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Plexus Puzzle: Pirates!

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Rating: 4.4/5 (64 votes)
Comments (66) | Views (8,554)

DoraPlexus Puzzle: Pirates!Ahoy, mateys! Put down yer grog and cast yer scurvy eyes upon the latest jigsaw puzzle from the scalliwags at Plexus and Smartkit, Plexus Puzzle: Pirates! It do be a puzzle o' a different colour than ye may be used to. And, uh... swashes... pirate... stuff.... hrm. Phooey. I'm not a very good pirate. Just as well. "Scurvy eyes" sounds uncomfortably sticky.

If you've never played a Plexus puzzle before, you should know that they ain't your grammy's jigsaw puzzles. Uh... unless you're a grammy yourself, in which case I guess they would be someone's grammy's... nevermind. The pieces onscreen don't combine to form a coherent scene, but rather simply lock together when you match up the edges. Just click and drag pieces around, and click on the transparent circle that appears when you mouse over a piece to spin it. Pay attention to the contours of the pieces rather than the images themselves, and you'll start making connections. In other words, think of the pieces as their silhouettes, and how those might fit together. Just don't expect the resulting scene to make any sense, and warm up your best barn owl impersonation. *painful head tilt*

The puzzle has been revised due to feedback and is now using the old/original engine running the pieces. If you played and rated the game before, please try the new version and re-rate it. We have reset the rating for this puzzle due to the change.

There's been a visual upgrade from the last games, and, while the larger images are nice, they do make the relatively small play area feel somewhat crowded. A larger area to move around in so you could spread everything out would have been appreciated. The edges of the images are also slightly less better defined than they were in previous titles, which can mean connections are a bit harder to make. However, Pirates! is another challenging twist on the jigsaw genre; clever, challenging, and... well, I would say "relaxing", but it's actually quite a workout for your eyes and your patience. So warm up your grey matter, me hearties; you've got a puzzle to solve!

Play Plexus Puzzle: Pirates!


I had to quit before I suffered permanent brain damage. I can't do it.


I dislike there turning system. it feels clumsy, and hard to test out matches.

Scotland Tom April 28, 2010 12:21 PM

Aside from the turning system (which, as Mystify said feels clumsy compared to the arrow keys) there also is nowhere near enough room to spread the puzzle pieces out. Without the extra space it becomes difficult to discern the edges of each piece as they overlap each other.

I liked the first three puzzles (just played through them), but this one is a bit more on the frustrating side.


two problems stand out for me - the first is the rotation system which is much too sensitive and can interfere when you are trying to move pieces. The second is the lack of white space on the board. The older puzzles had more space between the pieces so you could look at them all and evaluate the entire puzzle.


Gotta agree with Mystify. I like the visual improvements, but there was already too much fine-tuning before when there were discrete alignments. I spent 15 minutes dragging and rotating and achieved 1 match. One. I know this is the sort of puzzle that speeds up after everything falls together, but if I tried to finish at this rate, I'd be here for hours!

AceBates April 28, 2010 1:05 PM

I find the idea intriguing, but the way the parts snap together both randomly (visually) and physically (odd unintuitive edge connections) just doesn't do it for me. I found pieces that lined up perfectly, yet they didn't fit together. On the opposite side, I found that there were pieces where just the tiniest sliver of an edge lined up, beyond unintuitive. If it gave me some sense I was heading in the right direction, other than spin, attempt, spin, attempt, repeat for all pieces, then I might have actually enjoyed it.

I got about 4 pieces lined up that actually connected, and well over a dozen other pairs that I thought should have connected, but didn't. I like the idea, but hate the try all combinations feel.


Very hard game.

Let's share our finds :

The blank parchment => the snake

Anonymous April 28, 2010 1:25 PM

The other few puzzles like this were challenging, but they were still fun to play. This one, on the other hand, is too frustrating. Since when did pieces that "fit" have gigantic gaps between them?! Half the fun is searching for the one piece that fits in that weird nook that's left, and this new puzzle degrades it into random guessing. Give me gameplay over graphics any day of the week.

