top of page


Various Types of Picture Puzzles You Can Play

Just as with learning in which some people learn better with visual aids or pictures rather than words, known as visual learners, some people will find they can solve picture puzzles much more easily than other forms of puzzles. If a form of a puzzle does come more naturally to you then this will likely be a much more enjoyable experience and something you will be more inclined to persist with even if it gets more challenging. Images allow for humour which you will often find with picture puzzles in order to try to engage with people who would otherwise have little interest in a puzzle and just to make it more of a fun activity. These picture puzzles can be found in numerous places such as magazines, newspapers, books and even on the internet so everybody will likely have access to these kinds of puzzles. As picture puzzles are found in books or on the internet it means you can take them with you wherever you go as most books are easy to transport and carry with you or alternatively you will have access to them almost anywhere you go via your phone if it has internet access. There are many different types of picture puzzles to choose from that will be of varying levels of difficulty and here are some of the more recognisable and popular ones.

Pitcherwits consist of pictures or symbols that are clues to a word or a phrase that fits into a crossword so you will have to figure out from the given images or symbols with a few worded directions what the word or phrase is then put the word or phrase into a crossword and you can use the words or phrases you have already put into the crossword to help you to get the other missing words. This type of puzzle basically adds a unique twist to standard crosswords and potentially makes them more difficult but if you are good at and enjoy crosswords it is very likely you will enjoy this variation of the puzzle as well. This puzzle, just like a normal crossword does, will test general knowledge but will usually require a general knowledge of the country they are produced in as well. The clues are pictograms and these are not just used with puzzles but can be used to display data in a more appealing and clear way that are especially useful for slide show presentations so the skills you would learn from the pictogram puzzles would have a real-world practical use.

A picture puzzle can be the task of finding hidden items or people with the most famous example being Where's Wally? in which you have to find the main character Wally and his friends in a picture crammed full of characters which makes him and his friends difficult to spot. Spot the difference is another similar picture puzzle in which you are given two almost identical pictures except for some alterations that can be subtle or obvious and you will have to try to spot them all as usually the number of differences will be stated but not always. The difficulty of a spot the difference puzzle will depend on the number of differences, how subtle these differences are and the size and number of objects in the image. A variation on this challenge could be to spot something that is out of place, for example, a dinosaur in a regular zoo or it could be a caveman with a mobile phone but the more difficult challenges will not be so easy to spot as they will be more subtle or within an image with a lot going on. A picture puzzle may show part of a person or object and you will have to make an educated guess or work out from what is shown who or what it is with the more that is shown of the image the easier it will often obviously be but to make it more difficult the part of the image that is shown may be at an unusual angle or made to look like something else.

A picture can be sometimes the best way to ask or describe a brain teaser or riddle because when done correctly it can present a difficult problem in a very simple and clear way as a picture can show what could take hundreds or thousands of words to accurately describe. The best examples of brain teaser or riddle pictures will not be a cluttered image in most cases but rather uncluttered and everything in the picture having relevance to solving the answer unless something is there to misdirect and there will also be some humour so that it engages the reader and makes it more fun. A picture puzzle can also be a great way of displaying a number challenge or math problem as they can perfectly illustrate the problem in a concise manner as it is usually very easy to have pictures represent numbers. Pictures also can break up the monotony of posing similar brainteasers or number challenges over and over again as images allow for many diverse ways to illustrate a particular challenge so they don't feel the same.

Optical illusions are a type of picture puzzle and can be one by which you have to stare at a picture and another picture eventually emerges or another object within the picture appears like a stereogram. Other optical illusions that involve staring at an image can lead to the picture starting to move or the image either flashes or changes colour and they can be quite trippy. It could be that you have to move the picture so it is at a different angle before the trick works or it may mean moving the puzzle by spinning it for the illusion to manifest itself. Another optical illusion is when you stare at a picture for a minute or so and then when you look at a white background immediately after an image emerges which can be a completely new picture or the picture you have been looking at becomes transformed when you look at the white background. The challenge of an optical illusion puzzle could be either to find the hidden image or images or to simply make the illusion work.

