Ravensburger recently sent us through a London-themed puzzle from their Silhouette range.
Unsurprisingly, given the patriotic theme, there were lots and lots of red, white and blue pieces nestling in the box !
It was actually quite hard to know where to start because, as a shaped puzzle, it's impossible to start with the edge pieces, as you would with a regular rectangular puzzle. I tended to go by colour so I picked out the reds and started simultaneously on the bus, the guard and the phone box.
Some of the puzzle pieces are weirdly shaped, with straight edges inside the puzzle (which goes against years of jigsaw logic that makes you assume they are edge pieces) and some pieces that just sit next to each other without interlocking. This made it quite hard to slide the different sections around to put them in place.
It ended up turning into a family project over the weekend and the Madhouse kids soon starting pointing out "rocket" shaped pieces. We spotted on the box that they are in fact Big Ben-shaped puzzle pieces that are dotted throughout the puzzle, which is a nice touch.
I found that the puzzle pieces didn't fit together quite as well as I would usually expect in Ravensburger puzzles. The surface wasn't completely flat and they slotted together quite loosely so they often came apart, especially when moving sections, which was a bit frustrating and very unusual for Ravensburger. Maybe it's because I'm more used to helping the Madhouse kids do their puzzles which have bigger and chunkier pieces that interlock more snugly !
It was quite challenging and took several hours, even with the Madhouse kids helping out, but everyone had a real sense of satisfaction when it was finished and the kids loved spotting all the iconic sights of London that we saw on our trip there last year - Big Ben, the Union Jack, a double-decker bus, a black cab, a telephone box, Tower Bridge and the stunning lion statue from Trafalgar Square.
Now that the nights are drawing in, it will soon be time to look for indoor activities to keep the family entertained, and puzzles and board games are a great place to start.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £14.99
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.