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Play Storytelling Puzzle Game Illustrated Now on Apple Arcade

Puzzle out Van Gogh paintings in this Apple Arcade game, out today.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
Expertise Web hosting, operating systems, applications and software Credentials
  • Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents
Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Zachary McAuliffe
Shelby Brown
2 min read
Illustrated title card showing two jigsaw pieces with different images on each. One jigsaw piece shows a window on the outside of a building, and the other shows a girl clinging to the neck of a sea horse.

Unwind a little with this puzzle game.


Illustrated, a puzzle game that has you piece together works of art and tells the story of each piece, is now available in Apple Arcade. If you subscribe to Apple Arcade ($5, £5 or AU$8 a month), you can play this game free of cost, ads or in-app purchases.

Developed by BorderLeap, Illustrated features hundreds of pieces of artwork from artists around the world, and each is transformed into a puzzle. Masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh are also available as puzzles, as part of a collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to celebrate the museum's 50th anniversary. At first each work is hard to make out, but as you place more pieces in their places, the illustration becomes more clear.

Illustrated gives you two ways to solve each puzzle: the traditional way, which the game calls Illustration Mode, and Story Mode. In Story Mode, the artist's story and inspiration for each illustration is written on some of the puzzle pieces. This gives more insight into the artist and their work, and it's also helpful if you get stuck and can't figure out which piece goes where.

This game is very peaceful to play, and a great way to unwind from a long day or week. While puzzling itself can be relaxing, the Illustrated soundtrack is ethereal and feels like a warm hug for your brain. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a few deep breaths and find my corner pieces for this next puzzle.

Apple Arcade adds new games and content updates every week. If you're interested in trying Apple Arcade, you can get a three-month free trial with the purchase of a new device, or one month for free if you're signing up for the first time. Open the App Store and tap the joystick icon at the bottom of the screen to launch the service. 

Watch this: What You'll Find on Apple Arcade