Pixel Puzzles 2: Space Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD


There are a good number of reasons for any tabletop developer to release a virtual version of their game. You can’t lose digital pieces; computer automation speeds up the gameplay in most titles, and you can’t argue vaguely worded rules vs. programmed results. Sure, some games (like jigsaw puzzles) might seem like pointless ports at first, but putting some thought behind it will show that the premise of virtual jigsaws isn’t all that silly after all. Unfortunately, Pixel Puzzles 2 has a few problems that aren’t easily ignored.


Floating puzzle pieces can unfortunately be blocked by menus and the buildable rocket.

Developed by Decaying Logic and published by KISS Ltd, Pixel Puzzles 2: Space is a series of virtual jigsaw puzzles with a common theme of space and interplanetary travel with puzzles ranging from 60 to over 300 pieces, and your goal is to assemble them all. Pieces do float around when not placed on the board, however, and players have access to 3 different power ups.

That’s about it regarding variety, though. In all other respects, this is a normal series of jigsaws. Come in expecting anything extra, then expect to be disappointed. No scoring systems, unlockable puzzles, or anything beyond basic achievements is included.

Though even if you do come in expecting nothing more than a cheap bundle of puzzles to show your gran, prepare for disappointment still. The puzzles, while generally very pretty, are all easy to a ludicrous degree. This is mostly due to the game’s auto-lock feature.

A necessary part of any virtual jigsaw, the game will lock pieces to the board if the piece is at the right angle and placed closely enough to the correct spot. The problem Pixel Puzzles has is that the auto-lock is horrendously over-sensitive. Pieces can latch to the board from simply astounding distances. With a few lucky clicks, a player can easily clear most of the board by simply placing pieces around at random.


Players can expect their screens to be cluttered about 90% of the time.

Adding to the game’s lack of difficulty, are the power ups. Three different coloured payloads drift around with the puzzle pieces, which match to the three available power-ups: Ghost, Radar, and Right Angle. While theoretically, each power up is useful, players are likely only to use two; the Ghost and Radar powers. Ghost displays an overlay of the full, completed image for a few seconds while Radar displays the exact location for one piece the player is currently holding.

While each power and pod have corresponding colours, any pod can be slotted to any power up. Meaning, if you wanted, you could use nothing but the Radar or Ghost powers until you run out of the many payloads the game kindly provides for you.

Players can also use payloads to construct a rocket in the left portion of the border, but as far as I can tell, this does absolutely nothing, aside from waste payloads. The rocket slowly constructs with each payload dropped into the construction zone, but it requires every single payload to construct. After, it launches off-screen and gives you a “launch completion” and a “complete puzzle” finish. Aside from giving two achievements, this feature is almost completely useless aside from clearing some of the clutter that appears on screen due to the Payloads intermingling with the puzzle pieces.


Larger puzzles will usually produce larger amounts of lag, beware of anything over 120 pieces.

Design flaws aside, Pixel Puzzles 2 also suffers from poor optimization. On my Alienware laptop, this game was using so much of my processing power, that I had to close all my other active programs to get a decent FPS. I’ve only had this problem once before, when I was playing through the Alpha of Sub-Aeria, a game which has since then patched out most of its poor performance issues. Even with so many moving pieces on screen, I should not be experiencing slow down in a game about assembling jigsaw pieces.

Not every piece of Pixel Puzzles 2 is an ill fit, though, as there are some redeeming qualities to the game. For one, the $10 price tag for a bundle of 25 unique puzzles is a great bargain for anyone who enjoys jigsaws, but not their retail price. Each puzzle contains super high-quality images of planets, rockets, astronauts, and satellites; with incredibly soothing music in the background creating the most relaxing puzzle solving environment in a virtual game yet. But compared to all the negatives that Pixel Puzzles 2: Space contains, it’s a serious case of buyer beware.

I’d have a hard time, with its 10$ price tag and lack of actual gaming content, recommending this to any hardcore, or even most casual, gamers. While some may enjoy an easy puzzle experience, the amount of hand holding is apparent through the liberal boundaries of auto-lock and numerous pods. But if you enjoy a visually and audibly relaxing puzzle, still pictures of planets and shuttle launches, or such similar content, 10$ is a perfectly reasonable price. There are definitely worse titles out there, but this is such an incredibly niche genre of casual gaming, that I doubt many will find this game too appealing. Although some parents may find this to be a very appropriate gift for young children who enjoy jigsaw puzzles.