Pixel Puzzles: Japan combines traditional jigsaw puzzle style gameplay with light video-game interactivity.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (189 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 17, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"Play this relaxing game, dive in Japan's scenery and get to pull a Koi fish out of his pond while solving jigsaw puzzles."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (4)

July 10

UPDATE 3 - Achievements!



Achievements have now been added into the game, there is a total of 26 to collect.

Enjoy!!!

2 comments Read more

June 8

UPDATE 2.0 - NEW PUZZLE



Another new 220 piece puzzle has been added to the game.

Enjoy!!!!

5 comments Read more

Reviews

“If you are looking for a nice relaxing game where you don't have to worry about quick reflexes then you can't go wrong with Pixel Puzzles: Japan.”
8/10 – GAMERamble

“Pixel Puzzles: Japan a game to relax too!”
NerdMaldito

About This Game

Pixel Puzzles: Japan combines traditional jigsaw puzzle style gameplay with light video-game interactivity. As you build puzzles your monk will gain higher consciousness states. The higher the level of your monks concentration the bigger the puzzle you can attempt. All hand drawn in a beautiful Japanese aesthetic, Pixel Puzzles: Japan is perfect for puzzlers and gamers alike.

Features:

  • Traditional puzzle gameplay.
  • Relaxing Japanese atmosphere.
  • 26 Steam Achievements.
  • 19 puzzles in a range of sizes from 60 to 350 pieces.
  • Multiple FREE DLC bonus puzzles
  • Beautiful photos taken on site in Japan.
  • Interactive play environment.
  • Progressive I-ching powers that give insight into puzzles.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7, Vista
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 Compatible
    • Hard Drive: 85 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Generic Sound Device
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7, Vista
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 Compatible
    • Hard Drive: 85 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Generic Sound Device
Helpful customer reviews
19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
17.6 hrs on record
Very challenging jigsaw puzzles games. Be careful not to smash your laptop/CPU playing this game.
Posted: September 27
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.8 hrs on record
This is the first game I have achieved 100% achievements in. This should indicate that this is a game where 100%-ing is relatively easy. Overall I would say Pixel Puzzles: Japan is a good relaxing experience under several conditions:
1. You enjoy jigsaw puzzles (surprise!).
2. You like or at least do not mind oriental-themed images (well it says "JAPAN" in the title after all).
3. You do not rush yourself (or, in case you are not prepared to alt+tab out of the game at any given time you don't play the last 3-4 levels).
Well 1 is pretty much obvious in of itself.
Concerning 2 I have to say that the pictures chosen for puzzles (again from the point of view of someone interested in South-East Asia and its beauty) are splendid and wonderful. Looking at them is a pleasure. The accompanying sounds of a water pipe and what does seem to be a shamisen are very helpful in relaxing. They are letting all your troubled minds go away and let you settle down well. The music seems to adapt to your actions and plays more intensively the more pieces you match and the faster you do it. There also some "interactive" sounds available for playing with koi or puzzle pieces (in particular, there is a very satisfying sound when the piece touches the sand). The sand color can also be varied to better outline your puzzle pieces.
Now it is 3 that I would like to emphasize. The last puzzles are so complex and huge (many small pieces) that, if you are trying to rush yourself through them, (e.g. for the achievements) you might feel a bit frustrated. And the game does not save your progress so your only way of taking breaks is to alt+tab out its window. So do not hurry!
More than that there are two additional problems: in the end there are SO many pieces it is quite impossible to fetch the right ones (the ones your see and want to grab) out of your koi pond as they overlap too much and you pretty much have to drag out whatever you can manage to grab with your cursor "hand".
The last problem I have personally had was a bit subjective (perhaps, people with bigger/better screens would not have it). The very last puzzle had the most pieces and they were so tiny that the "reflection" effects, which the game adds on their borders to make the pieces look more volumetric, obscured some of the fine details of the picture (and there were A LOT of fine details there). So in the very very end of the puzzle I basically had to exhaustively try various combinations to fit the pieces in.
Again all of the above is NOT a problem, if you take breaks and just chill yourself out to the ambient sounds, enjoy the beautiful views and do not rush yourself forward. If you want easier and more relaxing experience - just play earlier levels again, they provide just that in spades.
Overall I DO recommend to try out this game, especially if you see it on sale where it can be really really cheap.
Posted: October 4
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
This is the first I've played of any of the puzzle games and I was surprised at how much I got into it. It's great for passing time and relaxing or distressing after a day of hard work. It;s especially great if you like puzzles.
Posted: October 14
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Frustration simulator 2014. I'd rather be catching flies in chopsticks! The pieces move around the board - why the hell do they move? - and when I try to select a piece it'll pick up one that was nowhere near it. This was near-unplayable, far from the relaxing chill-out-before-bed kind of game I was hoping for. Who doesn't love jigsaw puzzles to relax and while away some time in the evening? But this.. the chill music became an addition to the extreme annoyance, taunting me with its calm. Been a long time since achievements felt so much like achievements, and such a reminder that I've wasted hours of my life trying to convince the game to let me pick up the piece I want.
Absolute crap, avoid like peeing on a samurai.
Posted: October 8
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
Fun & relaxing...
Posted: October 14
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10.4 hrs on record
Only issue in this game was trying to click on the pieces you wanted sometimes got a different piece.

