We came out with a new line of puzzles in 2019 that we make a bit differently, so we call them Ecru puzzles. The Ecru line is a bit more expensive to make, and so the prices are a bit higher for the same piece count.
There are two key physical differences to our main line of Artifact puzzles.
The first key difference is that the Ecru puzzle pieces are cut a little closer together, which makes final picture look more like one picture, and less like it is made out of pieces. This is really nice if you want to really see a beautiful picture at the end. But it also "hides" the puzzle pieces more. Because of this difference, we tend to do more beautiful images and fine art for Ecru, where it's extra valuable to more clearly see the nice picture at the end.
The second key difference is the Ecru puzzles have a matte finish rather than a glossy finish, so they have less glare off the surface. That is especially nice for older puzzlers with tired eyes. However, this different finish makes the colors slightly less bright and cheery.
Overall, we recommend the Ecru puzzles for adult puzzlers who are serious puzzlers or into fine art.
Because the Ecru puzzles have to be a bit more expensive, we tend to design them to be harder puzzles, so you get a lot of bang-for-your-buck.
In fact, for about 1/2 our Ecru puzzles, we first release them as Mystery Puzzles, which means we don't show you the image when you buy it, and the image isn't on the box when you get it! We do show you an example piece and give you a short description, and we try to choose images for these puzzles that will appeal to a lot of people. We eventually convert each mystery puzzle into a normal Ecru puzzle.
For our main Artifact line, we categorize puzzles into four levels of hardness. For Ecru puzzles, we also try to provide more precise information. The Mim Timing for each Ecru puzzle is how long it took our alpha-tester Mim to do the puzzle. Every puzzler is different, so your time might vary quite a bit, but you can at least see relatively how long it took to do different puzzles.
To know how challenging or relaxing a puzzle is, look at the normalized Mim Time, which is the number of seconds it took Mim to place a piece on average. Stick to under 60 sec/piece if you don't like frustrating puzzles, and under 50 sec/piece if you're looking for a kind-of-easy puzzle. Over 60 sec/piece may be quite challenging.
Besides the Ecru vs Artifact distinction, each puzzle is quite unique, so we encourage you to scroll down and read the customer reviews on our website for more information. You can sometimes find more customer reviews on amazon.
And if you've done a puzzle, consider writing a review and contributing your sense of how hard it was and anything else you'd like to share about why you did or didn't like that puzzle. You don't need to log-in or anything, just go to the puzzle, give yourself whatever name you'd like, write a review, then hit the "Send to Human Moderator" button. It will look like nothing happened, but in fact it will go to a human to verify it's not-spam, and then show up on the website usually within a day.