These 1,000-piece jigsaws are a game, a story, and a puzzle all in one

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There’s nothing new about 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles, so when a jigsaw puzzle goes on Kickstarter, creators have to think outside of the box. Now, the co-founder of Cards Against Humanity has done just that, launching a project that takes a new approach to the classic pastime.

The Magic Puzzle Company is trying to make puzzles that are full of surprises and twists that keep you engaged as much as possible from start to finish. The first three Magic Puzzles are 1,000-piece jigsaws, all featuring original artwork. The three sets have very distinct designs that make them look like unique little worlds featuring tropical vibes, the coziness of small beach town life, and a trippy space-themed aesthetic.

“[T]he art is super important, but very few people are doing new things with puzzle art,” Magic Puzzles co-creator Jordan Gold told The Verge in an email. Gold said people like to get into a “flow” state and lose track of time while working on puzzles. “We felt we could enhance that feeling for people with the right art details to make the puzzle stimulating to solve.”

Each magic puzzle is designed to tell a story, not with words, but with visuals. The story is supposed to progress as you add more pieces of the puzzle. There are Easter eggs in each story that you’re supposed to hunt down as you continue assembling the puzzle. The Kickstarter project also mentions there is a “magical twist ending” — the creators don’t say exactly what it is, but it sounds like it has something to do with optical illusions.

The Magic Puzzle Company also emphasizes a particular attention to detail throughout its puzzles. The company claims it uses thicker cardboard than most puzzles, sifts the puzzle pieces to remove “puzzle dust,” and includes velcro and string-tie bags to seal everything back up.

Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin is also involved with the Kickstarter project, serving as a co-creator. Temkin has helped launch other games and projects, including Chicago Board Game Cafe, Humans vs. Zombies, and Secret Hitler. More recently, Cards Against Humanity acquired the satirical website ClickHole in early February.

The Magic Puzzle Kickstarter project launched on May 4th with a funding goal of $44,000 and successfully reached its goal on the same day — it’s currently raised more than $500,000. The Kickstarter project is still running for the next several weeks. If you want to back the project, you can pledge $20 or more to obtain one of the three puzzle sets, with estimated delivery slated for October 2020.

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