Bugs in the Kitchen – Review

Bugs in the Kitchen is a fun family game for 2-4 players from Ravensburger for ages 6+ RRP £24.99.

Bugs in the kitchen is a hit in the dragon house, and it has a lot to do with the cute little Hexbug. We have loved these little creature from the first time we discovered him, a game with a Hexbug in it was always going to be fun. Anyone who has played with a Hexbug, will have made a maze for it to travel through. Bugs in the kitchen is based on this style of maze, built from knives forks and spoons, simple and lots of fun.

bugs in the kitchen game bugs in the kitchen

There is very little assembly needed for Bugs in the kitchen, simply insert the plastic knives forks and spoons into the playing board as illustrated in the instructions. Press out the bug tokens and kitchen compartments. There are a few different patterns to start your game then it is time to play and switch on your Hexbug.

bugs in the kitchen review

Bugs in the Kitchen gameplay is simple, take it in turns to roll the dice, move the illustrated part of the maze, and trap the bug at your end of the kitchen to win a bug token. The winner is the first person to collect five bug tokens. Games are fast and full of giggles, lasting 10 – 20 minutes. Everyone who has played this game with us has enjoyed it and even Granny had a fighting chance of winning if she could stop laughing. Bugs in the kitchen requires no great skill, just speed and a little luck that the Hexbug or dice will turn your way.

bugs in the kitchen game

We love Bugs in the Kitchen, and think this game will be a great hit with kids of all ages, and it has already been voted a Toy Testers TV Gold Award- Voted for as the “Most Fun Toy 2014” by children aged 4-15. Little ones can make up teams and work together to capture the most bugs. While the adult wont be able to stop giggling at the frustration as the little Hexbug changes direction at the last-minute. Buy your Bugs in the Kitchen now from Argos or visit the Ravensburger website for more family fun games.

 

Disclaimer we were sent this game in return for an honest review.

The Safari Park What If? – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

The Safari Park is the 13th puzzle in the series of What if? puzzles from Ravensburger. This 1,000 piece mystery puzzle is suitable for ages 14+ RRP £11.99.

This is the first time I have done one of the What if? illustrative puzzles from Ravensburger and I wasn’t sure if I would like not having a picture to follow. I also wasn’t sure how much the finished puzzle picture would deviate for the illustration on the box lid. The box gives you a question. “What if?…animals were more enterprising than we realised?” The picture is perhaps what you would expect to happen to visitors in a safari park. I still wasn’t sure if the completed Safari park would be a before or after picture, and set about my usual edges sort.

safari park

The illustrative style of the safari park means there is plenty to see on each piece and with a rough idea of what the puzzle might contain I set about finding a place to start. It turned out that there were lots of pieces with writing, like the safari park sign. I was able to fit some of these in but others I had no idea where they might end up in the finished puzzle. This certainly was a different challenge to a standard puzzle and one I was rather enjoying. The picture on the box gives you an idea of what animals are in the finished puzzle, but they had all moved about a bit, so starting with the buildings which stay in the same place was a good starting point.

safari park review

The boy liked the animals on my puzzle, and wanted to help, but couldn’t understand that the picture was not the same as the one on the box lid. It’s a good job he had the African Friends puzzle of his own to complete. Bingo granny on the other hand was not going to leave me alone to complete the puzzle, and was completely hooked within minutes. This was certainly a great family puzzle, and was a talking point during our usual Sunday morning coffee and cake.

what if safari park

The Safari Park is a great puzzle and I wont spoil the solution by showing you the full finished puzzle, but the cheeky little animals have certainly turned out to be very enterprising. I loved this style of mystery puzzle and look forward to completing some of the others in the series.  For more puzzles from Ravensburger What if? series visit the website.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle for review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

African Friends – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

African Friends is a 300 piece XXL puzzle suitable for ages 9+ RRP £7.99, and has a finished size of 49cm x 36cm.

