It doesn’t get more zen than jigsaw puzzles, and we can all use a little of that: Join the Hearts
Grandma’s garage had shelves and shelves of ancient, semi-flattened jigsaw puzzle boxes, which I’d paw through on long summer days at her place as a kid. (There was a certain stress involved because you never knew if there were pieces missing…) I left puzzles behind with Barbie dolls because who the hell has room for all those boxes and then there’s the terrifying risk of pieces escaping through split box corners, thus making it impossible to ever get true jigsaw satisfaction. When I tried my first puzzle on an iPad using Join the Hearts yesterday, at least I knew all the pieces would be there. And none of them were upside down either. Remember what a bitch that was?
I was utterly unprepared to enjoy it as much as I did. The last time I did a jigsaw puzzle I was probably 14. I didn’t plan to finish this puzzle (what a waste of time, right?), but I did. And it gave me half an hour of pure, mindless, zen, which is a rare and beautiful thing in my life. Exceedingly rare. And much needed. Plus I truly didn’t feel like I was using a tech thingy.
Join the Hearts has only gag-me cute overkill puzzles to choose from, and they’re all holiday themed. But it’s a free version of Join It, which has a better selection, so you can test this app to see if you even like doing virtual puzzles before you have to commit. You should be able to find one that doesn’t put you into a diabetic coma.
Choose a puzzle, choose the level of difficulty (number of pieces) using the slider at the top. This means you can make a super-easy puzzle for a bored munchkin if you happen to have one (the app was kid tested, kid approved by the developer’s own six- and three-year olds).
The puzzle is generated, and you double tap it to fling the pieces to the sides. Then drag and rotate the pieces. When they get to their spot, they snap into place, so you don’t have to align them perfectly, which would make me insane.