Revealed: our very hardest jigsaw puzzles

When people start searching for a suuuuper hard jigsaw puzzle, it’s usually for one of two reasons.

Either they secretly hate someone and want to buy them a ‘gift’ that will cause death by boredom.

Or – and this might sound crazy – they’re a genuine puzzle nerd who loves the challenge of a very tricky jigsaw that takes a long while to complete.

There’s a fine line between ‘hard’ puzzles and boring puzzles

Is it hard? Or just boring?

The super-difficult puzzles that people send as gifts tend to be really, really boring, and not that much fun to complete. You know the kind of thing: and all-white puzzle, or maybe a picture of some grass. These are fun to give and receive, but when it comes to piecing them together, it’s just… torture.

But it is possible to make hard jigsaw puzzles that are actually really fun to get done. We think that even if a tricky puzzle takes ages, it should still be exciting, engaging, and satisfying to complete. And if the puzzle happens to look very cool when it’s finished, that’s just the icing on the cake.

In this post we’ll reveal our very hardest jigsaw puzzles, and show why each one is perfect for those who want to test their skills and have a great time upping their puzzle game!

Our 7 hardest jigsaw puzzles

Let’s dive into our top recommendations for the hardest – and most rewarding – puzzles from our own brand, Cloudberries.

We’ve included an idea of how long each one would take to get finished; this is based on one puzzler working alone, but would obviously change a bit depending on your skill level and whether or not you manage to rope any friends into helping you out!

1. METROPOLIS

Metropolis is a 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle by Cloudberries

Number of pieces: 2000
Approximate completion time: 30 hours

Get ready to immerse yourself in the bustling heart of a city with METROPOLIS!

This mega 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle is like an architectural marvel, packed with unexpected angles and intricate details. Challenge yourself to complete the meter-wide masterpiece, and revel in the glory of conquering this urban landscape.

“This is by far the most challenging puzzle I’ve done and I loved every minute of it” – jacqui.radford

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2. SKYLINE

SKYLINE is a challenging 1000-piece puzzle designed especially for grown ups

Number of pieces: 1000
Approximate completion time: 25 hours

This is a puzzle that is seriously difficult (just look at that sky!) but we think the final result is sooo worth it!

This electrifying 1000 piece puzzle is packed with bold neon colours, and as our reviews show, puzzle nerds have a tonne of fun piecing the skyline together. Look out for soaring jet planes, sleek sailboats, and awe-inspiring futuristic buildings.

“More difficult than it looks but it doesn’t get frustrating” – Liz Ridley

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3. HYBRIDS

Hybrids jigsaw puzzle from Cloudberries

Number of pieces: 1000
Approximate completion time: 35 hours

Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of HYBRIDS, a beautifully crafted 1000-piece puzzle filled with mythical, mysterious creatures. This is really, truly a beast.

Let your imagination run wild as you piece together this enchanting world where ordinary animals become extraordinary beings.

The delicate illustrations of Hsiao Ron Cheng whisk you away to a realm of endless possibilities, and that subtle gradient background is sure helpful… but only a tiny bit.

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4. SYMMETRY

SYMMETRY is a fun, colourful 1000-piece puzzle by Cloudberries

Number of pieces: 1000
Approximate completion time: 20 hours

Prepare to be hypnotized by the swirling colors and patterns of SYMMETRY. This 1000 piece puzzle, designed by talented British illustrator Matt Lyon, is perfect for puzzle aficionados seeking a visually striking challenge.

This puzzle has also got a cool and unique concept: both sides of the puzzle look identical, but the cut of the pieces is subtly different on each side. If you’re a fan of tricky puzzles, we think you’ll love it.

“This is my most favourite puzzle of all time. It was such fun” – Rachel Seligman

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5. MOUNTAIN

Mountain is a cool 1000-piece gradient jigsaw by Cloudberries

Number of pieces: 1000
Approximate completion time: 20 hours

Calling all adventurers! Are you up for the challenge of conquering MOUNTAIN? This 1000 piece puzzle will test your intuition and problem-solving skills to the max as you navigate the subtle colour shifts along the way to the summit.

It’s a gradient puzzle, so some people think it will be easy, but here’s a little secret: it ain’t!

“Challenging but not frustrating” – Amy

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SHELLS

Shells jigsaw puzzle from Cloudberries

Number of pieces: 1000
Approximate completion time: 40 hours

Dive into the monochromatic world of SHELLS, a marine-themed puzzle that’ll have your brain twisting and turning like the fractal patterns it contains.

Because it’s black and white, the shapes quickly become more important, and you’ll find yourself zooming in on tiny, subtle details. Like all of our puzzles, it’s made with extra-thick pieces and a premium matte finish so that you enjoy the whole ‘feel’ of the puzzling experience.

“More difficult than I expected, but not impossible, so you won’t get frustrated!”Cronicas Puzzleras

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REFLECTION

Reflection jigsaw puzzle by Cloudberries

Number of pieces: 2000
Approximate completion time: 30 hours

If you’ve already tried SYMMETRY (see above) then you won’t want to miss REFLECTION, the perfectly symmetrical, mirror-effect 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle that’s bound to push your skills to the limit.

This epic puzzle offers a one-of-a-kind challenge, with two identical sides and a mesmerising design that will keep you captivated for hours on end. Like, 30+ hours.

“From the initial unboxing to the final completed jigsaw, you feel like you are dealing with a high end product” – Marko

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Behind the scenes: what makes these puzzles tricky?

We spent hundreds of nerd-hours designing these jigsaws so that they would be able to keep you engaged and avoid that dreaded situation where you’re halfway through a puzzle and just want to give up. Here are some of the tricks we used:

Intricate details and patterns

Lots of these puzzles feature elaborate designs, complex patterns and fractal-like elements that require you to look out for hidden details.

Unusual and imaginative designs

We’ve always tried to create distinctive and imaginative designs that challenge conventional puzzle-solving strategies. This means that, with our hardest puzzles, go-to moves like starting with the edge pieces aren’t always the best option.

Subtle color variations

Lots of our most difficult puzzles have subtle colour shifts that require a discerning eye and make it more challenging to find the correct piece placement.

Larger piece counts

You probably know that adding more pieces makes a puzzle more difficult. So with the 2000 piece puzzles in this list, the sheer number of pieces alone adds an extra layer of difficulty.

Unexpected twists

Some of our trickiest puzzles, like SYMMETRY and REFLECTION, employ symmetry and mirror effects to add an extra layer of complexity. So while you might think you have the right piece in your hand, there could be another near-identical piece hiding close by!

Why choose a hard puzzle, anyway?

If you like to test yourself, the challenge is part of the fun. And in a way, the hardest jigsaw puzzles offer more ‘value’ for money, providing more hours of play and a greater sense of accomplishment when they’re done. Plus, one thing is for sure: conquering a tough puzzle earns you fame and glory among fellow puzzle nerds!

Lots of people trying a Cloudberries puzzle for the first time start with easy jigsaws like CASCADE or GRADIENT, and then email us asking for tips on what to tackle next for a bigger and more rewarding challenge.

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