Review: “Waterfall Valley” by Charles Wysocki, Buffalo Games – 9/10
Publisher: Buffalo Games (US), published 2016
Size: 500 pieces
Title: “Waterfall Valley” by Charles Wysocki
Finished size: 21.25″ x 15″
OUR RATING: 9/10
Check out the end of this review for more of my favorite Charlies Wysocki puzzles on Puzzle Warehouse right now!
Box Quality: (9/10)
The Buffalo Games boxes are very sturdy and have nice packaging design. The box is small at 8″ x 8″, but it comes with a poster inside so you don’t need to depend on the image on the box lid. The front, which you can see above, has the “Charles Wyscoki Americana Collection” logo, and the Buffalo Games logo. The name of the puzzle, “Waterfall Valley”, is also shown on the front.
The back of the box has a generic Buffalo Games back (below).
The sides all have the Charles Wysocki logo prominent and large. The puzzle name is shown on two sides. There’s also the Buffalo Games logo, the piece count, and a picture of the image. All sides would work pretty well for shelving side-out.
The box is glued shut on the sides (instead of being shrink wrapped) and the glue has to be cut by inserting a knife down the side. Inside the box the pieces are packed loose (not inside a bag) and there’s also a poster. You can see the poster below. It’s good size, at least twice the size of the image on the box. The poster shows a few other puzzles in this series too. The back of the poster is blank white.
Overall, I’ve given the box an 9/10. I particularly like the poster and the way Charles Wysocki’s name is emphasized. When the puzzle comes with a poster included like this, I prefer the smaller box because it takes up less space in my collection.
The Image: 10/10
Those who follow my blog know I like Charles Wysocki puzzles. I love the amount of fine detail in his images, his use of color, and the hand-painted art style, which is folk but not loose. When this particular puzzle came on the market last year, it made my “Top Ten Fall Puzzles” list. I was in the mood for something quick and fall-themed on these hot summer nights, so I finally got it out and put it together.
I love the unusual fall colors–purples and rusts. And the various New England style buildings are pretty and fun to piece together. Overall, a great puzzle scene. I’ve given the image a perfect 10 score.
(Click on any of the images in this review for a closer look.)
Puzzle Quality: (9/10)
You can see my brand page for Buffalo Games here. This 2016 puzzle is fully compatible with the puzzles I reviewed for my brand analysis. The quality is very good. The pieces feel sturdy, the box and contents are undamaged and in great condition, and the artwork reproduction is spot on.
The cut is a standard grid-cut puzzle with a wide variety of piece shapes and even a few ‘zig zag’ sided pieces. I never had a question about whether or not a piece actually fit. The connections are average–neither particularly tight or lose. If you try to move small groups of pieces around they will fall apart unless you’re very careful. Click on the image below to get an enlargement of the piece shapes.
The final surface is fairly flat and seamless. The finish is glossy, which can lead to glare under overhead lights, but that didn’t cause a problem with this puzzle because there aren’t a lot of dark areas. Overall, puzzle quality scores a high 9 out of 10.
My difficulty rating for this puzzle is: EASY. I did it in one evening session.
After starting with the border of the puzzle, the first area I completed was the sky. The pink/purple sky with black tree limbs is a distinct-looking area and the pieces are easy to pull out of the mix. It’s a fairly small area and goes together quickly.
After the sky, I pulled out all the pieces that had building textures on them. Although there are various white buildings, each one has different colored trim or roof colors, so you can tell what white piece goes to what building.
The red bridge is another man-made texture that really stands out in the box of pieces.
The train is another texture that’s distinctive, especially the green bits and the wheels.
After doing the obvious white objects and train, what’s left is a lot of fall-colored areas with browns, rusts, and stone textures. The large stone building has a wonderful unique texture.
There’s a similar stone textures on a bridge.
The trees in the background have a random pattern, but the different colors make this area fairly easy to assemble.
The middle ground is a rust-with-rocks texture. And there are plenty of waterfalls to assemble in various parts of the image.
The light-colored paths through some of the “dirt” areas are helpful for piece orientation.
I’ve given assembly an 8 score. The colors are pretty and there are plenty of different textures and colors, making this an easy puzzle to assemble.
“Waterfall Valley” is pretty fall-themed Wysocki puzzle, perfect for a short puzzling session, or for kids or seniors who prefer smaller piece counts. The scene has lots of different colors and textures with the white houses, red barn, purple-yellow-orange puffs of trees, and all the wonderful stonework. It’s also fun to assemble the various waterfalls around the image. The Buffalo Games quality is very good with grid cut pieces and a nice box that comes with a poster. Recommended to all fans of Americana puzzles.
Where to find:
Some of my other favorite Wysocki puzzles on Puzzle Warehouse right now!
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