Jigsaw puzzles are fun, but they take up a lot of space. They require a decent-sized table to do them on. If you’re not going to glue them to something and put them on the wall as a decoration, they’ll need to be stored in a closet until the next time they’re completed. In this day and age where living spaces are getting more compact and urban for a lot of people, these puzzles aren’t all that practical. Thankfully there’s games like Glass Masquerade. It’s a very casual game where players make stained glass clock jigsaw puzzles. The game is beautiful, relaxing, and a great way to close out a busy day.
Really, this is just a very simple game. It has a globe trotting theme where players visit various countries and complete puzzles with an image related to that nation. Some of these may be a bit tricky if one is not familiar with a given region. However, the puzzles are still plenty doable. Just try and match the shapes without worrying too much about the overall image. If you can figure out what the picture is supposed to be, so much the better.
Visually, the game is very pretty. Then again, the developers did choose to make a stained glass-themed game, so it would be hard for the game not to look good. It’s a style that has turned heads for centuries after all. All of the puzzles are very nice to look at, with a softness to their colors that is very appealing. Meanwhile, the game plays very soft music that further accentuates the laid back feel.
At its heart, this is what makes Glass Masquerade worth spending some time with. It’s just so relaxing. The game’s visuals, music, and simple act of putting together puzzles all work together in trying to help players’ worries and stress drift away for a bit. Moreover, it’s amazing how much it can engross someone. Don’t be surprised if what was intended as one quick puzzle before bed turns into an hour or so of play time. It’s very easy to get into a mindset of, “Well, one more puzzle can’t hurt!”
The actual process of doing a puzzle brings one to a screen with a clock in the middle where the pieces of glass will be placed. Each puzzle will have around six pieces with a small circle on it corresponding to circles on the clock. This gives players a few freebies to get the puzzle started. From there, you’re on your own. Pieces are distributed on two rings around the edge of the screen. Each can be rotated separately while picking out pieces to try and place. While they are on the rings, players will only see a blackened out shape of the piece. Only when one is selected is the actual color and art visible. Early on, these pieces are quite large, but on more difficult levels, there are far more tiny and / or similar shaped ones, complicating things.
While the clock is always front and center while playing, it’s mostly there so players can challenge themselves if they so choose. It lets them try and beat their times if they want to complete puzzles as fast as possible.
Glass Masquerade is a nice, relaxing casual experience for those times when someone doesn’t want a bombastic game session. It draws players in with its soft colors and art direction and tucks them in with some very soothing music. All the while, it still provides a nice challenge putting the puzzles together.
Glass Masquerade is available for Windows and Mac via Steam.