Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions Review

Assemble spooky images to haunting music in Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions, the sequel to the stained glass beauty of the original Glass Masquerade.

Format: PC via Steam
Total play time: 10.5 hours (hard difficulty)

Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. A partially completed puzzle of a woman dancing

Released Feb 27th, 2019 by Onyx Lute

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Quick Overview

Major Pros:
  • Spooky atmosphere
  • Haunting music
Major Cons:
  • All puzzles are circles
Minor Pros:
  • Normal and hard modes
Minor Cons:
  • Mouse input confusion when picking up pieces
Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. Practically completed puzzle with a key motif

Rings around the puzzle can be rotated to see overflow pieces for large puzzles

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In-depth Review

Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions is the second in a line of jigsaw-puzzle-esque games featuring beautiful stained glass puzzles. Players can work through 30 puzzles on either normal or hard difficulty. Puzzles unlock steadily in a web and completing all the hardest puzzles on the furthest reaches of the web unlocks the final center puzzle. After completing each puzzle the player will receive a short, which may or may not have some connection to the image.

Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. Puzzle featuring frog people with large teeth. The text below it reads: it's easy to think you're at the center of the world if the sun rises to the east of you and sets to the west of you. it's more difficult to accept that, no matter where you go, the sun will keep doing the same thing.

Puzzles feature folklore creatures from around the world

One of the big differences from the original Glass Masquerade (see review here) is that each puzzle in Glass Masquerade 2 can be completed in two difficulty modes. In hard difficulty, the player has to rotate the pieces to find the correct orientation while in normal the pieces are automatically at the correct rotation. In both modes, the pieces do not show the colors unless picked up or in the puzzle, just like the original Glass Masquerade.

Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. Barely started puzzle showing the hard difficulty mode popup estimating 60 minutes per puzzle

I found hard mode puzzles to take more like 20 minutes

Another big change from the original Glass Masquerade was that all base-game puzzles are circles. This was a change I wasn’t very fond of. I imagine this was done to make the game more challenging, but I enjoyed the creativity of the unique puzzle shapes in the original game. Alternatively, the change may have been done to fit better with the rings around the puzzle that hold the pieces. Speaking of which, I had some difficulty in this game with trying to pick up pieces sometimes rotating the rings instead, or immediately setting the piece back down even if I didn’t let go.

Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. A partially completed puzzle with spiraling pieces around the outside

Having all the puzzles as circles makes finding and placing exterior pieces repetitive

Aside from the base-game 30 puzzles, a demo puzzle is available for each of the DLC packs. These packs introduce an additional 8 puzzles beyond the demo puzzle and move closer to the original game with puzzles having distinct outlines. The outlines are not unique or particularly thematic to the puzzles, but given my lack of enthusiasm for the abundance of circles, this is a welcoming sign.

Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. Home screen showing the 30 completed base-game puzzles and incomplete DLC puzzles

The home screen tracks progress

I greatly enjoyed the music of Glass Masquerade 2. I can best describe it as music that would play in a family-friendly movie when the heroes warily venture forth into a dark and foreboding forest. All the puzzles of Glass Masquerade 2 feature spooky Halloween or ghost story vibes which I was very pleased with. However, due to their eccentric nature, many of the puzzle images are hard to decern until the puzzles are nearly complete.

Glass Masquerade 2  Illusions. A puzzle featuring a humanoid moth. The text below it reads: you await something wondrous in the enchanted forest, but when you look for something, you stop noticing the world around you - and the forest is shrouded in expectation.

TODO

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Recommendation

Overall, I felt Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions was a great follow-up to the original Glass Masquerade (reviewed here). It kept with its strong features of beautiful stained glass art and music and expanded on difficulty options. I was disappointed to see all the base-game puzzles with a circular footprint, but they mixed it up again with the DLC suggesting returning to the unique shapes in the future. I recommend Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions to all fans of the first Glass Masquerade game and for those looking for a harder alternative to the original.

Are there other jigsaw-esque puzzle games that you enjoy?
Let me know in the comments below!

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