Last Saturday on the way to the farmer’s market, we noticed the strangest thing on the Mississippi River. I first spotted three barges parked along the banks in a place where we sometimes might witness one. As I started to comment to Scott about how odd it was, I noticed another parked behind those. Then another and yet another. I think the final count of what seemed like a barge parking lot was nine. Living along the Mississippi River amidst the Lock and Dam system means that barge traffic is a common thing, but THIS was not normal.
The thought of all these water vessels all grouped together reminded me of all the cruise ships in the port and of the chaos that can be found in any given episode of Deadliest Catch. Then it got me thinking about Wave Breaker, a logic puzzle from ThinkFun.
Over the past few years we have highlighted many other ThinkFun puzzles and games that have included the concepts of computer coding, learning about electronic circuitry or gravity, basic programming for children, encouraging kids to compose music, creating STEM craft projects and even a puzzle catering to the fidget craze. While the themes of all these products are ever-changing, one thing is consistent: ThinkFun makes thinking fun. Hmmm… wonder if that’s where their name came from.
With Wave Breaker, you are attempting to get the ship safely through the waves and into the port. Like a ship on the high seas, the waves move back and forth. Success comes from managing the valleys to make forward progress while sometimes riding the waves sideways.
There are four different levels of difficulty in Wave Breaker: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. As the names imply, they get progressively more difficult. No need to worry about losing the cards and pieces with this one as they’re all nicely stored in the base of the unit.
Setup is easy. Each of the waves is double-sided with a triangle on one side and a circle on the other. Remove the wave pieces from the tray and align them according to the puzzle. Place the colored ships in the appropriate places and it’s ready to set sail. That’s all there is to it!
Slide the waves back and forth as needed to allow the ships to move freely. As an alternative, allow the ship to ride the wave and move more than one wave strip at once! While there may be multiple ships on the high seas, only the red one needs to make it to port. If he’s going the wrong way, he needs to find a large enough break in the waves to turn around. Once you’ve mastered the beginner level cards, move to the intermediate.
Not only are the cards tucked away safely, but the answer key for each puzzle is hidden in plain sight (on the back of the card!) If you get stuck, set it up again, flip the card over to reveal the answer. Use the answer key to walk your way through it. With the answer on the back, you won’t have to worry about losing them, but to make use of them you’ll have to start from the beginning of the puzzle. Sometimes walking through a solution to one will help you learn different options for solving.
With all the ThinkFun products we’ve shared, you’re probably already following their social channels. If not, check them out on Twitter and Facebook to see what else is happening, including various promotions! In the meantime, we have a giveaway for one of our readers! Enter below.
ThinkFun Wave Breakers Giveaway