Anonymous April 28, 2010 1:52 PM

It took forever to solve this by looking for pieces that fit, so I came up with a new strategy. I just threw them all in one big pile in the middle, but I would set aside one of the larger pieces, like the pirate in the boat. If you have a match, the piece will light up, so I just hovered that larger piece all around the pile until something came up. If nothing at first, I'd tilt it slightly until I had a match.

LeeshaJoy April 28, 2010 1:59 PM

Count me in as someone else who doesn't find this even slightly fun. I can live with the larger pieces and maybe even the mouse rotation, but the lack of hard edges makes it all but impossible to find a good fit.

Anonymous April 28, 2010 2:12 PM

The blank parchment => the snake => pocketwatch => Pirate in red coat

mstepanik April 28, 2010 2:19 PM

Dynamite box => Lamp

Parchment => Snake => pocket compass => pirate captain.

Hippolyta April 28, 2010 2:34 PM

Open treasure chest => treasure map

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 2:40 PM

Pirate => Gun (right below the pirates boot)

Hippolyta April 28, 2010 2:43 PM

purple scarf thingy => bottom of dynamite box

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 2:45 PM

dynamite box -> pirate captain (below the elbow)


Monkey -> Barrel -> Octopus

Purple treasure chest -> Pirate in peach dress (bottom of the chest to pirate's head/arm)


Found a nice trick to help with the horrible rotational issues in this game. Basically the "rotation icon" that appears when you hover over a piece has a small arrow on it. The trick is that when a piece is 'right side up' the arrows will always be in the same place as the pieces you're trying to connect to. So for instance if you rotate all the pieces so that the arrows are in the top right then you can just start snapping pieces together without worrying about rotation.

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 2:50 PM

dynamite in nook between purple treasure chest and pirate in peach dress


Pirate sword -> treasure map (blade against the end closer to the X; it won't look right until it clicks in, and I found it by total accident.)

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 2:51 PM

octopus -> parrot


I figured something out.

Align everything in the same direction. I used 'up' as in, click the rotation spot and drag straight up. This puts the pieces in the correct orientation to each other. Then maybe try the 'pile and pray' method.

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 2:54 PM

white pitcher above gun and beside captains boot

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 2:58 PM

Monkey on book -> below purple ribbon thing (connected to dynamite crate)

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 3:00 PM

purple treasure box -> parchment paper

Smart-Kit April 28, 2010 3:01 PM

Appreciate your feedback, Jayisgames community!

Will rework the game asap so it plays like older versions (more space, arrow key turning, better defined edges, etc..)


Anonymous April 28, 2010 3:04 PM

Here's the finished puzzle:

HissyKitty April 28, 2010 3:04 PM

Standing Clock -> Pirate Captain


Greg, your trick worked perfectly. As soon as I sorted the pieces the way you described, the puzzle came together in just a couple minutes.

Final gripe: It's utterly obnoxious that, when you click the last piece into place, you can't actually SEE THE FINISHED PUZZLE. Instead, an advertisement for the host website comes up. Boo hiss.


Greg's hint broke this wide open. Was a piece of cake after that.


treasure map => shovel (the x on the map is facing downward; the tip of the shovel is where it connects, just parrallel to the x


I really cannot fathom how this puzzle could be solved without Greg. Even using the hints provided by others here I could not get anything to fit together. Sword? Treasure Map? How in the world?! And on and on and on.

Scottique, you are incredibly right. Even when solving it, there is no satisfaction. A shame, because the former puzzles were intuitive and fun. This was an exercise in confusion.


