Jigsaw Review: Fallout Nuka Cola and Perk Poster Puzzles

Disclosure: The Fallout jigsaw puzzles were purchased by VGBlogger.com for review purposes.

Any Wastelanders out there in need of a post-apocalyptic jigsaw fix? USAopoloy may not deal in Mentats, Jet, Psycho, or other chems, but the company’s Fallout puzzle collection will surely prove far more addictive to jigsaw junkies looking for a puzzle-solving high.

First up is the Nuka Cola collector’s puzzle, which presents one of the iconic poster advertisements for the most popular soft drink brand of the post-apocalypse, complete with an even dose of charm and sex appeal. The puzzle is a customary 18″ x 24″ in size; however it’s cut up into 750 pieces instead of the 550 pieces USAopoloy’s video game themed jigsaws are typically made of. Therefore you can expect slightly tinier pieces and, consequently, a higher degree of difficulty. The areas of solid red, beige, and cola brown are especially tricky with the smaller pieces, but thankfully the cutout shapes are distinct and varied enough that puzzle-heads with a sharp visual acuity should be able to manage without too much trouble.

My favorite thing about this puzzle is its vintage presentation–not only the image itself but also the materials and packaging. While most jigsaw pieces have a smooth, glossy finish, this puzzle is printed on a matte, textured stock mimicking the style of those old-fashioned linen postcards and posters. The effect is subtle and hard to convey in pictures, but in person it adds a retro, almost antiqued flavor that perfectly accentuates the theme. Even the box is printed with the same textured coating.

What’s even more exciting is the fact that the puzzle box is labeled with a #1, hinting that USAopoloy has future puzzle variations with the Nuka Cola theme on the production line. Knowing that there will be a series of these enhances the collectible appeal. I could totally see a set of these being ideal for framing and hanging as a collection. Based on this first offering, I’ll have my wallet ready for whenever the top is popped off the second puzzle.

Consisting of 550 pieces, the second puzzle I have to show off depicts a full-size 18″ x 24″ representation of the Fallout 4 perk poster. Despite having larger pieces, I actually anticipated that this puzzle would be more difficult than the Nuka Cola one, because it features a lot of redundant patterns and smaller, scattered parts. There really isn’t a singular focal point to concentrate on first and build upon, nor are there clearly defined smaller sections to sort out and systematically work through in stages.

However, once the border is in place, the numbered stairwell levels down the side combined with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. headings across the top together form a visual guideline that helps in charting out a plan of attack. It was actually quite easy to map the puzzle out by visualizing it as a grid, beginning by placing out all of the individual Vault Boy pieces by row and column number, and then filling in the empty space around them. Once I got that system down, I actually blitzed through the whole puzzle within two nights of work.

The completed image is a pleasure to behold. Yes it’s kind of cluttered, but as a Fallout fan it serves as a delightful representation of Vault Boy demonstrating all of the different S.P.E.C.I.A.L. traits with that signature cartoonish flair that has made the character an iconic mascot for the franchise.

Even though it’s not even summer yet and the holiday season is a ways off, as I finished the puzzle I came away with a lightbulb idea that this perk poster image would make a fantastic theme for an Advent calendar. Can you imagine opening little vault doors, or having a bunch of Vault Boy figures wearing Santa hats and other festive accessories to reveal every day? Someone please make that happen. I suppose I could always do it the homemade way, gluing this puzzle together while setting aside a selection of the character pieces in a baggie. Then I could sort through to find the right piece to insert for each day. Yes, these are the things I think about, because I am a giant geek. Anywho, it’s a fun puzzle by itself, so go buy it already.

Buy From: The Nuka Cola puzzle is available exclusively at GameStop for $10.99. The Perk Poster puzzle is available for $10.99 at Amazon, Entertainment Earth, or GameStop.

Disclosure: Puzzles purchased by reviewer.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!