Big Potato Games
Is it a game? Is it a jigsaw? Superman would know……we might actually be able to ask him.
For the folk at Big Potato Games must have realised that there is a piece of the puzzle missing when it comes to gaming.
Welcome to Night at the Movies, a 1,000 piece puzzle that goes where no other jigsaws have gone before……
First and foremost, Night at the Movies is a jigsaw. You will be slotting those pieces together to make a gorgeous tableau. But then, once you have recovered from Solver’s Slouch (See “Let’s Get Jiggy!”) you then have 101 cryptic images to riddle out!
Like a carton of delicious popcorn, there is a salty, sweet pile of movie titles hidden in the picture somewhere. And whilst some are obvious; a “ram” holding a “bow” can only really be one sweaty, eighties action hero, now can’t it, others will have you scratching your heads. And, without doubt, there is a real mix of blockbusters and less headline hits in amongst the drive-in movie theatre scene.
Chart your successes!
Although there is no “score” in this challenge, there is a handy chart where you can list your guesses. And whilst the black and white outlines help identify the specific pieces forming each of the 101 titles, it is a startling reminder of how many films you still have left to solve! As a sop to your sore brain, the reverse also contains a full colour copy of the jigsaw picture, should you still be trying to piece the puzzle together.
Potatoes are Plastic Free!
Like a review of escape room games, I am not going to give you too many clues or sneaky peeks. I’d be the biggest fun-spoiling party pooper if I did that. But I can confirm that Big Potato Games have done something rather marvellous on the environmental front.
There is a distinct lack of plastic packaging. So much so that the game box includes the words “Plastic Free” on it – no small declaration! Now, for anybody who puzzles regularly, the first thing an avid puzzologist does is pop the cellophane on the box. Then comes the big release as the inner bag is emptied of all its jigsaw joyfulness. But here, there is a real focus on reducing non-recyclables as much as possible. Paper bag? Yes please! And that definitely gets a thumbs up from me.
As well as the high quality, art-wrapped box, the pieces themselves are also nice and thick, with a glossy finish. This does mean that reflections from lights can sometimes obscure the picture. But a little bit of adjustment to lamps and/or seating seemed to fix that whenever it became a problem.
Speaking of the pieces, it is also nice to see some unusual shapes – not your common or garden connectors. Yes, the corners and edges still have the straight sides. But others include ones I hadn’t seen before, and they seem to compliment the artwork.
What perhaps surprised me the most about Night at the Movies was the colour palette. From the publishers of Snakesss and Colour Brain, I was expecting a zany, hyper-colour explosion across the tableau. But, in actual fact, the colours are quite muted. There is a softness to the design that I wasn’t expecting). And for me, this makes Night at the Movies feel somehow more grown up. More of an artwork, independent of the puzzle and cryptic riddles, in fact. And that is something I am going to touch on more in jigsaw reviews going forwards; whether a jigsaw can be thought of as a standalone work of art, or whether the design is always inferior to the activity.
Back to Night at the Movies for now, however, And, at times, those gentle shades did make some of the characters and elements of the illustration a little tricky to see. A number of times, I struggled to work out what I was actually looking at – and not just because some of the illustrations are stretchy worthy on the imagination front! Thankfully, though, the black and white chart helped to identify shapes better when I was really stuck, and the full colour picture is definitely sharper on the detail.
Whilst I was happy to puzzle my way through the 101 titles alone, Night at the Movies became a rather social experience. And in some ways, more than a “normal” jigsaw”.
What started off as my husband and mother in law looking over my shoulder to see how I was doing, soon became a shared after dinner activity. Over a series of evenings, we sat, chatted and solved our way through Night at the Movies. It felt like more of a game than just a puzzle.
I can’t say that we got all of the titles ourselves. There were a few that stumped us. There were also several that we thought but then convinced ourselves otherwise. Handy for us (and you!), however, there is a QR code on the chart which takes you to the list of solutions at bigpotato.co.uk. This caused a number of groans so loud that we are surprised the neighbours didn’t give us some very funny looks! haha
Overall, we really enjoyed puzzling out Night at the Movies. I am not sure if we made life harder or easier for ourselves, but we built first, riddled second. The box suggests you solve as you go, but we are bigger picture type people, so that wouldn’t have worked for us!
I do think the riddles add a layer to the standard jigsaw puzzle experience, and may be something to hook new puzzlers in. Particularly those who are perhaps more on the gamer side of the equation right now (although there is a huge overlap in terms of interest!). I do think the design is a little tricky to see in some places, but that is a small gripe in an otherwise enjoyable experience. Ultimately, if you like jigsaws and you love puzzles, then you should definitely check out Night at the Movies (together with the second in the series, Day at the Festival).