Through its Red Weddings, Purple Weddings, and enough character deaths to make a minefield of spoilers, Game of Thrones has intrigued our modern minds with its tales of a fantasy medieval land. Perhaps most iconic of all is the opening credits sequence, in which the cities of Westeros are seen growing out of the map with twists and turns worthy of a magician’s clock. 4D Cityscape, famous for its puzzles of historical cities, brings this sequence practically to life with its Puzzle of Westeros, which is three puzzles in one.
The foundational puzzle is a 1030-piece jigsaw map of Westeros that fans of the show or books will find very familiar. Puzzle-enthusiasts even unfamiliar with the fantasy universe will enjoy the challenge of assembling the moderately difficult pieces. The map is divided into tan land spaces and black sea, which makes piecing the map together by its image or colors difficult. Instead, it is better to seek out the writing or geological structures on the map, prompting eyes to search carefully for details. The finished map stretches out to thirty by eighteen inches, a healthy size for a tabletop puzzle.
Once the first map is completed, a 359-piece topography map may be laid over it. It is made of thicker foam pieces that stand tall above the flat surface of the original jigsaw, giving a 3D effect of the land towering over the black sea. The foam causes the pieces to seemingly fit together when they may or may not be in the proper place, encouraging players to keep a careful eye out for the smooth progression of colors or rivers. While the more difficult flat puzzle might be best for devotees of harder puzzles, the topography map is much easier and visually appealing, making it a great puzzle for everyone that can even be assembled on its own.
The third puzzle comes in the form of 16 collectible structures in the shapes of the famed Game of Thrones cities and citadels. Players can pop out the foam pieces in the topography puzzle and replace them to create a riveting view of upraised sites akin to the opening roll of the show. Among the plastic models are the towering Eyrie, the sprawling King’s Landing with its looming Red Keep, and Winterfell complete with the red-leaved heart tree. Smaller castles and villages make up additional sites to the world, going deeper into the world, which will excite fans of the books. Red shields and green flags stand as historical markers of important landscapes, giving a vivid setting to the detailed model cities.
This history is what makes the 4D Cityscapes more than just beautifully crafted puzzles. An additional booklet first gives hints as to the assembly of the puzzle and then goes into detail about the cities and their occupants. Descriptions explain houses such as Stark and Lannister, alongside their emblems, sigils, and house words, “Winter is Coming” and “Hear me Roar.” The fascinating history of Westeros is revealed piece by piece, which encourages excitement in fans both old and new. Even those who do not follow the series, the puzzle stands as a work of art and a thought-provoking assemblage of puzzle-upon-puzzle.Powered by Sidelines