Developer: Onyx Lute
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Version Reviewed: Digital Version
No. of Players: 1 Player
Release Date: Feb. 13, 2020 (EU & NA)
Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions is the follow up to last year’s Glass Masquerade (no subtitle with this one) that was published by Digerati and developed by the team at Onyx Lute. Both games are jigsaw-style puzzle games that have you selecting a puzzle and then moving pieces into a central circular area to complete an image that uses a stained glass aesthetic.
There’s not much in terms of a story in this puzzle game. About the only thing you have story-wise is the vignettes, which are a sentence or two to tell you what is going on in the puzzles after you complete them.
Choose a puzzle, select a piece, drop it in the right spot. That is pretty much all there is to it in regards to gameplay. Once you select a piece and drop it into place there’s a satisfying sound effect, more on that in audio, which lets you know you got the piece correctly placed.
There are a lot of pieces in each puzzle, so your ‘table’ of unused pieces are in two circular rings that you can rotate and select from. I do feel that this a much better way of managing your pieces instead of having them sprawling on either side of the main game area.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
There are over 30 puzzles to complete in Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions, all with varying levels of detail and number of pieces to place. Since the puzzles themselves are all the same size, I found completing puzzles to take about the same amount of time, which is to say around 20-30 minutes each.
The game does employ a few various hinting systems like starter pieces with varied color cues and edges having snap points that will help in the placement of the pieces to get you started. Due to the various artistic color choices, I found the hint system to be overly helpful, though using it only scraped a few minutes off my completion time.
Completing each puzzle rewards you with a bit about the puzzle itself and the characters or elements within the stained glass finished piece, though it’s not really a cohesive story, so to speak, it does add to the art of storytelling as best a puzzle game can.
The game audio is a pleasing mix of fantasy-like sounds coming from an orchestral score. The music won’t stick with you or be ‘all too memorable’, but it’s sure to help the ‘chillness’ of the overall gameplay and puzzle setting. There are also audio cues as well when you slot a piece into place or decide to ‘drop’ a piece back in the tray. Overall the audio is spot-on and unobtrusive.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions is a visually stunning puzzle game. Just like its predecessor the games artwork and stained glass puzzle pieces and finished jigsaw puzzles are great to look at. The game is never hindered by load screens or slowdown, which is to be expected in this low impact game. I did like playing more in handheld mode as the game was great for couch or bed play sessions over sitting in a chair and playing in docked mode.
The puzzle selection screen can be a bit difficult to navigate and read as font sizes are on the smaller side and the movement from puzzle to puzzle is a bit touchy at times with the joystick movement. You can use touch screen controls for the game, though I found my fingers to be ‘fatter’ and just get in the way of actually seeing if I was putting the piece in the right place on the puzzle or selecting the right puzzle from the selection screen. A stylus would be better suited for the use of touchscreen controls.
Keeping things the same or close to the original is one of the Glass Masquerade series greatest strengths. Having played the original I was pleasantly surprised by the artwork and gameplay that I had been accustomed to. The game plays great and is a must-own pick up if you like puzzle games.
The Glass Masquerade series prides itself on its simple mechanic of dragging pieces into place and creating beautiful artwork in stained glass designs. The art for these is stunningly beautiful, in my opinion, and the chill nature of this game makes it a great one for casual game sessions or winding down in the evening.
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*A Review key was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review
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This post was written by jonathanober