Pixel Puzzles: Japan combines traditional jigsaw puzzle style gameplay with light video-game interactivity.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (210 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 17, 2014
Popular user-defined tags for this product:

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Pixel Puzzles - Japan

AUTUMN SALE! Offer ends December 2


Recommended By Curators

"Some decent jigsaw game"

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.


2 comments Read more

June 8


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


5 comments Read more


“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!”

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.


  • 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

    • 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
    • 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 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
So why do I not recommend this game yet still love the game???? Well the answer is quite puzzling...

Let me begin by saying that if you enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle you will find great enjoyment within this game. There is a definite feel of working a jigsaw puzzle here and it's quite relaxing and enjoyable. The pictures are decent and give some good challenge in matching up the pieces and once you get to the larger piece puzzles it really feels like your working a real jigsaw puzzle on a table top.

Another interesting slant on this game is that in many puzzles the pieces are cut in ways you could never cut a real life puzzle. This is good in the sense that it opens up new challenges with matching up pieces and actually adds to the puzzle experience in ways that only a virtual puzzle could. It's bad in a way too though because some of these cut styles up the difficulty in matching pieces by cut to sky high levels that make it nearly impossible to do, leaving you to rely on color matching alone. If you’re looking for more challenge though this is certainly a way to get it in ways that physical puzzles could never match so I think this is certainly a positive overall.

So where does it all go so wrong?? It's a couple of things that on the lower end, smaller piece puzzles, you won't experience too badly but as you climb up to the high piece puzzles will have you ripping your hair out. The first and most obvious fault is that there is NO mid puzzle save feature. On the small piece puzzles this isn't so much an issue as you can solve them in 15-20 minutes tops. However as you approach the larger piece puzzles this becomes an issue as most people don't have all morning or night to finish a puzzle. Your only option is to leave the game running in the background of your computer, which isn't a horrible option, but sucks down your computers resources if you'd like to go play another game for a while or sucks down electricity if you'd rather just power down your computer for the night.... And there's really no excuse for why the developers couldn't have coded a simple mid-puzzle save feature for this.

The second flaw is in piece selection. The pieces float around in a "river" around the puzzle which honestly works as it allows you to see the pieces and really resembles the pieces in a box being shaken around a bit only probably better as all the pieces are right side up. Another area where virtual is somewhat better than real life. The problem occurs when you see a piece floating out there amongst all the other pieces that you know fits somewhere and you go to grab it, it's as if the program actually goes out of its way to give you every piece except the one you want.... You'll be clicking and clicking though a million pieces just to get the one you want that you can see right in front of you. Several times per puzzle I've clicked on the piece I wanted while it was clearly in the open, with my curser only touching that piece, and been given a different piece. Then when I release that unwanted piece back into the river the piece I wanted disappears from its current location and reappears somewhere else, usually in a mess of many other pieces again..... Super frustrating.

At the end of the day, because of those flaws I cannot in all fairness give this game a recommendation. These are flaws that could have, and should have been addressed by the developer before or soon after the game was released. Is there a market for virtual jigsaw puzzle games?? I think the answer is yes. Ways to improve upon the design?? First off mid-puzzle saving is a must. Second off improve the puzzle selection process and perhaps give us two to four "ponds" to place specific pieces in where they will float around separated from the river. Lastly, maybe allow for players to use their own pictures to create their own original puzzles. Maybe even have a Steam Workshop for those puzzles..... I certainly think there's a market for jigsaw puzzle games but this one has too many frustrating flaws to really grow that market...
Was this review helpful? Yes No
11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Chill game but there is no way to save your progress so you lose everything unless you have 4 hours to power though a puzzle at a time. cant recommend without save feature
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
After fully completing the game (9 hours for one playthrough), I'm finally reviewing it, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys jigsaw puzzles. I LOVE jigsaws, but find myself unable to partake in many because I have so few flat surfaces around my home, and I also have quite a few cats that are always determined to chew and eat the pieces. Pixel Puzzles allows the player to piece together jigsaws without the hassle.

