English Title: Marl de Jigsaw
Japanese Title: マールDEジグソー
Publisher / Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Genre: Puzzle
Released: Nov. 15, 2001
Product Codes: SLPS-20128 / JAN 4995506000264

There's scarce few games as cute as Nippon Ichi's Marl Kingdom series. From the central themes of love and friendship, to the over-the-top musical numbers, everything about them (apart from Ryoji Nomura's sometimes overly-sexualized character designs) screams childish fun aimed at young girls. Of course, that doesn't preclude enjoyment by anyone else, but you'd best go in knowing what to expect.

Marl de Jigsaw crosses the world and characters of Marl Kingdom with their lesser-known but also long-running jigsaw puzzle series. In fact, this is the *fourth* jigsaw puzzle game the company released. It turns the solitaire table game into a hectic arcade game where you race an opponent to complete a set of simplified puzzles the quickest, while using special attacks to hinder the other player. If you've got two evenly-matched opponents who like puzzles, it's actually quite engrossing.

Even if you don't like puzzles that much, there's still a lot of value to be found here. Completing puzzles in any mode will unlock them in a gallery, and there's more than 200 illustrations -- many of them production art or otherwise unpublished -- which can be browsed at your leisure. As an extra bonus, this limited edition goes one step further and includes a complete four disc soundtrack of the two PS1 games. It may seem like a fan-service cash-in at first glance, but it still comes together as a really cool package that any self-respecting Marl Kingdom fan should own.