Review: Pinocchio's Puzzle (WiiWare)

Pinocchio goes to pieces

Chances are, when you're deciding to pick up a puzzle game for your console of choice, you don't think of actual jigsaw puzzles. They just don't fit easily into the genre's landscape. Popular puzzlers like Tetris and Angry Birds have an immediacy to them that encourages quick play and gratification, while a real jigsaw puzzle is more something you work at.

Pinocchio's Puzzle — which is really just a series of digital jigsaw puzzles — therefore needs to add something more to the mix to make abandoning its cardboard cousin worthwhile. While the game misses the mark a bit presentation-wise, its easy-to-use controls help put a fresh twist on this familiar family pastime.

Employing hand-drawn images of well-known moments from Pinocchio's tale, the game breaks each picture into several pieces and scatters them about the screen. Assembling them back together is done using the Wii Remote, which can point, grab, rotate and set pieces into place. Once your image is reconstructed, the game relays a bit of the story pertaining to it. This is definitely the abridged version of the classic yarn however, as the game only doles out one sentence per completed puzzle. With only 14 puzzles in all, that's not a lot of material.

Still, the artwork comprising the puzzles is cheerful and charming, and there was obviously a lot of care that went into making them. The text that corresponds with the images however is short, generic and vague; after building a puzzle showing Pinocchio walking the streets, the game tells us "Pinocchio is influenced by other boys," but never tells us that they persuaded him to bunk school. Sure, most of us already know that, but the game is meant for children, and should assume that some of them will be unfamiliar with the story.

The music however is very pleasant, and the light orchestral feel does a nice job complimenting the visuals. The game definitely could have used an additional track or two, though; as it is you'll be playing through each puzzle to the same tune.

For families, the multiplayer function is likely what will make the game worthwhile, as other players can easily turn on a Wii Remote and jump in. After all, it wouldn't be a true jigsaw experience if others couldn't pop in and use that piece you were just about to grab.


Pinocchio's Puzzle captures what piecing puzzles together is all about: lighthearted engagement with friends and family. The game could have used some better storytelling and more music, but at only 500 Nintendo Points, it feels fairly priced. While it certainly won't keep you stumped for days, it could prove an easy family purchase to keep the gang occupied for a night or two.

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