Problem solving is a key skill that we are asked to make interesting through games and puzzles every single day... and we use them in some way in all our school work. It's a brainy no-brainer!
They drive the ability to analyse a problem, pattern or puzzle, use the clues and rules at hand and apply them to find the answer, and also build on those basic premises to solve more complex challenges. We are quizzical by nature, and in turn puzzles unleash flexibility, confidence, and resilience, when faced with real life conundrums.
Puzzles can be individual challenges, require or promote teamwork, or even make great competitive games!
With that in mind here's a quick overview of a few of our and our customers favourites, click to find more about each one, and remember you can see all our 'puzzle' games here!
For all the games below 'click' on the name of the games to see more about them and how to get hold of your own...
These examples focus on sequential solutions - that is to say the solution relies on the right moves in the right order!
Rush Hour - Move the cars out of the way, forwards and backwards, to get the red car out of the grid (lock!)
Hoppers - Jump the frogs in a solitaire manner, removing one at a time, to finish with just one frog!
Invasion of the Cow Snatchers - Genius! Slide your magnetic UFO on the perspex to collect specific cows in the correct order, avoiding obstacles to escape unnoticed.
Whether 2D or 3D, shape based puzzles are not only popular because of how tactile they can be, but offer a clear goal and solution and are fantastic for observational skills and understanding the basics of the physical world around us.
Tantrix Discovery - A clever little jigsaw style puzzle that offers a cheap, pocket-sized challenge to create ever growing loops of colour with each tile added.
Sheep Logic - Complete the different sheep pens by placing the sheep in different places to solve ever-increasingly tricky challenge cards.
Roller Coaster Challenge - Go 3 Dimensional, an amazing array of challenges where you use the track provided to find your own path from the start to the finish... and it works!
Knowledge-based Experimentation for Learning!
Some puzzles are based on key curriculum topics, here's a fewthat help recognise and learn about science based ideas
Gravity Maze - Set up the top of the marble run, fix the exit point and use the given pieces to build a route to the bottom. Starts easy and gets very challenging indeed!
Feed Me - Guide multiple 'candy' balls into the monsters' mouths ... or stop them altogether, with some very clever tricks to learn along the way.
Circuit Maze - Electronic brilliance! Make real circuits, involving bridges, switches and specific routes to light up real LEDs and learn how electricity flows.
Appealing to our Sherlock like inquisitive human nature, given (or earning) a combination of facts, can you put them together to find a conclusive answer?!
Logic Land - Beautifully presented, use the puzzle book to analyse and set up the characters in the castle according to select clues. Can you work out who goes where?
Outfoxed - Not just deduction, but cooperative too - each player independantly moves around town to using a combination of strategy and look to both find clues and dismiss the suspects to catch the criminal before they leave town! An absolute favourite.
Here are 3 examples of how different puzzles and strategic thinking can be played competitively too!
Take It Easy - A thoughtful steady game, in which players use the same, randomly selected tiles to fill their board in a way that will score more points than their opponents attempts.
Match Madness - A faster game, where each player has the same set of pieces and use them to complete a huge range of communal goals first.
3D Labyrinth - A more familiar board style game, that stimulates the puzzle part of the brain as players contend with a changing board to reach their goal before the other players.
All cooperative gamesd could in some way be seen as puzzles... how do we work together with what we have. But there are some a little bit more puzzle-y than others such as escape games, and alternatively these, where the idea is NOT to discuss what you resources you have or plan together, but to make the moves independantly trying to contribute to a joint goal!
Cahoots - Each player uses their hand of coloured and numbered cards to continually change the pool of cards on the table to satisfy a stack of goals before the cards run out.
Bandido - Players must extend the escape routes of the prisoner, whilst trying to close off and trap the prisoner in the tunnels!
(and Outfoxed again as described above!)