Assemble 16 real-world locations captured in stunning detail using cutting-edge photogrammetry 3D technology.
Originally released in open beta on Oculus Quest headsets via SideQuest and the App Lab, developer realities.io inc has officially launched its VR jigsaw puzzle experience Puzzling Places on the Oculus Store alongside a handful of improvements designed to take your puzzle-solving experience to the next level.
Available for $14.99, Puzzling Places on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 features over a dozen one-of-a-kind puzzles to complete, each of which based on a famous real-world location and brought to life in incredible detail using advanced photogrammetry capture.
These aren’t 3D models rendered using computer software, they’re complex recreations composed of thousands of photos captured on-site. As you continue to assemble each puzzle, you’ll begin to hear an immersive soundscape featuring audio from its respective location. The result is a captivating VR puzzle experience in which you literally assemble reality.
“Every puzzle is made with a high resolution Photogrammetry 3D scan that was either captured by our scanning team or by one of our scanning partners,” said Azad Balabanian, Puzzlemaker & Photogrammetry expert for Puzzling Places, while speaking to Oculus. “Typically, the places are captured using DSLR cameras for terrestrial scanning, drones, planes, and helicopters for aerial scanning, and sometimes LIDAR scanners for more complex locations. Each scan consists of hundreds to thousands of photographs which can generate 3D models with hundreds of millions of polygons with incredible detail.”
There are a total of 16 puzzles to complete. As part of its official launch on Oculus Quest, each of the following puzzles are now available in 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 pieces:
- City of Biarritz – Three puzzles of the picturesque French Atlantic coast.
- Cultural Heritage of Armenia – Five puzzles of Monasteries, Fortresses, and Temples from Armenia.
- The Hallwyl Museum – Four rooms from inside a palatial residence in Stockholm.
- Single Puzzles – Four puzzles from traditional Japanese garb to a city in the sea.
It’s amazing to see just how far Puzzling Places has come since its open beta launch in April of 2020. What began as an impressive proof-of-concept has since evolved into one of the most captivating VR puzzle games currently available in VR.
Azad Balabanian’s professional-grade photogrammetry captures are nothing short of stunning, whether it be the jawdropping architecture of the Mont Saint-Michel or the infamous Devil’s Slide Bunker. I’m loving the ability to choose how many pieces each puzzle is composed of. This allows me to better control the difficulty as well as the length of my play sessions. Looking for a quick challenge before dinner? Try completing a 25-piece puzzle of an Armenian fortress. Hungry for a more difficult project? Try your hand at a massive 400-piece puzzle of the French Atlantic Coast.
“In terms of changes, Puzzling Places is a big step up from the Beta in a number of ways,” added Shahriar Sharabi, Programmer, Game Designer, and Art Director. “We put a lot of time and effort into developing the visual style of the game, the accessibility and design, the quality of the puzzles, as well as the technical functionality of the app itself.”
In addition to the jaw-dropping visuals, the ever-expanding soundscape does wonders in immersing you in the each location. I felt compelled to lean in and surround myself in the captivating 360-degree audio. Once a puzzle is completed, you’re then free to resize and inspect your creation from all angles. You can view the finished jigsaw as a miniature or expand it to scale and immerse yourself in the virtual locale.
All-in-all, this is a one-of-a-kind VR puzzler perfect for both experienced puzzlemasters as well as complete newcomers.
Puzzling Places is available now for $14.99 on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets. Moving forward,realities.i plans on introducing additional puzzle packs later this year as well as co-op multiplayer puzzling, with the first update set to arrive shortly after launch.
“We are already working on some super exciting new puzzle packs that will come out later this year!,” confirmed Daniel Sproll, Producer & Developer. “During our Patreon campaign we saw how much people enjoyed these regular updates, so our goal is to keep this up—we’ll be making puzzles as long as people want to play them!”
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Feature Image Credit:realities.io inc