First introduced in the late 1700’s, jigsaw puzzles have since become a staple diet for game lovers all over the world. However, from its humble beginnings as a colourful map pasted onto wood that was subsequently cut up into pieces, the jigsaw puzzle has seen many reincarnations over the past three hundred years. The most recent reimagining of the age old game has to be developer 70 Times 7 Puzzle Showdown 4K. Released on consoles, Puzzle Showdown 4K takes the jigsaw puzzle concept gently with both hands, dusts it down and gives it a shiny new coat of paint.
While remaining true to the fundamental idea of a traditional jigsaw puzzle, Puzzle Showdown 4K comes with a number of noticeable, and much welcome, enhancements. Rather than simply offering a handful of images to work on, Puzzle Showdown 4K provides over 100 stunningly high definition photographs to play with. If you’re lucky enough to own a 4K TV, then this is the game that will show off the visual impact of a truly next gen screen. Think of a blu-ray image on steroids and you’ll be very close to just how good these photographs are . The pictures themselves cover a wide spectrum of topics ranging from wildlife to modern architecture, so there’s bound to be a particular category for just about everyone.
Puzzle Showdown 4K also tried to cater for all skill levels with easy-peasy puzzles consisting of just 28 pieces to those with over 500 pieces. These more challenging puzzles took us an average of four hours to complete and not often in a single sitting.
The difficulty level can further be tweaked by setting the background to a faint image of the photograph or leaving it blank. And there’s also the choice of whether you want the pieces to swivel around or be set to the correct angle. Brilliant.
Just as an aside, we would loved to have seen the option to use your own images in the puzzles, as this would have gone some way to truly personalise the playing experience. Hopefully this is something the developers will consider in any future update.
In the audio department, Puzzle Showdown 4K offers background music in three distinct genres; classical, acoustic or electronic. We chose acoustic as our default genre and found a wide selection of tracks that rarely repeated even during the marathon four hour sittings.
70 Times 7 have also included a nodding acknowledgment to gamers addicted to online play. Puzzle Showdown 4K offers a robust multiplayer mode that allows up to four players to work on the same puzzle in a bid to see who can set the fastest time.
Although jigsaw puzzles are few and far between on consoles (in fact, we can’t think of any on next gen boxes), Puzzle Showdown 4K is a welcome offering for those who enjoy casual gaming and wrinkling their brows over a puzzle or two. With over 100 images to choose from and difficulty levels to suit most gamers, there’s plenty here to help you while away a good 50 hours or so. If you haven’t tried a puzzle game on a screen before, this is probably the best introduction you can ever have. If, however, you’re already hooked on the genre, then picking up a copy of Puzzle Showdown 4K is a no brainer. Go buy and enjoy.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.