Puzzle: How to choose the best challenge game in 2021
Today is the day to talk about a game for those who like challenges: the puzzle. Much more than a hobby, this is a versatile game that encourages learning, concentration and logical thinking.
From simple to more complex, today you can find several types of puzzle. In this article, we will show you all about the universe of this game and what to take into account before buying the ideal one for you.
First, the most important
- The puzzle is a challenging game recommended for children, youth, adults and the elderly.
- In addition to being fun, the puzzle stimulates memory, learning, motor coordination and patience.
- We will show you how to buy the ideal puzzle amid so many models available on the market.
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Ranking: The 5 best puzzle games
Buying the ideal puzzle can seem like a difficult task. After all, nobody wants to acquire a game that is too difficult, that will make you give up halfway, or one that is too easy that will discourage you.
With that in mind, we selected seven puzzle games in order of difficulty. We’ll start with the easiest ones until we get to the most complex puzzle.
At first glance you might think that to choose a puzzle you just have to consider the number of pieces to be assembled, right? But this is not at all true. There are other factors that can influence your willingness to face the challenge of the game until the end and also the quality of the product.
Therefore, we have prepared this Buying Guide for you to understand everything about this challenge game and make the best purchase decision.
What is a puzzle?
The puzzle is a challenge game in which the participant must solve a problem that has been proposed. The most common is that you find the puzzle game in board format.
In this model, the participant is challenged to correctly fit the pieces until an image is formed, usually illustrated in the game box. But, as we will see later in this article, there are other puzzle formats.
Anyway, the end result of the puzzle is the great bonus. But, to achieve it, the process is slow and laborious. And this is not for nothing.
Much less than agility, what counts to achieve the result proposed by the puzzle are attention, concentration and logical reasoning. And, precisely for that reason, the puzzle is much more than a hobby.
Nowadays, this game is known worldwide for stimulating memory and learning. We will talk more about these and other benefits in the What are the advantages of the puzzle?
Generally, the puzzle is a type of challenge facing only one participant. But, often, it is possible to find pairs and groups of people who get together to put together a board puzzle, especially the more complex ones.
Nowadays, there are puzzles of almost all types: of landscapes, animals, maps, words; cartoons and characters; those made of wood, cardboard and plastic. There is something for everyone.
To give you an idea, the biggest puzzle available for sale today contains exactly 32,256 pieces and measures 5.44 x 1.92 meters.
What is the origin of the puzzle?
The puzzle game creation theory goes back to the year 1760. It is believed to have been invented by John Spilsbury, an English cartographer.
According to this theory, Spilsbury decided to place country maps on wooden boards and then cut them into small pieces.
The goal was to create a playful way to teach cartography to children. Thus, students learned to identify countries and their location while having fun.
Thus, the first puzzles were made with drawings made on wooden boards and then cut into several pieces with a saw. Another theory for creating the puzzle is that the game originated in ancient China, with the so-called Tangram.
The Tangram was formed by seven large pieces that together formed several different designs. Although rare, this game still exists today, as we will see later in this article.
The puzzle game dates back to the year 1760 and has evolved over the centuries to the shape we know today.
The fact is that, at the beginning of the 19th century, the puzzle was already one of the most popular games among children in Europe.
With the Industrial Revolution, the puzzle began to be manufactured on a large scale, which contributed to its popularization, also winning over adults.
It is recorded that the great moment of sales of the puzzle occurred around 1930. With the Great Depression (1929), architects, carpenters and many other professionals unemployed due to the crisis spent hours creating puzzles to rent or sell .
But it was around 1932 that the puzzle game as we know it today started to be made on cardboard. This caused production costs to drop and games to become even more popular.
Nowadays, the most common puzzle models are made with several types of resistant paper, but you can also find them in wood and MDF.
Puzzle: What are the other versions of the challenge game?
As we have already seen, the traditional puzzle is the board puzzle. This model has cut-out pieces that, when fitted correctly, form an image.
However, there are games in other formats and versions that are also classified as a puzzle. This is due to its dynamics that challenge the participant to assemble a figure from pieces.
Most of these other versions of puzzle games, however, are not as popular and some are not easily found in the market.
Thus, the most traditional types of puzzle are: the Bedlam Cube, the Magic Cube, the Sum Cube, the Pentaminós and the Tangram. Below, we will explain each of these puzzles to you:
- Bedlam Cube : It consists of 13 pieces that should create a perfect cube. The challenge is to find one of more than 19,000 ways to do this.
- Magic Cube : It is the most popular among these different versions of puzzle games. Created in 1974 by the Hungarian Ernő Rubik, the Magic Cube is a puzzle in 3D format. In this model, the challenge is to match all colors the same.
- Sum Cube : The challenge is also to form a cube. But, in this version, the objective is to form a 3x3x3 cube with seven poly cubes. There are, however, more than 240 different ways to assemble this cube.