Overall, a really fun and casual game to play for people to play on some freetime.
Posted: September 25
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2.8 hrs on record
Very relaxing music and decent difficulty on the later puzzles. That being said, I do wish the game had a feature to save your puzzle. On the harder, higher piece puzzles it can take a while to finish. Without a feature to save, you will have to start over. To add to the difficulty, all the pieces move and overlap eachother on the side. This can become frustrating, especially on the higher piece puzzles when you have hundreds of pieces overlapping and moving. That is something that shouldn't happen on a game like this. 78/100
Posted: September 26
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10.5 hrs on record
As someone who loves doing physical jigsaw puzzles, I looked forward to digging into this game. While it is a gorgeous aesthetic, the shifting flow of pieces around the board was incredibly annoying to me. I organize my physical puzzles by color and the inability to have any organization or structure made the game much less enjoyable. Plus it was very difficult to selevt what piece you wanted. While the music was good, there is only one track while you're working on puzzles and one track while in the menu as I recall, and that gets incredibly repetitive when you're spending 20+ minutes on a puzzle. There are also only 19 puzzles, and I finished this game in a couple days. I would really give this game a neutral rating if that was an choice, but with how grating the music was and the incessant annoyance of finding the piece I wanted, I had to go with the negative option.
Posted: October 18
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17.1 hrs on record
Great fun and stunning pictures
Posted: October 15
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43.8 hrs on record
A simple relaxing jigsaw puzzle game. Unique shapes for each level. Difficulty scales well from first to last puzzle. Pieces snap to their location on the board but not to eachother. Recommend buying if it is on sale.
Posted: October 7
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2.6 hrs on record
dont need to buy real life jigsaw puzzle.. just play this game, worth my time.. highly recommend
Posted: October 14
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9.1 hrs on record
Nice little distraction, but not a very well executed jigsaw puzzle game. There were better programs decades ago. Graphics lack definition at higher resolution. No way to sort pieces off the board. Etc. etc. Picking the pieces isn't well programmed. I don't see the free DLC puzzles that are mentioned. There are two extra ones in the game, but it isn't DLC.
Get for cheap if you're into jigsaws, otherwise skip.
Posted: October 1
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19.1 hrs on record
Pretty fun puzzle game. Also well implemented.

Only con is the pieces floating in the water tend to give you the wrong piece your going for in the bigger puzzles.
Posted: October 5
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16.2 hrs on record
If you want to do jigsaw puzzles where:

a) the pieces float away when you try to grab them
b) you ALWAYS pick up a different piece than the one you were intending
c) there's little space to sort anything
d) you cannot save in the middle of a puzzle and continue later
e) you can stuff a koi fish into a pipe

... then this game is for you!!
Posted: October 23
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29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
I like this game but its so limited with only like 12 puzzles. It needs more puzzles or a way to use your pictures to create your own puzzles. I have had no issues with this at all. Great work more scope for this to be improved to make it even better for me. Needs DLC'S AND A PUZZLE CREATURE I think this would make it future alot better for people to buy it.
Posted: July 26
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27 of 33 people (82%) found this review helpful
56.5 hrs on record
Excellent game if you enjoy jigsaw puzzles.
Posted: May 5
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19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
This is probably the most creative interface I've seen for a jigsaw game on PC or mobile. I love the way this game solves the problem of displaying the unused pieces while still allowing a full frame to work the puzzle. The koi pond and "fishing" for the moving pieces is very relaxing and fits well with the theme of this puzzle series. (Edit: This feature gets less ~relaxing as you hit the bigger puzzles since it's really tough to select the piece you want.)

The artwork (both in the interface and the puzzles themselves) is very nice, and the music and sound effects also blend well with the overall theme. I also like the way the monk "levels" up as you solve puzzles, it just adds incentive to keep going.

