Nervous System – Geode Puzzle [Review]

As difficult as it is pretty.

Location: at home

Date Played: April 6, 2018

Team size: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯; we recommend 1-2

Price: $60 per puzzle

REA Reaction

Geode Puzzles by Nervous System are beautiful, intricate, and remarkably challenging for compact, approximately 180-piece jigsaw puzzles.

If you love jigsaw puzzles and don’t balk at the price, I highly recommend putting one of these on your table.

Geode puzzle mostly assembled.

Who is this for?

  • Experienced jigsaw puzzlers
  • People who like beautiful, well-created things

Why play?

  • Beautiful and challenging design
  • Incredibly intricate laser cut wooden pieces
  • Impressively challenging for its size

Setup

Nervous System’s Geode Puzzles are programmatically generated, laser cut wooden jigsaw puzzles made with quarter-inch birch plywood.

Nearly all of the pieces have thin, asymmetrical tendrils that interlock in wildly unpredictable patterns.

The backs of 7 geode puzzle piece with long tendrils.

Nervous System offers 23 different styles, each with a different color pattern and shape. They all have irregular edges.

Because these puzzles are programmatically generated, there is no definitive piece count, so they are all “about 180 pieces.” The pieces came together in a compact 8.5 inch puzzle.

Geode puzzle fully assembled.

Analysis

+ I love odd jigsaw puzzles with unusual pieces. These thin tendril-like pieces were incredible. They dramatically amplified the difficulty.

+ The unusual shape of the puzzle added a good challenge.

– While none of my pieces broke, I am confident that it would be easy to accidentally snap limbs off of the puzzle pieces. I wouldn’t give this to brutes or children.

? Nervous System’s website offers an ever-changing selection of variants on the Geode puzzle. I have no idea if the fact that they are computer generated and unique offers any tangible benefit to the puzzler.

– While each one is unique. A palette swap or minor shape variation won’t be enough to bring me back to this particular product line.

+ While solving this Geode Puzzle felt like a worthy challenge, it wasn’t a massive commitment. It required less than 2 hours of my time. There weren’t thousands of pieces for me to flip, collate, and manage.

Tips for Playing

  • Be gentle with the pieces. If they don’t fit, wiggle things gently. If that doesn’t work, try a different piece.
  • You don’t need a lot of space or time, but Geode Puzzles are more difficult than you’d expect, given the size of the puzzles.

Buy your copy of Nervous System’s Geode Puzzle, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Thank you to Amanda Harris and Drew Nelson for lending us their Geode Puzzle.

 

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