It feels like a pretty common theme these days is the willingness to shirk rest and relaxation. For me, if I’m not doing something, it’s not too long before I’m feeling like a potato. And unfortunately the past month has been one incident after another – from the sinus infection that was left unchecked for 3 weeks to a pretty intense back injury. The end result was I couldn’t really do a whole lot – even some of my favourite, most comfy games.
This got me thinking about comfy relaxation games – the types of things we play when we can’t really focus, or need to be able to stop and go, or maybe just don’t really want to put in a lot of effort. I actually plan to do a larger article on this at some point, with some titles that are just wonderful for when you need a mental health day or a low-key distraction, but for today I wanted to draw some attention to one of my favourite little pastimes when I just want to keep myself busy for a little bit.
Jigsaw puzzles are great. They seem to have slowly become less common – probably so many of us not having the space and organization to really get into one (unfortunately my cats like them as much as I do, so I’ve had to curb my addiction a bit). Thankfully, there’s a game out there that perfectly captures the puzzling experience without bringing hundreds of tiny pieces to your living room table (or to the attention of your kitties).
Puzzle With Your Friends wasn’t something I’d really have considered buying at first. What on earth would I do with a jigsaw puzzle game? But two of my friends spoke so highly of it, I had to give it a try myself, and I’m so incredibly glad that I did.
So what exactly is it?
Puzzle With Your Friends presents the player with a handful of artworks and then challenges them to put together a jigsaw puzzle version. While you work, you’ll get a cathartic little soundtrack that ranges from plucky, happy adventuring music to a soft, ambient rain background. Each featured artwork comes from an indie title and includes a small blurb from the artist. The puzzles arent too difficult, but will take most players a little bit of time and effort to put together – a good middle ground that avoids being either frustrating or mindless.
It sounds simple, but there are a couple details about Puzzle With Your Friends that make it something a little more special and versatile than just a straight puzzle game. For players wanting more of a challenge, there are online leaderboards to compete with. Already done all the puzzles but want to do more? Awesome! Start perfecting your favourites and challenging yourself to better completion times. For players wanting some social time, there are options for online co-op, including playing both with your friend or against them.
For me, it’s been lovely to have an option to enjoy when I need a quick break from working, or want something to do on the side of a movie night. There have been times after a long and difficult day where I don’t want to do nothing, but don’t have it in me to do errands or play more complex games – it’s a perfect game for low-pressure stress-relief.
Since its release in 2018, SkyCat Games has stated that new modes and art will gradually be added to the game – some of which were included later on that year – so Im definitely hopeful to eventually see some more. There are a number of puzzles available, but of course after awhile it’s always nice to have something new – especially because each play of a puzzle has the same pieces every time and you’ll eventually learn them.
If you want to try it, the game is a great deal! It’s regularly $4.99, but right now you can nab it for $2.49 on Steam if you act fast. If you like jigsaw puzzles and something relaxing to enjoy on the PC, you really can’t go wrong.
Order Up! is a weekly column featuring indie-focused reviews, news, or interviews! We like old games just as much as new ones and are always looking for something to check out. Have a game recommendation, a project, or a company you want to talk about? Email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter @ArcanaChance