Toy Wizards Review: Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Puzzle From ThinkFun

Toy Wizards would like to thank ThinkFun for sending us a copy of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Puzzle game to review. You can purchase a copy of the game here on Amazon for $29.99 or anywhere games are sold. 

Single player puzzle board games. This is something that didn’t exist when I was a kid.

Or at least, not to my knowledge.

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A game was sent to me from ThinkFun, and I was immediately intrigued. It was single player for ages 8+ and you could play by yourself. Which meant two things in this case. One, I could check out the game for myself. And second, I could sic my daughter onto it and see how the game worked out when an actual kid played it. Sure, my daughter is under the age limit, but the putty is bright and she likes Playdoh, so we couldn’t go wrong!

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Presenting, the guinea pig.

The premise here is simple enough. The game comes with an assortment of cards that each contain predetermined puzzles. You set up your board according to the card and then you’re challenged to draw a line of putty from one colored sphere you’ve place to the other without crossing streams with any other putty colors.

The instructions are clear. Setting up the puzzle is not. I had to do a lot of counting squares and columns to make sure I’d set it up correctly, beginning with Easy Puzzle One.

STEM education is all the rage, and it can be defined as a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

So, more or less get your hands in there and solve problems with real-time applications and strategies. And of course, get screens and video games out of your face.

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Puzzle is fun! My four year old understood it and it kept her engaged for about ten minutes, which is about the amount of time children that age realistically spend on a single activity. As for me, I was engaged for about twenty minutes. As a kid though, I can imagine I would have played with this game quietly for about thirty minutes.

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But wouldn’t that putty look better all smashed together?

The good:

This is a very bright, colorful, and attractive presentation. The puzzles are stimulating and approachable and the game is easy to understand.

The not as good: 

This game has a high price point for a small square board and a few wads of putty. This is a game you could pretty easily make yourself once you’re aware that the premise exists. My mom always used to sigh at games that had refillable pieces, and I feel sort of the same looking at the putty. If the child isn’t fully engaged with the game and you step away, that putty could very easily become a mixed up brown blob. You’ll have to hope your local craft store has a rainbow of putty for you to replace it with if pieces get lost or dried out or mixed together.

However, with that, I give Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Puzzle 3.75 out of 5 Wizard’s Stars. So let’s just round it up to 4 if it manages to keep kids quiet. That’s worth its weight in magic rainbow putty diamonds.

 

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