SPB Software has announced the release of SPB Puzzle, a classic jigsaw puzzle game for your Windows Mobile, touch screen phone. We received an advanced copy of SPB Puzzle and took it out for a test drive. Follow the break for our impressions and a few screen shots.
In the simplest of sense, SPB Puzzle turns your Windows Mobile touch screen into a jigsaw puzzle table. You can choose from three difficulties (Easy, Medium, and Hard) from pre-loaded puzzles as well as having the option to download puzzles or create puzzles from your photographs. The puzzle board has a faint outline of the pieces to assist you in placement. The Easy and Medium levels have the traditional styled pieces while the Hard level pieces aren't interlocking and the board outlines really come in handy at this level.
You work to solve the puzzle by dragging the pieces around the screen. When you get the placement just right, the puzzle piece will flash and the phone will vibrate. If you need help by referencing the completed puzzle, you can switch to the completed view then return to the puzzle.
It's a nice, time consuming game but the puzzle screen spans beyond the physical dimensions of your screen (or at least it did on the Fuze). While you can touch scan the full jigsaw screen, you have to find a blank area to move the screen. If you touch and swipe on a puzzle piece, you simply move the piece. As an alternative, if you have one, the D-Pad will scroll around the puzzle field. It would have been nice if you had a "zoom out" feature to SPB Puzzle so you could see the entire field on the screen.
The only other nit that I found with SPB Puzzle was that the scramble puzzle pieces are piled on top of one another. It takes a bit of time to flatten out the pile so you can see what pieces you have to deal with. On the positive, it does simulate a jigsaw puzzle that's been dumped out of the box really well.
Overall, SPB Puzzle is nice but not a "knock your socks off" application that SPB is known for. Patience is the key with this game because it does take some time to sort the puzzle pieces and to navigate around the full puzzle board. It is nice to be able to turn your photos into puzzles and surprising how difficult solving them can be. I do like the flash/vibration to confirm you've got the right puzzle piece in the right spot.
There's a trial period for the download just in case you're not sure SPB Puzzle is for you.