Earlier this week we mourned the loss of multiple Xbox games that were recently delisted from the Windows 8 Store. It seems that Microsoft is no longer interested in publishing mobile Xbox titles that it does not fully own. But new Xbox games for Windows 8 do still pop up occasionally, such as Microsoft Sudoku back at the end of June. And hey, they're releasing Zoo Tycoon Friends for Windows Phone and Windows 8 later this year.
Another Xbox game for Windows 8 and RT has just become available in all regions after enjoying the traditional soft launch in Trinidad and Tobago: Microsoft Jigsaw. As you might expect, Microsoft Jigsaw is another casual free-to-play title that fits right in with Microsoft Sudoku, Microsoft Bingo, Microsoft Microsoft, and other first-party Windows 8 games. Jigsaw puzzle fans and your grandmother are sure to love it.
Three ways to put it together
Microsoft Jigsaw offers three game modes:
- Classic Jigsaw: Select a puzzle and then choose to play one of four difficulties. The faster you assemble the puzzle, the higher your star rating for it will be.
- Jigsaw Jam: A faster paced original mode in which players have to quickly find one specific piece in order to maintain a score multiplier.
- Daily Challenge: Like other Microsoft-brand Windows 8 games, this one offers up different challenges to play every day. This one has three kinds of challenges: Bug Catcher, Lock Breaker and Jigsaw Jammer. The first two challenges involve surrounding a moving bug with pieces and completing a puzzle within a set number of moves. Jigsaw Jammer works just like the separate Jigsaw Jam mode.
A year's worth of challenges
The Daily Challenge mode sounds cool in theory, but Achievement hunters might scoff at the surprising time investment the mode requires. Completing enough challenges during a month to achieve certain score milestones will get you a bronze, silver, and gold medal for that month. Playing every day for a month, that's kind of a lot but not unreasonable as far as Achievements go.
That said, Microsoft Jigsaw has three Achievements (worth 35 GamerScore in total) for earning 8-12 monthly medals. Remember, players can only get one medal of each kind per month. You'll have to play pretty much daily for an entire year in order to get these Achievements. Maybe that will be fun for somebody, but I imagine most will find the grind excruciatingly boring.
For more Achievement info in general, refer to this Achievement Guide. It suffers from some grammatical errors but should still be useful for completionists.
Not bad for a puzzle game
It's easy to dismiss Microsoft Jigsaw as just another casual free-to-play game in the Xbox Windows 8 lineup. But the developers actually squeezed a fair amount of features that someone who likes jigsaw puzzles would want into this game.
The puzzle selection screen shows every puzzle as a box, just as you'd see when selecting a puzzle from the shelf in real life. Players can zoom in and out, automatically sort pieces, and manually sort pieces into trays. You can even create custom puzzles using the image files from your PC or tablet, a super simple but cool feature nonetheless.
Microsoft Jigsaw initially offers two puzzle packs to choose from. Players can spend gold bricks (premium currency) to unlock more. You can opt to purchase gold bricks or simply earn them manually by playing the game. Pretty much everything you do other than playing custom puzzles gets you gold, so it's a fair system overall. Cloud saves too.
If you like putting puzzles together, consider this game a worthwhile download. Shame it didn't launch on Windows Phone too though, don't you think?
- Microsoft Jigsaw – Windows 8 and RT – 192 MB – Free – Store Link
Thanks to Rockin' Robby Herbert for the tip!