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Take a good look at the cover picture of Ravensburger's WITCHES KITCHEN jigsaw puzzle. I say take a good look because this is the last time you will see it as the box cover shows.

The WITCHES KITCHEN is another of Ravensburger's excellent ESCAPE PUZZLES. A while ago I reviewed the TEMPLE puzzle, which was an eye-opener to my wife and I as we had never heard of these type of puzzles before.

Although at 759 pieces these puzzles aren't the largest you will do, they can be difficult to complete because there are many changes to the finished picture, thus the box art becomes a rough guideline rather than a template to copy precisely.

  

Apart from the expected jigsaw shaped pieces the box contains a letter giving you a very minor hint as to what it is you are expected to do.

There is a Q R Code if you need help and/or you can go to the Ravensburger website;
https://www.ravensburger.org/uk/discover/escape-puzzles/index.html ] 

for extra help. There is also a plain white envelope in which you will find the final solution. In the TEMPLE this was quite simple to decipher once you had completed the puzzle. The WITCHES KITCHEN may be marked as only a 2 out of 5 difficulty but (this hurts to admit) we couldn't solve it without help, and even when we read the solution we had to physically go through it step by step. I'm not going to give anything (much) away, but I will say that although it is more of a Maths problem than an 'escape' experience, it's an enthralling challenge.

HOW DO YOU DO YOUR PUZZLES:
We are most definitely 'Edges first' folk. Sort out the pieces with a flat side (4 will have 2 flat sides obviously as they are the corners) and then build the framework into which you will start piecing together the actual picture (or NOT the actual picture in this case). Even the edges aren't as easy as you would expect - we fitted three pairs that sat nicely in with the others in the line right up until it was time to add some of the inside pieces and then we had to readjust them. Three times! yet each piece was a perfect fit. This isn't a moan it's just saying that with these puzzles you cannot take everything for granted.

There are a number of major differences that give hints and leads to the final solution and many pieces that are the same shape and colour as each other - frustration rules and that's great. Taking into account sleep, watching movies, playing games, going shopping, computing etc it took us several sessions of an hour or two each over three days to complete; the only disappointment being when we placed the final piece - it was over!

As you can see (pic above) once we have a border completed it's a case of fitting in any parts possible. We don't concentrate on any one area we just rummage through the box and find pieces that look like they go together and then once we have built 3 or 4 pieces correctly we move them to the inner part and see if we can either attach them to other previously placed groupings or we sit them in roughly the area we expect them to be when the picture is finished.

My photos here give you an idea of some of the differences between the box art and the completed piece. Finishing the puzzle is only part of the game though, you now have to elucidate the meaning of the clues and understand what you are expected to do.

With so many people having to self-isolate at this moment in time (this review is being written as the Corvid-19 Coronavirus is steadily expanding world-wide) jigsaw puzzles, especially those with additional agendas like Ravensburger's Escape Puzzles, are excellent ways to spend some time each day. They keep your mind off the disease and all the family can join in. Even our 7 year old grandson is becoming very good at doing puzzles now.

You can pick the WITCHES KITCHEN and other puzzles in this series up online and have it delivered to your door so there is no need to go outside. Prices differ slightly from eBay to online stores but the average price is a little over £12.00, a very good purchase that gives great value for money.


 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015