The "going up" foam jigsaw puzzle line from Wrebbit, Inc. makes its digital debut as part of an ongoing CD-ROM series. Each standalone release focuses on an architecturally significant building, with players able to manipulate pieces on a scrolling felt table before positioning them together in 3D space. The puzzles also offer multiple levels of difficulty, influencing the number of pieces available to build the structure. Options include adjustable sorting trays to store fitted pieces, three levels of zoom, and the ability to view a full-screen reference picture. Notre Dame Cathedral is notable for featuring an interactive twist: once players complete the puzzle, they will be able to explore the multi-floored interior and participate in a mystery involving ghosts and a Gypsy girl.
Puzz-3D: Notre Dame Cathedral is the first entry in a semi-successful series of compurized versions of "Puzz-3D," Wrebbit's line of 3D jigsaw puzzles. As with the other titles in the series, Notre Dame is basically a 3D jigsaw game with some "extras" - in this case, the ability to walk inside the Notre Dame Cathedral once you finish building it.
You build the cathedral in sections, each of which you can store away in a tray before the final assembly. You can combine pieces in overhead 2D perspective like any other jigsaw game, or in 3D perspective to see how they fit together. There are multiple difficulty levels, and the easiest level is well suited for kids - although by no means easy. The pieces will 'snap' together once you bring the right ones together, so there is no pixel hunting here.
Once you have completed the entire cathedral, you can walk around inside and even read up on its history. There is unfortunately no real reason to go back and re-do the puzzle once you have completed it, though, but at least you will have fun while it lasts. Unlike later games in the series, Notre Dame Cathedral has no "meta-game" you can play once the jigsaw is done (Orient Express for example has a sort of mini-adventure game full of puzzles), but the puzzle has enough pieces that it will occupy you for many hours. The graphics is excellent, the interface intuitive, and the jigsaw itself is fascinating once completed. If you enjoy jigsaw games, you will probably like this fun PC version of a very cool 3D jigsaw. Recommended, but check out later games in the series if you want something with longer play value and varied puzzles.
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Puzz-3D: Neuschwanstein Castle, Puzz-3D: Orient Express, Puzz 3-D: Victorian Mansion, Puzz-3D: Thomas Kinkade, Pandora's Box, Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion, Lemmings Chronicles, The (a.k.a. All New World of Lemmings), Pharaoh's Ascent
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