- Pentaminó : It is a puzzle version that has five squares, which can be organized in 12 different ways. This puzzle inspired the computer games known as Tetris or Rampart.
- Tangram : Originating in China, this version has seven pieces that can form more than 5,000 different figures. Among all these different versions of the puzzle game, Tangram is the closest to the board models marketed in the world today.
Who can put together a puzzle?
You might think that the puzzle game is just a recommended pastime for children. But make no mistake.
It is true that the puzzle has incredible and effective learning results, especially in early childhood. It is even a game recommended by educators.
But its benefits, as we will see later in this article, extend to all age groups, including adults and the elderly. Still, it is in childhood and adolescence that some points must be taken into account when choosing the ideal puzzle game.
As with children’s toys, the puzzle also has a recommended age range. This is primarily due to security reasons.
Because it consists of loose and cut pieces, the puzzle game can become a risk for younger children, especially if the pieces are very small.
The recommendation of experts is that if you choose to use a puzzle with small pieces with very young children, the presence of an adult is essential. This precaution will serve to prevent the little ones from putting the pieces in their mouth and taking the risk of swallowing.
The other reason to pay attention to the age group before choosing the best puzzle for children is in relation to the complexity of the game. The puzzle with very small pieces and small pieces therefore becomes more complicated.
The child will have difficulty understanding how to fit the pieces to form the proposed image. In Purchasing Criteria, we will talk more in depth about the appropriate number of pieces of a puzzle according to the age group.
In addition, very complex images, with many details and many different colors will also be more difficult to be understood by children still learning.
A very difficult puzzle game for the child will end up having the opposite effect than expected, generating anxiety, frustration and discouragement. On the other hand, a very easy game will not stimulate the interest of the little ones in solving the challenge.
What are the benefits of putting together a family puzzle?
Experts recommend that parents accompany their children through the puzzle challenge, guiding them with tips to facilitate assembly.
This is because, at the beginning, the child may feel insecure and with difficulties in analyzing the images and colors and understanding the dynamics of the challenge.
Studies also point out that the puzzle serves as an instrument to strengthen the family bond.
When putting together a puzzle, parents and children together find a more relaxing environment to promote dialogue and strengthen family ties.
But don’t make this partnership between you and your child a rigorous activity. Experts recommend that putting together a family puzzle should be fun. Check out some tips:
- You can start by trying to organize the chaos of the mixed pieces , separating them by colors.
- Then, parents and children must understand the figure that will be assembled . And then, you can begin the journey to form the illustration.
- Once your child understands the dynamics and feels safe , you can encourage him to try again with less intervention until he is able to play the puzzle on his own.
Next, we will show you the great benefits that the puzzle game brings to the development of children and adults as well.
What are the advantages of the puzzle?
As we have seen, the puzzle is widely used and recommended for children, youth, adults and the elderly, either to stimulate or to maintain memory.
But there are a number of other advantages. One is that the puzzle develops motor, visual and social skills. That is why the puzzle game is so recommended for children in the learning phase.
The fact that the child tries to fit one piece into the other is a great incentive for him to exercise control of the movements of his arms, eyes and hands.
“Playing” putting a puzzle together also reflects on the child’s ability to solve problems, which increases the reasoning ability.
With the puzzle, it is also possible to stimulate the knowledge of numbers, colors, figures, maps, space and other fields of knowledge. This stimulus occurs when the child tries to find parts and fit them. In this way, it accumulates information about the formats and their possible pairs.
The puzzle is also a great tool for socializing. This is because children can “play” together with friends, interact and collaborate.
According to scientists at the University of Chicago, children aged two to four years who put together a puzzle can develop spatial and mathematical skills more easily.
In addition, the puzzle game also helps to develop the ability to concentrate, to compare, analyze and synthesize ideas. Advantages that benefit all age groups.
Some psychologists also claim that the puzzle helps in the process of maturing and in resolving internal issues. In addition, of course, to develop patience.
The puzzle is also recommended to encourage elderly people with reasoning difficulties and limited mobility, as well as people with psychomotor limitations or disabilities. The game is even known to help Alzheimer’s patients.
For all these advantages, this is a game in which the disadvantages are practically nonexistent.
The puzzle is also recommended to stimulate elderly people with reasoning difficulties and limited mobility.
One of the disadvantages of the puzzle game, however, is that the harder and more challenging it is, the more expensive it will be.
Another point that can become negative is, as we have already seen, if you acquire a very difficult puzzle and at odds with the age group, leading to discouragement and even frustration of incapacity. The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of the puzzle:
- Stimulates learning
- Stimulates memory
- Develops motor coordination
- Stimulates social interaction
- Develops logical reasoning
- Develops patience
- The more complex ones are expensive
- If it is not for the recommended age it can discourage
The price of the puzzle game usually varies widely. This will depend on the complexity of the game, the number of pieces and the material of manufacture. But in general, the price of the puzzle ranges from R $ 7 to R $ 300.
