Bits And Pieces

Originally Published: 25 January 2009

[The images for this blog have been lost to the ether]

My name is Jake, and I’m a score whore.

It’s true, I love the little plinky noise and am often disappointed when it turns out that it’s just someone logging in to Xbox Live. It is for this reason that those of you who are on my friends list will have seen me playing Puzzle Arcade almost every night for the past fortnight.

In the course of playing the game in order to review it I’ve gotten a few of the achievements. As I have mentioned before, if I’ve got some I feel the need to tidy up my dashboard and get the bars nice and level so I’ve dabbled with a few more achievements. I’ve beaten AI characters assembling a 100-piece jigsaw. I’ve tried to complete a co-op jigsaw with myself, my girlfriend and a Guitar Hero guitar but unfortunately the game was having none of it so I may have to rethink that plan. One of my more obsessive and time-consuming achievements has to be this one:

A thousand-piece jigsaw on expert level.

Sounds ok, but it took a lot of hard thinking to even settle on the best picture to do this one. If anyone else is thinking of taking on this challenge, I would advise choosing the “Pictures of Stamps” puzzle as it has very few colour blocks on it. It still takes ages but it’s a lot easier than trying to match a blue bit to another blue bit that looks identical. All in all, this puzzle took me 10 and quarter hours to finish, spread out over the space of two weeks’ worth of evenings and a final stint last Sunday morning when I wouldn’t stop to eat lunch until I’d put the last 90-something pieces in place. It took me about three hours before I’d managed to find all the edge pieces, because they’re spread out over a massive area and you have to zoom in good and close to see what’s what.

I’m not complaining though. I’m actually quite proud of that 20 points on my Gamercard. I really worked for that. Yeah, it’s only a jigsaw but I’ve spent more time with it than I have on some full price games and I’m not even done yet. The next challenge waving its locked sign at me is this one:

For those unfamiliar with Puzzle Arcade’s fractal puzzles, this involves 3 layers of puzzles. First you build 400 and something jigsaws each of which then assembles to make larger pieces, then these pieces join together to make the finished picture.

In other words, it will take fricking ages.

Bring it on.