Wednesday, March 26, 2008


While glpuzzle is good enough at the very limited thing that it does, I suspect gCompris (reviewed here) offers a similar 'game' that, at the very least, offers a few more pictures. glpuzzle is a jigsaw-puzzle program; it comes with twelve photos, ranging in difficulty from 4 - 25 pieces. It was hard enough to take me a whole minute and a half to finish the one with 25.

Obviously, I'm not the target market for the software - I hesitate to call it a game - but even for five-year-olds, it's a bit lackluster. It works perfectly, but with only twelve photos total, someone with basic motor-skills and decent vision/pattern recognition would maybe be able to kill thirty minutes with this. A few of the photos are so busy I suspect the uber-young, who are the only people who could benefit from the game, would have difficulty solving them.

It seems like you should be able to add photos, and create your own puzzles, but there's no mention of that on the website and the photos are in some proprietary-to-the-software format that Gimp doesn't recognize. To nit-pick and add insult to this poor programmer's injury, the sound it makes when you connect a piece made my nerves crawl. I may have had the volume up too loud.

In short, throw it on our PC if you want to amuse your pre-school aged children for a bit, but don't expect it to hold their attention for long. As mentioned, gCompris has a gazillion things that would serve to sharpen the same skills, in a more aesthetically pleasing package that also offers tons more. I don't recommend glpuzzle for anyone over the age of four.

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