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Kiama Software - This website is no longer available, but the puzzles are still used at other sites. Classic and unusual shaped pieces are joined without rotation. Kiama Software created JigZone; see my review of Jigzone.
Kiama Jigsaw can be played at the following sites. Click the Puzzle button at the left of the puzzle for more pictures and piece options.
Passion Puzzles - Many pictures at this French site (Cannot change the number/shape of pieces within the puzzle applet, but some pages allow selection of the shape of pieces at the top with the selection of the picture, rather than within the puzzle applet.)
Kraisoft Jigsaw Lite - Download a free jigsaw puzzle. More pictures available in puzzle packs for $14.99 for 25 pictures.
I was unable to run it (on WIndows 98) without running out of memory.
Kwik Games - One Flash puzzle to play online or download. This is a frame style puzzle with 30 pieces and only one picture. You may download the puzzle and add it to your site. Instructions for adding it to your site are in the source of the html file in the zip file downloaded. I have implemented this puzzle at Dotty's KwikGame Jigsaw.
The pictures are beautiful, and the software is very robust - there are tons of puzzle options, which are a little confusing at first; but after some trial and error it's quite entertaining (fairly complete Help is provided).
The options include all the bells and whistles - you can choose the number of pieces, isolate edge pieces, create puzzles from your own JPGs or BMPs, turn on sound effects which are especially neat with the moving puzzles, print the box cover image, sort pieces into up to four drawers, save puzzles to continue later, etc.
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You can even adjust how close joining pieces must be to snap together. Overall, pretty cool software - for those who are really serious about their jigsaws.
Living Scenes offers a free 30-day trial edition, downloadable from www.livingscenes.com. It includes one Living Scenes puzzle and two still image puzzles, as well as one free jigsaw puzzle download each week. You can order the Living Scenes CD-ROM ($29), which includes 12 Living Scenes animated puzzles, 12 still image puzzles, and the Living Scenes puzzle player with a download link. Their website says that new CD volumes are forthcoming, and that existing customers will be able to purchase future collections at a discount.
Reviewed by Corinne Backer
Additional comments by Dotty:
It's fun to have animated pictures in a puzzle. Very impressive!
Their website also features free weekly puzzle downloads to be used with the demo or registered version of the Living Scenes Jigsaw Puzzles software. The current week's picture is a mystery and last week's puzzle is available with its picture displayed.
Occassionally a piece rotated when I only intended to move it. To avoid this, be sure that you do not touch the mouse wheel when moving a piece.
You can create puzzles with your own pictures with the paid versions.
There's also a limited edition available for download only at $19. This does not include animated puzzles.
Bob Flora of Carolina Software says that the puzzles created with Living Scenes Jigsaw Puzzle software may be placed on a website for download, however they cannot be animated and require download of the Living Scenes Jigsaw Puzzle software to play them. Users of the trial version can play with a maximum of 35 pieces after the trial period expires (version 2 or later). Users of either paid version or the trial version before expiration may play with an unlimited number of pieces.
Lunchtimers - Multi-player online jigsaw. The picture changes when the jigsaw is complete or at the end of the fifteen minute deadline.
This is a frame style jigsaw requiring the Flash plugin. Initially the pieces are arranged at the outside of the frame and the piece shapes are displayed within the frame. You may join the game when the puzzle is already partially completed. Move the pieces with your mouse to their correct position in the frame. There is no indication that pieces are in the correct position until all pieces are correctly placed. The bottom left corner of the puzzle indicates how many people are playing that puzzle. The bottom right corner of the puzzle shows how much time remains. Change the difficulty between Easy and hard puzzles by clicking the links at the top right of the page. Membership is not required to play these puzzles.
Multiplayer jigsaws are a new development in jigsaw software. The play of this puzzle is smooth and it is a challenge to correct the position of misplaced pieces if the colors and texture are similiar. It's fun to play with someone else but frustrating if they frequently place pieces in incorrect positions as indicated by the shape of the piece.
Online chat is available (free registration required) and you can create or join a chatroom for each puzzle - indicate which puzzle in the chatroom name. Open the chatroom in a separate window, so you can switch between the windows. Use this to strategize with other players - if they participate in the chat too.
The possibilities for multi-player jigsaws are exciting and I'm sure we'll see more updates at this innovative site.
