Puzzle to Go Planets and Universe Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
Not even if it was the last game on the planet
Tivola has three Puzzle to Go games under its belt already, with almost a year between the second and third instalments. The first two games were, understandably, very similar, but with almost a year between those and the third game, you'd think the team would've taken the time to refine some of the mechanics a little. Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, they did not, and as such it should also come as no surprise that they did not do it for this fourth title either.
Starting up the game you'll once again be greeted with the exact same white and gray menus as before, and a slightly modified title screen. The game still only has the same two modes, solving its pre-done puzzles or importing a photo from your DSi and turning that into a puzzle to solve instead. The photo feature is, naturally, still the most interesting feature about the game, as absolutely nothing has changed since the first game other than the pre-made puzzle pictures.
There are still ten normal puzzles, this time naturally themed after the solar system, and once again only four of them are initially available. Each has three difficulty levels, each of which increases the amount of puzzle pieces, and each cleared difficulty will earn you one star.
Clearing higher difficulties still does not reward you with the stars below, so you'll have to do each puzzle several times on slightly higher (or lower, if you start high) difficulties in order to reap all possible rewards, for which you will need increasingly larger amounts of stars. The first unlock still only requires four stars, so you could easily simply clear each of the starter puzzles once, but past that you're gonna have to redo some of them.
Again, the actual puzzle-solving works fairly decently and has no real problems. You pick up pieces with your stylus, then move the screen around with the D-Pad or face buttons until you've reached the point you want to drop your piece at. They'll automatically click onto any correct pieces if you drop them nearby, becoming a larger section you can also drag around. Zooming in and out is also still a welcome option.
With the same looks and minimalistic music as every other game, each of the Puzzle to Go games looks lazier than the last. Of course it's simple to change games ever so slightly and release them again to make a quick buck off of clueless consumers, but when the base game isn't even that special to begin with, we certainly hope that the amount of people actually buying these is very small.
Once again, the fourth edition of Puzzle to Go is a minimally changed copy of the very first game. If you feel absolutely compelled to get one of them and you have a great deal of patience in order to unlock the additional puzzles, feel free to get the one game which has the most interesting theme to you, but otherwise just stay away and hope that this is the last we'll see of the games.