Escape and crime games have been delighting puzzle fans at home for a long time. For some time there has also been crime puzzles by HCM Kinzel. You start with a short story and then you go straight to the puzzle. Once the puzzle is complete, you will find clues there to solve the puzzle.


The Belgian detective Jean-Luc Peeters is actually hired to solve some thefts in an old English mansion. Shortly thereafter, however, he finds himself in the midst of a group of travelers on the Nile, where a steamship becomes the murderous backdrop.
Game Description of Crime Puzzle: DEATH AT THE PYRAMIDS. HCM Kinzel.


About the crime puzzle

According to the publisher, the puzzle is for ages 15 and up and has 1000 pieces and a crime book. The number of people is 1+, because in principle you can also play or do the puzzle in a team. There is no time specification - it is of course very different how long you need for a 1000 piece puzzle. There is also another difficulty: You don't even know what the finished picture will look like. So far I have known normal puzzles, where you puzzle the box motif 1:1, and puzzles where you roughly know the picture, but there are small deviations here and there. So not knowing what to puzzle was a whole new challenge. 

Everyone probably has their own unique puzzle strategy, but I always start with the edge to get a first orientation. Then I make small piles of similar pieces and then try to insert them into the picture one by one. 

Important: If you want to hang up the puzzle later or use a puzzle mat: the finished motif measures 58cm x 74cm. It therefore deviates slightly from the usual (or known to me) format of 50×70.

First impression

When you open it, you can see a small booklet. This includes a short introduction over several pages and at the end a few solution pages. However, these are written mirrored, so I have to read them in a mirror, for example. 

Game box and crime book

Game box and crime book, photo: Tim Nissel

The individual puzzle pieces had an interesting die cut and there were only two pieces that had not come loose and were still attached and two pieces where the bottom had come loose slightly. In general, this is fine for a 100-piece puzzle. 

The two parts that were still connected made the special punching clear to me. Many jigsaw puzzles work in such a way that each piece fits perfectly into the next. However, this is not the case here and one part can be higher than the adjacent part. This takes a little getting used to at first (it makes it look like a part is wrong), but you get used to it quickly. 

Jigsaw pieces and jigsaw gaps showing the special punching.

It is also somewhat surprising that there is no information about the motive. But that can also be an attraction. At times I did puzzles with my father and he also found it exciting (because his puzzles are usually finished very quickly). So don't be afraid not to understand puzzle as a pure solo game. Anyone can take care of a corner or an area and let's be honest, we all know the situation that you stare at the parts forever and can't find anything suitable and then someone comes along and finds the right parts right away.

Once the puzzle is complete, you can solve the murder and then read your solution and the concluding story in the booklet.

Attention spoilers. If you want to see the motif, you can find the finished picture here. Note, however, that one of the charms of the puzzle is that you don't know the motive. 

My Opinion

Overall, I liked the crime puzzle, but it also has a few flaws. The quality of the parts is okay, there are puzzles with better quality, but there are also puzzles with poorer quality. There were no problems with the puzzle, so far everything is fine. 

The unusual punching confused me, especially at the beginning, because I didn't have the feeling that the parts really fit together. But if you look at the pressure, you can see that it fits. This is definitely one aspect that makes the puzzle a bit more challenging. In addition, you have to work without a motif. Puzzle newcomers or maybe younger people could have problems with this or be frustrated more easily. This is probably where the classification as a 15+ puzzle comes from. 

A small flaw with the puzzle: I didn't like the motif at the end. So it would not have been a puzzle that I would have brought for the motif. However, in a crime puzzle, the focus is on other elements anyway, and in the end there is no arguing about taste anyway.

So much for the puzzle. What's missing in a crime puzzle? The detective. The story is introduced in detail and you then know the setting. For my taste, the text was too long and not too exciting. 

In the end, the puzzle part was also very limited. There is no great combining or puzzles. You see a scene and a clear clue. Then it goes directly to reading the final story.

In summary, I had the impression that the puzzle wants to combine 2 things, but in the end it doesn't succeed. For puzzle fans, the puzzle is an exciting challenge. However, the puzzle part is so limited that no real puzzle mood arises. Puzzle fans will probably be disappointed accordingly, which is why I would recommend it especially for puzzle fans who want a story to go with the puzzle or a challenging puzzle.


Last updated on 2.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API