Sunday, August 20, 2017

Coggy from Fat Brain Toys

Get your mental gears spinning!

Coggy is a mechanical puzzle published by Fat Brain Toys.  In the box, you get the puzzle and a challenge book.  The puzzle itself consists of 16 interlocked gears.  Each gear can spin up to 255 degrees (according to their website) around its adjacent gears.  One side of Coggy features colorful gears and the other side shows the gears in black and white.

The black and white side:

The colorful side:

And the challenge book:

The first page of the challenge book gives brief instructions and is followed by 40 puzzle challenges ranging from E (easy) to xH (extra Hard).

Play is quite simple.  Pick a challenge, then twist and turn Coggy until it matches the challenge picture.

Color and B/W challenges are intermixed in the book.  Colorful challenges only show placement of a few of the gears.  The empty white circles can be filled with any color gear.  The colorful gears come in 8 different colors, but with 2 different styles for each color.  There is a solid gear and an wheel style gear for each color.  So watch out when you work on the color puzzles as the style/color is specific in each challenge!

Another note about the colors:  I had a bit of trouble telling the dark blue from the black on some of these challenges.  And when there is only light blue shown, I sometimes assumed it was the dark blue (there being no other blue to compare it to).  Anyhow, that could just be me and my middle aged eyes!

So how fun is Coggy?  I'd definitely give it two thumbs up!  Jack (16) picks it up and plays with it often.  He's very good at solving the challenges.  Ginny (14) and I (47) think they are all pretty easy too.  The bottom line is that there are many solutions to each of the challenges, so finding just one is (usually) quite simple.  Even with the extra hard challenges!

Coggy Answer Key

But just in case you have gotten stuck on any of the levels, we have come up with a Coggy Answer Key that you can download.  (Just click on the picture above or HERE.)  We show one solution per level, but we're pretty sure you can find lots of answers per challenge.

Coggy claims to double as a "great fidget toy" and I think they may be right.  I'd much rather see kids fidgeting with Coggy than those silly spinners any day.  After all, they might actually learn something while playing with Coggy.

Coggy also says its a "great travel toy".  It is definitely portable.  The challenge book is sturdy and the pages are clamped together with a plastic screw.  You could lose Coggy or the book, but at least there are only 2 things to keep track of.

Coggy really is a fun little mechanical puzzle.  We think it holds up well to quite a lot of spinning and manipulating.  And because the challenges aren't all that challenging, we totally recommend this for younger puzzle solvers.  Fat Brain Toys recommends 6 and up.  I'm pretty sure 6 year olds could conquer this or at least have a lot of fun creating cool shapes of their own.

Happy puzzling!

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Compass Rose Mazes and Back To School Sale

The Puzzle Den Compass Rose Maze #1

Today I have a treat for maze lovers!  It's a Compass Rose Maze.  The idea is that you have to follow the directions on the compass rose in each square to know which way to proceed to the next square.  Compass Rose #1 is pretty easy.

The Puzzle Den Compass Rose #2

Compass Rose #2 is a bit harder.  Just click on each image to download or print the puzzles.

So while these mazes don't end up being all that hard, it is a bit of a novelty to your standard mazes.  I hope you and your kids enjoy them!

And FYI, Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting their annual Back To School sale.  Everything in my store is automatically 20% off for August 1st and 2nd.  If you use the code BTS2017 you get an additional 5% off your order!

TPT Back to School Sale 2017

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