One of the most popular current pastimes for Americans is surprisingly old school: jigsaw puzzles. In 2020, the demand for puzzles has skyrocketed by 370 percent, and it doesn’t seem like the popularity will be slowing down anytime soon. Puzzles come in all shapes, sizes and difficulties, making it a perfect game for anyone to play. And there are a ton of puzzles to choose from if you’re looking for one that’s intensely challenging.
If you’re a puzzle pro, you likely need something that’s different. Whether you decide to use the box as a guide or not, certain puzzles can promise difficulty either way.
If you’re up for the challenge, here are 12 difficult puzzles that will keep you busy.
1. Palm Tree Puzzle
There isn’t a lot happening in this picture, which is what makes the puzzle so difficult. The singular palm tree surrounded by hues of pink and purple will leave you with looking at pieces that seem like they could fit anywhere. It has 1,000 pieces and is the perfect size to work on a tabletop.
2. Below The Surface Puzzle
This 1,000 piece puzzle is a great choice for people who plan on working together to complete it. You can complete it from any side since there is no designated top, bottom or side perspective. It’s quirky, colorful and full of underwater creatures that will take a lot of brain power to put together.
3. Pure Black Cardboard Puzzle
While most puzzles end up forming into some type of picture, this pure black puzzle is the complete opposite. It consists of 1,000 mini pieces that are all black, which will leave you with a black rectangle upon completion. If you end up needing some help, there are letters on the back of the pieces to help you separate them into different sections.
4. Tranquil Floral Puzzle
Spring has sprung with this floral puzzle, and it’s not an easy garden to navigate. The 1,000 wooden piece puzzle has an assortment of flowers all bunched together with similar colors and shapes throughout. This makes it equally pretty and challenging.
5. Praying Hands
If you’re a fan of art history, you’ll enjoy working on this praying hands jigsaw puzzle. The 500 piece puzzle depicts a famous painting completed by German artist Albercht Durer from the 15th century. The gently clasped hands are intricately detailed with few colors to differentiate the pieces, making it a challenging puzzle to attempt.
6. Zodiac Horoscope Puzzle
If the circular shape of this puzzle doesn’t challenge you, then the design itself will. This 500 piece zodiac horoscope puzzle is a unique and mysterious image. The symmetrical outline might give you a bit of help, but the many colors and intricate details won’t make it easy.
7. The Sweet Shop Puzzle
Activate your sweet tooth with this candy shop jigsaw puzzle. It contains 529 colorful pieces with an extra level of difficulty. The pieces are double sided, but the sides are not identical. This means there are two possible image results and you’ll have to look at both sides of the piece to make sure you’re doing the right one. The puzzle is labeled the “world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle”, and these unconventional instructions definitely make that true.
8. Color Gradient Puzzle
If you’re looking for a puzzle with color, this gradient puzzle has plenty of it. It has 1,000 pieces and features all colors of the rainbow and its various hues. Plus, it’s a circular shape so you can work from any angle.
9. Snowy Mountain Forest Lake Landscape
The serene and picturesque image of this snowy mountain and lake possibly doesn’t take away any difficulty. In fact, that’s what makes this 1,000 piece puzzle harder. The mountains reflect onto the lake below, so you’ll have to work with identical pieces that are meant to be placed opposite of each other on the puzzle.
10. Colorado Grand Canyon Puzzle
Price: Starting at $47.77
With this Colorado Grand Canyon puzzle, you can choose just how difficult you want it to be. The game has eight different variations to choose from ranging from just 500 pieces all the way to 6,000 pieces. The orange and white canyon pieces will definitely take a lot of time for you to solve, no matter how many pieces you decide to go with.
11. Cartoon Amusement Park Scenery Puzzle
This cartoon amusement park scene is one of the busiest puzzle images you’ll find. It has dozens of different people doing a ton of different activities, all scattered among 1,000 oversized puzzle pieces. You’ll have to pay close attention to the different scenes within this image, like the jungle gym in the corner and the abundance of greenery throughout.
12. Starry Night Puzzle
Another famous piece of art that’s been translated into a puzzle is Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting. The 1889 art piece is known for its whimsical shapes and colors, which only makes the puzzle version that much more difficult to complete.