Features

PuzzleMe™ has the most advanced features of any online puzzle experience. Click on a tab below to know more.

PuzzleMe™ games support multimedia in the form of video, audio and images. Depending on the game type, media can be embedded in questions, clues, grid, backdrop, or other game elements. Our puzzle player provides a smooth media experience on devices of all sizes, with the ability to zoom into an image or video if needed. You can always include attribution and copyright messages for any media.

Multimedia Puzzles

For today’s mobile-driven world, PuzzleMe™ provides a great user experience on mobiles and tablets for all its games. The games have a responsive design that easily adapts to any device and form factor. Games like jigsaw are natural and intuitive on touch-based surfaces.

Mobile UX

Sharing is an important feature of game playing. PuzzleMe has in built sharing controls, so players can share games and scores with their friends using familiar tools and methods.

Social Sharing

The PuzzleMe™ creator interface allows easy creation of games. However, if you already have an archive of games or you prefer to construct them in some other application, then you can use easily upload the games into PuzzleMe. We support a range of file types.

Content Upload

PuzzleMe™’s native analytics dashboard enables you to gain detailed insight into the performance of your puzzles.

Analytics

Accessibility

Thinking of online events or making your puzzles more engaging with scoring? PuzzleMe™ makes it possible. You can organize online events, end-to-end, using PuzzleMe with support from Amuse Labs. You can set up scoring rules for your Smart Games as well.

Contests and Scoring

You can customize PuzzleMe™ to make your game represent your style or brand using the built-in game themer. Easily incorporate custom colors, fonts, and your masthead into the games, and provide an on-brand experience for your users.

Theming

PuzzleMe™ has several inbuilt pickers that can be used to publish and display new puzzles in an embedded iframe. Pickers are useful in a publishing model where the publisher embeds a single iframe once, and then games appear in the picker automatically when their publication time has passed. This enables you to pre-load puzzles in advance. Puzzles can be organized into separate folders (called ‘Series’) and a picker can be used to allow users to choose between games in a specific series.

Picker Styles

Image Clues:

With PuzzleMe, the entire backdrop of a game can also be set to the imagery of your choice, as you can see in the speeches’ puzzle below.

Click here to play this crossword puzzle and figure out where Homer disappears. And remember you can use images to enliven other games, like Word Search, Sudoku and Kriss Kross as well.

Video Clues:

Whether you are a professional constructor or a novice, you can use PuzzleMe to enliven your puzzles with video clues. Expert puzzle constructor Will Nediger added some video clues to his puzzle, “Pivot to Video” using PuzzleMe (self-referentially, the video clips are about crosswords themselves!). You can use YouTube links for videos (with the ability to start at a given time), or provide other video formats, such as mp4.

The video clues can also have some text and/or media components. This is particularly helpful if you need to serve offline or print users as text clues can then be retained without depending on multimedia.

Audio Clues:

PuzzleMe games can incorporate audio. For example, this crossword is about famous speeches from American history. While this one from Morning Brew incorporates advertising jingles.

You can also include audio as part of the overall game experience – by playing different sounds when a user enters a correct or an incorrect answer. Or you could introduce sounds in the start, pause or completion messages.

PuzzleMe default Pickers.

List Picker: The List Picker displays a certain number of games in a vertical arrangement. As a creator, you can mention the day and the date of publishing, title of the game and a subtitle. Here are some examples of list pickers: The Daily Beast displays the game title along with the date and the constructor name. The Times of India teases users with an intriguing clue, while Vulture does both. Others like The Washington Post simply release games chronologically.

Calendar Picker: For a large archive of games published at a daily frequency, the Calendar Picker is useful. It visually represents each day’s game on a monthly calendar view allowing the user to pick any game based on the date. See the Vox calendar picker for an example of this picker.

Group Picker: This picker is used when a number of games are logically grouped together, as in The Washington Post’s Mini-Meta puzzle. In this format, Monday to Saturday mini puzzles are grouped together to form a meta puzzle that is solved after all the minis are completed.