Completed screenshot:

Thanks to you guys for the hints and thanks to scottique for the warning about the end.



that white puring pitcher thing is inbetween the dynamite box, the gun, the lantern and the pirates boot

phdavoid April 28, 2010 3:28 PM

Octopus>Parrot>white and brown thing in a loop

all of this attached to the bottome of the pistol which is on the bottom of the pirate


shovel=> octopus


skull inbetween octopus, trasure chest and shovel


thanks greg :)


Here's the solution:


guy on boat => cannon


UGH. At last I finish (a feat that would not have been possible without the hints left here) only to be rewarded with an "Argh, matey" and an advert comanding me to visit the creator's website?
Of the many faults outlined here, the WORST is definitely the fact that the pieces do not actually fit together. I thought the flag and the cannon, both having identical smooth curves the same length, would be a match made in heaven, but NO.
A shame, as I would have loved this game, if only it worked.

Wildbreeze April 28, 2010 5:48 PM

Ugh. Difficult, but turned out to be okay, thanks to Ben, who actually posted the thing about turning them all the same direction first. Also, it helped a lot when I figured out that the peices gain a whitish coloration when they can be released to snap into place. :)


Very sorry the new puzzle engine didn't turn out as well as I hoped.

It's being reworked so that it uses the original play mechanics (which will enable the better piece cutting). Should have this up shortly.

Will also make it so you can see the final picture when complete, without the smart-kit.com popping over things.

Appreciate the feedback from the Jayisgames.com community


Why aren't any of the partial solutions in spoiler tags, you guys?

I don't know if I'm going to bother completing this. I loved the previous puzzles of this type, but the new spinning mechanism is ultra-annoying for several reasons:

* You can't pick up and spin at the same time
* I keep spinning when I mean to pick up, especially for small pieces
* Every time I try to spin a piece just a bit, it ends up about 180 degrees from where it started

Combined with the tiny board and "upgrade" to the graphics (they shouldn't be using white on piece edges, yikes), this is more frustrating than fun. I hope they learn from their mistakes this time when making their next puzzle.


Ah, the developer commented while I was typing, it seems. I am very glad to see that this is being reworked. I am looking forward to finishing it then.

Jay & co, you might want to review the next version separately so that it doesn't suffer from the horrible rating that this one got, presumably mostly due to the controls...?


Patreon VIP Chiktionary April 28, 2010 7:57 PM

Ben actually posted the alignment tip before Greg. Thanks Ben. After reading your post I was able to

drag pieces around like magnets and wait for the lights to go on

I wouldn't have finished the game without your pointer.

David Mudkips April 28, 2010 8:27 PM

It's actually very easy to solve on your own once you notice a peculiarity.

All the pieces line up the same way. Grab the turning circle, and drag it to the right. Do this for every piece, and the rotation is done, all that's left is to drag them into place.


It is nice to see that the developer has taken an interest in repairing this game as a result of the feedback received here, and I do realize that not all games are perfect. However, I am in the camp of finding no pleasure in attempting this puzzle in its current state, which as others have said is really a shame because really enjoyed the last ones. I feel that in its current state this one is far below JIG standards (not sure how it got featured), but eagerly anticipate the revised game.

Corridor April 29, 2010 4:33 AM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this version sucked. The previous puzzles were hard but fun. This one is just random and annoying. Apart from the horrible rotation system, the pieces randomly fit together with apparently no regard for actual edge shape, and there are too many blank spaces between the pieces that do fit.

The good thing about their previous puzzles was that they fitted together so snugly. :( No idea what's going on with this one.

It isn't just difficult, it's *unfair*.


It would have been fine had they at least kept the static rotation so there was a chance of getting them right. As the other ones had there were only a certain number of ways to turn the pieces.

I would have preferred to see this more rotatable pieces in the other versions.

Katherine April 29, 2010 7:18 AM

This game/puzzle was a terrible example of its kind and should not have been reviewed here. Thanks to all the commenters who posted spoilers and the final puzzle (unobscured by advertising).


The puzzle is now up with the old/original engine running the pieces.


