they want to.

It really is nicely done, so if you're a jigsaw puzzle fan and iPad owner, check out Ravensburger Puzzle when it launches on March 27th.

  • venasque

    I'm impressed. I'm not a puzzler myself but I think my mom would like this.

    • CzechCongo

      Yeah, my mom and my kids. This may be the app that gets my mom to buy a tablet.

  • Collin

    I will certainly give it a look. My favorite jigsaw puzzle app so far, and for a long time now, has been Join It. I look forward to seeing how this one compares.

  • Collin

    Now that I've watched the video, the pricing model is pretty much what I expected, once I saw the coins and the plus in the top corner. The one question that I wish had been asked was if you can turn your own photos into puzzles, but I'm willing to bet the answer to that is "no."

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I asked them about this and they said it's definitely in their road map for the game. The problem is they want it to be so you can share those user made puzzles, but it's hard to police people uploading copyrighted stuff or like penis pictures and things like that. I'm pretty sure it will happen eventually, even if it's just a local option.

      What I didn't know is that Ravensburger actually does this already with physical puzzles where you upload a pic to them and they ship you an actual physical puzzle out of it. I'm totally going to order a puzzle of my cat now.

  • efforting

    Isn't the intent of using coins to purchase in game items to obscure the real cost? how is that transparent pricing when you have to have a calculator to figure out how much something really costs?
    Is there some other technical reason for the use of coins over real currency?

    • Paul

      Yes, if you dont use coins you need a ingame purchase for every puzzle in the itunes connect database - and evertime an update for new puzzles - crazy

  • chanandler

    Is this coming with the usual weekly releases or as something separate?