To revamp the traditional jigsaw puzzle and turn into a fun and thrilling game that can be experienced on a tablet – that was the challenge in designing Puzzle Axe. The game replaces cardboard pieces with colourful animations, immersive sets, and an epic story. In this new-generation puzzle, enigmas pile onto the pieces, leading to plenty of surprises for players. The picture comes together, but it’s never the same picture. Welcome to puzzles 2.0.
Puzzles, with pieces made from cardboard, wood or 3D foam, are constantly evolving but remain a classic game. Puzzle Axe provides a new twist. The concept, that is, building something that is in pieces and seeing it take shape, is the same, but the interactive version also tells a story that evolves as the pieces are brought together.
The person behind Puzzle Axe is François Veillette, a puzzle enthusiast who wanted to create a game for the fun of it. “I’ve always liked puzzles,” he says. “There are lots online, but their potential is often not fully used. In the end, puzzles are simple but very effective. As soon as you decide to make a puzzle more poetic, with a world full of special creatures and moods, it becomes magical, and you capture players’ interest.”
With this project in mind, François Veillette called on illustrator Samuel Boucher and scriptwriter Pascal Brullemans. “The colourful creatures and completely crazy world created by Samuel immediately inspired a story,” says Pascal Brullemans. “Puzzle Axe is above all a particular world and a story set in that world.”
In a kingdom protected by two magic axes, the king decides to choose his successor from among his two sons, whose personalities are diametrically opposed. Following their presentation to the oracle, one of the sons refuses to accept that he has lost the throne: he steals one of the magic axes and destroys the kingdom, reducing it to pieces. The player who embodies the brother must reconstruct the kingdom piece by piece.
“Unlike traditional puzzles, Puzzle Axe is dynamic, with animation between the pieces and unique interactions,” points out illustrator Samuel Boucher. “We worked a lot on building this world, creating moods through music, developing intricate sets, and creating characters. That’s what makes players grow attached to the story and the experience. That is the power of an interactive game delivered on a tablet.”
Puzzle Axe is based on the traditional jigsaw puzzle, but requires careful consideration.
In each panel, there is an enigma to solve. For example, you need to assemble a torch to light other rooms in the puzzle or find a way to move forward in a long passage filled with flies.
Players must make several attempts before they find the mechanism that allows them to complete the puzzle. Though the game requires careful thought, Puzzle Axe is designed for players in all age categories. Whether you’re 5 or 77 years old, your approach to the game will be different.