Back when I was in elementary school I was lucky enough to have access to logic puzzles for when I completed my work early. I loved that I could pull one off the shelf and maybe solve a puzzle or two between assignments. To this day I have a love of these types of puzzles and never turn down a chance to try one out!
Most recently, AnimaLogic from Fat Brain Toys made it to my desk and, of course, I decided it was time for a little puzzle break! The game has 16 wooden safari animals: 4 of each animal style in one of each of the four colors. The board is four rows with a river on the left hand side and the goal of the brainteaser is to get all of your animals across the river. Since this is a puzzle, there are a few rules regarding river crossings. First, the animals cross one at a time and must share one trait (color or species) with the animal that crossed before it. Second, no animal may jump over another animal in its row to get to the river. These two simple rules make for some surprisingly engaging brainteasers!
The puzzle is rated for players aged 5-105 and as an adult I found the first 3 of the 5 levels pretty easy, but the last level was wonderfully challenging! While I wouldn’t recommend this for a group of logic savvy adults, I would definitely recommend this for the 5-15 crowd.
One thing I found interesting is that each one of the puzzles uses all 16 animals. I think it could be pretty easy to create some of your own puzzles that use fewer animals, especially when you’re catering to the younger set. AnimaLogic really encourages the player to think ahead and I don’t know if it’s necessary to use all 16 animals to encourage this type of thinking. Still, Fat Brain Toys has provided sixty puzzles so it’s going to be a bit before you’ll need more. But if you do, I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to convince a puzzle geek to whip up a few extra puzzles with a smaller herd.
Overall, my testers found AnimaLogic perfect for classroom use as it has great durable wooden pieces, a VERY sturdy box and all of the puzzles are spiral-bound so you’re not going to lose them!
If you’re looking for an expert in the game industry, you’re probably looking for Kim Vandenbroucke. Not only does she review games at The Game Aisle, but she also designs them and is one of those people that companies call when they need to have a game designed.