Review: Perplexors – Expert Level and Level D

Perplexors is a series of logic puzzle books that come in varying difficulty and are a popular way of improving upon standardized testing skills. Pick up a pencil and sharpen your deductive reasoning skills by using the “cross-out-and-circle” technique!

The Good

Not Just For Kids (+8)

The recommended group for these books is U.S. standard Grades 9-12. I beg to differ though, as these logic puzzles and requirements for deductive reasoning still took me 10 minutes per puzzle. I’ll even reveal a step further than that and admit that I cheated just a little bit by reviewing one solution to make sure I was on the right track. Between the two books I went straight to expert because I knew that the publisher focuses games on grade school levels. I was open to getting wrecked — which I was — if my ego was too strong for its own good — which it was.

Glorious Learning and Facts (+8)

These workbooks don’t come cheap, so when I was younger I didn’t have the opportunity to practice this type of logic puzzle. Being in a setting where I could go at my own pace as an adult was such a treat. In fact, the Expert Level book is great practice for someone with a lawyer-y mind, so if I ever decide to go to law school I’m set for this portion of the exam. Level D on the other hand is my favorite simply because it has cool animal facts! If you do choose to immerse and dive deep into the page, it feels as though you’re there sorting out the conundrums driving the worlds of these animals. I’ve caught myself talking out loud to the empty space in front of me, lining the animals up.

The Bad

Numbered Lists Throw You Off (-2)

Lists, organization, numbers; they help normally but in this book it’s debilitating. The page contains flavor, a challenge grid, and list of requirements. If you get stuck on having to do things serially you’ll be wondering to yourself for a good portion of the challenge on why you can’t make any progress. Pro Tip: these numbers are only there as a list and not as a “do this first, then second” instruction. It didn’t take me long to start ignoring the numbers, but my first not-for-practice challenge page I was starving for more information at #1.

Extra Story Flavor is Meaningless (-3)

Both books have some story flavor before getting into the puzzle, and you may think they help if you’re stuck. Well… they don’t. I believe it must have been an attempt to make the activity more enticing or involved. If that’s the case it failed and took away from the satisfaction of the challenge instead.

The Ugly

Not Sustainable (-4)

I truly wish it wasn’t such a wasteful series. A really great eraser may go a long way but overall it’s not easy to pass on without using even more resources. On top of this, for something so wasteful they didn’t bother to include any illustrations or flavor. Everything once you open the page is plain black and white.

May Feel like Homework (-1)

It is not an attractive book, and its size reminds me of assigned texts I used to stuff into my school backpack. Slap it on the table, grab a pencil, and feel like your gaming table is now in the middle of a classroom and the teacher is lurking in the shadows.

Difficulty: 2/5 for Advanced
Satisfaction Grade: C+ (79.2%) for Good
Worth Your Money? Yes.