NewsUpcoming Games

GDC 2014: ‘Ravensburger Puzzle’ is Your One-stop Shop for Digital Jigsaw Puzzles

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.