Glass Masquerade is a game about assembling 25 mesmerising stain-glass windows, inspired by different cultures around the world. Arriving in France you will unlock adjacent locations as you continue through all the puzzles. Each window is rated out of 5 in terms of difficulty and consists of roughly twenty to sixty individual pieces that need to be assembled.
Starting the puzzle is simple, you are given a handful of pieces which align with small circles on the frame. This can be turned off in the settings, however it isn’t recommended. Slotting the pieces together one-by-one is incredibly satisfying. You are given a completion time once you finish the puzzle, however you aren’t shown this time while you’re playing. This was clearly done on purpose, Glass Masquerade is about appreciating the beauty of these puzzles and soaking in the ambient music, not racing to the finish line. Sometimes I got a little bit stuck, but after some trial and error I pressed onward, never finishing a puzzle in less than 10 minutes.
As you might suspect this game suffers from the same problems as classic jigsaw puzzles. Sometimes you could have sworn a piece was in the right place, only to realise your mistake. All the pieces circling the board that you can choose from are shown face-down too. Rifling through the pieces locating the one you need can get a bit tiresome when you can only see their outline. Neither are you given a final shot of the puzzle, so knowing where to put the piece is often a stab in the dark. This can be seen as a good or bad thing, a huge part of the enjoyment is revealing the final stunning result. And to be honest, the game is quite easy as it is, it doesn’t need to be made any more so.
The more pieces you need to construct a puzzle doesn’t necessarily mean it’s harder. Some of the best designed puzzles are almost symmetrical, making you feel clever as you quickly click the shards together. I did stumble across one noticeable issue a number of times, some pieces wrongly fit in their slot, sometimes leaving you scratching your head.
All of these problems are insurmountable when you take a look at the sheer perfection of the aesthetic. I mean, look at it, just look at it! The shards of glass elegantly spin around rotating into position when you hold one, suitable sound effects to match. The cogs on the world map rotate as you scroll and while the soundtrack is a bit short for my liking the use of glass instruments in it’s sound design is exceptional. It’s a shame I can’t find it anywhere to buy, because I would happily pick it up.
Glass Masquerade is captivating for each and every minute of the 3 hours it takes to complete. You could argue a time trial mode would be nice, but I think it somewhat defeats the point. A bit more context to each puzzle would also be nice, a small extract of text describing what you have just assembled, or perhaps a relevant quote?
All in all Onyx Lute have made a game just as sharp as the glass which holds it together. They knew what they wanted to do and executed it almost perfectly. Bizarrely it isn’t available on Android, or iOS an ideal choice for a relaxing tablet game. It does require the patience of jigsaw puzzles so this isn’t a game for everyone and some will also say there isn’t enough content for the cost. I would have to disagree, as it never outstays it’s welcome. It only begs to ask the question, why haven’t more games embraced this stained glass theme?
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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