Mosaic Chronicles isn’t your typical jigsaw puzzle game. Forget the usual puzzle piece shapes, with their tabs and holes; here, you’re assembling pieces of stained glass, and what at first seems like a superficial distinction changes the nature of the game to a surprising degree. The smooth edges of the pieces tend to follow the natural lines of the artwork and the walls between different panes of glass, and even when a single large pane is broken down into a few pieces, they don’t lock together in the familiar way. Usual jigsaw approaches like starting with the edge pieces or matching pieces by the way the image lines up don’t really work here.
Instead, it’s all about finding clues in the way some of the more intricate sections of the glass slot together, or looking for the telltale signs where a single large pane has been split into a few different puzzle pieces. With those in place, you can figure out the rest through a process of elimination and a little bit of trial and error. It doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot that a really good jigsaw puzzle can, especially once you get inside the puzzle designers’ head a bit and figure out the patterns, but they’re enjoyable enough to solve, with a couple of different difficulty options for people wanting a bit more or a bit less challenge.
The stained-glass aesthetic also gives each puzzle a beautiful, ethereal look—which sits in contrast to the comical nature of the story they depict. Mosaic Chronicles is based on Olga Gromyko’s A Bit of Horoscoping, and across 13 puzzles, it tells a humorous riff on the timeless tale of a knight’s quest to slay a dragon and save a trapped princess. The “dainty” princess is anything but, and the knight’s method for defeating the dragon is a … unique one. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s good fun, and allows for some lovely mosaic designs.
That sums up Mosaic Chronicles as a whole, really: it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a lot of fun, and makes for a nice little time-waster to have on your phone. There’s more of it on the way, too, with plans to add a second set of puzzles based on Gromyko’s A Lovely Knot to the mobile versions at a later date (they’re already available in the Steam version). If you want a fun little distraction to kill some time on a train ride—or during a dull Zoom meeting—Mosaic Chronicles is a decent choice.