Pretty puzzles provide peaceful piecing-together in Glass Masquerades 2: Illusions, a jigsaw puzzle game which came out last month but I've somehow yet to post about for RPS despite selling Alice Bee on it in the treehouse. Hello, here's that post now. So, Glass Masquerades 2 is a jig 'em up with a 'dark fantasy' vibe in the vein of Tim Burton's Alice, American McGee's Alice, and Insane Clown Posse. Dumped with a load of odd-shaped shards of stained glass, we have to assemble them into a circular picture and the shards shimmer and glimmer and glow in a pleasing way and it's nice, okay.
Glass Masquerades is not one of those 5000-piece baked beans puzzles, not a game which wishes to stymie you with hours of analysing edges until you half-want to tear prongs off pieces or bang them in with a shoe. Each puzzle begins with a handful of edge pieces clearly highlighted as such, and all pieces we drag onto the board are automatically rotated to the correct orientation. Or it has a hard mode without helper features, if you really did enjoy shouting at the beans.
We don't see the final picture at the start and pieces not on the board (either placed down or currently being dragged around) are just silhouettes, so there's a lot of mystery. Seeing the colours and patterns of dark pieces can be jolly exciting, a teeny glimpse of what we're building towards. Several puzzles I've almost finished before picking up a key point that reveals OH! That's a face! OH! It's a person! NO! Two people! The floaty, shimmering style works well with that.
I quite like that puzzles are solved by shape recognition rather than design recognition too. All pieces are irregular and unique, long curves and jagged edges and and circles and hooks and fingery bits that look like the Greek coastline. At first, it just seems like chaos, but with a few pieces down you notice one particularly weird edge dovetails perfectly with that other weird bit and slowly it all comes together and finally we see what we've been building.
Not complex, not long, just pleasant.
Glass Masquerades 2 costs £4/€5/$5 on Steam. Looks like it has 31 puzzles in all, which I look forward to piecing together over the next few months.
Oh no I've just looked and Pip (oh Pip!) wrote about the first game and she is one of those bean-assemblers. Well, it's too late to delete this post and start over now. Sorry, Pip.
Be warned: the main menu and cover art feature an awful clown, and that is not okay. I have not yet encountered the clown as an actual puzzle for me to assemble but if I need to construct a clown to finish the game I think I'll pass, thanks. Brrr.