Puzz3D - Victorian Mansion - Box

Puzz3D - Victorian Mansion
              - Neuschwanstein Bavarian Castle
              - Notre Dame Cathedral

Ages Kids to Adults

You probably have seen these puzzles in their actual corporeal form in art stores. They are attractive architectural models of buildings; a Victorian house, King Ludwig's Disney-like castle, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. These 3D versions allow you not only to construct the buildings, but when completed, allow the you to enter into the building, explore the spaces, unravel some mysteries and solve some additional puzzles. But be advised. These are for serious puzzle players. To enjoy it - don't play it like a game but like you played those old fashioned cardboard ones. Put it on your computer, play it a your leisure and don't expect to finish it overnight. See a puzzle player's comments and hints following this review.

The puzzles have various levels of difficulty from which to choose; setting the number of pieces which can range from 150 to 700; allowing rotation or no rotation of pieces; permitting overlap and having the pieces presorted by color and providing a wireframe guide to aid in placement. The designers tried to make the puzzle easier to solve. It is still hard, and I am waiting for the kid's version.

Once you've completed the building you enter the Exploration Phase. The interiors are well rendered, the story and characters almost good enough to stand as a separate game. There are four games within the mansion - three puzzles and book with questions, and you will need to find all eight answers to solve the mystery. It's almost too much.

...and from reviewer Jennifer R. on theVictorian Mansion

I thought everyone knew that a large table was required to do a puzzle. Not these designers. They designed it so only a quarter of the puzzle pieces are visible on the screen. They could easily have fit more in, because at the average monitor resolution of 800 x 600, the game only uses a third of the screen.

My frustration was putting together the building, but luckily there was more to this game. After putting together the one of the Victorian mansion, you are allowed to explore the inside and meet the intriguing family that lived there. Your goal is to solve the two murders by looking for clues, watching reenactments, and solving small puzzles.

The inside of the Victorian has beautiful stained glass windows and other graphics, but feels barren and empty. You can't interact with any of the characters, just watch short movies of them. The plot and characters are as good as any Agatha Christie book and the mystery is challenging to solve.

Here are my hints for enjoying the game and avoiding frustration:
1.Start with the easiest puzzle first (150 pieces) even though it may hurt your pride. It teaches you where the pieces go, so the other levels are much easier.
2. Don't miss the wood puzzle in the basement; it's fun!
3. Live in a Victorian, so you'll appreciate all the historical movies shown throughout the house.

Reviewed by Genevieve

  • © Wrebbit 1998 $24.95
  • Windows95/98, Mac System 7.5 or higher

    Other Puzz3D games: Neuschwanstein Bavarian Castle and Notre Dame Cathedral