Ahhh! Thanks for the update on the puzzle! I played the terrible "upgraded" version last night and basically just guessed my way through. This way is much better...there are no huge gaps in between each piece that make you wonder WHY the hell they "fit." I love these PLEXUS puzzles. :)

Scotland Tom April 29, 2010 2:23 PM

The update to the puzzle did it! It now uses the same rotation mechanics as the previous puzzles, grants more white space for work room and doesn't needlessly eliminate the bits of black that really help define the edges of each piece.

Now I can honestly say I had just as much solving this one as I did the originals. Excellent update by the developer. Keep up the good work!


The remade version (using the old engine) is better, easier and more fun, and well up to the standard of other games listed by JIG. The left and right cursor keys rotate the last piece you've touched. The writer even changed the ending animation, taking into account Scottique's comments about it.


I must say I am pleasantly surprised by the fast response, and the new puzzle is now on par with previous installments, having addressed pretty much everything mentioned here.

I did encounter what I think was a bug - two pieces which, when inspected together, clearly matched (this is a good thing - at least even when there's a problem you know when you have it right) did not fit (I tried a dozen times without luck) until I rotated them both and tried again (and they fit first try). The pieces were:

the pirate in the rowboat and the cannon, and the pirate was rotated such that his back was flat against the left hand side of the screen, with his head toward the bottom.

It happened again with the

monkey and barrel; this time I tried rotating one and bringing it back, and it worked.

This didn't spoil my fun, but I thought I should mention it. Also,

a couple of the edges have white on them, meaning that when you try to connect to something else you can see that it must be one an edge.

(Snake's tongue, red-coat pirate's hat.)

I only say this in case the developers are looking to fix it up even more.

I also note with pleasure that

a statistically significant number of objects/people are right-side up (or nearly) when the puzzle is done, if I recall correctly that wasn't usually the case in previous installments. :)

joemomma April 29, 2010 9:09 PM

As everyone else is saying, going back to the old method works much MUCH better.

My only (tiny) suggestion (since I know the author is listening ) is to make the WASD rotate the puzzle too... it's just a more comfortable position for me... but maybe that's just a personal thing.

Anyway, regardless. it's just as good as all the other plexus puzzles now.


Glad you guys like it now; added 'WASD' for controls,and hopefully the other small bugs noted are fixed too,

Thanks :)

sgtdroopy April 30, 2010 8:52 PM

I absolutely loved this puzzle. I think more designers should do things like it.

Katherine April 30, 2010 9:09 PM

Just about need to delete all the comments people left before saying how horrible it was. Moving back to the old engine really made a difference :)

V2Blast May 1, 2010 12:45 AM

Still difficult, but apparently a lot better than the previous version (which I did not get a chance to play). I probably wouldn't have solved it without the many hints I read. I got one or two initially without hints, but was sort of clueless; then I read some hints, got some groups of pieces together, and then fit those groups together, and was able to do most of the rest on my own.

Sumizone May 1, 2010 1:01 AM

Completed image with the old game engine in place:


Patreon VIP Chiktionary May 2, 2010 6:32 AM

Yup, the revamped version is much easier however still a legitimate challenge.
More space to move pieces around and a nice tight fit when pieces lock in together.
I did like the graphics of the original and I do miss the lighting up of pieces when there's a match, but no frustration with the revised version.

It's nice to know that game developers, like SmartKit, listen to feedback and take it constructively. :)


I really enjoyed this, so I looked for more. It seems there's a downloadable you can buy, that runs fullscreen and is higher detail, fixing the two problems with these puzzles.

I went to buy it... oops, windows only. I'm Mac & Linux both. Let me know when you're interested in my money!


Of course the turning and fitting are much smooth now. Much better, though some of the pieces turn a smidge when they are put into place.

I liked the idea of it turning "infinitely" it just did not fit with the obscurity of how the pieces previously fit together. The previous idea worked, the pieces just did not fit well enough for it to play out nicely.


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