Get ready to take your love for puzzles to the next level! While jigsaw puzzles are already a favorite pastime for many, 3D puzzles take it up a notch with their charming and exquisite designs. And now, with Puzzling Places, you can experience the magic of 3D jigsaw puzzles in virtual reality! Immerse yourself
f in the most magical world and build hyper-realistic 3D models based on photogrammetry scans of exquisite sites worldwide. It’s a modern twist on a hobby that has been around since 1760, and the result is a jaw-dropping, captivating, and rewarding game.
Puzzling Places provides additional depth to the gaming experience with audio-rich immersive soundscapes and satisfying sound effects. Don’t worry if you are feeling puzzled; we’ll guide you every step of the way through Puzzling Places for PS VR2!
Puzzling Places is developed by REALITIES.IO, a company specializing in bringing real-life experiences into VR with stunning photorealistic effects and fully explorable and interactive spaces.
Gameplay – The ultimate destination for jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts
Puzzling Places is intuitive and straightforward. You start by choosing a puzzle and the number of pieces you want to solve. Each puzzle is available in 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, and 1000 pieces. Depending on the piece count, you can build smaller puzzle blocks one at a time, making the goal more achievable.
To start building a puzzle, you’ll be presented with an “invisible shelf” of floating puzzle pieces at a reasonable distance from you to avoid getting in your way. You can point and click to grab pieces from the shelf and bring them into your surroundings, or you can flick the controller stick and return them to the shelf. You can choose to reorganize the leftover pieces on the shelf anytime.
The game toolbox floats above the invisible shelf of puzzle pieces. It is very minimalistic and does not obstruct your gameplay. The game has features such as Back to Home, the Styler Tool, the Grouping Tool, and the Peaking Tool to enhance ease of use. These features make it feasible and manageable to handle hundreds of puzzle pieces. The Peaking Tool allows players to dive into a model and build its inner workings.
Building a puzzle couldn’t be more intuitive. Once you bring a puzzle piece to your surroundings, you can grab and combine it with others using one or both hands. Moving and changing the piece orientation feels natural, and you’ll grasp the concept quickly.
As a player aid, you will see pictures of the completed puzzle lying around the floor. You can even place these pictures in your preferred pose relative to your headset to help you solve each puzzle. A few useful tools are available on the invisible shelf.
Review – Get lost in the immersive world of Puzzling Places
The PS5 VR2 version of Puzzling Places is the game’s definitive edition. While the game has been released on multiple platforms, a brand new version was introduced as part of the PS VR2 release lineup. Puzzling Place ups its game to provide an experience tailored to the PS VR2 capabilities. While the PS VR2 lacks the highest specs of some pro headsets, it is the most accessible, easy to set up and use, and has incredible controllers with full haptic feedback (which is also present on the headset itself). You grab and combine puzzle pieces with total freedom to use the virtual space around you. It works wonders from a seated position, so you can sit, relax and tackle the puzzles at your own pace. The playing area is relatively small, though, and you may move your hands out of it frequently, which is a disadvantage of the PS VR2 itself.
The PS VR2 lends Puzzling Places a truly immersive experience that would not be possible otherwise. Grabbing, positioning, and orientating the pieces and the puzzle with both hands is intuitive and fascinating. Bringing traditional Jigsaw Puzzles to 3D with incredibly detailed photogrammetry scans of real and virtual places would not be captivating and engaging without VR. Stunning graphics and a minimalistic user interface allow you to focus on the puzzle. When you remove your headset, you may feel disoriented because your brain tricks you into thinking you are still in VR.
Sporadic headset tracking drift can make the whole scene “float” slightly with no head movement, causing minor discomfort. It is especially true because the scene is static, and seeing it floating without head motion is a bit nauseating. This may be a flaw with the PS VR2 headset, not the game. Having a well-illuminated room and turning on the Tracking Support option to use your TV as a tracking marker improved headset tracking performance.
While puzzles are easy to solve at 50 pieces, they can be very challenging at 200 pieces or above. Some options have a “simple” mode that allows you to assemble smaller puzzle parts one at a time. Adjusting a puzzle’s difficulty to a level you are comfortable with and challenging yourself sometimes is a welcome feature.
The game provides achievable goals and ongoing accomplishments, featuring a serene and meditative vibe. While the pieces are combined, the puzzle takes shape with enticing visuals and soothing soundscapes. The game features 25+ original puzzles created from detailed photogrammetry 3D scans of actual locations. Each puzzle is available in several levels of difficulty. And multiple DLC content packs (currently 14 for the PS5) are made available periodically, which adds to the game’s replayability.
Puzzling Places delivers a delightful and mindful experience that can induce a state of flow. Sometimes, the game feels downright frustrating if you get stuck and need help to make progress. But that is part of the challenge; the beauty and pain of jigsaw puzzles. This game can keep you amused and engaged for as long as you have puzzles to solve. It is the perfect game after a long workday when you want to relax and have a pleasant time. An ideal fit for the PS VR2, Puzzling Places is a must-have for any jigsaw puzzle fans.