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.

Continue reading “The Magic Puzzle Company – The Happy Isles [Review]”

The Magic Puzzle Company – The Mystic Maze [Review]

A child-like imagination is best imagination.

Location:  at home

Date Played: December 25, 2020

Team size: we recommend 1-4

Duration: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Price: about $20

REA Reaction

I’m having a hard time remembering a jigsaw puzzle that I enjoyed more than The Mystic Maze. There’s no snark in these words, I genuinely love jigsaw puzzles.

Box art for The Magic Puzzle Company's The Mystic Maze 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

1,000 pieces can sometimes feel like a slog, and in this instance, that was never the case. The level of detail and variety in The Mystic Maze kept every moment of this puzzling experience fresh from beginning to end… and then again to its second ending.

What I loved most here wasn’t the undeniably high quality of the components or even the magical twist (which was cool); it was the character of this puzzle. I loved the imaginative child that populated each frame with impossible worlds of triumph, excitement, fear, and loss. For me, the best jigsaw puzzles present a highly detailed, emotionally impactful image, and then allow you to experience that world one bit at a time. It’s a special way to take in art, and that was the true magic of The Mystic Maze.

Puzzle closeup of the Mystic Maze
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The Magic Puzzle Company [Overview]

It’s not just a puzzle. It’s a transformer.

Location:  at home

Date Played: January, 2021

Team size: we recommend 1-4

Duration: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Price: $20 per puzzle

REA Reaction

I’m loving what The Magic Puzzle Company is doing. As an avid jigsaw puzzler, I am always on the lookout for puzzles that do a little more than simply ask me to assemble the picture. It’s a difficult challenge and we’ve seen mixed execution.

Puzzle closeup of segments of the Mystic Maze.

The Magic Puzzle Company has happened upon something that is really clever and elegant. Nothing in this review will spoil what that is, beyond telling you this:

It’s cool, deliberate, and unique… but it isn’t going to completely melt your brain. We spent a lot of time as we assembled our first Magic Puzzle speculating and fantasizing about what might happen, and it was truly cool, but don’t let hype bring down the moment.

Box art for The Magic Puzzle Company's The Mystic Maze 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Of the available products from The Magic Puzzle Company, I’d rank them in the following order:

  1. The Mystic Maze (Review)
  2. The Happy Isles (Review)
  3. The Sunny City (Review coming soon)

If you only ever do one of these, The Mystic Maze was a knockout of a puzzle.

Who is this for?

  • Jigsaw puzzlers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Beautiful art
  • High quality components
  • The concluding magical twists
Continue reading “The Magic Puzzle Company [Overview]”