I’m doing a little bit of a different take on the “fantasy board game” theme this week. This is a puzzle, but one whose artwork speaks directly to the D&D parts of my fantasy gamer soul.
The Magic Puzzle Company (side note: always reminds me of the company names from the Zork series) makes a unique style of jigsaw puzzle that’s more than what it appears on the box. Jigsaw puzzles at their most basic level are a milquetoast, time-eating endeavor of pattern recognition, sorting, and awkward geometry whose ultimate goal is to conclude: “Yeah, that looks like the box alright.”
But not these puzzles.
The Puzzled Patron is among the latest batch of thought-provoking jigsaws from a team that has rejected the premise that the puzzle is done when it matches the picture. It’s hard to talk about exactly how it does so without revealing spoilers, so it’s best left to discover on your own.
But I will say that it adds a new twist to the puzzle you’ve spent hours poring over, makes you rethink the scene you’ve been exploring in detail, and provides a moment of revelatory delight that this form of entertainment is just not known for.
This entry into their series of wimmelbilder-style puzzles (I’ll share more about this term soon, it is likewise delightful) is a scene common to fantasy settings: the tavern. A spacious fantasy eatery is hosting a “Battle of the Bards” event, and everyone is invited—with the notable exception of the goblins, who appear throughout the puzzle trying to sneak their way inside. Tropes, pop culture references, and easter eggs abound, as it typical of Magic Puzzle Company’s offerings.
The art style is joyous and vibrant, and the puzzle is deliberately cut such that no details are awkwardly interrupted. Pieces are often cut in evocative shapes or amusing geometric patterns. Oh, and if you’re the type of puzzler who starts by assembling the frame, fair warning: flat edges don’t guarantee you’ve found the perimeter of the puzzle.
If you’ve got a rainy day and don’t want to merely assemble a picture, consider The Puzzled Patron as an excellent example of the Magic Puzzle Company’s unique style of more-than-a-puzzle puzzles.
Or check out the entire selection of Magic Puzzle Company jigsaw puzzles on Amazon.
Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share our absolute favorite bonus tools for “puzzles that take more than one sitting to assemble”, which these definitely are. Completely optional, of course, but we love them, and fully stand behind the recommendations.