Glass Masquerade Review
Glass Masquerade combines the art of making stained glass mosaics with the game play of jigsaw puzzles. Each puzzle challenges you to reassemble the face of a stained glass clock piece by piece. Unlike jigsaw puzzles, though, the game doesn't show you what the final picture will look like, leaving you to try and determine the subject of the mosaic as you're building it. Adding to that challenge, the pieces of the puzzle are arrayed around the puzzle as similarly sized silhouettes, and until you select the piece you won't be able to see it's size, orientation, color. The game does give you a little help when you're first starting out on a new puzzle by placing a few markers on the edges of the clock face and similarly marking a few of the puzzle pieces. Align the marks on the pieces with those on the clock and the first pieces will snap into place. As you select pieces from the rings around the puzzle, they will rotate to their proper orientation in the puzzle. If you move the piece to its proper location it will be added to the clock face, but if you pick the wrong spot it will fly back to its original position outside of the clock face.
I really enjoyed the mosaic artwork in the game. Each clock is tied to a country and the artwork represents some aspect of that country's history, art tradition, or culture. The American clock features the Statue of Liberty, the German clock a mounted knight, and the English clock Sherlock Holmes on a foggy London street. There are 25 clocks in all of varying difficulty, so all told the game will give you a few hours of entertainment. The music is also enjoyable, if a little on the repetitive side, making the game an excellent choice when you're looking for a more relaxing game to play.
There are a couple of things that detract from an otherwise enjoyable experience. The first is that you need to keep a mouse button pressed down while holding onto a puzzle piece or will go flying back to its original position outside of the puzzle. It's a little hard to relax with a puzzle game when you have to keep your finger pressed down most of the time. Second, the sizes of the pieces don't exactly match the spaces into which they fit. It's almost like the pieces have been cut with the grout around the glass but the spots in the puzzle where they fit don't account for that grout. This can lead to moments when you have the right piece for the spot, but don't realize it. And sometimes the puzzle can reject a piece even if it's the correct one if you're just a bit off with the placement. You'll need to learn to compensate for these issues while building the puzzles.
Overall the enjoyable aspects of the game outweigh its flaws, and I enjoyed the game. At its core it is a jigsaw puzzle game, so if that's not your thing Glass Masquerade won't have anything to offer you. If you do enjoy jigsaws, though, it's easy enough to recommend the game based on the artwork alone.
Final Rating: 85% - Jigsaws made of glass make for enjoyable puzzle gameplay.