Maybe the most famous kind of picture puzzle is the jigsaw that can be the classic version in which you are given a number of separate physical pieces to put together that form a complete picture when all put together in the correct formation which there will be only one of or the jigsaw can be drawn in a book and you have to figure out by visualising what the picture is when they are all put together as the pieces will be separate, muddled up and possibly at various incorrect angles. Tangram is slightly different to a jigsaw in that you will have to put pieces together that don't interlock but fit side by side to fit within a frame or to create an overall shape that could be anything such as an animal or tree. Tangrams consist of seven different coloured pieces which are all flat and can be various shapes but must when all 7 pieces put together be touching, not overlapping and be laid flat on whatever surface you are using.

A maze can be a puzzle you can literally walk through in real life with the walls made from hedges or it could be one you hold in your hands that is a toy with which you guide a ball or object through the maze but they can also be a picture in a book or magazine. A real-life maze can have walls that you cannot see over or through so you will have to solve the maze as you go along and when this is the case then it can simply be a case of trial and error to find the correct route and remembering distinct features of the maze as reference points and the wrong paths you chose and not going down them again. The type of maze you find in a book or magazine can be one you could complete by drawing in pencil the route from start to finish so that you can rub out your mistakes if you take the wrong turn or you could simply use your finger to complete and go through the maze. There are many different types of mazes with many different designs or layouts that can have curved or straight paths but the most common pictorial maze challenges that are not simplistic that you will come across will have plenty of paths to choose from to confuse and challenge you as you go through the maze that can lead to dead ends or around in circles and back to where you started from. Mazes in books will often be a birds-eye view of the whole maze or the view from directly above in contrast to participating in a real-life one and the maze can be difficult to solve when a lot of paths are condensed into a small space which can make following the paths difficult and confusing. The goal of a maze is usually to find the exit or the centre and the pictorial form can be found in many places other than books such as websites or magazines or sometimes on the back of a cereal box.

Nonogram is a Japanese puzzle that involves a grid with which you are given numbers that correspond to a particular row and the rows intersect each other and can be both vertical and horizontal and these numbers tell you the number of squares for that row to colour in order to reveal a picture when they are all checked off or coloured in. There are a number of clues to help you solve these puzzles so with experience and practice the clues should become easier to use and identify and therefore it becomes easier to solve the puzzles. These clues will be all the numbers that you are given to you which can be more than one number for each row so you could get the numbers 3, 6 and 2 for a row which tell you that you must fill in 3 boxes in a row then at least one box gap must be left blank then fill 6 boxes in a row then another gap of at least one and then the 2 boxes in a row to be filled in and it is using these clues plus the number of squares in that row, the boxes you have already filled in as some rows will be very easy to fill in with the numbers given and the numbers from the other rows will help you to complete the puzzle. This puzzle will often be found in black and white but can be found in colour as well and how you play the two versions is slightly different as the colour version will ask you to fill in the boxes in more than just black so will have a numbered box in a specific colour that will let you know this.

Picture sequencing is a picture puzzle in which the challenge is to figure out what happens next or what is the missing part of the sequence so it could be a sequence where the number of objects multiplies by a certain number or doubles every time or it could be a pattern of movements that are repeated. Picture sequencing may involve putting the pictures in the correct order as they have been jumbled up with the number of picture pieces, the solutions ordering, how jumbled up the pieces are and the number of different images determining how difficult this will be. Number challenges with images often set sequencing challenges and you can start at quite an easy level to get the hang of them and understand how to solve them before moving on to the more difficult ones.

In summary, picture puzzles have many various forms to choose from and can be the best way to get somebody interested in puzzles who would normally otherwise not have an interest as they can be presented in cartoon form and will often display a little picture story to engage the reader and as already stated images may be the best way for somebody to understand and therefore have a go at complex puzzles.





Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Astonquis Shop Space on

bottom of page