I was contacted recently by Puzzle Warehouse, their social media guru had found my blog and asked if I’d be willing to review puzzles, games, and puzzle products for them on my blog. Of course I said yes, I’m quite the puzzle geek/addict/fanatic and I’ve also fallen in love with blogging about the puzzles I do. Also, how cool is it that the largest puzzle store in the world found my little blog?? 😎
I started this blog because I wanted a way for family and friends to keep up with my progress on the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, and I’ve kept it going because it’s really been fun for me to post about the puzzles I do. Since I was injured and unable to work there are honestly a very limited number of things I can do – but I’m always able to puzzle, even if I have to spend most of the day in bed and even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time.
I haven’t really been doing reviews here, I just talk about the puzzles I’ve done and why I did or did not enjoy them. Reviewing is a bit different and I think my criteria should be adjusted slightly.
I will continue to be honest of course, if I didn’t like it I’ll say why and what I think could be done to improve it. If I did like it what are my reasons? Nothing is perfect and no one would trust a reviewer that only gave praise because they were getting free products. Manufacturers want to know if there is something consumers think should be improved. Distributors want to be sure they are selling quality products that consumers will want to purchase. And most of all, consumers want to know if a product is a quality one and worth spending their hard earned money on. Does it do what it claims? Is it enjoyable? Will I be happy with my purchase?
I also have to think of the reasons why others might like a puzzle or puzzle product. Are they collectors? If so, what aspects of puzzles are the most important to them? If they’re going to assemble the puzzle once and then sell it, give it away, etc., what aspects would be most important to those puzzlers?
The images or artwork on puzzles and the reasons for liking or disliking them are subjective. My opinion of what makes the best puzzle image is likely different from everyone else’s. So a good review would take into account my opinions, but also consider the opinions of others and what might draw them to an image. Not every puzzle is for everyone, so I wouldn’t give a negative review just because I don’t like the image. I may say the image doesn’t lend itself well to puzzling, but again that is my subjective opinion and not a reason for a bad review. If we all had the same taste in puzzles what a boring world it would be! Besides, I’m a little excited about having puzzles chosen for me to do. If it’s not an image I would normally choose and I end up loving it, that opens up a whole new bunch of puzzles that I might now actually choose or purchase for myself. (Hmm, I wonder how hubby will feel about that? 😮 )
To sum up, I believe it’s my job as a reviewer to be trustworthy. To let the reader know the good and bad and the reasons that led me to that conclusion. To let them know if I found it enjoyable or think others may enjoy it even if it wasn’t my cup of tea. To give the reader the information they need to make an informed decision on whether or not they should purchase something. I won’t stray too far from how I’ve been writing about puzzles, but I will try to make sure I’m aware of what others look for in a great puzzle or product.
I will of course be providing links to Puzzle Warehouse where you can purchase all the products and puzzles I’ll be reviewing. They are the ones sponsoring the reviews – and they’re the largest puzzle store in the world!! I have got to get feeling better so I can take a trip to St. Louis! (Mom and I have been saving up for a puzzle pilgrimage) 😉