There are a few pros and cons to the game when compared to regular jigsaws that I thought I'd point out. For one, the puzzles are extraordinarily easy for those of us who are used to piecing together 500 or 1000 piece + jigsaw puzzles. Why? The top tier puzzle is, I believe, only 300 pieces, for one thing. Another thing is that the pieces are always rightside up; that is, you never have to turn pieces around clockwise or counter-clockwise to try different sides in different places. When you place a piece in its respective spot, it "clicks" into place, which can be seen as a pro and a con. For one thing, that's convenient, but for another, sometimes I would place a piece in about the area I thought it would go, and it would snap into place, taking away the challenge of guesswork, trial and error. There were also a few times I'd grab pieces that were unique to save them for later, only for them to snap into place simply because I'd placed them on the board in just the right place, when I'd had no intention on placing it yet.

Many reviews state the lack of a save feature as a flaw, but I had no trouble with this. I'd sit down for an hour and knock a few of them out. I 100% the game without knowing whether or not there was a save feature, since I never needed it. The puzzles have so few pieces even in the top tiers that 45 minutes to an hour is the most you will likely need to set aside.

The one flaw that actually DID bother me that others have mentioned is the piece selection. Unused pieces float around the borders of the puzzle area in a pool of water, and they can overlap while floating. If you see a piece you want, it can take a few tries to pick the right one, and this can, admittedly, be infuriating. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and one of my "obsessions" is that I have to complete the border of a jigsaw puzzle before placing any middle pieces. This one flaw had me reeling quite a few times, because I'd have my eye on a border piece and kept trying incessantly to pick it up, only to pick up dozens of middle pieces in the process. This was pretty time consuming, since I couldn't progress in the puzzle personally until I had the border complete, and this sometimes would take picking up half of the entire puzzle's pieces and setting them aside to accomplish.

The last issue with the game is that I couldn't find a way to view what the completed puzzle would look like once I was putting it together. So in the midst of a puzzle, the player can't pick up a piece and check the "box", if you will, to guess just about where it will go. In the end, while this is technically an issue, I didn't mind it. It presented a challenge in the game that I enjoyed taking on due to the fact that the game is easier than regular jigsaws.

All in all, if you like jigsaws, you will probably enjoy this, and I highly recommend it for those of you who find it hard to make the room for physical jigsaws, as this is the next best thing. While the game is fairly short, I thought it was a great deal as I got it on sale and I ended up paying less than $1.00 per hour of playtime, which is a great value. I highly encourage the developers to consider more pixel puzzle games with other varieties of subject matters, as I'll definitely be supporting future releases.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Lots of production value, but bad for jigsaw solving.

I've played bunch of puzzle games (the good ones let you download nice pictures from flickr and do these, so they're basically endless), but none have gone out of their way so much to make this a different experience.

Pro: lots of Japanese knick-knacks and animations, very nice feel

Con: not suited to jigsaw solving.No save feature (I have that at home doing it on a table, why can't the game save?), pieces that go together don't snap together and have to be moved seperately, and because of this, you basically need to start with the corners and edges because then they'll snap to their final positions. However, good luck finding these in the "pond" where the pieces float around instead of waiting to be sorted - and if you have found them that doesn't mean the game will give them to you when you click them.

You might decide to bear this for the 21 puzzles that are included, or you might decide to get something better instead. I'll do the latter.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
A Jigsaw Game Done Wrong [KAMGUSTA's REVIEW]

Ok, there aren't jigsaw games on STEAM so this could have been interesting... unfortunatly it has some serious flaws (already told by a countless of people) so it is not! :(
1) No save feature
2) Pieces costantly "flow" around distracting you
3) It is difficult to grab the one piece you need without instead clicking on others
4) No save feature
5) There isn't a work place where "trying to combine" pieces
6) Uninspiring music
7) Few puzzles
8) No save feature

For the same price you'd better buy a proper 1000+ pieces real puzzle.

Best played with Mouse
Recommended Buy Price < 3$
Score 4/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Really zen, better than smoking something actually.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
This game is perfect for when you want to chill out with some Netflix streaming on one monitor and some achievements from jigsaw puzzles on your other monitor (you have two screens, too, right?). If they ever add more puzzles I'll be all over it like white on rice. If you're into jigsaw puzzles and need to keep yourself busy while you consume other media then this is perfect for you!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
This game doesn't manage to ruin the fun of putting jigsaw puzzles together, but it comes close with some terrible design choices:

- When you place a piece in the correct spot, it locks in place... even if it's not connected to any neighboring pieces and it was just dump luck that you placed it there. This really kills your feeling of actually having any skill. There's also no visual indicator of which pieces are locked in their correct position, and which still need to be placed.

