Creativity

Brain Games: Chocolate Fix, by ThinkFun

Chocolate Fix game by ThinkFun

An addictive sudoku-like game. Finally, a sweet treat that actually makes you fit!

Last year, I was invited to test and offer feedback on some puzzle-y brain games made by ThinkFun. The opportunity arose through one of my puzzle-making connections. In my typically altruistic fashion, I offered up my time and brain to further science, education, and world-wide fun by playing games for 15 minutes a day during the testing period. Being the devoted world-improver that I am, those 15 minutes were more often 20 or 30 or more minutes. Even now, long after the testing period has ended, I continue to test these games. The mental challenge is sometimes grueling, but I persevere, knowing that my contribution will one day make the world a better place. Today just might be that day because I’m going to tell you about this company and one of these games. (I’ve also got a coupon code to give you, so stick with me!)

Of the three games that I tested, Chocolate Fix was my favorite. It’s a logic game which just happens to be my favorite kind of brain game.

What You Get

  • 3 pink strawberry pieces in three shapes
  • 3 white vanilla pieces in three shapes
  • 3 brown chocolate pieces in three shapes
  • 18 shape and color place holders
  • 1 candy tray
  • a booklet of 80 challenges with solutions
  • smarter!

What You Do

The visual clues for a Chocolate Fix challenge

Note that this challenge is from the older version of the game. The booklet in the new version looks different, but the content is the same.

The object of the game is to arrange nine candy-coated chocolates in the tray in a specific way; there is just one solution to each puzzle. The nine plastic chocolates are each a unique color/shape combination so no two are the same. You’re given a series of visual clues from which you logically deduce where each chocolate goes. The instructions are clear and concise, but the visual clues are fairly intuitive by themselves.

The game booklet contains 80 challenges beginning with easier ones and getting progressively harder. The graduated challenges enable players to develop the thinking skills required, which makes this game accessible to a wide range of ages and skills. ThinkFun recommends the game for ages 8 to adult.

What I Think

I think this game is super fun, i.e., challenging and entertaining.

It’s like sudoku in how logic and deductive reasoning are used to solve the challenges, but the color and shape visuals and the tactile procedure are different. I like sudokus, and pencil puzzles are my thing, but I also like playing with these images and manipulating the pieces. I’d love to know what differences this makes in the brain. I wonder if dyslexic people and others who find sudoku difficult because the numbers get garbled might find this game doable and fun.

The game is small and durable which makes it delightfully portable. It’s easy to toss in my bag or briefcase for use in the car, in a waiting room, and anywhere there’s a spare moment.

I like leaving it out where visitors can pick it up for a quick play. Plus, games and puzzles make great home decor, no?!

It would be great in a classroom for a filler activity or reward.

While intended as a solo game, with two sets or a stopwatch, this game could be competitive.

I also think it would be fun to give one person the booklet and another the board and pieces and have them work together. The person with the booklet has to describe the clues verbally while the other person manipulates the pieces. The person with the booklet can only talk—s/he can’t touch any of the pieces—and the person with pieces can’t look at the booklet. They solve the puzzle together.

The game that I tested had only 40 challenges. The new and improved version has 80. Testers asked, ThinkFun delivered. Way to go, ThinkFun!

A Delicious Deal!

ThinkFun logoWant to get your own Chocolate Fix? How would you like 10% off that Fix?

From now through December 31, you can use the code FUNKWEBER to get 10% off when you check out at ThinkFun. This discount is not limited to Chocolate Fix; it’s good for any ThinkFun game and your entire order. Gift-giving season is upon us, but you don’t have to wait for Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday for this deal. How’s that for sweet?

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