Rating: 4 out of 5 stars App Developer: Capera Ltd.
Using only the map of London as its basis, this iPad app cleverly creates a number of fascinating and different puzzles of up to 54 pieces for the user to select from. The user selects a top map, which is the puzzle that must be solved, and a bottom map, which acts as the background on which to do the puzzle. The map categories from which to select include: boroughs, rivers, parks, attractions and Olympic events. The player must slide the pieces into their correct positions in order to complete the puzzle. For example: he/she may choose the boroughs as the bottom map, and the rivers as the top one. He/she must then slide the rivers into their correct locations over the boroughs. This is definitely one of the most niche jigsaw ipad apps available.
The user is able to play the game, or select the learn mode which guides him/her as to where the pieces need to be placed. In the play mode, the user can select whether or not he/she would like to keep score and time. With the range of puzzle options and combinations, together with the choice of modes, the user gets to play the game in 50 different ways. Pieces are distributed randomly at different locations on the screen each time the game is played. The game is accompanied by relaxing background music and excellent sound effects, as well as a voice-over which names each piece as it is touched. The user can select to play in silence; or use some, or all of the available sounds. Sound On or Sound Off can be selected before the game, and then changed at any time during the game. Written labels for each piece pop up as the piece is touched. At any stage, the user can check how the completed puzzle looks, and then return back to where he/she left off. The map can also be shaken to move around the pieces that have not yet been placed. In the Olympic events map, the user can touch a particular location for 2 seconds, to see what sporting events occur at that location. The Continue feature allows the player to leave the game and return to where he/she left off at any time. By linking up to the Game Centre, the player can keep track of his/her scores and compare them to those of other players, as well as compete with other players. The help window provides clear and concise explanations.
This iPad app is a little-known gem, with excellent potential for future growth. It is beautifully designed, and works well. Anybody who wants to learn about the geographical locations of the natural and man-made features of London need look no further than London Jigsaw. Geography teachers, and anybody living in or visiting London, will love this app. London Jigsaw Lite is also available, and offers all 5 bottom maps, but only the boroughs as a puzzle. Challenge yourself to the realistic puzzle experience, but without the frustration of mess and lost pieces!