Jigsaw: Two Escapes and a Town

Three new puzzles to add to the stack! Two more from Ravensburger’s escape puzzle series and one from a new brand I tried called Dowdle. Got lots to report on!

Curse of the Wolves
Manufacturer: Ravensburger
Pieces: 759

This was our second puzzle in Ravensburger’s new escape series that Christina and I tried.

The puzzle was surprisingly brutal to assemble. Even though the final puzzle has some pretty clear differentiation between sections, the individual pieces were difficult to sort, as most pieces had some combination of dark gray, dark green, and dark blue. After knocking out the light blue background area, we had to fall back to quite a bit of trial and error.

Once assembled, I really enjoyed the puzzle part of this one. The puzzles were more difficult to spot let alone solve, and I spent a long time scouring the puzzle for details that’d help me solve the final puzzle.

The final answer on this one was a little too obvious. Christina and I always start with the border, and by doing that we accidentally put together the two halves of the secret solution before completing the border. That took a little bit of the wind out of our sails when solving the rest of the puzzle.

Overall the puzzle wasn’t as fun to assemble as the Vampire’s Castle in the same series, but the puzzles in the image were good which makes this a worthwhile solve.

Manufacturer: Dowdle
Pieces: 1000

It’s always interesting seeing the variation between manufacturers, and there’s a lot Dowdle does that I really appreciate.

For one, the puzzle has a high variety of very unique shapes, which Christina and I both like since it gives us another way to match pieces, changing the overall nature of the puzzle solving experience.

For another, the pieces on this puzzle stay together with an uncommon grip. I can actually pick up the entire puzzle and hold it vertically without losing a single piece, which is pretty cool.

The puzzle was also surprisingly easy to solve. There’s a lot of blue and white in the buildings, but there are enough unique structures that can be assembled and placed based on the box’s image.

Both of us really enjoyed this one, and there was the added perk that one of the people depicted in the puzzle is supposed to be a distant relative of Christina’s, so we had a little bit of a personal connection too.

The Observatory
Manufacturer: Ravensburger
Pieces: 759

Our third experience with the escape puzzle series took some of the pros/cons of the other two. Like the Curse of the Wolves, the solution was incredibly apparent when we were assembling the border. Even by just looking at the photo, you can probably figure out what the final solution is going to be.

The puzzle was reasonably easy to put together. It helped that the books are positioned the same as on the box’s image, meaning that one of the more difficult parts of the puzzle could be solved much more easily.

The puzzles were more apparent and obvious than either Vampire’s Castle or Curse of the Wolves. It was the only one of the three that didn’t require me to study for a long time before identifying all the puzzles. That has its pros and cons, but personally I prefer a little more of a challenge to keep the fun going after finishing the puzzle.

I’ve really enjoyed each of the three I’ve done in this series, and I’m thrilled that Ravensburger has made a bunch of these.

Piece total since 3/20/2020: 6527

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