Frequently seen in the mobile gaming arena, jigsaw puzzles aren’t a big thing on consoles these days, and we can’t think of a PS4 game that fits the bill. Puzzle Showdown 4K is set to change that, and we played around with this new title by developer 70 Times 7.
Obviously, the nature of a jigsaw puzzle doesn’t have to be explained, and many of the features in Puzzle Showdown 4K won’t come as a surprise either. There is a large database of high quality pictures to select from, and you can select how many jigsaw pieces you want it broken up into. This ranges from an easy puzzle with 28 pieces that you can solve in under two minutes to massive undertakings with over 500 pieces which might take you up to two hours or more.
The pictures in Puzzle Showdown 4K are organized by categories, with several pictures appearing in more than one category. Nevertheless, the game features over 100 different pictures to choose from, and they’re all so high in quality that you will benefit if you have a 4K setup (hence the title). Backing up the puzzle action is a diverse playlist of music spread out over three different genres: acoustic, classical or electronic. Music selection can be erratic though, with a puzzle starting off to a gentle relaxing melody and then suddenly switching to pumping beats once that initial song is over. This can be changed, but I did lose my flow a few times when this happened.
The game offers two additional ways to increase or decrease your level of difficulty. Aside from changing the number of puzzle pieces, you can also select the option to have your puzzle pieces rotated the correct way by default or not. Further helping or complicating matters is that your background can either be a slightly washed out version of the final puzzle, a basic outline, or a completely blank canvas. Something for every skill level, which made it possible for me to play this with a three year old as well.
In additional to traditional puzzle solving, you can also engage in a multiplayer mode, where up to four players are all working on the same puzzle trying to get the best score. You always have a limited amount of jigsaw pieces readily available, and scoring extra points can be done by placing your pieces fast and/or by making very few (or no) mistakes. Since it’s such an easy format to pick up, things quickly and easily become competitive – there is no real advantage for existing Puzzle Showdown 4K players here.
Of course, the downside of a game like this is that it’s always going to be a bit of a niche product, as digital jigsaw gamers are most likely a minority. For them though, this is a product loaded with options and content, and the multiplayer option is a great twist on an age-old game.