Dateless Picker: This picker is useful when games are published sporadically or are not associated with a date. You can use this picker to publish games in categories such as by theme or author name.

Custom Picker: You can also build your own picker and embed games one at a time if you wish. This approach is used by The New Yorker and McKinsey, for example.

The pickers can reflect the user’s progress, score and time taken.

PuzzleMe Feature - Mobile UX and Session Mobility

With an optimized on-screen keyboard and a clue bar, even large grid-based games like crosswords are solvable in compact screen sizes. A clue list view allows you to scan all clues easily, and you can even input answers next to each clue. PuzzleMe takes care of the synchronization between the clue list and the grid.

PuzzleMe games can also be integrated into native apps for iOS and Android. View the native mobile apps of The Guardian, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, or The Washington Post for game experiences powered by PuzzleMe. The digital experience extends to e-paper editions for publishers too, for both current and archival puzzles. Explore The Irish Times e-paper app in which you can go to any edition of the paper and click on its image to solve the same puzzle interactively.

Session mobility

PuzzleMe provides a smooth user experience across devices while playing a game. A user can begin a game on desktop and continue it on mobile, or vice versa. To make session mobility possible while ensuring user privacy, PuzzleMe associates game play with pseudonymous identifiers. No personally identifiable information (PII) reaches the platform.

PuzzleMe Feature - Sharing

All users playing games using PuzzleMe can use the platform’s native sharing options. On desktop, users can directly share on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter with a default message or write their own. On mobile, PuzzleMe can invoke the sharing tray with all the installed sharing options, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Slack, text messaging, and so on. Users can also copy their results without opting to share through an app.

Pictured alongside, the WordroW game allows users to copy and share their results with progress. The ‘Share’ button publishes results with a series of gray, yellow and green circles reflecting the number of attempts used.

PuzzleMe Features - Upload and Import

With PuzzleMe, you can upload a single file using a simple drag and drop interface, or even bulk import multiple puzzles. Several file types are supported, including .xml, .jpz, .puz, .txt and .csv files.

For our Quiz and trivia games, you can upload a questions-and-answer bank from a CSV file reducing effort in typing in questions, answers and options. This allows you to manage your own database using spreadsheets or some other system. Word Flower, Word Search and WordroW games can be bulk imported from CSV files as well. 

In addition, SFTP upload can be provided for select customers to upload their files, along with the ability to automatically set default metadata fields and publication time based on the name of the uploaded file. All these features make it easy to manage your content library both within PuzzleMe and outside.

PuzzleMe Features - Analytics Dashboard for tracking and optimizing

With PuzzleMe, you can track usage of your games with an analytics dashboard. It provides you with a thorough breakdown of how your users interacted with a puzzle. You can view this information from the dashboard, for a single game or all games in a series. You can filter by a specified time range, or by browser / device type information. You can also see how many users started a game, how many completed a game, and how many printed it out. For grid based games, you can see a heatmap of the grid which reflects which parts of the grid were the hardest. You can also download data for all users who played a game in a CSV format.

In addition to the analytics dashboard, we can also send you periodic email reports right into your inbox.

PuzzleMe Features - Accessibility

PuzzleMe has made special efforts to take care of accessibility. 

For example, you can use voice-over mode to read out clues and the currently filled-in letters for that word in the grid. With speech recognition, users can feed answers into a game with voice input and even navigate a word-based game. PuzzleMe uses color-blind-friendly colors. Users can toggle between light and dark themes according to their preferences. We provide the option to print grid-based games with dynamic font sizes. 

At Amuse Labs, we are passionate about languages, and work to support as many of them as we can. PuzzleMe™ supports over 22 languages and we are constantly working to add more. The platform also supports a right-to-left mode for crosswords and other grid-based games. This means it can easily run Arabic, Urdu and Hebrew games. Our own compact on-screen keyboard for mobile devices is available for most of these languages, including phonetic transliteration keyboards for Indic languages.

Supported Languages

Currently, PuzzleMe supports the following languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, French, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Chinese, German, Slovak, Italian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew, Afrikaans, Chinese, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali and Tamil.

