Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Unhinged - Unfold Your Brain

Barnes and Noble had a half off table today, and I came home with 3 new Logic Puzzles!  Woohoo!  My collection keeps growing!  Now, it's quite possible that B&N stores everywhere may be having half off sale tables too, so you should check out your local bookstore.  Not only do they have books on sale, but they always have lots of games and jigsaw puzzles.  This is how I usually buy mine, not being willing to pay full price, even with my B&N discount card!

One of my newest finds is another single player logic puzzle from ThinkFun.  These guys have some gifted designers working for them!  This one is called Unhinged.  It is 10 plastic hexagons that are hinged together, blue on one side, white on the other.  They kinda remind me of a Jacob's Ladder.  These hexes are well built and have a satisfying little click to them when they stack together.  A tiny manual comes with the game.  It is the same size and shape as one hex!  Ingenious!  It has a tiny spiral binding...so cute!  Inside the manual are instructions, challenges and solutions. 

As is expected with ThinkFun games, there are 40 challenge puzzles in the manual: ten beginner, ten intermediate, ten advanced, and ten expert.  The object of the game is simply to flip and fold the hexes to match the challenge cards.  I managed to breeze through the beginners (thank goodness!), got stuck on the first intermediate, skipped it, and breezed through 4 more (so far!)  Here's one of my solutions...

(See how cute that little manual is!?!)  One of the tricks to this puzzle is letting go of the perceived two-dimensionality of the challenge picture.  These babies fold all over themselves and create pretty nifty stacks, so the solutions have multiple levels to them which you just can't see on the puzzle challenge.  If you get stuck, the answers are in the back of the manual and tell you in what order to fold the hexes.  Look closely at the hinges and you will see that each is numbered.  The white side has the even hinges and the blue side has the odd hinges.  For the challenge pictured above, the solution reads simply 4.  Which means that all other hinges should be laying flat (unhinged) and hinge 4 should be folded.  Easy right?!  No problem.

ThinkFun recommends ages 8 and up.  My daughter (age 9) tried a couple beginner challenges without any problems.  You can see her above, and some of the folding action going on too!  I don't think this puzzle would be appropriate for too much younger than that.  Even though I like the quality of these hexes, I do think a lot of twisting and turning in the wrong directions could stress out those hinges.

One of the best parts about this puzzle is that there aren't a whole bunch of pieces to get lost.  All the pieces are connected together, which makes it very portable too.  The only part that might get separated is the cute, little manual (awww...).

If you'd like more information on this game, visit ThinkFun's website.  They even have a nifty little video about how to play Unhinged so you can see it in action!

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