I’m a sucker for a good mystery. It piques my curiosity and I just can’t seem to help myself! When Artifact Puzzles announced that they were debuting a new line of wooden puzzles I knew I wanted to try them out. Then Artifact upped the ante and announced that the new Ecru puzzles would include Mystery Puzzles. I was doomed!!
The Ecru puzzles are different from the main Artifact line in that they are made with a closer cut and a matte finish. The Mystery Puzzles are made to be ephemeral, they are only made for a few months at a time, then they are “revealed” and added to the main Ecru lineup.
I love this. I was sent Mystery Puzzle #1, and it arrived in a plain gray box.
Like all Artifact puzzles, the box and contents are curated for maximum sustainability. The box has a magnet closure in the lid and as you can see, you are given an envelope of resealing stickers so that you can be sure no pieces have escaped while in storage.
These pieces look fiendish! I’ve never worked with anything quite like these. The pieces look like interconnected hexagons or simple chemical formulae. In fact, while assembling, I swear I saw a piece that looked like a sugar molecule!!
SC says I’m stubborn. I claim it’s more being so determined that I ignore my limits. The end result is usually the same. I push too hard, and end up in bed staring at the ceiling. Not this time! Well….sort of this time. I spent the day in bed, but thanks to my incredible stubbornness/determination; I had this awesome puzzle to do.
I really love this box. Artifact Puzzles boxes are sturdy, covered in a ribbed blue cloth that helped my grip and has a little magnet in the lip of the lid for reusability.
Artifact Puzzles are made with environmentally friendly plywood and soy-based inks. The pieces are thick, about 1/2cm, which is great because unlike chipboard puzzles, these will last a really long time if you take care of them. SC still has the wooden puzzle his grandfather made back in the 1950s! (SC Edit: I can’t remember what it looks like, it has no reference image!)
Because the pieces are laser-cut, there is a wide range in shapes available. This includes the themed whimsies! I’m not sure who liked the puzzle more, myself or SC!
This is one of the most delightful puzzles I’ve ever had the pleasure of assembling! Engagingly tricky to assemble, but not so much that it is disheartening; this puzzle brightened an otherwise deary day. I loved the interplay of whimsies and computer technician jokes! I found myself laughing so loudly I woke Hurricane when I found the ID10T ERROR!
Also giggle-worthy were the computer bugs, test tubes of viruses and random mice!
Then there was this guy, my favorite of the whimsies, a three-part dragon.
All in all, it was a productive afternoon! I got to work this fantastic puzzle, SC got to keep me in bed and resting. CFS is no fun, but I hope that my blogging will help others see that not only are they not alone, but there are tons of fun things to do working around the fatigue.
Company: Artifact Puzzles
Title: Computer Catastrophes
Artist: Randal Spangler
Designer: Jef Bambas
Year released: 2018
Finished size: 10″ by 10″ inches
Bonus poster: No
Made in USA
Box: 6.5″ by 8.75″ by 1.75″ inches
Board: Thick and sturdy wooden pieces
Image Quality: Excellent, great color saturation
Finish: Semi-gloss, with great color saturation
Puzzle Dust: Nonexistent!
Piece shapes: Irregular with plenty of themed whimsies
Piece Fit: Loose, but the addition of certain pieces will “lock” a section so that they can be moved in small and medium blocks
Disability Notes: Honestly, I think the review speaks for itself. I managed to assemble this on a lap desk in bed without losing any pieces! I did rely on the advice I’d received that to place the pieces together, they had to be put in from above and not the usual sideways motion.
Where to buy: Computer Catastrophes is available on the Artifact Puzzles website for $40 USD. No sticker shock, here guys! These are high quality, artisan puzzles that will last for decades if well cared for. These puzzles are a definite birthday/Christmas/Yule/I-messed-up present!