Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Daily Inspiration Through Daily Bible Jigsaw {A TOS Review}

I love playing games on my phone. When I need to have some time to myself to relax, this is one of the things I enjoy doing the most. I also enjoy completing jigsaw puzzles. Though, I haven't had the time to do so in ages. When I learned of the Daily Bible Jigsaw app from Planet 316, I was quite intrigued. Not only could I sit down for some "me-time" and solve a puzzle, I would also be able to be inspired by a daily Bible verse. 

Daily Bible Jigsaw is actually a free app that is available from the Apple App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android, and on Facebook on your Browser. I had no trouble downloading it from Google Play for my LG phone. As reviewers, we received the 500 pack of coins, which normally sells for $39.99, to give us a chance to use the different features in the game.

Each day there is a different 30-piece puzzle to solve. If you don't use any of the helps, and only play one time a day, no coins are used. On the phone, the puzzle pieces are manipulated by a simple touch and swipe. In order to rotate a piece to make it fit, you just tap it. Each tap rotates it one quarter turn. I love that you know for sure that a piece fits with another piece because it attaches. If it doesn't attach, you know it doesn't fit. I don't know about you, but when doing a physical puzzle, it can get confusing at times when it appears a piece is supposed to fit, and later on you discover it doesn't. While playing the game, one piece will "sparkle" for several seconds. If you get it attached to another piece before it stops sparkling, you will win one coin.

Once the puzzle is complete, streamers appear to celebrate, the lines from the puzzle pieces fade away making an unlined image that is overlaid with an inspiring Bible verse. After tapping anywhere on the picture, another screen appears and you are given the opportunity to see where you rank compared to any Facebook friends who also play, and share the image on Facebook. Then you go to your calendar and a new piece of a puzzle fills in an image. This image will be complete once the month's worth of puzzles are solved.

Okay, so now you have some idea what the Daily Bible Jigsaw is all about. Everything I described above can be done without using any coins. However, we now want to look at the different features that are available if you choose to use coins. Some coins are provided when you first download the game, and some can be earned, though to use coins on a regular basis, you would probably need to purchase coins.

So, let's take a closer look at the game.

When you first open the app this is the screen you will see:

After clicking play and seeing a hint, the day's puzzle pieces appear on the screen in a random fashion. Just like you dumped a puzzle on the table, except none of them are upside down (with the bottom of the puzzle showing, instead of the image).

Let's take a closer look at top bar for a minute.

From left to right we find:
  • The number of coins available. In order to purchase coins you would click the green plus sign.
  • Rotate button: This rotates all the pieces into the correct orientation and they can not be accidentally re-rotated during the game.
  • Guide button: This will give you a quick glimpse of the finished puzzle, though the timer continues to count down while you look at it. 
  • Sweep button: This sweeps all unattached pieces to the sides of the screen.
  • Magnet button: This attaches one random piece to another. 
  • Edges button: This removes all the inside pieces and leaves you with just the edge pieces.
  • Timer: Shows how much time has elapsed since you began. You can pause the game by clicking the blue pause button.

When I am doing a puzzle I always like to start with the edge pieces. This is how I was taught to do physical puzzles. It costs two coins to remove the inside pieces. They just disappear from the screen until the outer border is complete, then they reappear. This is so much easier than having to pick out the edge pieces yourself, as you would have to do with a physical puzzle. It also helps as it keeps the screen from feeling too cluttered.

I also opt to use two coins to rotate the pieces into the correct orientation. That is, if I am in "competitive mode," which I most likely am. A puzzle can be completed a lot faster when all the pieces are facing the right way. It's just a matter of finding the piece it attaches to.

Once the border is complete, the inside pieces appear randomly on the screen, so I choose to use one coin to sweep them to the sides. It really does make it easier to complete the puzzle, especially because otherwise most of the pieces will be hiding underneath the puzzle, as you can see below.

I usually don't use the Guide or Magnet tools, unless I am really stumped about what a puzzle is supposed to look like. Granted, I would be more likely to use the Guide, to catch a glimpse, if I hadn't rotated the pieces. Sometimes, when they are all turned around, it is hard to figure out which piece should fit with another without knowing what the puzzle is supposed to look like. I admit, when I do a physical puzzle, I always have the puzzle box right in front of me to know what the completed image looks like, so it is a little weird going about it blind. The Guide tool uses two coins. 

The Magnet tool is the one I use the least. I would rather complete the puzzle myself. That said, once again, if I didn't rotate them, I might find the Magnet of more use, if I was particularly stumped. The Magnet tool only takes one coin to attach one piece though.

All in all, I usually use five coins per game. Unless I decide to replay the game to get a lower time (competitive...remember).

Once the puzzle is complete, we celebrate for a couple of seconds.

The following screen appears, showing the time it took to complete, how many stars were earned, and where I rank. There is the option to replay or click "Next."

