Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Today's puzzle in the spotlight is called Pirates Undercover. It was made by Educational Insights. I don't see it for sale from the regular vendors, so it must be a bit old, but it's still a good one! Timberdoodle has it available for purchase, if you're interested. (Timberdoodle is a homeschool curriculum provider. They have Thinking Skills as a core part of their curricula using tons of puzzles! I, of course, am all for using puzzles in any educational setting!)
Anyhow, Pirates Undercover is from my puzzle collection. Don't know when or where I picked it up, but it is a little gem.
All the puzzle pieces and the challenge booklet are stored inside the puzzle case. Just slide the top over and you find them nestled within. I love when the puzzles are designed with good storage!
Here are the four puzzle pieces. It seems like only 4 pieces would make for a very simple puzzle, but it doesn't! There is a certain elegance to a puzzle (or a game) that uses a limited number of pieces and/or rules but still presents an intriguing challenge.
And here's the game booklet with the challenges and solutions.
Inside the front cover are the rules and some hints for play.
And Challenge #1. The challenge page shows you what objects must be left uncovered once you place the 4 puzzle pieces on the board. So in this challenge, you need to have 5 white ships left uncovered.
Twist and turn the pieces, place them in each of the four spots and when only the 5 white ships are showing, you have conquered the puzzle! In the starter levels (1-12) there are hints at the bottom of the page. You will see one or more of the puzzle pieces shown in the orientation needed to solve the challenge. There are 4 levels and 48 challenges altogether.
Here is another challenge. If you look closely, you can see a colorful little compass in the lower right. The colors correspond to the different challenge levels. There's a little needle on the compass which shows how far you've progressed through the levels. That is quite a novel little feature!
On the flip side of each challenge, you will find the solution. Some of the challenges are quite tricky! The makers recommend this puzzle for ages 5+ and K+. I'm sure 5 year olds could easily manage the Starter levels, especially if they use the hints. The other levels might be more challenging, but that's where parents come in! Solving puzzles is a great way to spend some quality family time together.
UPDATE 9/8/14 - Apparently this has been republished by SmartGames as Pirates Hide and Seek. You can find it on Amazon.