So normally we write about boardgames and the occasional computer game/phone game here on the blog. But this pandemic has caused us all to spend a lot more time at home by ourselves – some of the time spent playing games online, but also doing things like reading more books, watching more movies and reviving our love for jigsaw puzzles.
When we were approached by the nice people at Cloudberries to take a peek at their new line of jigsaw puzzles, we jumped at the chance. Cloudberries is a great company located in the UK. They make quality traditional jigsaw puzzles with plenty of fantastic art choices.
Furthermore, they appear to be one of the few (if only) puzzle companies that are committed to making puzzles in a sustainable fashion. The puzzles are make with sustainably sourced paper and printed with vegetable based inks. Furthermore, they are pledging to remove the plastic wrap around the outside of the puzzles. They have also partnered with a company to offset the carbon used in the shipping of their puzzles. Finally, they pledge to plant a tree for each puzzle that you buy from them.
“We’ve committed to a lasting partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit that exists to help reforest some of the world’s most fragile environments. This means that by supporting Cloudberries, you will be directly helping to fund tree planting projects in countries like Indonesia, Nepal and Madagascar (the exact location depends on the time of year, planting needs and other factors). Eden Projects was a natural partner for Cloudberries as they not only strive to restore native forests but also work hard to empower local communities, create shelter for wildlife, and help regulate the climate through concerted tree-planting programs. They also help locals guard native trees to full maturity, providing lasting work and helping to lift some of the world’s poorest people out of poverty.“
Their newest line of puzzles are 3D stereoscopic images, 500 pieces each. I was sent the SPACE puzzle to try, and my wife and I put it together over the evenings of a week. Though I didn’t time it, I’d say that the total time was between 4 to 5 hours.
The art, as you can see on the box, shows a great vista of an astronaut on a space walk. As it is a 3D puzzle, much of the detail of the image has the distinctive doubled up pattern of red and blue lines.
When we first opened the puzzle and dumped the pieces out, I was pleasantly surprised to note that there was NO PUZZLE DUST! I don’t know whether this is due to the cutting method or maybe a strong vacuum prior to bagging, but my allergies were super thankful to not have dust to deal with.
We quickly separated (most of) the border pieces out and went about our usual business of putting together the outer frame. Well, my wife put together the frame while I busied myself with my preferred job of initially separating the pieces into groups based on their suspected position in the puzzle.
The frame took a bit longer than usual to put together as the solid white border taking up most of the edge pieces left very little room for other distinguishing art to find adjacent pieces. Furthermore, there were a number of pieces which were pretty close to fitting in multiple places, and this further increased the time it took to assemble the outer form.
Once this was done, the rest of the puzzle went along swimmingly. For me, while the individual pieces were sometimes dizzying to look at, the doubling of lines for the 3D stereoscopic image gave plenty of clues for me to put pieces together.
When the puzzle was complete, then you also get the added fun of putting on the included 3D glasses and watching the picture literally pop out at you and move back and forth as you move your head!
The cost of the puzzles is reasonable, this 500 piece puzzle retails at $24.99, and shipping took under a week to get from the UK to the US. You can get free shipping with larger orders, and you can also get a 10% discount for giving them your email address and signing up for their newsletter.
If you’re looking for a new source for jigsaw puzzles, I’d heartily recommend Cloudberries!
Until your next appointment
The Gaming Doctor