MaMaMedia - Online jigsaws for children. Drag pieces to their correct location in the frame to the left of the pieces. 12 pieces. No joining or rotation. Sound effects. It's hard to see some pieces against the same color background. Pictures are children's drawings. Children can submit their own drawings for inclusion if the become members (free).
Jiggy! - "put together jigsaw puzzles as the pieces continue to pile up, racing against time to complete the puzzle and move on to the next level"
Miss O and Friends - 6 Flash puzzles for girls. Jigsaws have classic piece shapes, joining and a selection for the number of pieces, but no rotation.
MTI Jigsaw - Download a puzzle to play on your Palm Pilot.
MUD Jigsaw for Windows - Download a jigsaw program to play later. It has joining, rotation and double sided pieces. This was designed to make jigsaws more challenging. Use your own pictures (bmp or jpg).
MultiMedia - Online jigsaws. Puzzles are very slow to load.
Nabisco Premium Jigsaw Puzzle Palace - Three online puzzles are listed. "More Puzzles" has jigsaws with 3 difficulty levels. Joining but no rotation. The Shockwave Player is required. Some contests and lots of advertising.
Nagele's Puzzle - Online puzzles in a Java applet. Drag pieces to join them. No rotation. Puzzles are timed. Press the Puzzles button for a menu of puzzles with thumbnail picture and title and a menu of the number of pieces and shapes, or press the Do Another button to start the next randomly selected puzzle. This site also contains Edmund Nagele's gallery of photographs. Do not copy his pictures without permission. The Java applet was created by Kiama Systems and is similar, but not the same as the one at JigZone. See my JigZone review.
National Geographic - Classic online jigsaw puzzles with joining use pictures uploaded via Your Shot by users. These puzzles have optional rotation. Click the Options bbutton at the top of a puzzle to control background color/texture, puzzle piece size, rotation and presence of an rectangle the size of the puzzle. Pictures are organized by category and archived by date. Press the space bar to rotate a piece while moving it. This is a high quality puzzle but the website response time is slow.
One Player - This is a shareware puzzle program to play on your own computer. The program
and individual puzzles are downloaded from their web site. Membership is required, but free. Mosaic style pieces are joined, when rotation is correct, to form 108 or 300 piece puzzles. There's a large workspace; much of it is off the screen. Graphics are impressive but implementation is difficult to understand and to use at first. There are English and French versions of the web site and the puzzle program is bilingual.
The Shockwave Player is required and can be included in the program download.
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(I recommend downloading it with Shockwave to avoid software version compatibility problems.) Installation adds the One Player program to your Start menu.
The program (version 2) is free for the first 50 times you open it, then you must pay $32 to continue playing. Version 1 was freeware. The two programs can be installed on your computer at the same time, but the puzzles are not exchangeable between the two versions. The following instructions are for version 1 and have not yet been updated to version 2.
When starting the program, click on the large puzzle piece in the middle of the screen. Initially it displays in French. To switch to English, click on the British flag. Help is available but confusing. To select a puzzle, click on the name of the desired picture, then click on the closed puzzle box to start it or the open puzzle box with scattered pieces to start a saved puzzle. The pieces begin in the puzzle box. Some pieces are upside down (black) - left click them to turn them over. To rotate a piece, left click it then press the right or left arrow on your keyboard. To join pieces, move them together on the workspace with correct rotation and right click one of the pieces. (Macintosh users, try holding down control, option or command while clicking.) Once joined, pieces cannot be returned to the box. The meaning of the icons is often confusing, so here's what I've discovered:
Icons at left and under box at right:
Zoom in and out (small medium and large) - warning, zooming in and out can make pieces go out of view on the workspace. Close the tray and move around in the workspace to find them.
Background color - toggles between black and white
Select section of workspace to view - click one of the sections in the pop-up window.
Minimize screen and pause timer (coffee cup)
Icons at bottom of work spaces:
Help - Must be connected to internet to display help on the OnePlayer web site.
Open new puzzle picture
Save partly finished puzzle
Move around in the workspace (click and move cursor around in the quilt) - May also do this by clicking and dragging the background
Look under the box and workspace for lost pieces
Icons at the bottom of the box:
Scatter pieces in the box
I don't know what the middle icon does
Close box of pieces to enlarge view of workspace.
To download additional pictures for your puzzle program, select the picture puzzle on their site, download it and run the program downloaded to install the new picture. There is no option to use your own pictures. Best scores are available online and you may email your results if yours is higher. See also the One Player entryin my Jigsaw Comparison Chart.