I note that those jigsaw fanatics at 8 Floor Games have been busy yet again. Their latest output is entitled 1001 Black Raven Jigsaw. As with their previous offerings, you can disregard the 1001 part of the product's title but can still look forward to plenty of jigsaw action as you will be presented with 500 images with which to practice your jigsaw solving skills.
I am not sure where the Black Raven part of the product's title comes from but, as usual, the 500 images making up this offering have been divided into five books. Each book contains 100 puzzles that are spread in viewable fashion over 13 double pages. These pages can be used to make your selection as to which images will make up the jigsaw puzzle currently under construction. By default each image will be accompanied by a number indicating how many pieces will make up the puzzle. These numbers tend to vary between 12 and 255 pieces. The more pieces there are, the smaller will be their size.
Having selected your chosen image, an option will be made available to modify the target image through the use of slider bars. The number of pieces, making up the puzzle, can be adjusted in either direction as numbers between 9 and 266 can be selected. A second slider bar can be used to adjust the cut or the angle at which the cut is implemented to create the pieces. Another option available will be to turn on the need for rotating pieces. This action, when required, can be carried out using the right mouse button.
Of course the modification option is optional rather than compulsory, so you can ignore it and go straight to completing the puzzles with its own set of default options. The basic puzzle interface provides you with a pocket, located in the top left corner of the screen, into which you can store pieces until they are required. Generally the pieces making up the jigsaw will be scattered over the work area unless they are stored in the pocket. Running across the bottom of the screen are icons representing the various tools available to you when building up the jigsaw image.
Options are available to have an image of the image positioned on the right side of the screen to help decided where individual pieces need to be placed or you could opt for a central ghost image over which you can build the jigsaw image as you lay down the pieces. For those, like me, who like to start their jigsaw with the creation of its outer border, there is a tool option to remove all the central pieces from the work area so that you can concentrate on your preferred border. Once the border is complete then you can recall all the other pieces to fill in the rest of the image.
Other tools include a magnifying glass to examine specific areas or an option to change the background colour for a better contrast plus a sort facility. I found this last option rather useful but not really in the way you might expect. On a couple of occasions I had almost completed a jigsaw when I noticed that one of the pieces was missing. While this might happen in the old traditional jigsaws, you would not expect it with a computerised puzzle. The missing piece had somehow managed to get itself hidden beneath the main completed part of the puzzle. Taking the Sort option brought the missing piece to the forefront of the work area and allowed the puzzles to be completed. Hopefully this issue can be dealt with in an update.
By creating profiles, different people can tackle these jigsaw puzzles and have their achievements recorded. Adjustments can be made to the volume levels used for the background music and sound effects used to indicate certain actions plus display the game in a choice of three resolutions. I downloaded my copy of this title from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $9.99. System requirements call for a 1.0 GHz processor with 512MB of RAM running Windows 7 and later.
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