Review: Death on the Istanbul Express: A Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle

Review – Death on the Istanbul Express: A Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle

Website Linkavailable on Amazon

Price – ​​​​$19.19 (currently on sale for $13.99 as of 7/31/22)

Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.


Death on the Istanbul Express A Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle features a classic mystery coupled with the experience of a jigsaw puzzle.  The story brings in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot as the lead character working on the case.  Players do not need to have read any of Christie’s novels to understand the story or puzzle.

The directions for this game are simple.  Step 1: Read the short story provided with the game.  Step 2: Assemble the 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that will contain hidden clues.  Step 3: Solve the case and check your answer in the back of the short story booklet.  

Death on the Istanbul Express is one of the many classic mystery puzzles produced by Bepuzzled Classics.

*Quick Note: The game was originally titled “The Orient Express A Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle” and that is the copy we own.  Other than the name, there seems to be no changes to the story, puzzle, or mystery between the two versions.  

Our Thoughts:

It’s no secret that we love mystery puzzles, but we are also big fans of jigsaw puzzles.  Every year, we complete several 1,000 piece (or more) jigsaw puzzles.  So, the marriage of the two puzzling types in Death on the Istanbul Express was an immediate must-have to us.  So, did it live up to our hype?

The experience starts with a short 9-page story that sets up the mystery elements: characters, setting, crime, and other details.  If you like reading, the story is well-written enough and the mystery is intriguing.  Neither of us have read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, so we can’t tell you how closely this story resembles hers, but the game does do a good job of capturing the feel of an old-timey mystery. Also, supposedly, this mystery is different from Christie’s so those who have read her novel, shouldn’t worry about spoilers. (We can’t guarantee that though).  The story does a decent job of setting the stage and leading players into the jigsaw puzzle.

This was actually our third 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of the week, and in that respect, this  was a good one.  The pieces were quality and the image captured was both clear and well-done.  For those who like to use the box image to help on a puzzle, you’ll unfortunately have to fly blind, but there are enough textures and patterns that the jigsaw should feel very doable.  As a jigsaw puzzle, we were very satisfied with this experience.

Unfortunately, as a mystery, this puzzle felt lacking.  The clues hidden within the jigsaw are few and it feels nearly impossible to miss the correct answer since the evidence provided is very straightforward.  At first we felt we must be overlooking something because the case felt too easy, but upon checking the answer, we discovered the game really was that simple.  For those who love to put their brain to work by solving mysteries there is probably going to be some disappointment with the lack of true meat to the mystery-solving aspect.

As a jigsaw puzzle, this was a nice experience with a few extra add-ons.  As a mystery puzzle adventure, this felt like a lot of effort (reading and jigsawing) for little pay off.  The value of Death on the Istanbul Express needs to be weighed against players’ expectations.  Most likely, however, players will do best to look elsewhere. 

Official C&C Rating:

Narrative: 2.5/5
Puzzle: 1/5
Overall Fun: 2.5/5

Final Averaged Score: 2 out of 5

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