The-M--iOS-Review The M iOS Review

   16/04/2011 at 08:22       Drew Bower       0 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - iFun4All, Jigsaw, Puzzle, iPhone, Slide Puzzle

One beauty of having a touch screen gaming device such as an iPhone is that many classic board and table games can be replicated in digital form and still retain a certain level of interaction otherwise lost when using a control pad. Jigsaws are one such example where moving a cursor to select a piece doesn’t quite deliver the same experience as picking up a piece and rotating it by hand. Thanks to the touch screen however, you can pick up pieces at will and thus the feel of putting together a jigsaw becomes more like the real thing.

Developers iFun4All aims to deliver the jigsaw experience on iOS with their latest release, The M, whilst also throwing in sliding picture puzzles for good measure.

The M (which stands for ‘The Mysterious Sliders’) gives you a selection of 16 puzzles to solve in either jigsaw or slider form. Disappointingly, the same 16 pictures are used in both modes. Once each puzzle has been completed on any difficulty level or mode, you can then play them at will on other difficulty settings in both modes. Easy difficulty has 9 pieces, medium 16 and hard has 25.

Pictures are on the whole interesting and fun to place together. From a country cottage, to statues, close up architecture and original paintings there is a nice selection to choose from. I do think that iFun4All are missing a trick in not allowing players to use their own pictures from the iPhone camera roll as this would allow for an unlimited amount of puzzles. To have the ability with an iPhone or 4th Gen iPod Touch to take a quick snapshot of any surrounding scenery or interesting objects would also be a huge bonus point.

Although described as a jigsaw game, the puzzles do not use traditional jigsaw piece shapes. Instead the same square pieces and grid as found in the slide puzzles are used, which again is rather disappointing to see. It almost feels like the slide puzzle part was made first and then the decision to add in a jigsaw element was added later.

As for the controls, again the phrase ‘could do better’ springs to mind. For starters, there is no tutorial or help section. Whilst the controls are not exactly rocket science, there really should be some directions on hand. Touching a piece makes it jump out of the grid and lines up the bottom right corner with your finger tip. Then using a second finger to perform an up or downward swipe rotates the piece through 90°. However, if you remove your first finger, you cannot replace two fingers and rotate – the piece must be selected again.

Despite there being a number of negative aspects to The M there is plenty of challenge to be had in completing the puzzles – especially on the harder difficulty levels. And despite the limited number of puzzles, trying to beat your quickest times does give good reason to replay them. The addition too of slide puzzles further enhances the package. So whilst The M is not quite the jigsaw game I hoped for, it’s still a good distraction from more action based games.

The M is available for 99c/59p on the App store. There is also a free version which includes the full game but is supported by ads.

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