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brain twister:perplexus

My 3-1/2-year-old is fascinated with puzzles. She started out with simple 3- or 4-piece wooden models whose knob-handle pieces made them easy to complete. Before long, she was moving on to puzzles with more pieces, especially the ones that had sounds and other bells and whistles. I notice there’s a particular one at our local library that she favors: a maze of animals whose tummies get filled with tiny marbles by using a magnetic wand. Each time she “feeds” the hippo, she shouts out in jubilation. I’m impressed with her persistence, as it wasn’t too long ago when she would have given up and cried if she wasn’t successful right away. Practice and patience are two things I’m trying to teach my girls, and I’m marveled at how such puzzles can teach them just that. Maybe that’s why Perplexus Rookie recently caught my eye. It’s a transparent globe that features the inner-workings of a colorful 3-D maze, and the object is to move a tiny ball along the numbered path until the end without losing your way. Twisting and turning is the name of the game, and stellar hand/eye coordination is key. But, even if you think you’re a master at this sort of thing, don’t count on it with Perplexus. There are plenty of obstacles and pitfalls along the way to catch you off-guard, like a set of scary stairs and an inviting igloo. I love that Perplexus also comes in Original and Epic versions, offering more advanced challenges for older kids and seasoned puzzlers. Wouldn’t it be great to get everyone in the family something they can play at the same time without fighting over, or one toy that your oldest won’t complain about being “too easy?” We think it makes for a great gift at the office, too, especially during those conference calls that seem to last forever. Don’t blame us if you become addicted…

In a Nutshell: It’s the season’s best can’t-put-it-down toy for all ages and abilities. This is one puzzle worth solving.

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