Click here to see demo puzzles in some of these languages. And if your language is not listed above, please get in touch!

If you’d like to see live sites with PuzzleMe games in action, go on to LudikLudo (French), Der Standard (German), Paulo Freixinho (Portuguese) or Clases de Historia Y CS. Sociales (Chile – Spanish).

We work with language preservation and cultural organisations like Rekhta and Samskrita Bharati to offer games in Urdu and Sanskrit respectively. Our crossword magic fill engine is the only one to support the automatic construction of grids in languages with complex scripts, like the Indic languages.

PuzzleMe Features - Contests and Scoring

PuzzleMe provides puzzle creators with the ability to set points in a game for scoring. The scoring factors in a user’s completion progress, the duration to solve and the times they took help.

If you are thinking of organizing events and contests, then the platform can support them well. You can disable any ‘help’ features, providing a true contest experience for the user. In this mode, PuzzleMe by design uses a secure mode that hides answers from the user’s browser. Thus, even a technically sophisticated user will not be able to look into the code for the page for any answers. The creators of course receive full access to the player IDs and their respective scores in the creator dashboard. Subject to privacy considerations, creators can collect the names and email addresses of the participants. View this section for more.

PuzzleMe Features - Theming

PuzzleMe enables you to set a beautiful visual theme for your puzzles that matches your brand. Each puzzle type has its own parameters for theming. For example, while making a crossword puzzle, you can set a distinct font for clues and the grid answers along with primary and secondary display colors. You can even set the thickness of grid lines and apply a color to the mobile keyboard. For the print feature, a masthead can be assigned which will be placed at the top of the printed puzzle. Even if someone leaves the puzzle lying around in a coffee shop, it should look beautiful!

Amuse Labs can support specific advanced customization requirements in PuzzleMe using custom code. Write to us to make a request.

Crucigramas

Crucigrama with a Spanish style crossword grid layout

Some puzzles in European languages do not use clue numbers to associate clues with answers, but instead have column and row numbers. PuzzleMe can support this “chess numbering” format easily for any language including Spanish and French.

El Pais, a leading news publication in Spanish uses PuzzleMe to run several types of games in Spanish, including crucigramas, mini crucigramas, sopa de letras and sudoku,

Mots croisés

French style crossword puzzle (Mots croisés) from Acadie Nouvelle

Acadie Nouvelle, a French newspaper in New Brunswick, Canada, uses PuzzleMe to run French puzzles in 2 series: a daily 12×12 puzzle, and a larger subscribers-only, 20×20 contest puzzle on Saturdays. Acadie Nouvelle directly enters their syndicated print puzzle into PuzzleMe’s puzzle editor to make it playable online. It takes 15 minutes a day to enter a puzzle, and many weeks’ puzzles can be entered in advance. The puzzles automatically go live at the scheduled publication time, so that no management of the crossword page is needed on a day to day basis. Click here for the live “Mots croisés” site.

Palavras Cruzadas

Slovak crossword puzzle with clues written inside the grid
A Slovak style crossword puzzle created on the PuzzleMe platform

In some crossword formats, clues are written directly inside the grid (see image on the left for a typical Slovak puzzle), sometimes along with arrows. This layout is sometimes called “arrowword” (or “Mots Fléchés” in French). While it is suitable for a large printed page, it is difficult to read on small screens. Such puzzles can automatically be reformatted by PuzzleMe to a regular format to make them playable online (see image on the right). The clues are written outside the grid, but the grid layout and clues are exactly the same.

Click here to play the Slovak puzzle pictured alongside or here to play a “Palavras Cruzadas” puzzle in Portuguese. These puzzles have both been reformatted from the original arrowword.

PuzzleMe supports an extensive list of ways in which you can customize the grid. Using options related to the void cells, colored cells, cell backgrounds, and more, constructors can create new, unique, thematic and innovative grids for their solvers.

