Hidden Shapes: Black Skull + Old West - Review - Xbox


QUByte Interactive are back with another new release! This time it's another game in the Hidden Shapes series developed by YAW Studios. This release is a collection with two beautiful and relaxing minimalist hand-drawn jigsaw puzzles that have two varying themes to choose from. This time its "Pirates" or "Cowboys". I previously reviewed the Animals + Lovely Cats game in the series. You can watch my review it below:

This release is pretty much more of the same in terms of gameplay, but this time there are a handful of improvements that make the whole package that much sweeter. Gameplay wise, your task is to complete a variety of jigsaw like puzzles by spinning squares around into the correct alignment in order to complete the image. The images are simple white line drawings on a black background and when completed they will reveal a scene. Earlier levels feature smaller amounts of squares but as you progress through the game you will end up with around a hundred squares in a single image. It's a simple premise, but its a relaxing and enjoyable use of a few hours.

The first improvement over the previous release is the themes. For me cowboys and pirates was much more interesting than lovely cats - now I know that's personal preference but it definitely opens this type of game up to more potential players. I also liked how the pirates side seems to have some kind of ongoing story playing out throughout its puzzles, with each one progressing on from the last - compared to the random images used in the original game. It doesn't really change the gameplay, but it is a nice touch that gives you something to work towards. You now want to complete the image to see what happens next!

Each of the two games contains twenty different puzzles to complete. There are also two versions of each puzzle (one harder than the other), so that's eighty puzzles to complete all in. That's alot of content to get through and will easily take four or so hours to work through. The achievements are pretty straightforward and are linked to completing each of the puzzles/finishing all of the puzzles. It's not the quickest completion for achievement hunters out there, but its a nice relaxing completion where you can just chill and walk away with another 1000g.


If you're struggling with the puzzles, you can just press the Y button and this will show/overlay what the completed picture should look like. This makes it much easier to complete and it's nice that this kind of accessibility option has been included. Another improvement added in this game is the auto-complete button. As you complete the puzzles you will start to be awarded auto-completes. By pressing the X button the puzzle will be instantly finished for you. This is useful as you progress and the puzzles get larger and more complex, especially if you're trying to go for the achievements.

Overall Hidden Shapes: Black Skull + Old West is a big improvement over the last release in the series. It builds off everything that worked well in the first game and with the new additions and improvements makes it a much better experience. While the art is simple at times, it's always nice to see the scene brought into full colour once the puzzle is completed. The new themes are much more interesting and along with the theme matching background music tracks I had a very relaxing but fun time playing through all the puzzles twice. The game is also available at a fantastically affordable price considering how much content is on offer. Obviously it's never going to be the most exciting style of game, but if you like puzzles and jigsaws then you will really like this offering! TOTAL SCORE: 8/10

Hidden Shapes: Black Skull + Old West was released onto the Xbox store on the 25th August 2022. It's playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The game is priced at £3.29 and can be purchased HERE.


A copy of the game was provided for this review. A big thanks to the publishers for that.

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