Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pathwords JR from ThinkFun

Pathwords JR

Today's Puzzle in the Spotlight is Pathwords JR!  Jack pulled this out of the drawer yesterday and reminded me of how cool it is.  This puzzle is recommended for ages 6 and up.  This is probably pretty spot on, as you do need some spelling skills to be able to complete these challenges.  It is a word search game after all!

Pathwords JR has a great storage system!  Let me just digress about that for a moment.  I really am pleased with a game or puzzle that comes with built-in-storage!  Here's what Pathwords JR look like when everything is snuggled safely inside.

Now slide the clear top aside and you have access to the Challenge book.

Remove the Challenge book and you will find the Instructions and Solutions book plus the nifty playing pieces.

Everything is free of the case, so let's look at the pieces for a minute.  There are 6 acrylic pentominoes in various colors.  They are very smooth and pleasant to touch.  The clear game top is grooved which allows the playing pieces to sit on the board without too much wiggling.

Now let's pick a challenge.  Here is Beginner Challenge #3.  Look on the bottom left and you will see the pieces that you need for the challenge given.  At the top you can see picture of the words you will need to find.  And in the center is the word search grid of letters!

Place the Challenge book back in the tray and slide the clear top closed.

Now you can begin working on the challenge.  In this challenge, we need to find the names of 4 animals.  The added challenge with Pathwords JR is that you also have to figure out which playing piece will cover the word that you find!  Above you can see that I found the word goat and used the red piece to cover it.

Once you've found all the words, the grid should be completely covered with pentominoes!  So you do need to know how to spell to play this game.  But even if you don't know how to spell all the words, fitting in the playing pieces will help you figure them out!

And if you get stuck, you can always consult the Solutions Manual!

Jack doesn't like it when I take a sneak picture of him.  He caught me and made an ugly face!  But here he is playing Pathwords JR.  He figured he could just skip to the last challenge since this is for "JRs" and he is a teenager now, but he did find that last challenge pretty tough!  So he tried some of the other challenges first.

Oops!  I forgot to talk about the challenges!  There are 4 levels of challenges from Beginners to Expert (10 of each).  The Beginners challenges list the words you need to find or their pictures and gives you the pieces you need.  But as you progress through the challenges you start to loose information!  Some challenges will not show all the pieces and some will be missing some or all of the words!  So it sound easy, but it does get challenging!

Jack did finally complete that last challenge.  You can see that the only hint for this one is "O" My!  It does show which pieces to use, but since it uses all of them, that doesn't really help much!

I worked through all the challenges without too much problem, but I'm rather more of a "SR" myself.  I would totally recommend this puzzle for the younger set.  It works your spelling skills, but also your logical thinking skills.  It's a nice mix!

 Pathwords from ThinkFun

Now we need a copy of the "SRs" edition!

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