Pixel Puzzles 2: Birds

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Pixel Puzzles 2: Birds on Steam

MSRP: $9.99

Platforms: Windows

Release: 2/20/15


After my experience with Pixel Puzzles: UndeadZ, I have to say that I was expecting some kind of Hitchcock-type stuff. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Pixel Puzzles 2: Birds was a much more mellow experience.  The mini-game element is still there, but instead of it adding pressure, it allows you to an opportunity to access hints.

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There are 25 puzzles included, with a progressive unlock system, requiring you to complete the puzzles with fewer pieces first.  The final puzzle has 350 pieces, a number that seems low when you’re getting a puzzle in a box, but a little bit overwhelming on screen.

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Like other games in the series, the pieces of the puzzles float around the edges, and you click and drag them onto the assembly area.  Many reviews complained about busy backgrounds in the assembly area, but either that’s been patched or only occurs in the larger puzzles – all of the backgrounds I encountered were fairly plain.  One you have a piece selected with the left mouse button, you can either move it around or use the right mouse button to rotate it.  However, if you right-click on a piece you don’t already have active, it tosses it back into the water – this was annoying until I got the hang of continuing to hold left while rotating.  Earlier iterations in the Pixel Puzzles series did not make use of rotation, making the puzzles easier to solve, but they’ve kept the option to not allow rotation if you prefer that playstyle.

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The pictures are of decent quality, and unsurprisingly, they all feature birds. When you first start a puzzle, you’re shown the finished picture briefly, and then are left to construct it. As you move pieces around and place them on the board, crabs will appear at random that you can click and drag to the crab trap on the right side of the screen.  As the crab trap fills up, the buttons above it will become usable, allowing you to see the completed image ghosted underneath the pictures, set a piece to the correct rotation, and finally to see where a piece is placed.  I didn’t make use of the hint system in the puzzles I’ve played, but I dutifully dragged the crabs to the trap just to stop them from wandering around.

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I wasn’t a fan of how the buttons worked down the left hand side – it was far too easy to click through them and select a piece underneath, giving the feel of unresponsive buttons. The background sounds weren’t awful, but you’d be missing nothing if you elected to listen to your own music or a podcast while playing.  For me, this game wouldn’t be one I’d buy at full price, but it’s currently in a Bundle Stars pick-n-mix bundle where you can choose any 10 games for $2.49. There are three other Pixel Puzzles titles also available, so even if you have little interest in any of the other games on offer, I think it’s worth the price just for the four jigsaw games.

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