[Review] Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kevin Orme
  • Developer: Onyx Lute
  • Publisher: Digerati
  • Release Date: 13/02/2020
  • Price: $11.99 / £10.79
  • Review Code provided by Digerati

Through the [Shattered] Looking Glass

I’ve spent a lot of my life playing video games and I can tell you something: I can only handle so many big crazy awesome action games until it all starts to feel the same. I love rogue-lites with all their randomness in controlled setting, and I love my action games with all of their bombastic scenes and craziness. I love crazy games with weird settings and having my brain slapped around by a fabulous puzzle game too. But after so long, and being older myself, I start to realize that I need something to relax to. Something that lets my brain turn off for a bit. A game that lets me organize my thoughts and calm me down. And with that, I was given the opportunity to try out Onyx Lute’s “Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions”. A game where I reassemble stained glass pictures to their original glory. It’s an interesting one for sure, so let’s get into it.

Breaking Into a New World

The concept is super simple: put the pieces of a shattered stained-glass window back where they belong and restore the image. Now, while this might SEEM simple, but there’s a very simple thing that you might not think about when you think about puzzles like this. That concept is that instead of working with traditional jigsaw puzzle pieces, you’re dealing with pieces of glass that have shattered. This means that the pieces are all unique and they are CRAZY. Thankfully, there is a setting where you can reveal the locations of 8 pieces at the beginning of every new puzzle. Sure, you could probably do alright without them, but when some of the puzzles can have upwards of 85+ pieces, every little bit of help means worlds.

[PLEASE DON’T] Send In The Clowns

One thing I certainly enjoyed about this game is the imagery. These finished images are really unique, and for good reason. The stained glass style really makes the images seem eerie and mystical. The entire mood of the game seems like a creepy dream world that has a thing for nightmare carnivals. So, you know, the FUN stuff. Each image is more intricate than the last and it kind of gets me excited as I get closer to seeing all of the pieces together so I can see what it is that I’m building. Sometimes I didn’t know what the image was until five or six pieces were left!

However, if you have been paying attention to some of the things that I’ve been saying up until this point, you might have come to a conclusion: Oh, no. There’s gonna be clowns, aren’t there? And I regret to tell you that YOU GUESSED RIGHT!! I have to say, there is an EXCESSIVE quantity of terrifying clowns in this game. Given, the amount that I have determined to be excessive when it comes to terrifying clowns is literally any number greater than one, but I’m talking near dozens. Just… SO… MANY… CLOWNS. So, uh, consider yourself warned.

A Fantstical Challenge

This game is about as casual as it gets. Each stage has a timer, but it’s only there to show you how long each puzzle took to complete. There’s no prize for getting a super-fast time nor is there any massive “CONGRATULATIONS” for doing them either. Completing a puzzle is its own reward in Glass Masquerade. However, each puzzle has a “normal mode” and a “challenge mode” The puzzles have the exact same amount of pieces, so the challenge isn’t piecing together smaller or crazier parts, but the challenge is so much simpler than that, and, surprisingly, so SO much harder.

On normal mode, each piece will fit with the other pieces just the way that it is. Just pick it up and go. The challenge mode has a much more sinister trick up its sleeve: the pieces must be rotated before they will fit in the puzzle. Now, if you’re looking at these screens you can plainly see that these shapes are CRAZY looking. I’ve had a hard enough time getting the pieces to fit when they’re just the way that they are. To give you a good idea of how hard the game understands this challenge to be, each stage gives you an estimate of how long it should take on each respective difficulty. On about any stage, the average time it expects you to take on a normal difficulty is anywhere from ten to twenty minutes. The same stage on challenge mode? Forty-five minutes to an hour. It’s brutal.

Losing Track of Time

But you know what? I found myself playing it for hours! The peaceful nature of putting together puzzles like this was wonderful for me. Every time another puzzle was finished I would immediately move on to the next one. Part of it was wanting to finish the game, but part of it was wanting to see what the next image would be. It’s an addicting little cycle, but thankfully, I have a family that has needs and wants to see me occasionally. So I had a good system to make sure that I wasn’t getting too lost in it. Personally, it has been a nice break playing this over the last few days.

Pros

  • Very Relaxing
  • No pressure to go fast
  • Images are surreal and interesting to look at

Cons

  • Hard Mode is insane
  • Not a ton of replayability for me
  • SO. MANY. CLOWNS.

Verdict
Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions is a pretty good puzzle game that will keep you occupied for a decent amount of time. For the price tag, it certainly gets you more time with it than you’d think. But uh… beware the clowns.
3/5

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