There are times I will replay one or two times, trying to beat the scores. Other times, I decide, nah, second (or third) place is good enough. The thing is, at first I thought I could replay as many times as I wanted without using up my coins, as long as I haven't clicked "Next." The reason I thought this, is because if I have already closed out of the app for the day, but then choose to redo the puzzle, it will say that you need to pay three coins. However, on the screen above, where it says replay, there is no icon that indicates coins will be needed. If I had been paying better attention to my coins, I would have noticed this sooner, but I was just under the assumption that it wouldn't because of the lack of coin icon. Lesson learned. 

Next, we are given the option to share to Facebook, which I always do. I love being able to share a little bit of encouragement and inspiration (and cuteness).

Then, I click on "Calendar" which takes me to the calendar for the month. 

At the beginning of the month, only the pieces of the image that don't fit under calendar dates are shown. As we complete puzzles throughout the month a new part of the picture is revealed. See the cute little green puzzle character? He is coming onto the puzzle to fill in April 25th. 

Another aspect of the calendar page, is that you can see how many stars you have earned each day, plus your time, by clicking on the little calendar on the bottom left of the calendar.

Here is my completed March 2017 Calendar Puzzle Image:

It is fun revealing more and more of the image every day.

If you miss a day (or days), you can go back and play the puzzle; however it will cost three coins. You can even go into the archives and choose from as far back as September 2016. Personally, I would rather use my coins to use those few helps I use each day. Once I am out of coins, I will only be able to get more through the awards that are available and the daily bonus piece (if I happen to join it in time). We make it a policy in our home that we do not pay money in game apps.

By pressing the "Awards" button found at the top of the Calendar screen, you will see the awards you have already received and the ones still available. Here were some of the first ones I received. The first three are earned quite quickly and you get some coins for each (I admit, I don't remember how many I received for these beginning awards, I don't believe it was more than 5). 

You get awards and coins by completing puzzles (total puzzles and a certain amount of each of the days of the week), and by completing them in under certain amounts of time (15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute). It doesn't appear that you get more than 10 coins for most of these except for the two shown below. You get 25 coins for completing 500 puzzles, and 50 coins for completing 1000 puzzles. Even for solving a puzzle in under 1 minute you only get 10 coins.

As much as I love this app, I really, really wish there were more ways to earn coins. This is once again due to my competitiveness. Those who wish to solve a relaxing puzzle, should have no issues. Once I have exhausted my coin supply, I am not going to be able to earn coins until I have solved 100 puzzles (which would mean using coins to do archived puzzles or waiting 19 more days), and the next level after that is 250 puzzles! I can also earn coins by solving 25 puzzles for each day of the week. Granted, when I hit week 25, I will earn 35 coins that week, 5 each day. But, after that, the next level won't be until the 100th week, that is more than 2 years! I am not sure if it counts if you do the puzzles multiple times a day, but then you are using coins to replay in order to earn coins. 

I have already received my awards for solving in under 15, 10, 5, 3, and 2 minutes. If I ever finish one under 1 minute I will earn those 10 coins. But there is never a chance to earn those awards or coins again. 

I really wish there was some way to earn coins daily, by completing some sort of challenge perhaps. I think it would be great if the awards earned for solving puzzles under a certain amount of time would not be a one-time award. Maybe even an award for solving without using any of the helps and finishing under a certain amount of time. I don't look forward to the day when I will be all out of coins, because it will be quite a while before I will receive more. And I do so love being able to use those few tools I mentioned. 

Most of the time, I am the only one who plays the app. My older girls do like to play, but I usually play while they are in bed. Besides, in order for each of the girls to play (Harold would still be a little young), I would be using 9 coins a day, plus more because they would want to use the help tools as well. 

I mean, they really do enjoy playing:

Daily Bible Jigsaw is a fun app. As I mentioned, I love to be able to have that bit of me-time, and I love doing puzzles. The images have all been lovely, and the verses are inspirational and encouraging, plus they complement the picture quite well. Just be aware, that if you would like to have more than one person play it per day, it will end up costing you money eventually.

As you can see, the lowest amount you would pay would be $1.99, and that would get you 20 coins. We received 500 coins, which would normally be $39.99. And 780 coins would cost $59.99. I got excited when I saw the "Earn Free" button, but was disappointed to realize it meant I would have to download another game. So, I remain content with the coins I have, and will try to use them more sparingly as I go forward.

If you enjoy playing on your phone, and enjoy puzzles, this may just be the app for you. If you aren't one who has time for games on your phone, it could still be beneficial for your children. As I mentioned, it is a bit tricky for my youngest, Harold, who is only 5 years old. But all of his sisters are able to complete the puzzles, and they are 7, 8 1/2, and 10. Solving puzzles is definitely a beneficial skill for children to have, and with this app, there are no pieces to lose. Once the verse has appeared, they can have some reading practice. You might even choose to have your child memorize the verse, or write it out. Daily Bible Jigsaw is definitely one of the apps that gets used daily in our house. Check it out, and don't forget, when using just the basics, it is free! And if you are one that doesn't mind paying money for apps, the bonuses of the help tools are very neat.

You can find Planet 316 on Facebook and Twitter.

Don't forget to see what my fellow Crew Mates thought of Daily Bible Jigsaw! Just click the banner below:

Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}
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