The boy was quite excited to have a puzzle all to himself, and I was immediately banned from helping! he has helped me with my puzzles, but has never wanted to do a whole one so I was thrilled that he was willing to give this colourful 300 piece puzzle a try. African Friends has a very cute picture of a group of wild animals, and the boy enjoyed trying to name them all. I think he managed all the animals, and it was just the birds we didn’t know.

african friends

The boy started by piecing the edges of the African friends puzzle together, and found this fairly easy to do despite the amount of blue pieces. I was allowed to turn the pieces the right way up for him, but my help had to stop there. As a puzzle addict this was torture! I found it interesting how the boy wanted to work through colours and animals, quite often choosing the tricky colours first.

african friends puzzle

The boy had no problem completing the puzzle, and took a few evenings to complete the full puzzle. He says he doesn’t like puzzles, but was happy to sit for some time after dinner adding pieces, and was very pleased with himself when he had completed the picture. African friends is a very cute puzzle, and one we have all enjoyed looking at. The pieces are larger than an adult puzzle, but the boy didn’t feel that this puzzle was any easier than the ones I complete. I love the size of this puzzle, and Ravensburger have a great range of different sized puzzles suitable for different ages and abilities from the 100xxl for ages 6+ to this one the boy completed 300xxl age 9+.Visit the Ravensburger website for more great kids and adult puzzles, or click my affiliate link below to buy African Friends.

african friends ravensburger puzzle

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in return for an honest review, our words have not been altered.

Tower of London – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

Tower of London is a new puzzle from Ravensburger which is part of the Historic Royal Palaces series. Tower of London is a 1,000 piece puzzle suitable for ages 10+ RRP £11.99.

I completed the Hampton Court Puzzle earlier in the year, and the Tower of London is a great addition to this series. The puzzle comes with a picture fact sheet, and I find these sheets a great addition to the puzzling experience. Its so much easier to refer to the picture sheet rather than the lid of the box.

tower of london

I sometimes feel that photographic puzzles like the tower of London will somehow not keep my attention and be as interesting, but didn’t find this the case with this puzzle. There at first glance seemed to be a sea of blue, and after my initial sorting of the edges I found the red was the colour that stood out. There also appeared to be lots of brick, but again once you have been through the pieces you find the quality of the picture allows you to separate each of the different tones of building.

tower of london puzzle

The Tower of London was not a tricky puzzle, and once the figures of the guardsman and the Beefeater were complete, it was easy to find the ER wording. The crown and the darker blue of the sky were easy to sort. Traitors gate was the next part completed and finally the historic tower of London itself.

tower of london review

The Tower of London is a great puzzle and one which I enjoyed especially the details on the crowns. I certainly need to think about going to the tower one day as its a place I have never been to. Visit the Ravensburger website for more great puzzles.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review and the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

Hampton Court Palace – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

Hampton Court Palace is a Ravensburger Puzzle in the series of Historic Royal Palaces. This 1,000 piece puzzle would be suited to ages 12+ with a RRP £11.99.

hampton court palace

At first glance I thought the Hampton Court Palace puzzle would be tricky as I don’t do many photographic puzzles. But on closer inspection I realised there were a few bold blocks of colour. I sorted the edges, and also the blue of the sky and bright colours of the figures at the bottom of the photograph. The other part of the puzzle that stood out was the Astronomical Clock in the top left. These were all pretty straight forward to complete, and have some great details.

hampton court palace jigsaw

I was worried that I might lose interest in the Hampton court puzzle with its vast expanse of brick and greenery. I didn’t find this was the case as, as you sort through the pieces you realise they are very different. Details of the building pop out as you complete the puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed completing this puzzle and enjoyed reading about each of the historical details on the picture sheet.

hampton court palace puzzle

Hampton Court Palace looks like a beautiful palace to visit, and is on our to do list, this puzzle has been lovely to complete and enjoy the detail of this historic palace.

