Is Glass Masquerade 2 a glassterpiece?
Jigsaws aren’t really something that I have a huge fondness for, often preferring more serious tabletop gaming, but I’ve been playing a fair bit of Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions recently. I haven’t played the original, but having finished this, I’d be more than happy to pick it up and give it a go. That should give you a good idea of my feelings on this already.
In Glass Masquerade 2, you complete a series of intricate stained glass puzzles linked to riddles that are seemingly part of a nightmare you are trapped in. The only way to escape your nightmare is to collect the pieces of the final puzzle and solve it. Each puzzle is circular and broken up into between forty and ninety shards, with some of the shards marked to help you place them as a starting point. Pieces are positioned around the outside of the board and are automatically oriented correctly when you select them, meaning you won’t need to rotate them.
This sounds like it might make the puzzles a little too easy, but believe me when I say that this isn’t the case. The puzzle pieces are all complex shapes which means finding a logical position for them isn’t exactly simple. Add to that how intricate the pictures themselves are and you have quite a challenging set of puzzles. The simple ones took less than ten minutes, but the more difficult ones took over half an hour. With over thirty puzzles to complete, there’s a fair bit of content for your money here. There’s even a hard mode in which you need to rotate the pieces to place them correctly if you want a serious challenge.
The puzzles themselves look beautiful, featuring all sorts of bizarre and dark designs. Each one is distinct, from creepy clowns to mushroom people, with the pieces themselves even having designs suitable to the image’s theme. More ethereal designs have pieces with curves whilst a demonic picture may use angular pieces. It’s a nice touch that keeps a consistent theme throughout a puzzle. I really can’t stress how impressive the puzzle designs are. There’s clearly been a lot of time put into the artwork ー which makes sense for what is a jigsaw puzzle game at heart ー and the artists should be commended for what they’ve created.
The music is equally excellent, but there is far less of this than the visual aspects. It’s creepy and mysterious in equal measure, but it doesn’t take long before you’ve heard it all and it loops again. What is there is great, but I just wish there was more of it. The sound effects are also good, albeit simplistic. Swooshing and twinkling sounds are fine, and I don’t really feel anything more would be required for a game like this.
I genuinely loved my time playing through Glass Masquerade 2, playing through all the puzzles in around six hours and immediately wanting to play the previous game just to have access to some more puzzles. That’s not to say there aren’t any faults here though. Some of the puzzle pieces are very small and can be tricky to place, whilst the controls for rotating pieces in hard mode aren’t pointed out at all. It was only pure chance that I realised RT and LT would rotate a piece left and right. The map that connects the puzzles together is also a pain to navigate, with you only able to move to a connected level rather than to any level. It’s a minor gripe, but I found it a little irritating. I suspect the map and puzzles would be slightly easier to control with a mouse rather than a controller, but playing on Xbox One meant that that wasn’t really an option.
These are all small complaints though, and they did little to mar my enjoyment of Glass Masquerade 2. I look forward to picking up the previous game and perhaps its DLC to have more puzzles to work my way through. I would recommend you give this a go unless you absolutely despise jigsaw puzzles, in which case you might find this a pain in the glass…
You can find Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions on PS4, Xbox One and PC.