- Pieces are ALWAYS oriented correctly with the puzzle. They never rotate.

- If you find matching pieces, but don't know where they fit on the board yet, you can't keep them snapped together. You can't even put them beside each other somewhere out of the way, because there IS no "out of the way" area.

- All the loose pieces move around in a koi pond beside the puzzle. You can take pieces out of the pond, but the only place to put them is on the puzzle board itself.

- You can't just look at the box to see what the finished puzzle looks like. You have to correctly place a bunch of pieces to earn a five second glimpse of the finished puzzle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
I enjoyed most of the puzzles but without a save option, I doubt that I will put in the energy to complete the last three which have hundreds of tiny pieces all floating in the pond. Picking up pieces is frustrating because if any pieces besides the one you wanted is nearby, you will probably pick that one up. Puzzles are normally leisurely activities where you can place a few pieces down at a time. Forced to complete a puzzle in one sitting is not relaxing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
27.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
I've always liked puzzles and puzzle games so, when I saw this game was on sale I thought it wouldn't hurt to buy it.

My only problems with the game:
-You can't save at all, so if you're in the middle of a puzzle you either leave your game on or you have to start over. It's not really a big deal to me, but I see how it could be annoying.
-When you try to click on a certain puzzle piece you have your eye on, it takes multiple tries to actually get ahold of it. You may be lucky enough to pick it up on first try once in awhile.

Overall the game is relaxing and fun, the puzzles are easy, it just takes a little time because the puzzle pieces are floating around.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
A fairly standard puzzle game with interestingly shaped pieces and puzzles that are difficult enough to involve at least some thought.

A big downside is trying to click on the piece you need, though. Clicking on it can bring up totally randomm pieces and chasing it around the screeen can be quite frustrating at times. At least you can get rid of the annoying carp by stuffing it in the deer scare
Was this review helpful? Yes No
29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
17.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Very challenging jigsaw puzzles games. Be careful not to smash your laptop/CPU playing this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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).
Was this review helpful? Yes No
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
Pixel puzzles: Japan is a nice little game in classic jigsaw puzzle style. That means drag and drop the floating pieces from the water to the playing surface (stone garden). The puzzle pieces differ each round and you will have to do greater puzzles with more pieces. (336 in the end) The games involves some little easter eggs like koi carps in the lake, a waterclock and color change for your playfield.There is also a hint system. If you charge up the "i-ging" symbol in the right upper you'll get a complete view of the picture for 10 seconds.
The pictures you puzzle are mainly impressions of japanese culture or locations. But the soundtrack was going on my nerves so I turned it off (It's an loop of trembling meditation music). The resolution is fixed on 1280 x 1024 or something and gets upscaled on fullscreen. Unfortunately there is no autosave function that you will loose your progress if you close any puzzle in the middle. But altogether it was relaxing fun for some hours.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
There are 19 puzzles in total in total and there is decent amount of playtime here for any jigsaw enthusiast out there. The price is about what i would expect to pay for the advertised features. There are a few shortcomings, however, such as the inability to save your progress during a puzzle which means you need to complete it in one go or start over if you quit out. The developers did stated that in puzzle saving is a feature they plan on adding in an update but for now we have to make do with it. Pixel Puzzles: Japan is certainly not the best but also not too shabby either.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
Hope this will help other gamers and puzzle enthusiasts :) have fun! ^.^

Pixel Puzzle Japan is exactly what the titles suggest, minus the pixel part since it's not exactly pixelated art. still it's not the brain twister type of puzzles but the old, classsic, childhood christmas present type of puzzles where you hunt for pieces and smack'em in their place:D

- i personally felt there should be more soundtracks;
- not much variety in gameplay just same thing over and over again but with diferent shapes of puzzles;
- kind of short, not many puzzles in the game;

- despite being just a repeating soundtrack it made me relax quite nicely;
- the images are nice and some quite challenging (if you like that sort of thing in puzzles that is);
- some interesting puzzle shapes;
- you can plug a bamboo water pipe thingy with a koi fish (*whispering* but don't tell PETA about it);
Was this review helpful? Yes No