STAFF REVIEW of Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions (Xbox One)

Friday, February 21, 2020.
by Kirsten Naughton

Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions Box art Have you ever wanted to plop down on your couch or bed after a long day at work and just play a puzzle game to unwind? I know I need something to relax from a busy day, whether it be popping in my headphones, free writing or playing a relaxing video game. Onyx Lute released Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions and I have to admit, I was interested right away. I usually love any game that doesn't require me to aim and fire at something. It also gets bonus points if it's engaging

Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions is one of those games that you will either like or not right away, without much middle ground. I personally am leaning more toward the 'don't like' part though. I will be talking about what I do like in a bit, but I'd like to get the negative out of the way first. It's not that I think Onyx Lute did a poor job, that the gameplay is horrible or that the graphics aren't good, I just feel like it's not my cup of tea. It may be someone else's though.

At its core, Glass Masquerade 2 is a puzzle game where you match all the puzzle pieces to complete a stained glass mosaic picture and end the level before moving onto the next. I found it very mundane, and although I wasn't expecting anything phenomenal or outrageous, there was a lot left to be desired after I played a handful of levels. The background music although there, wasn't present enough. If the music changed a little, it would have kept me a little more engaged and awake. Plus, scrolling through the puzzle pieces can be a little frustrating with the controller as after a while, they look all the same which made me a little frustrated.

I had gone through changing the difficulty from Normal to Hard and was quite confused as to what the true difference of the difficulties were. They both acted the same way as the other and Hard mode didn't really make the puzzle drastically harder. I expected the glowing puzzle shards to disappear and you'd just have to figure out what to do from scratch instead of getting the first ten puzzle shards handed to you on a silver platter. Although all of these reasons to me are enough for someone to possibly be completely turned off of Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions, I went back for the beautiful graphics and art style every time even though the overall gameplay experience didn't grasp my attention.

The overall gameplay is pretty simple. You select the puzzle you'd like to play and before you even press "A" to enter in, you can see how many shards comprise and make up the puzzle itself. If there are about 30-35 pieces, depending on how quick you are, you will probably be complete the puzzle in roughly 20 minutes. Personally, I had more of a problem seeing the actual puzzle even sitting up close to the TV. So, that may have been my main struggle and why I took so long. I absolutely love the detail and the complexity of the puzzles, but on the other hand, as I mentioned, having trouble seeing the small pieces was a little bit of a letdown.

As you select your shards, your pieces are already pre-determined for you as for the position, so you can't rotate the piece at all. I found this to be a little irritating because sometimes it's really hard to see where the lines all meet up and thus takes much longer. When you choose the wrong spot, the shard will go back to the place you picked it up from. When you choose the correct spot, it will sit in place and make a click noise. When complete, you will be able to see your work of art that you put together, which I found that to be a really nice detail. Regardless of my feelings toward Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions, I can't deny that Onyx Lute did very well with the graphics and art style. I love it when a developer puts their all in a game. I can tell that whomever was behind the visuals did their job well, from the main menu to the puzzles themselves; everything is colored perfectly.

Each puzzle changes the theme or artwork presented, so you'll never be bored in that perspective. There are 31 puzzles for you to get through. I thought at first that it would be a piece of cake to complete each one, but as you get into the later levels, you find out as the puzzles progress that they get harder and the shard count goes up. I'm very happy that Glass Masquerade 2 wasn't a one trick pony that kept everything at a certain amount of shards.

The amount of content is within is quite decent and I have no complaints with regards to that, especially since most puzzles, unless you're a puzzle wizard, will take you about 20-35 minutes to complete. I'd recommend this game to anyone who can see past the mundane nature of a puzzle game with a few quirks here and there. As for me, I'll leave the shards right where they are for now.

Overall: 6.4 / 10
Gameplay: 6.5 / 10
Visuals: 8.5 / 10
Sound: 4.0 / 10


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