Daylife in Japan – Lo-Fi Jigsaw Jams

This title stuck out to me while I was browsing the eShop in a daydream state. Daylife in Japan… yeah that’s somewhere I want to be. Oh, it’s a jigsaw puzzle game? I almost lost interest but after watching the trailer I was sold. It had a comfy animated pixel art street vibe and the music was relaxing and thoughtful. Perfect. It’s not often I would buy a game on the aesthetic presentation alone, but for $1.50 why not?

I could feel the initial stages of disappointment forming when the game’s opening controls explanation had errors in the formatting. It bluntly has no main menu or structure, just throws you into the puzzle. The feeling of disappointment progressed when I tried to move a puzzle piece. These controls brought me back to reality, slow and unsatisfying. There are two speeds where you can drag and move pieces, and they both suck. It’s like playing an FPS on really high sensitivity with an analog stick. I can’t hit a thing.

Come on mate, get in there. The music is nice but these controls are making me appreciate real puzzles even more. Real life hand controls are pretty reliable, and I can play any music I want in real life too. This wouldn’t do. I took the Switch out of the dock to see if touch screen would be any better. Does it even have touch screen controls…? Thank goodness it does! I could now move puzzle pieces at any speed by dragging them with my finger.

I busted out my Mario Maker stylus for extra precision, and this was starting to feel good. Soon I was holding the left stick while dragging pieces at the same time, like a strategy RTS pro. Ooooo yeee this is moving along nicely!

This game had a couple of nice extra features you wouldn’t be able to do in a real puzzle. Holding ZL will let you see all the edge pieces, ZR would shuffle them. The fact they are animated also makes the strategy easier, as the moving pieces stick out with a lively throb. Then there’s the best feature of all… it’s impossible to lose a piece! Of course it’s a tradeoff because you don’t get to enjoy the tactile sensation of the soft connected click when a piece slots in, or the desperate scramble under the table when you think a piece is missing. Maybe they could add that as an optional mini-game feature.

After the initial struggle, I honestly had a decent time solving the first puzzle in this game. In total there are five which isn’t many (with 5 difficulty levels in each), but the high detail of the animation makes up for it. The finished product looks fantastic and lively, and the one single song in the game is pretty solid. Here’s a clip I posted on Twitter if you want to see it in motion. It’s more of a “mood” than a game. I’d recommend this game only if you’re a bored hipster weeb who doesn’t mind playing in handheld mode. If you complete all five puzzles you get the added bonus of imagining you’re in Japan next time you close your eyes.

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