Less than a month ago, EnjoyUp Games released Pinocchio’s Puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle game that proved to be good fun for the whole family. Now, just in time for the holidays, EnjoyUp’s second jigsaw puzzle videogame emerges as Xmas Puzzle. But is this puzzle worth finishing and framing, or is it just a cheap Christmas cash cow?
If you played Pinocchio’s Puzzle, then the first thing that you’ll notice about this game is that the core gameplay is exactly the same. Your goal is still simply to solve jigsaw puzzles in order to advance on to the next puzzle. There’s not a whole lot of depth here, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable as a quick pick-up-and-play game.
The controls are simple and incredibly easy to master. By pointing the Wii Remote at the screen, you can pick up puzzle pieces and rotate them to fit properly on the board. While the controls can be a little finicky at times, they work well enough to get the job done.
Though each puzzle may have a very different subject, ranging from Santa Claus to Christmas angels, and different art style ranging from realistic to cartoonier, they all look detailed and hand-drawn. The quality of the art in Xmas Puzzle is by far one of the most impressive aspects of the game. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the music. Sure, the soundtrack is soothing and fits the simple mood of putting together jigsaw puzzles, but the complete lack of variety becomes very apparent after just a short while.
Unlike Pinocchio’s Puzzle, Xmas Puzzle doesn’t actually have a linear story that connects each of the different puzzles. Instead, completing each puzzle will reveal a different message, each encouraging good spirits and wishing warm tidings to the player. While it's nice to get something out of completing each puzzle, the lack of plot makes this game feel a bit trivia; because you’re not working towards finishing a story in this game, the motivation to move right along to the next puzzle doesn’t really exist.
Upon completing a puzzle, you can then go back and replay it whenever you’d like. The pieces don’t really change though, so replaying a particular puzzle doesn’t provide any new challenge at all. It should also be noted that this game only has 12 different puzzles in it, two fewer than the previous game in the series.
Just as with Pinocchio’s Puzzle, the multiplayer aspect of this game is what really shines. This is definitely the type of game that could bring families together, much like the activity of doing an actual jigsaw puzzle. Having multiple players all going after the same pieces can be a bit dysfunctional, but a whole lot of fun.
Xmas Puzzle doesn’t break the mold for being new or innovative, but it can still be a pretty fun little romp for the whole family. It is a little lighter on content than its predecessor, and the lack of plot behind the puzzles diminishes the fun a bit, but this is still a worthy WiiWare game for puzzle fans. If you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday themed game that’ll last you a few hours and won’t break the bank, then look no further than Xmas Puzzle.