Jigsaw Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Map Puzzle

Disclosure: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim collector’s puzzle was purchased for review by VGBlogger.com.

Made by USAopoly, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Collector’s Puzzle presents a replica map of Tamriel’s iconic northern region. The completed image looks fantastic, just like an old papyrus map scroll complete with lines of wear and tear. The map is fully labeled with shield insignias for Skyrim’s nine major cities, boundary lines for the nine Holds, and markers for travel routes, main bodies of water, and some of the smaller villages and landmarks. Perimeter script also identifies the four surrounding regions to Skyrim’s east, south, southwest, and west, so it’s clear where the territory falls in relation to Morrowind, Cyrodiil, Hammerfell, and High Rock.

Due to the limited color palette–the base color for the whole thing is varying shades of beige–the puzzle appears like it will be quite a challenge upon first digging into the box, and for folks who don’t do a lot of jigsaw puzzles the level of difficulty I imagine will indeed prove to be quite high. For me, though, it was a snap. Not counting an initial sorting time, I banged out the puzzle assembly over a couple nights, which is probably the quickest completion time I’ve ever accomplished on a jigsaw.

The hardest part is getting the border set as well as the adjacent areas of solid color that surround the map terrain. Once you work from the outside in and set the border, the central map portion turns out to be fairly simple to complete. The landmarks, mountains, rivers, road patterns, and other cartographic iconography provide clearly identifiable starting points to begin mapping out the building process. Personally, I started by piecing together all of the text labels and shield emblems for the different cities, and then placing those in their approximate location around the empty space to set a general lay of the land before proceeding to fill in the gaps by lining up the topographic patterns.

The 18″ x 24″ puzzle consists of 550 pieces, so it’s an all-around accessible size. Going from the nightmarish Uncharted 4 puzzle I just reviewed to this, I was pleased to find a far greater variety of shapes and sizes to the cutouts. Most of the pieces have the standard format of two tabbed sides on opposite ends and two blank cuts on the other sides, but there also is an assorted mix, albeit in lesser quantity, of pieces with one tab and three blank cuts as well as three tabs and one blank side. One lone piece even has tabs on all four sides. All of the pieces have visually distinct contours, which helps a lot when matching the areas that are more solid in color.

I’m also super impressed by how snuggly the interlocking pieces fit and hold together. The completed puzzle is so sturdy I’m able to pick it up and move it around without it instantly crumbling apart. I even hung it on the wall without applying a single drop of glue!

The average Elder Scrolls fan who isn’t particularly experienced with jigsaws and is buying the puzzle solely as a collector’s item probably will struggle through parts of the assembly. However, anyone who knows their way around a jigsaw puzzle should find somewhere between a low to intermediate challenge. The end result sure is a treat for the eye. You can see what it looks like framed and mounted on my wall below.

Buy From: Amazon or GameStop

Disclosure: Puzzle 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!