Generally, the fewer pieces and the easier the puzzle, the cheaper this product can be.
Where to buy?
You can find the puzzle game in the most diverse types of stores, including department stores.
However, we recommend that you make your purchase through online stores such as Amazon, for example.
That way, you not only get the puzzle from the comfort of your home, but you will still have many more game options to choose from, with more competitive prices.
Purchasing criteria: What to take into account before choosing the puzzle
As we have seen, nowadays there are several types of puzzle games on the market. But here we will consider the most popular ones, the board puzzles.
In that case, you must take into account some important aspects before making your purchase. These factors will influence both the player’s performance, be it a child, young adult or elderly, as well as the durability and resistance of the product.
Therefore, we have listed below the main items that you must observe before buying the ideal puzzle. Are they:
- Number and Size of Pieces
- Details of the Illustration
- Manufacturing Material
Next, we will detail each of these factors so that you can make the best purchase decision that will meet your expectations.
Number and Size of Pieces
One of the main factors that you must consider before buying your puzzle is the double: quantity and size of the pieces.
That’s because, these two factors together is what usually determines the complexity and the degree of difficulty of the game. That is, the bigger the puzzle and the smaller the pieces, the more difficult the challenge will be.
As we have already seen in this article, if you are looking for a puzzle for children you should consider the recommendation of the product’s age group. The definition of the age group, in the case of the puzzle, is made based on the quantity and size of the pieces.
For example, for children aged 1 to 3 years the most suitable puzzle is the one that contains 2 to 12 large pieces. In this case, the ideal is that the pieces fit into a shape, to facilitate the child’s understanding.
For children aged 3 to 5 years, it is also recommended that the pieces of the puzzle game be large and the illustrations on a large scale and with less detail.
However, in this age group, it is already possible for you to insert a puzzle with a larger number of pieces, which can vary between 12 and 50.
Children aged 5 to 6 years can already be motivated to try to put together a slightly more complex puzzle. In this age group, you can choose a puzzle that contains up to 100 pieces. In this case, the game pieces may also be smaller than the previous age group.
As you can see so far with these examples, as children advance in their ages it is possible to increase the number and size of puzzle pieces.
Remember that there are puzzle games with fewer pieces, such as 200, which can be very difficult, even for adults. After all, we are talking about a challenge game! For the bravest there are puzzles of up to 6 thousand pieces.
Below, you can find a complete table with the recommendation of the type and number of pieces of the puzzle for each age group.
For adults and the elderly, there are no limits on the number of pieces. It is important for you to know, however, that the larger the number of pieces the more complex and time-consuming the challenge will be.
Check out the puzzle assembly processes of more than 24,000 pieces in the video below:
Details of the illustration
In addition to the number and size of the pieces, another factor influences the degree of complexity of the puzzle: the illustration that will be assembled in the challenge.
In general, for children up to 5 years of age, images should be made on a large scale, with less detail and with less variation in colors. This serves to facilitate the analysis and understanding of children, in addition to stimulating the child.
From the age of 6, you can start inserting a puzzle with images that contain a little more detail. The most common is to find games with illustrations of the animal world, space or children’s characters.
For young people and adults, the puzzles usually contain more complex and elaborate images, with many details and a greater variation of colors. The more information the illustration has, the more challenging it will be to put the puzzle together.
A common example are scenes from famous cities in the world, with buildings, houses, shops, people, trees, cars and every possible detail that can compose the scenery.
Another factor to consider before purchasing your puzzle is the material of manufacture. The material will reflect on the quality and durability of the puzzle and also on safety, in case the player is a child.
Nowadays, the most common is that you find the puzzle game made of carbon paper, which is a resistant and economical material.
However, it will also be possible to find the puzzle made with other types of sturdy paper, including cardboard. In addition, the game can be made of plastic, foam and, for the most demanding and traditional, wood.
Whether you are looking for a puzzle for a child, the type of construction material becomes an even more important factor. As we have seen, little ones tend to put objects in their mouth or even drop them and throw them.
Therefore, the ideal is that you choose a puzzle made of a resistant material, wood or MDF, which is not easy to tear or break.
Did you know that fans of the puzzle game, at least those most passionate about the challenge, usually frame the final result of their game and hang them as works of art on the home wall?
Yeah! This is more common than you think. To do this, all you have to do is place the pieces while assembling the puzzle on a wooden or MDF plate of the same dimension as the image and that’s it! When you finish the challenge you will have a decorative piece of art!
This factor can be decisive for many people. Although it should not be the most prominent, it is worthwhile to establish a budget before that choice.
Defining how much you can spend on your puzzle, you can try to find a balance between everything that was mentioned, looking for quality within a price that fits in your pocket.
Children’s puzzles are usually cheaper because they are smaller and less complex. Those that have more parts and are more challenging, consequently will be more expensive.