Have a look at my Amazon affiliate link below for the current price, and visit the Ravensburger website for other puzzles in this series.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

The Craft Shed – Ravensburger puzzle review

The Craft Shed is the first in a new series of havens from Ravensburger puzzles. This 1,000 piece puzzle is available for RRP £11.99 and suitable for ages 10+.

craft shed

The craft shed is an illustrative puzzle and has everything I would expect from a high quality traditional Ravensburger puzzle. Steve Read who illustrated the puzzle is from the East coast, and has been a self-taught artist for many years. The craft haven is the first in the series depicting sanctuaries and retreats, and certainly depicts a place I would love to retreat to at the end of the day.

craft shed puzzle

I was interested to see exactly how long it takes me to complete a 1,000 piece puzzle so timed myself while completing the craft shed. I started with the edges, then found the flowers and blue of the window stood out. This process took about an hour, and was followed by picking out the dominant colours from the illustration. The craft shed has some great detail, cute creatures and all fits beautifully together with the Ravensburger soft click system. I found interesting parts of the puzzle from the start, and enjoyed the different textured and coloured areas of this puzzle.

craft shed haven puzzle

I think it took me about five and a half hours to complete the craft haven. I don’t know if this is fast or slow, but I know I get quite addicted to puzzling and find I have to complete them in one go. I think the haven series of puzzles will be very popular with puzzle fans as it has a lovely traditional feel to the completed picture. I love the addition of the fact and picture sheet that you get in these puzzle boxes. I find it much easier to use the sheet than the lid for a guide to completing the picture.

craft shed haven

Have a look at my amazon affiliate link below for the current price, and offers

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review the words remain my own and have not been changed.

An Evening Walk – Review

An evening walk is a new 500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger RRP £7.99 suitable for ages 12+.

an evening walk

An evening walk is a beautiful illustration with a vintage Parisian feel. As you would expect from Ravensburger this puzzle has a great fit, bright colours and is a pleasure to piece together. I was interested to see how long this puzzle would take me to complete as I tend to stop and start and place a few pieces while cooking. So I set myself a target and borrowed the boys stopwatch and got started.

an evening walk puzzle

An evening walk has some great colours to get you started and I found after the edges were complete the sky was next as well as the fruit and flowers which were easy to spot. Next I completed the paving and the blues and purple of the citron. The Eifel tower was also easy to find the pieces for and finally the building to finish. I loved that this puzzle was much easier to finish than my usual 1,000 piece puzzles and took up hardly any room on the dining table, so the family didn’t have to eat around it!

evening walk

I loved the details in an evening walk, there is a nice balance of detail and open spaces. the sky makes a great atmosphere on this puzzle, and I think young adult puzzlers would also enjoy this puzzle. Have a look on the Ravensburger website for lots more 500 piece puzzles perfect for those with less space, or want to finish at speed like I did. I completed this puzzle in 1 hour and 40 minutes, not bad I thought!

My affiliate link is below if you would like to buy this puzzle.

Cooking up a Feast – Puzzle Review

Cooking up a feast is number 7 in the perplexing puzzle series from Ravensburger, this 1,000 piece puzzle is suitable for ages 10+ RRP £11.99.

This is the first time I have tried one of the Perplexing puzzles, and cooking up a feast was a fun puzzle that brought back memories of my Nan’s kitchen. I particularly liked the rabbit jelly mould as this was part of my childhood, along with the bone handled butter knives. Cooking up a feast is a photographic puzzle, and at first glance didn’t look as if it was going to be particularly difficult as there is plenty of colour in the picture.

cooking up a feast

I started with edges and the bright pink, orange of the rabbit jelly mould, next the red of the strawberries, jam and tea-pot. After this the puzzle was a little more difficult but certainly not impossible. There were enough little details in the cooking up a feast puzzle to keep my interest and it took about 4 hours to complete the puzzle. I loved all the vintage packaging and can imagine my Nan’s cupboards having things like these in them, I certainly remember the hand turned mincer!

cooking up

 

I didn’t find cooking up a feast was more of a challenge than some of the Colin Thompson puzzles that I have previously completed, but it was certainly still fun. The quality of a Ravensburger puzzle is faultless, and the pieces always sit well together. Have a look at the Ravensburger website for more of the Perplexing puzzle series or have a look at my affiliate link below.

cooking up a feast finished puzzle

 

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in return for an honest review.

