Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ivan's Hinge from Fat Brain Toys

Today's Puzzle in the Spotlight in Ivan's Hinge from Fat Brain Toys!

Ivan's Hinge

Ivan's Hinge is a folding puzzle.  It comes with the puzzle (it's one piece) and 56 challenges.  No answers, no handy carrying case.  (I have the cards and puzzle stored in a ziploc baggy...those cards would get lost pretty easily...at least in my house!)

It does come with a card to explain how it works.  On the back is a diagram to show you how to fold the Hinge to create a square shape.  This is REALLY useful!  Practice making a square until you're comfortable with it.  The key to solving any of the challenges is first learning how to make the required shape!

Here is a nice closeup of the Hinge.  It has 16 triangles attached together with nifty hinges that can bend forwards and backwards.  Just playing with the Hinge is very satisfying, especially if you're one of those who like to fiddle with things.  My son picks this up while watching TV all the time!

So here's one of the square challenges solved.  I found that it was actually easier to create a square and then search through the deck of challenges and see if I'd matched any of them! But that's cheating isn't it?!

Here's another shape you'll need to learn how to make.  This one's not too hard to fold once you know how to make the square.  But here's a hint that did help me to solve some of the challenges.  If you look closely at the triangles in the Hinge, you will notice that half of them have 2 colors!  For some reason, I didn't notice this at first.  If you check out the Hinge, you will see that one half of the triangles are a solid color and the other half have two colors.  And there are 4 blue/red triangles and 4 orange/red triangles.  So when you're looking at a challenge card, see if you can figure out where you will need a half and half triangle and start there.  Then you only have 4 possibilities for that spot, but don't forget that you can fold left and you can fold right!

This "L" shape is harder to figure out, but you can get there!  Honestly, I think making the required shape successfully, regardless of the arrangement of the colors, is a real win!  These challenges are tough!

Here's the "T" shape.  I did finally manage to figure out how to fold one of these, but I never got ANY of those challenges solved.

Wikipedia: Tetrominoes

The last shape is a "Z" shape (see the tetromino shapes above).  I never did figure out how to fold that one!  Anybody have any hints for me??

Final thoughts:  This is one tough puzzle!  You can work your way to a solution just by starting with one triangle, folding, failing, and moving on to the next triangle, but don't loose track of which triangle you started with!  And don't forget to fold left and fold right!  Even though there is a high level of frustration involved with working with this puzzle, it is still satisfying to learn how to fold the shapes, and it is really fun to play with!

Unhinged from ThinkFun

Another puzzle that is very similar to Ivan's Hinge is Unhinged from ThinkFun.  If you enjoy Ivan's Hinge, you'll also like Unhinged!  I have a review of Unhinged here.  Do you know of any other hinge-style puzzles?

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