What is Wasgij?
Picture it, July 7, 2017, St. Louis, MO: I arrive at Puzzle Warehouse for the very first time. (Very excited and rocking very short hair!)
I was beyond excited to browse the store and find new puzzles to try. One that immediately intrigued me was Wasgij. The description on the box said, "Don't puzzle what you see…" I was honestly intimidated but I loved the illustrations so I needed to purchase at least one.
I learned that Wasgij puzzles are produced by Jumbo, which is a game, puzzle, and toy manufacturer based in the Netherlands. Their puzzles are very high quality and, in my opinion, one of the best puzzle companies in the world. Fun fact: Wasgij is jigsaw spelled backward!
So, how can you put a puzzle together without knowing the final image? It's a combination of imagination and using clues from the box. This particular puzzle is called Catching a Break, however, the tips can be used with any Wasgij puzzle.
One of the first things I do when I start a Wasgij is taking a look at the insert. There's a little flyer that gives a couple of hints to the puzzle.
Next, I organize my pieces by color. On every Wasgij I have done, I have a section of pieces that include faces and people. For this puzzle, my main sorting piles were people, grass & trees, yellow & ground, blue, and red. I also look at the patterns. Often I am able to get some pieces together immediately based on patterns.
I almost always do the edges first on Wasgij puzzles. Getting the frame together gives me a fantastic starting point. With Wasgij, I never know exactly where a section goes until it is in place. But having the edges completed first provides a fantastic reference for where sections may go. Another tip is to look at the box. We know that the image on the box is not the same, but there are clues you can use to complete the puzzle.
Using these strategies, Wasgij puzzles are broken down and much easier to put together than digging through a box of 1,000 pieces without knowing where to start. I don't want to spoil the surprise image, so here are a couple of close-ups.
Wasgij has 4 different categories, or styles, for their puzzles: Original, Destiny, Mystery, and Christmas. In the original Wasgij puzzles, you are putting yourself into the position of a character on the puzzle. Then you use your imagination to puzzle what you see. This style is the hardest type of Wasgij. There are fewer clues to rely on since essentially nothing you see is on the completed puzzle. The Wasgij Original puzzles are ideal for puzzlers looking for a challenge. The Wasgij Christmas collection follows the same concept.
Destiny is the 2nd most challenging style for Wasgij puzzles. In these, the puzzler is essentially a time traveler. You use your imagination to puzzle the future - the puzzle image in modern times. I have found that thinking of what the people may look like as they age is very helpful for the Destiny style of Wasgij puzzles.
Last is the easiest type of Wasgij puzzle, Mystery. I generally don't think of mysteries as easy but with Wasgij Mystery puzzles you are puzzling a scene that is just a couple of minutes into the future. This version gives you the most clues. You can use the walls, floor, people, and animals as references for grouping pieces together.
So although it is intimidating to try to do a puzzle without a reference image, Wasgij puzzles are a fun introduction to the challenge. For your first Wasgij, I recommend trying a Mystery puzzle.
Good luck, have fun, and happy puzzling!
Diane aka Bizzle's Puzzles