Since stay-at-home orders began nearly a year ago for most of the United States, puzzles and other board games have flown off the shelves. And now that it’s National Puzzle Day, what better way to celebrate than opening a box of puzzle pieces and poring over them for hours?
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We’ve sifted through the reviews for some of the most brain-twisting and beautiful puzzles out there. These are the top 10. Can you solve them all?
Five-hundred-piece puzzles are long, but generally not considered a real challenge – until now. Having an image to reference is often a saving grace with puzzles, but this one won’t do you much good. Gradient coloring forces you to rely primarily on the shape of the puzzle pieces and less on the image you are creating. While it might look daunting on its own, reviewers said it was fun to do with friends (i.e. quarantine pals). Additionally, you can choose from three color gradient options including blue, orange, and purple.
Hanayama Cast Puzzle
The Enigma may be cheap with a simple and apparent design, but don’t underestimate its difficulty. The Hanayama brand ranks it at level 6, which means it is considered one of its most difficult puzzles. It consists of only three parts that you need to figure out how to take apart. Sound easy enough? The puzzle isn’t complete until you put it back together. “It took me a good hour or more to start figuring out the puzzle,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I was performing a step, only to find that I was unable to repeat the step immediately. Each time I progressed, I would try to step back and find that I couldn’t. Therefore, the puzzle is become a bit of an enigma to me.”
Wooden puzzle Orchids
For puzzle enthusiasts who like to slowly create works of art with their work, there is the Orchids wooden puzzle. Each puzzle is handcrafted and one of a kind with 380 pieces, each precision cut to ensure smooth edges. The best part? You can add a covering over this piece and display it on your walls when you’re done.
Wine bottle puzzle
While accomplishment is always a great reward, this puzzle offers something a little sweeter: wine. This little contraption fits perfectly on top of a full-size wine bottle, and if you’re planning on drinking it, you have to fix it. “We bought this as a Christmas present for a notoriously hard to solve person,” wrote one reviewer. “He defeats normal puzzles in minutes. However, he was puzzled for almost an entire hour!” Some reviewers complained that it was difficult to assemble, but it comes with detailed, step-by-step instructions.
Florida Challenge Puzzle
We’ve all been both entertained and intrigued by iconic Florida Man stories, and now we have a real jigsaw puzzle made by a Florida Man himself that’s full of Florida artifacts. It includes hand-sculpted pieces like a sailboat, NASA logo, shark, palm trees, seagull, cruise ship, beach, sunglasses, alligator, seashells, and more. The goal is to fit all 30 pieces perfectly into the square frame. The artist also makes versions of the puzzle inspired by different professions and hobbies which you can find here.
Puzzle black like my soul
This all-black puzzle has just 252 pieces, but before you’re done, you might see red. Laser cut from acrylic, the puzzle pieces are smooth and sturdy. When completed it measures 8 x 12 inches, but you can also order a 100 piece set which measures 8 x 8 inches. If the puzzle proves too difficult, or you just need a little hint, it comes with a cheat sheet, unlike most puzzles.
Shengshou Megaminx Speed Cube Puzzle
Think the Rubik’s cube on steroids. Complete with 50 moving parts and 12 different colors, this dodecahedron is sure to be a challenge. Customers said it came straight out of the box, and unlike some Rubik’s cubes, the stickers were already in place. If you’ve never solved a Rubik’s cube before, it may be best to start with something a little simpler, like the standard 3×3 cube.
The name really says it all. Like many of these puzzles, this one isn’t as easy as it looks! Made of carved wood, you must fit all nine pieces into the frame of the tray. As you can see when it arrives, there are only eight pieces in the frame and it already looks quite cramped. Although difficult, it is not impossible. One reviewer described their experience: “My dad managed to put this together in 45 minutes, but it turned out he cheated a bit the first time putting it together outside the puzzle mat. tossed and shuffled the pieces, only giving him half at first, and the second time it took him 2 hours to get it right!”
Bgraamiens The line puzzle
You don’t wear glasses? You might after completing this juggernaut. 1,000 black and white intersecting line pieces will certainly be a challenge, but you have the advantage of decently sized pieces, resulting in a finished 24 x 24 inch puzzle. While the puzzle is certainly intimidating, you do get additional clues. On the back of each puzzle piece is a letter that represents one of six sections of the puzzle, which you can choose to peek through or try to skip. Since the puzzle is a copy of an artist’s work, some reviewers said they hung it up for decoration when finished.
Milky Way Puzzle
With an abstract design sure to please the stargazers in your life, this puzzle features 1,000 pieces that make up an actual image of the Milky Way from NASA’s Hubble Telescope. If you’re looking for an aesthetic challenge that will take you hours, this is it. As one reviewer said, “This is a beautiful puzzle! The image is vibrant and clear, just like on the box. The pieces are sturdy and fit together well with lots of variation in the shape of the pieces. C really challenging. So don’t get this unless you’re looking to spend a lot of time on it. I really enjoyed putting this together and would buy from this company again.
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