Innovative Grids

A crossword puzzle from Listener Magazine, created in the shape of the map of India

Seen alongside is crossword puzzle on India that ran in the BBC’s Listener magazine in April, 1930. Its grid is shaped like a map of India and the clues and answers are a wonderful reflection of the subcontinent’s history (including the archaic British spellings).

The online version illustrates PuzzleMe’s support for odd-shaped grids (using void cells), cell background colors, and barred grids. Click here to play it online. You can also see the original puzzle in the Listener’s archives. (Puzzle content (c) Listener magazine.)

With PuzzleMe, grid cells can have many decorations, such as circles, thick walls and even images.

This Spyscape crossword is an example of a puzzle with an image in the grid. You can insert an image into a grid with the PuzzleMe editor.

With PuzzleMe™ you can insert any messaging you wish at the start of a game, at the end of a game, or when the game is paused. You can even embed images, videos or sound clips in these messages.

Customizable Messaging

PuzzleMe Feature - Custom Messaging. Add an image or custom text in the start, pause, or end message of a crossword, word search, quiz, jigsaw, and other Smart Games.

You can easily set up your messages in the PuzzleMe game creator. Each publication or author uses this in a different way. For example, The New Yorker crosswords include their iconic cartoons in their pause and completion messages. The completion message links a featured reference in the puzzle to a related article from their archives as a way of driving deeper engagement into the site. The messages may contain HTML, so this space can also be used for a sponsor’s promo elements or an embedded video.

PuzzleMe can invoke a video pre-roll to a VAST-compliant ad server (such as DFP video ads) before a game is loaded. For effective implementation of video pre-roll, see The Washington Post crosswords.

Word search puzzles

A 2 layered, large word search puzzle with a cryptic message

This is a large word search puzzle from Auspac, Australia. It illustrates PuzzleMe’s ability to have unusual shapes and holes in the grid for word search puzzles (also called “WordFind” in some countries). The hole could optionally be filled with an image, instructions, a sponsor’s message, etc.

This is also a 2-layered puzzle, which makes it more fun than normal word search puzzles. Finding all the words in the grid, and reading the remaining letters across the grid reveals the phrase “Climbing trees in the park”. Click here to play a live version.

Word search with clues

A word search puzzle on famous Indian cricketers, with their pictures as media clues

PuzzleMe Word search has another twist: it can include clues as well. So instead of directly listing words to find in the grid, you could have multimedia or text clues that players have to solve first. Try this word search with pictures of famous Indian cricketers from yesteryear!

The Morning Brew newsletter makes excellent use of word searches with images. Try this puzzle on dog breeds or this puzzle on car logos.

PuzzleMe™ has a unique feature that enables multiple people to solve a puzzle simultaneously. We call this feature Social Play, and it is available for all supported game types.

Social Play

When on a puzzle, to enable social play, users simply click on the navbar’s multi-player ‘person’ icon to add another user to the puzzle. They can invite friends with a link that can be sent along any social sharing channels, or via a short invite code.

While playing, each player’s cursor is represented with a unique color. On desktop interfaces, players can also chat in real time using the chatbox icon at the bottom right.

A special streaming mode is also available that allows a player to stream their gameplay to watchers. This feature is used by tournaments such as Boswords and Lollapuzzoola.

Wordoku and Picdoku

Wordoku and Picdoku

A wordoku puzzle made from the letters of the phrase GANDHI 150
A pictorial sudoku (picdoku) created with images of patterns (instead of numbers)

Lest you think Sudoku is just for number geeks, try this Wordoku puzzle where the rules are the same as Sudoku, but the letters are changed to GANDHI 150! The Hindu ran this puzzle to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150 birth anniversary. With PuzzleMe, you can solve Sudoku puzzles with any other letters or even emojis.

Also shown alongside is this Picdoku puzzle with patterns instead of numbers. Play sudoku with your own set of personalized images!

You can easily convert any Sudoku puzzle to a wordoku or picdoku puzzle using the PuzzleMe editor. Our sudoku tutor will work with these formats too!

PuzzleMe™ has many more features. Feel free to login and explore the platform. We can provide other word or logic based games on request. Please contact us to discuss how PuzzleMe can help you.