The Magic Puzzle Company – The Happy Isles [Review]

Let’s make some happy little islands.

Location:  at home

Date Played: January 9, 2020

Team size: we recommend 1-4

Duration: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Price: about $20

REA Reaction

The Happy Isles was a work of sublime genius.

In addition to all of the things that The Magic Puzzle company has done right, they achieved something extra in The Happy Isles. The art was intimidating from a jigsaw puzzling standpoint, but the way it was drawn made it feel subtly solvable. Little details gave away so much information. It was brilliant.

Box art for The Magic Puzzle Company's The Happy Isles 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

I highly recommend The Happy Isles. That said, I’d encourage you to solve The Mystic Maze first. They do similarly brilliant things, but I feel confident that The Mystic Maze is the stronger starting place.

When you’re finished with The Mystic Maze, have The Happy Isles waiting for you. Solve them both. They’re great.

Series Overview

This review only covers details specific to this individual Magic Puzzle Company jigsaw puzzle.

For a detailed explanation of the concept and mechanics, and a general analysis of the entire product line, check out The Magic Puzzle Company Overview.

Puzzle closeup of an island with people solving a jigsaw puzzle. So meta.

Analysis

➕ While this puzzle felt intimidating because of the volume of similar-looking design elements, colors, and textures, there was a cleverness to the details that made this jigsaw puzzle feel like something that you truly solved, instead of simply assembled. I shall say no more.

➕ The playfulness and nerdy details scattered throughout The Happy Isles made assembling each island a joy. There were always new details to notice.

Puzzle closeup of an island of wizards and witches. The Wicked & Good Witches are speaking, below them are Harry, Hermonie, and Ron.

❓ This puzzle was intimidating. Just looking at the box art felt daunting.

➕ The transformation was quite cool… and really pulled the puzzle together.

Buy your copy of The Magic Puzzle Company’s The Happy Isles and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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