Jigsaw Review: Song of the Deep Collector’s Edition Puzzle

SongOfTheDeep_Jigsaw_1

Thanks to the partnership with GameStop and the retailer’s new game publishing label GameTrust Games, the recent launch of Insomniac’s wonderful submarine Metroidvania adventure Song of the Deep has been accompanied by a wide range of tie-in merchandising–everything from t-shirts, beanies, and wristwatches to vinyl figures, keychains, and playing cards. I’ll be reviewing the companion book and a couple other items coming up, but right now, being the unashamed jigsaw nerd that I am, I’m thrilled to share some thoughts on the collector’s edition puzzle by ThinkGeek.

At 24″ x 18″ and 550 pieces, the Song of the Deep puzzle is about average size for a jigsaw. The art used portrays the memorable scene of heroine Merryn standing on the peak of a cliff while holding up a flaming candle, something she does every night as a beacon to signal her fisherman father on his return voyage home from a long, hard day at sea. Though gloomy, it’s a beautiful image, with the soft glow of the moonlight reflecting off the ocean at the bottom and clouds in shades of midnight blue and purple billowing up as a sort of semi-circle frame that immediately draws your eye to the central shot of Merryn looking out over the dark ocean.

SongOfTheDeep_Jigsaw_2

The mid-range size of the individual pieces as well as the completed image makes the puzzle accessible to users in the low teens and up, however the dark color palette definitely ups the challenge even for experienced jigsawers. This is without a doubt one of the trickier puzzles I’ve put together recently. The moon, candle flame, and Merryn sections come together quickly, but the color variation for most of the pieces is so minute that filling in the surrounding ambiance requires a keen eye and strong visual acuity to pick up on the subtle contours of the puzzle cuts versus relying on what’s printed on the face of the pieces.

Having just the right room lighting is pretty important too, because, at least for me, the glossy black sheen caused a lot of glare that was hard to see through while assembling under a direct overhead light source. Visibility was much clearer when I was able to work on it in the daytime under indirect sunlight shining in through the window.

Something that is missing in the box is one of those small cards of the full puzzle image. Sure you can always look at the cover of the puzzle box, but it’s always nice to have the preview card for reference, should you use both halves of the box for sorting purposes. It’s pretty rare for a jigsaw puzzle to not have one included.

Fully assembled, the puzzle stands out as a piece with more of a fine art sensibility than the average jigsaw puzzle, which would look lovely framed. The only small misgiving I have isn’t with the puzzle itself necessarily, but rather with the choice of the jigsaw art given other potential options that could have been used. For example, the same image would’ve popped more had the art been done in the brighter storybook style of the same shot as depicted in the in-game cutscene, like this:

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Another possibility that I think would have offered more compelling variation is the main key art image used for the box cover. This would make a great puzzle:

SongOfTheDeep_Keyart

With or without the logo, that’s an image that clearly represents the game’s deep sea environment and sense of adventure within a single shot. Perhaps the key art will be used should a second collector’s puzzle be produced (please make it happen, GameStop!). I don’t know if that’s in the cards, but after this first dip into Song of the Deep jigsaw puzzling I’m absolutely hoping for more. Listen up, fellow jigsaw geeks–this puzzle’s a must-buy!

Buy From: Song of the Deep Collector’s Edition Puzzle is available exclusively at GameStop for $9.99.

Disclosure: Sample product provided to VGBlogger.com for review by GameStop.

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!