Baxter's Top Ten Gifts for Puzzlers

With all this lockdown stuff going on, puzzles have totally boomed in popularity lately and it's easy to see why. They're super relaxing AND it makes you feel like you're accomplishing something! Poppy actually wrote a great blog post on puzzles and why you should get into them - I'd totally recommend giving it a read. And because of this trend, I now have a few puzzlers I need to buy for this Christmas.

So you guessed it - I've got the perfect gift guide for all your puzzling pals!

WASGIJ

Because you cant have a Christmas without a Christmas puzzle!


Even if you aren't a puzzler yourself you probably know about WASGIJ. These puzzles are world-renowned for their fun art style and the fact that the image on the box isn't exactly what you're going to be creating. This adds another level of depth to the puzzle and makes it a bit harder (which I've heard is a positive in the puzzling community). One thing to note - if you're buying a WASGIJ for someone you'll probably wanna have a cheeky snoop to see what puzzles they already own or casually slip it into conversation. There are also three main series of WASGIJ - Original, Destiny and Mystery - so make sure to note that too.

Ravensburger Puzzles

The Ravensburger Villainous series is WICKED

 

Ravensburger not only create beautiful games but their puzzles are second to none. According to Poppy - "Ravensburger are the creme-de-la-creme of puzzles. They're gorgeous and super high quality!". Unfortunately she didn't stop there and I was listening to her talk about puzzles for 30 minutes but I digress.

Looking at the catalog of Ravensburger puzzles, I can see what she means. Most of the puzzles are so pretty you'd actually want to preserve them and hang them on the wall. They also have a whole series of great Disney puzzles and I KNOW there are millions of Disney fans out there. 

Basically, if you really want to treat your puzzlers, get them a Ravensburger.

 

Puzzle Board Games

So apparently puzzles don't end at jigsaws - there are a bunch of great games that scratch the same itch. And as the boardgame boi I think I have some great recommendations for you:

Genius Square Puzzle

 

I've talked about this one before and I'm not going to stop. The genius square puzzle is a fast-paced logic puzzle for two players. Its super easy to learn but actually doing the puzzle is going to take some quick thinking and fast hands. I cannot recommend this enough.

AZUL

 

This one is slower but it's so beautiful and evokes an almost chess vibe. AZUL is technically a competitive game but every time I play I find that I'm 100% focussed on my own board and trying to beat my previous score. The relaxing pace, the beautiful art and the tactile play make it a great stand in for jigsaws when buying for puzzlers.

Sagrada

 

Sagrada definitely shares some elements with AZUL in that its a chill game that you can kinda take at your own pace. You're primarily working with these really cute, translucent, coloured dice and you're creating a stained glass window! Another great choice for people who usually go for jigsaws

Katamino

 

Katamino is a bit like Genius Square but it's not as fast paced and isn't really a competitive game - more of a solo experience. Its a game of fitting tetris-like blocks into a specific pattern so really it's just a fancy jigsaw puzzle. The wooden blocks make it feel super premium and sorta vintage (which I love). Its also very travel friendly for puzzlers on the go.

Escape Room Games

This one actually includes 4 jigsaw puzzles too!

 

I'm gonna make this a category of its own because there are just so many escape room games and well...I wouldn't technically call them a board game anyway. 

Regardless of whether you've done a real-life escape room or not, this style of game is SO much fun and can be played in a group or by yourself. I personally play them solo but that's because my friends aren't on the same level as me #sorrynotsorry. 

For those who don't know - escape room games put you into a situation that you have to get out of by finding clues and solving riddles. Generally speaking, the goal is to 'get out' in under and hour and the story will usually encourage this by saying that 'the murderer will be back in an hour' or something to that effect. In saying that - there is nothing saying you can't take your time and really enjoy all the puzzles the game has for you.

I usually go for the Exit series - I find they're a little more challenging and the scenarios are more my style. But the Escape Room the Game series is also great, especially if you want a slightly more hands on experience. There's also the Unlock series which is actually reusable to you can pass it onto a friend once you've finished. Oh yeah - Escape Room games are USUALLY one use but don't let that discourage you. 

Unsolved Case Files

 

I guess it's because true crime is so popular but the Unsolved Case Files games GO OFF! In fact, you've probably already heard of them yourself. 

Obviously these games are perfect if you're buying for a crime buff but the sleuthing, deduction and logical thinking make them great for your average puzzler too. 

Unsolved Case Files puts you in the boots of a detective, providing you with all the information you need to find the culprit. You'll get things like newspaper clippings, witness statements, suspect profiles and more and to be honest - I just LOVE how in-depth the games go with case materials! It's so much fun opening your case file and sifting through all the information to make informed decisions.

Huzzle Puzzles

 

Huzzle Puzzles are these really cool 3D metal brain teasers which are great for puzzlers AND fidgeters alike.

They have a really high-quality feel to them and they actually just look really good on your desk or bookshelf.

Another fantastic choice for puzzlers on the go OR puzzlers with zero space for a big jigsaw.

Rubiks

 

Come on. I know Rubiks. You know Rubiks. Everyone knows Rubiks. 

It's the classic cube to test your logical thinking and the ultimate status symbol if you manage to solve one. 

There are a huge range of different Rubiks puzzles for every skill level and its SUPER satisfying to solve and graduate to the next level.

Just a reminder that there is NO SHAME IN GOOGLING HOW TO DO A RUBIKS. I've done it and I'd do it again to feel the power that comes with solving a Rubiks cube.

Crystal Puzzles

 

For when you want to take the jigsaw off the table and into the third dimension - Crystal Puzzles are amazing 3D jigsaws AND they're clear which makes them surprisingly difficult to piece together. Of course, there are different difficulty levels (thank goodness) so you can make sure you're grabbing one that suits the puzzler.

These guys also look awesome when they're finished and look completely at home on a bookshelf amongst some leather-bound volumes or on your desk at the office to show people how smart you are.

Did I mention there are also special Disney themed ones?

Metal Earth

Because everyone knows a Potterhead right?

 

Gone are the days where model kits comprised almost entirely of trains and vintage automobiles (although Metal Earth definitely still has kits for those).

Metal Earth is a series of really stylish metal model kits which come in flat metal sheets that you manipulate into stunning 3D pieces of art. 

They have kits ranging from vehicles to buildings to animals and nature. But probably what they're BEST known for is their huge range of pop culture inspired model kits. Their Star Wars range in particular is just so cool - never before would I have thought I could build my very own R2-D2 and have him sitting on my desk helping me fight the Republic. I mean...helping me...do spreadsheets? I guess?

Puzzle Accessories

Karena goes crazy for the Portapuzzle

 

Obviously this list wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention puzzle accessories. Again, I am NOT an authority on this but I had a chat with Poppy and Karena who just would not shut up about this thing called the Porta-Puzzle. Basically you do your jigsaw on it and it keeps your puzzle safe and organised when it's dinner time and you need to put it away.

They also said that the Roll Your Puzzle can be a good storage option and that puzzle preserving glue is great for those beautiful Ravensburger puzzles that you want to hang on the wall

 

So there you have it. A bunch of great options for the puzzler in your life.

I would also recommend you get into puzzles yourself if you're even a little bit interested. I've just picked up this really cool Friends Puzzle (600 pieces because I gotta start somewhere) so I'm looking forward to knocking that out this weekend. 

Have a great day team! x

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