REVIEW: A Bend in the Road by Al Agnew, Sunsout – 8.5/10
Publisher: Sunsout (US), currently in print as of Sept 2018
Title: “A Bend in the Road” by Al Agnew, 1000 pieces
Finished size: 20″ x 27
OUR RATING: 8.5/10
October is nearly upon us, so it’s time to indulge in those lovely Fall puzzles. The leaves may not be turning yet where you live, but you can get a dose of color with puzzles like this one.
Box Quality: (7/10)
The Sunsout boxes are very large and square in shape. They’re oversized compared to most boxes on the market. This takes up more shelf space but also provides a nice big image when you use the box lid for reference. The name of the puzzle, and artist’s name is prominent on the front. I really like how the artist is featured on both the front and all sides of the box.
Three of the sides are the same, showing a tiny image of the puzzle, puzzle name, artist name, piece count, finished size, and Sunsout logo. The fourth side has a bar code and no puzzle image. The year of manufacture isn’t given.
The back of the box is plain white and made of a thinner cardboard.
Nothing comes inside the Sunsout box except the bag of puzzle pieces and a very small paper slip with the company url. There was a fair amount of puzzle dust in the bag. The pieces were fully separated and undamaged.
The final box score is 7.
The Image: (10/10)
This puzzle has been on several of my “best fall puzzles” lists, so it was time to sit down and assemble it. I love the image. It captures the feeling of a cool and slight misty fall morning so perfectly. The bright greens and oranges are very appealing and fun to work with. The setting makes me wish I had on my hiking boots and a barn coat and could walk right into the picture. Full marks for this image.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (8/10)
Sunsout did well in our brand comparison. You can see our full brand comparison on Sunsout here.
I enjoy Sunsout’s random cut. It provides a more interesting and varied assembly experience and also very few “it looks like it fits but it really doesn’t” moments because the piece shapes vary so widely. You can see the variety of piece shapes in the close-up below.
This puzzle fit is about average in tightness and interlock. I could move groups of pieces around without them falling apart.
The image reproduction and colors are excellent.
There is a glossy finish to Sunsout puzzles, which can cause glare under overhead lights at night. I had to work on some of the dark tree areas in daylight near a window to see the subtle differences in color.
Overall, I’ve given quality a 8 score.
This was a challenging puzzle to assemble. There are loads of random pattern in this puzzle between all the leaves and grass.
I first assembled the border, which was fairly easy to do. The easiest part of this puzzle is the sky. The solid, cream-colored area is fairly small and goes together quickly. The bright yellow and darker orange leaves in the tree are more challenging because of the random leaf pattern, but it’s fun to work with these bright colors.
On the second day I looked for the “next easiest” areas. These include the silver water puddles on the road and the gray-green misty areas in the mid ground. I also started assembling the deer.
The silver water areas are easy to spot on the puzzle pieces.
I also worked on the yellow flowers in the grass, though didn’t finish them on day two. Once again, the yellow splotches on the green are a random pattern so more difficult to piece together. Good if you like a challenge!
My final session was a long one. As you can see from the “day two” image, what’s left is a lot of darker areas and the grass in the foreground.
A good place to start is the wood textures in the trees and in the split-rail fencing at the left.
The deer are brown like many other things in the image, but the highlights and spots of white on their coats make them identifiable.
The last part of the puzzle to go totether was the dark bank of trees on the mid right.
“A Bend in the Road” is a classic Fall puzzle with a beautiful and peaceful setting. It’s a challenging puzzle with all the random patterns in the leaves, trees, and grass, so I recommend it for those who like more difficult puzzles. The Sunsout quality is good with random cut pieces, a fit that is neither too tight nor super loose, and good image reproduction.
Where to find:
Click below to see the puzzle on Puzzle Warehouse.