This spatial-insight puzzle game has 120 challenges with different difficulty levels as well as three types of configurations. Choose a challenge then fill in the rest of the empty spaces with all the remaining pieces. Keep in mind that there is only one way to complete each challenge!
Appropriate Difficulty Scaling (+8)
All of their challenges scale well, which means that you won’t find it too easy or too hard to move from one difficulty level to the next. In some solo puzzle games like this, you may make assumptions about your expertise then regret your choices later. However this game really does mean what it says by “starter” versus “wizard” and you will not leave dissatisfied in your quest for greatness. The difficulty is based on how many pieces you start with on the playing area and the configuration of those pieces. Some are harder to mind’s eye than others, especially when adding the 3D element.
I speak from experience: it’s so portable that you could manage to play this game in a moving vehicle if you’re careful! Just make sure you’re not the one driving… I’m not claiming that it’s movement proof but it does have little wells to hold the pieces in nicely and serves as part of the challenge of the game. I would not recommend trying the 3D pyramid-like puzzles in a moving car because it will for sure topple over and just frustrate you. For those looking for something to just pull out of a bag or keep in the glove compartment of a car, this is particularly convenient.
Still Difficult for Adults (+8)
Unlike other puzzle games of this nature I’ve played recently, this does provide an accurate age range. I usually have a problem with games that claim it can go from six years to “adult” because those are typically so easy. Well, fortunately this one is still difficult for adults and it’s very refreshing. I definitely had to look at the solutions pages a few times. To be honest with you, I don’t know how a six year old could sit through this game without throwing a fit; the scaling seems to favor an older rather than a younger crowd. But maybe you have clever tiny humans in your life that can do this?
for the first time… I can’t think of any!
Nimble Fingers Needed (-1)
The smooth pieces provide a nice tactile experience but the downside is that you need to be a little nimble to keep them steady for placement. This is especially true when attempting the 3D challenges where you may need to execute on different iterations of working through to the solution and want all the other pieces to stay put. In order to do this, there is a certain amount of surgical care you need to take when placing, removing and otherwise rearranging your attempts.
3D Solutions are Visual Puzzles (-2)
Maybe it’s just me but the 3D solutions provided in the back of the book are still hard to interpret anyway given the 2D nature of printing. It arguably makes the puzzle fun even if you’ve decided to throw in the towel. What’s distressful to think about is that if you can’t manage to read the solutions you may not be able to learn from them, which means you won’t be able to successfully play. I didn’t run into this personally, but it is something to consider.