Price: FREE (with full level unlock in-app purchase priced at $2.99)
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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There's something eminently soothing and calming about completing a jigsaw puzzle. It's something that many adults don't get a chance to do these days and to many technology addicts like myself, it might not be the first relaxing thing to come to mind but it really does hit the spot sometimes. Puzzle Grid offers up to 356 puzzles on the iPhone and iPad, each relatively simple to complete, but consistently compelling to boot.
Puzzle Grid relies heavily on in-app purchases with the game being a free download but offering up to 9 different themed packs to download for a mere 99c each. To acquire the full set, it's a $2.99 outlay which is no great hardship at all. The packs are pretty varied ranging from a wildlife pack, food pack, world maps, shapes and the latest update - places and world wonders. The basic structure is forever the same though - simply piece together the Tetris style pieces together to create the picture. Some are pretty easy to complete, certainly in the early stages but later puzzles require rotation of the pieces and some careful thought. Rotating the pieces is simple enough with a tap of the relevant block. Although on the small screen space of the iPhone 4 it can be a little awkward to place blocks on the lower half of the screen, it's not too much to the detriment of the game as it's not like there's a time limit to proceedings.
The key thing to remember here is that Puzzle Grid is always fun and satisfying to puzzle fans. It's the kind of experience that's ideal to play in either short or extended doses, suiting both the daily commute and a game to kick back and relax to for an hour in the evening. With the full puzzle pack, it'll take a while to complete the entire game especially once players reach the more abstract puzzles that really are quite challenging.
Fortunately for players who get stuck, there's always the Hint button which places a piece for the player, hopefully setting them up to figure out the puzzle themselves. There's no real competition in Puzzle Grid. The satisfaction comes simply from moving onto the next puzzle rather than competing in leaderboards for instance, although there are a string of achievements to collect up. Ultimately, Puzzle Grid is just about simple, good old-fashioned fun. It won't win prizes for its looks or innovation but it will certainly while away the hours nicely. At the low price of effectively nothing, or a very small fee if players simply want to buy a puzzle pack or two rather than the full game, it's easy to recommend Puzzle Grid to cerebral game fans.