Travel pic puzzles

Take a brief tour of Western European sites with this simple but diverting puzzle game.

Adore Puzzle is an interesting combination of virtual picture puzzles and visual travelogue. It depicts historic scenes and attractive views of the countries of the Western European seaboard, beginning in England and progressing through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. Each puzzle has two modes: Puzzle, in which the pieces can be moved to any position, and Slide, which works like a slider puzzle where players must slide squares around to form the picture. The puzzles get progressively harder as you travel, and the game keeps track of your moves and time.

Adore Puzzle is a substantial download, and the colorful interface and high-definition images bear this out. We created a player ID and clicked Play on the main menu. The main interface resembles an old map of Europe with national flags over the countries that are part of the tour. We clicked Play, and a pop-up puzzle opened with a gridded picture of London's Tower Bridge displayed. A curtain descended and withdrew to reveal a scrambled image. We started dragging the squares around, and those that fell into place displayed some sparkle effects. We clicked the button labeled Switch To Slide, and the display changed to the slider game. Like the puzzle, the slide functioned smoothly. Since you can only slide squares in two dimensions, the Slide game is a bit more challenging than the Puzzle, or at least it takes more moves and time. When we'd solved the puzzle, the game moved us on to the next country and the next level of difficulty. We could touch the large green Hint button to briefly restore the whole image. The only Options were a full-screen checkbox and selectors and level controls for music and sound effects. Clicking Scores opened a table listing top players and their scores.

Adore Puzzle certainly proved diverting and challenging in the old school way, with brainteasers instead of ammo supplies and body counts. One issue: The map accurately depicts Corsica as part of France yet manages to include the Republic of Ireland with the United Kingdom, an unfortunate oversight. Other than that, it's a fun and challenging diversion.

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