Are you out of virtual office game ideas? Think again, there might be a blast from the past that will keep everyone engaged. I am talking about jigsaw puzzles, or in today’s scenario, virtual jigsaw puzzles.
We all recall being occupied for hours fitting puzzle pieces by the drawing behind the box.And now, in this tech-driven world, virtual jigsaw puzzles are a great way to pass the time. If you want to have a great time with your colleagues, online jigsaw puzzles are your go to.
This blog will give you an idea of the best virtual jigsaw puzzle games and how you can host one for your team.
1. What is a Virtual Jigsaw Puzzle?
Jigsaw puzzles are a centuries-old pastime consisting of pieces that have to be combined or rearranged to fit and create a picture. The very first jigsaw puzzle was made by London mapmaker John Spilsbury in the 1760s. Most puzzles have instructions or helpful hints to help the players move the pieces.Virtual jigsaw puzzles are the online multiplayer or single user versions which are played via a phone or a computer with internet access. Some games and apps can be downloaded to play offline with teammates and friends.
Virtual jigsaw puzzles are fun and range in complexity. The individual playing the game will have various pieces of the same structure. The pieces will be designed in different shapes. He/she has to fit the scattered pieces together and form the picture.
2. Best Websites to Play Virtual Jigsaw Puzzles
2.1. Microsoft Jigsaw
Microsoft Jigsaw is one of the best free jigsaw puzzle apps available in the market. All you need is a Windows tablet or a computer that supports both mouse and touchscreen controls. There are themed puzzle collections that can be unlocked by completing puzzles. You can even buy them with in-game coins. There’s also the option to create your own puzzles. You can do that by uploading an image from your mobile or by clicking an image.
The best thing about Microsoft Jigsaw is its Jigsaw Jam mode, which makes solving a puzzle more of a race against the clock than a slow-paced activity. Another thing that we like most about this game is its Xbox network connectivity. Players can earn Xbox Achievements for playing.
2.2. Jigsaw Planet
Jigsaw Planet features thousands of puzzles on the website. You can find them either on top lists or by searching in the toolbar at the top of the site. All the puzzles can be played within the website’s window or in full-screen mode. The game doesn’t require you to download or plugin to play the puzzles.
What we like most about Jigsaw Planet is that the puzzles work well on every screen size and automatically adjust the size and number of puzzle pieces. And also, you don’t need a membership to play the puzzles. But you’ll need one if you want to rate the challenges.
The GamesGames website has thousands of free puzzles that can be played directly from any popular web browser such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. There are various themes as well like food, cities, Disney characters, etc. Moreover, you don’t have to download any plugins or apps.
Each jigsaw puzzle on the site has three difficulty levels to choose from. The easiest ones have fewer larger pieces while the harder ones have several smaller pieces.
2.4. Jigsaw Explorer
Jigsaw Explorer is another free online jigsaw puzzle website. It features puzzles in an easy-to-read style and has almost no ads.
To play the puzzles, you can type the category in the search bar. Users can also upload their own images to the site to create new puzzles that can be shared with friends.
We had our stint with Jigsaw Explorer last summer. The layout was great. We just had to scroll through the website and explore all the puzzles. Moreover, the puzzles also showcased the popularity level, so we could choose better. However, there weren’t many categories to choose from, so the limited selection was a bit disappointing.
2.5. Jigsaw Puzzle
Jigsaw Puzzle has a mix of free jigsaw puzzles and also a number of paid puzzle packs. The website has HD resolution for all of its imagery and also allows you to specify exactly how many pieces you’d like to have in a jigsaw via a slider.
When downloaded, the app comes pre-installed with several puzzles. You can even download the rest of the library with the tap of a button.
Players can sync with Facebook to record their progress. The platform allows you to work on more than one puzzle at a time and supports puzzles with hundreds of pieces.
2.6. Magic Jigsaw Puzzle
Magic Jigsaw Puzzles is by far one of the best-designed free jigsaw puzzle apps in the Google Play Store. The app has an interactive interface and you can begin playing without the need for navigating through multiple menus or screens. The app has a range of puzzles that can be purchased. The lowest package is valued at $1.45.
New jigsaw puzzles get added at least once a month. Players have the choice of downloading puzzle packs that suit their individual tastes. What’s more, you can create puzzles with 650 pieces and play with your friends.
JigZone has a dynamic layout and showcases many puzzles. All you need to do is move your mouse’s cursor over the background images to select a puzzle and choose a difficulty level and begin playing.
However, one drawback is that the game is not mobile-friendly and it doesn’t support touch gestures at all.
