Publisher: Otter House (UK), published 2015
Title: “Spot the Differences No 2”, 1000 pieces
OUR RATING: 9/10
The Otter House boxes are quite thick and sturdy with a nice high res cover. The back of the box is blank white. The sides have the name of the puzzle and image, which is nice for shelving. They are also ‘space saving’ (not super huge), which is nice too.
Inside the box is a bag with the puzzle pieces (in excellent condition, no damage, puzzle dust, or unseparated pieces), a small warranty card and a poster of the image. The poster also shows the ‘solution’ to the ‘spot the differences’ puzzle..
This is the 2nd in a series of “spot the differences”, limited edition Christmas puzzles. The first came out last year. The box says only 2000 are printed. This is quite a different type of puzzle, The main image is repeated twice with 20 small differences. This leads to an interesting assembly experiences. The illustration itself is nice and Christmasy. (Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Otter House puzzles are of decent quality. They feel a little thin compared to a brand like Gibsons or Ravensburger, but they’re very solid and unbendable, so there’s no issue with tips bending or other ‘too thin’ problems. The image reproduction is very good with nice, bright color. The cut is a grid cut, but there’s a good variety of piece shapes, as you can see in the image below. I never had any difficulty thinking pieces went there they didn’t, which is really important since this puzzle has two identical copies of nearly the same image.
I found this puzzle quite fun to assemble because of its unique qualities. Because the basic image is doubled (with small differences), if you find a piece, for example the “Y” in the “Toys” sign, you don’t know if it goes in the upper or lower image. This adds a fun element to the standard jigsaw puzzle. I didn’t find it super difficult, but rather more interesting and a requiring a bit more strategy. The cut in the upper and lower puzzles is slightly different, so the strategy I found was to assemble the various areas — for example, assemble both “TOYS” signs, and then figure out which goes in the upper image and which in the lower image. There usually is a ‘difference’ that tells you where it goes. In the case of the “TOYS” sign, one has some ivy and berries in one corner, and one doesn’t. Overall, I’d rate this a ‘medium’ difficulty with an extra fun factor.
As an extra, extra bonus, once the puzzle is done you can look at the image and try to figure out what the 20 differences are. The differences also show up on the box cover though, so you could hypothetically do the same without assembling the puzzle.
This is a very pretty Christmas image, a limited edition puzzle, of decent quality, and has a nice puzzle-y twist to the assembly. Definitely recommended.
Where to find:
In the US, the best place to find these puzzles is on ebay. In the UK, you can find them in gift shops or order from Amazon.