Last year I shared a Kickstarter project for a new range of jigsaw puzzles from Flipsi Puzzles named, “Haunted Places and What Lurks Within…” I have since received all three puzzles from that initial range and spent time working on the first two.
What’s in the Box?
The package I received contained:
- Three Haunted Places and What Lies Within Puzzles, Individually Boxed
- Felt Lined, Foldable Puzzle Board
- Two Plastic Clips
- Certificate of Authenticity
Within each of the three separate Haunted Places puzzle boxes, there was also a fold-out sheet with a printed image of the first side of the puzzle, and the pieces themselves came inside resealable plastic bags to help prevent pieces from getting lost.
My set came packaged inside a study, black box large enough to hold all three puzzles, the Flipsi board, and the clips. The box is also large enough (just) to hold all your pieces spread out while you work on the puzzles, making it much easier to tidy them away quickly if you’re using a surface that needs to be available for other uses over the days you’re puzzling.
What’s the Quality Like?
Excellent! I’m always wary of buying jigsaws from new companies because the quality can vary so much and putting together puzzles made from low-quality, wafer-thin pieces is frustrating at best and borderline impossible at worst. The puzzle pieces in the Haunted Places series are some of the best I have seen, made with thick, high-quality card stock that clicks together easily and doesn’t come apart until you want it to.
I also noticed that none of the puzzle bags came with that strange blue puzzle dust that gets everywhere, so this was another positive for the puzzles.
How Difficult are They?
So far, I have completed the Castle and Farmyard puzzles – watch this space for the Haunted House closer to Halloween! I had feared that the Haunted Places puzzles would be much more difficult than a typical 500-piece puzzle due to being double-sided, however, I found that each piece had two very different textures on each side making it easy to know which side was which. The pieces have a linen-style texture and matt appearance on the main puzzle side but are smooth and shiny on the reverse, this made sorting the pieces out at the beginning surprisingly simple.
The Haunted Castle was by far the hardest of the two thanks to the vast areas of similarly patterned sky and grass which took up a lot of time to work on so it took me several days to complete this one over multiple sessions. I found the Haunted Farmyard easier thanks to there being lots of different areas to work on. I completed this one in around one day.
Is the Hidden Secret Worth It, Is This Just a Gimmick?
Flipsi Puzzles have worked hard to make sure that the hidden secrets inside each of their puzzles remain a secret and so, I won’t be revealing what’s on the reverse of the puzzles here. Suffice it to say, they’re a lot more horrifying than I had anticipated! The main images have a photorealistic style that continues on the reverse with the contents of the haunted places looming out of the image as soon as you lift the board to reveal it. Jigsaw puzzles don’t generally come with age ratings but I’d consider these hidden images a PG-13 and check them out before letting younger kids see them unless you’re prepared to risk nightmares. They are, of course, perfect for Halloween!
The hidden secret is naturally a bit of a gimmick, but that’s not a bad thing here. You’re still getting a set of great, themed puzzles and the hidden secrets do add an extra bang for your buck. You could of course also choose to work on the hidden image instead of the main one, either from memory or after taking a photo the first time you complete it, so you could argue that you’re getting two puzzles for the price of one here as well.
Overall, I’m really impressed by the Flipsi Puzzles Haunted Places range and I suspect I’ll be getting them out of the cupboard every spooky season for a long time to come. The “what lies within” idea works brilliantly for Halloween designs but could also be used for lots of other concepts too, so I hope we get to see more of these designs in the future.
I do wish my kit had come with three plastic clips instead of two because this means there is always one open side to my puzzle board, which is a little nerve-wracking when moving it around. I also found that felt red material on the board attracted cat hair and dust incredibly quickly, so it lost its new, clean look before I’d even completed a single puzzle. When I wasn’t working on the puzzles, the clips have been brilliant for holding my bedroom curtains together on breezy nights too!
How Do I Purchase Flipsi Puzzles?
You can purchase the Haunted Places puzzles and boards from the Flipsi Puzzles website. Each puzzle can be purchased individually (with or without a board) or you can purchase a discounted set of all three. Some items are already sold out so you’ll need to be quick if you want to order in time for Halloween. At $27 each, they’re not the cheapest jigsaws you’ll buy, but the quality is well worth the extra cost.
Come back closer to Halloween for a look at the third and final puzzle in the series, Haunted House!
GeekMom received a copy of these items for review purposes.