2.8. Ravensburger’s Puzzle
This puzzle has a simple setup. All you need to do is go to the website and decide if you’d rather join an active game or start a new one.
For instance, if you choose an active game, it will show you the percentage completed, the number of pieces, and the players currently playing. Otherwise, if you start a new puzzle, you’ll have to start from the beginning. The game has color-coded tiles, the black and white tiles represent the pieces that need to be put together and the colored ones represent the completed ones.
We gave this game a shot as well. Five of us logged in to the website and chose a category. The website showcased the rules of the game such as the 3 minutes time limit and limitations on moves as well.
Before entering the game, we gave our names, country details, and email addresses. After the game started, the pieces started moving and it took us about 1 minute to get the image in our minds. But with a team, we managed to complete the puzzle within the next 2 minutes.
The team and I enjoyed every second of the puzzle game. It definitely kept the discussion going for a long time!
All you need is to sign in and create a profile to play jigsaw puzzles in Jigidi. There are a variety of puzzles that you can choose from.
You can even play without signing in. But you won’t be able to save your progress or chat with the community behind the site. The site allows you to create your own puzzle as well.
JSPuzzles offers a plethora of puzzles. Starting from 9-piece puzzles to puzzles with 100 pieces. Moreover, the site has a lot of categories. Users can even create their own puzzles.
You can compete with others. Besides, there’s also a leaderboard that lets you compare the time it takes you to complete a puzzle with the best time so far, as well as the average times.
3. How to host Jigsaw Championships for your remote teams?
Hosting a jigsaw puzzle event can be a great team building event. Here’s how you can conduct a jigsaw puzzle championship:
3.1. Pre-plan the schedule and assemble the players
Firstly, you need to plan the event. And to have a proper plan, you need to take care of a few things:
- Set the date of the puzzle event.
- Select the invitees and send them invitations via email or phone.
- Choose a virtual meeting platform such as Zoom, Skype, etc.
- Choose a few online jigsaw puzzle games. You can even take the help of the participants.
- Arrange for food and beverages. Or you can ask the members to bring food of their choice.
- You may even set a theme for the party and choose jigsaw games based on the theme.
3.2. Divide the players into small, equal-sized groups
After you have planned the event and invited the participants. You can create groups or teams of players who will be competing. Following that, you have to inform them about the teams. This can be done via email or over Whatsapp or any other media.
To make it more lively, you may give creative names to the teams and also define the roles and responsibilities of the members. For instance, every team can have puzzle masters, team commanders, etc.
3.3. Give each team a different jigsaw puzzle with the same difficulty level
On the day of the event, you have to share the jigsaw puzzles with the teams. You can take help from the websites or apps and send puzzle links to the teams. All you need to do is look through the websites or apps and find the best puzzles. Following that, you have to explain the rules of the game. Some websites even let you create your own puzzles.
You should have a list of puzzles for each phase of the event. And, you must ensure to keep the difficulty level similar for each team. With every phase of the event, you can increase the difficulty level.
3.4. Set the time limit and let the fun jigsaw event begin
When everything is said and done, now is the time to start the event. You can set the time limit for each phase and eliminate one team after each phase. It will notch up the competition. Ultimately, the team that finishes the final round first will be declared the winner.
4.1. Is doing jigsaw puzzles good for your brain?
When you play a game of jigsaw puzzle, it helps in improving your focus. Moreover, it assists in enhancing the problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills of the individual. So yes, like brain teasers, jigsaw puzzles are also good for your brain.
4.2. What is the best free jigsaw puzzle app?
Rather than one, there are various top virtual jigsaw puzzles. Some of which are:
- Microsoft Jigsaw
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Magic Jigsaw Puzzles
- Ravensburger’s Puzzle
4.3. How do I host virtual jigsaw puzzle events for free?
Here is a rundown of the steps to host a virtual jigsaw puzzle event:
- Set a date for the event.
- Invite the participants in due time.
- Select the virtual jigsaw puzzle games.
- Choose a virtual meeting platform such as Zoom or Skype.
- Create teams and give them names.
- When everyone joins on the event date, convey to them the rules of the game and enjoy.
4.4. Do virtual jigsaw puzzles actually help with team building?
Jigsaw puzzles are a great team building exercise. It allows participants to interact with each other and get into a friendly competition while they put the pieces together.
4.5. How many people can play puzzles together?
There is no limit to the number of people who can play virtual puzzles together. But there are certain websites that have certain constraints. For instance, ‘Puzzle Together’ supports only 5 people at a single time.