Review: Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions

At a Glance

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Ages 6 and up
Genre: Puzzle
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2019
Reviewed Version: Illusions-2.1.1-STL-149-RV288
Review Published On: February 22nd, 2020
Played on: Thaddeus

Available from:

Steam

Save System:

Your progress is saved whenever you return to the map or main menu. This means that you can stop playing at any time, even in the middle of a puzzle, and come back to it later whenever you want.

Should you want to pause the game, press ESC or click the gear in the upper right of each puzzle to bring up the game's pause menu.

Summary of
Major Issues:

Many of the puzzles depict scary or surreal images that might be frightening to younger players.

Screenshots

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Assembling a mirror

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Flirting with Temptation

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Probably one of the scarier puzzles



Game Overview

In the original Glass Masquerade, you wandered the world, viewing various regional exhibits and reassembling stained glass clocks. Glass Masquerade 2 follows a similar but slightly different path. Instead of travelling around our world repairing clocks, you're now exploring a larger dreamscape and repairing stained glass mirrors in the hopes of untangling yourself from the strange dream you've found yourself in.

The most noticeable way this changes things is that each puzzle begins with a cryptic question and ends with an equally surreal answer. Additionally, the images depicted by the stained glass puzzles are also generally dark and bizarre, making this game the feel like a huge Halloween edition of the first game, and as a fan of the macabre, I definitely enjoyed that detail. However, this isn't everyone's cup of tea, so if you're concerned about spooky or Halloweeny things, then you might want to give this one a pass.

Gameplay wise, things are much the same as before. You have your shards around the puzzle, and put them into place one by one. This time around, you can also trigger a more difficult variant of the current puzzle by clicking on the Difficulty button in the lower right before you start assembling the puzzle. There's really only one difference between the normal mode and hard mode: in the latter, you'll need to rotate the pieces.

Overall, I'd say that this is a well-made follow up to the original. If you enjoyed it and aren't put off by the more unsettling subject matter, then you'll likely enjoy this one too.

Points of Interest

Another world to explore
Much like the first game, you're limited to playing puzzles that you've reached via the various paths on a map. However, this game takes place in a dream world, so instead of wandering through familiar countries, you're taking a tour of an imaginary landscape.

Also, unlike the DLC packages in the original game, which added the new puzzles to the existing map, the Temptations DLC adds the new puzzles by opening up a new region for you to explore. If you have this DLC, then you can start it at any time by jumping to the first puzzle in that region.
Steam community features
While there are a slew of achievements and a set of Steam trading cards on offer, they're a bit underwhelming. The achievements are simply earned for completing each stage (on any difficulty) or a set of stages (on hard). So, if you really wanted to, you could just play through the game once on hard and earn all of the achievements in one go.
Minimal story
Possibly the only real complaint I have with this title is that the game itself doesn't explain why you're wandering around in this surreal dreamland. There's a brief cryptic statement shown as the game begins, and then you're more or less left to your own devices. If you want a clear explanation of the story, you'll need to check the game's Steam store page, and that's not really where you should be looking for information like that.

Concerns and Issues

Scary images
It looks like a lot of the dreams you'll be exploring are nightmares: everything has a darker and scarier vibe than you might expect. Then again, the game's promotional art showcases a stained glass window depicting a group of evil clowns, so maybe you would expect a game full of creepy.
Half-Human Monsters
The Temptations DLC features a series of puzzles based on different types of supernatural women. Vampires, mermaids; that sort of thing. Each puzzle is entitled "She who can ____", and the last word hints at what sort of hybrid character is going to be shown. That's not what I expected "temptations" to be themed around, but that's what you get.