World Wonders Ravensburger Puzzle – Review

World Wonders is a 2,000 piece Ravensburger puzzle which is part of the Panorama collection of puzzles. Suitable for 14+ and RRP £20.99 this puzzle measures 132 x 61cm when complete.

world wonders

World Wonders is an illustrated puzzle by Maria Rabinky and with 2,000 was going to be my Christmas challenge. Like other Ravensburger puzzles, World wonders has the same well made pieces with the soft click technology which means they fit together perfectly. I did feel daunted when I first opened the box but with a little help from the boy soon got started. I find I only use the box for my sorting pieces, but with this puzzle decided I needed a couple of trays. as I sorted and looked for the edges, I also decided to separate all the blue coloured pieces. Strangely I found it easier to complete the penguins and blue seas first.

world wonders puzzle

Sorting through the 2,000 pieces of the World wonders puzzle took some time, and completing the edges took more than an hour. It was interesting to see how much of my table this puzzle took up. I thought the boy might enjoy helping with this puzzle, but in-fact he found it a little daunting, and helped towards the end when he could see that we were getting close to completion.

world wonders 2000

I love the details on the World Wonders puzzle, there is some poetic licence with the placement of some of the images, and the boy enjoyed finding these. With two Sydney opera houses, floating kiwis, and some strange islands off the Cornish coast. The details of animals and famous landmarks is lovely on this puzzle, but don’t be fouled to thinking that you will know the location of every piece. The pieces are smaller than the illustration on the box subjects so the World Wonders puzzle is still a challenge.

world wonders finished

I loved the Panorama puzzle size which makes a change from the standard rectangle and this fitted the map view of the puzzle well. With the addition of the fish and dolphins, boats and islands there are no large coloured spaces so your interest is kept right up to the last piece. World Wonders I think took me around 8 hours in total to complete, although I do get carried away and still finished this puzzle within 2 days of staring it. I love the bright colourful details of the World wonders puzzle, and think that puzzle fans will enjoy the challenge of this larger puzzle.

Have a look at Ravensburger for other puzzles in the Panorama series like the one I completed of London at Night as well as lots of fun puzzles for the kids.

 

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review the words remain my own and have not been changed.

The Christmas Cupboard Ravensburger Puzzle – Review

The Christmas Cupboard is the 4th puzzle in the Curious cupboards series by Colin Thompson. This Ravensburger 1,000 piece Puzzle is RRP £12.99 suitable for ages 10+, this festive edition is a fun bright puzzle for fans of Colin’s quirky illustrate puzzles.

christmas cupboard

The Christmas Cupboard like Colin’s other Curious Cupboard puzzles are a mix of illustrations and photographs. Ever since I completed the Bizarre town 5,000 piece puzzle I have been hooked on this eclectic picture puzzle. I love all the tiny details and completing the puzzle is like meeting up with an old friend. The Christmas Cupboard is a good mix of previous illustrations from the other puzzles, with a mix of new and a hint of Christmas cheer. I have always enjoyed seeking out the odd tiny characters in the curious cupboard puzzles. From the strange pink creatures, walking books, and the little bowler hatted men.

christmas cupboard colin thompson

The Christmas Cupboard was fun to complete and took me between 4/5 hours. I found it easy to check the enclosed picture sheet and find this more useful than the box lid when completing the puzzle. I liked the mix of colours as there wasn’t too much red which I noticed with other Christmas puzzles. The quirky feel of the Christmas Cupboard transports you to a different world and my favourite part was the corner of vintage style wrapping paper, something I’m sure my Nan used to buy from the market.

christmas cupboar ravensburger

The Christmas Cupboard has to be one of my favourite puzzles from this year, and along with the other curious cupboard puzzles I’m sure will be popular with puzzlers across the world. For more great puzzles visit the Ravensburger website, or click on my Amazon affiliate link below

 

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle the words remain my own and have not been altered.