Unfortunately, the pieces don't rotate and you can't connect pices that aren't already in the correct spot within the puzzle frame. You can, however, lock pieces into place by luck or trial and error, even if you have nothing adjacent in place. I really wish this game had a save feature that let you save your progresss as you work the puzzle. If you only want to spend a few minutes at a time playing, you have to start again from the beginning.

Basically if you like working jigsaw puzzles but hate the effort of setting up all the pieces while sacrificing table space for the time it takes to finish (not to mention keeping your cats away) then this is a great game for you. It's also a good time spinner when you just want a chill game that doesn't take a lot of concentration.
Posted: August 30
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
What is Pixel Puzzles: Japan?

Pixel Puzzles: Japan is a game where you have 19 (+2 added for free) jigsaw puzzles to solve. The game is nicely designed in terms of UI graphics, but there are two moments that lead to huge frustration:
First, the detection of what puzzle piece you want to take is horrible. So it comes down most of the time to randomly getting a piece, throwing it away, etc, or clearing the route of the piece you want per right-click and hoping you can somehow catch it.
Second, some puzzles have too large spaces where absolutely nothing is with the exception of one color. This makes the game coming down to trial and error, clicking through numbers of absolutely identical looking pieces and hoping it fits.

Graphics:
The graphics itself are nicely done, as I said, but the motifs for the puzzles are sometimes poorly chosen.

Music:
The music is annoying. One sample sounds like taken from the end of a Settlers 4 tune, together with exactly the same annoying bling sound that makes you think your microwave has finished working / your door has ringed / whatever you have that sounds like it. The sound effects are nothing special as well. I turned it off and heard my MP3s instead.

Controls:
The game is played entirely with the mouse, but unfortunately it is often impossible to get exactly the puzzle piece you want since - if several are above each other - a certain one is always picked instead of the visible one you click.

Conclusion:
Overall you get a jigsaw puzzle game that is frustrating after you did half of the puzzles. The achievements are easy to do, however, they just require a lot of time and frustration tolerance. You can expect taking around 12 hours to solve all puzzles, which also gives you almost all achievements. The two you don't have by then are done in seconds and you can find out what to do by their picture.
You can find jigsaw puzzle simulators on the internet that are more fun since at least you can pick the pieces you want there. Also don't get confused by the title: Apart from the puzzles showing Japanese scenes, there is nothing about Japanese culture, so this isn't a game for the hardcore Nippon fans either.

Recommended:
Only if you get it cheap and hunt achievements. Otherwise try some free jigsaw puzzle games on the internet instead! If the controls are ever fixed, you can get it, and the developer still actively patches the game. So please compare this to the actual version (this review was written on 1 September 2014).
Posted: August 31
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40 of 62 people (65%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Didn't like this game.

The puzzle pieces don't connect to eachother like in the ancient jigsaw puzzle games that worked on Windows95.
Instead, a piece get stuck into place if you put them on the correct spot.

Kinda kills the experience, it's not really jigsaw puzzling this way.
Posted: May 9
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Pixel Puzzles: Japan is actually the first jigsaw game on Steam and adds a few nice twists that would not be possible with a physical jigsaw puzzle. As the title suggests, the focus is on beautiful Japanese scenes that are revealed as you progress through the nineteen puzzles that are available.The basic goal is to assemble a picture by fitting together the puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces come in all shapes and sizes so you have to pay attention to the image and the shape of each piece to figure out where it fits into the picture. Puzzles in this game range from ones with 60 pieces to one with a whopping 350 pieces. Instead of using the box cover as a reference as you would with a traditional jigsaw puzzle, this game gives you a blank slate to work with. You can view a small picture of the puzzle before attempting it, but after that you are essentially working blind. As you put together the pieces an "I Ching" meter is filled which, when completely full, allows you to view the full picture for a few seconds.Each puzzle in the game not only has a different image, but the actual shapes of the pieces differ as well. Some of the puzzles have pieces with very strange shapes that you won't see in real-life and it adds another layer of challenge. You don't have to worry about time limits or objectives though. The visuals are rather nice for a casual game and I quite liked the Japanese scenes of bridges, pagodas and cherry blossoms. Like the gameplay, the audio is very relaxing with some soothing tunes and the sound of a shishi-odoshi.If you are looking for a nice relaxing game where you don't have to worry about quick reflexes then you can't go wrong with Pixel Puzzles: Japan.
Posted: September 17
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