Play It Solo: Cat Crimes; Gravity Maze and Laser Maze

February 2019 was quite a month in the Northwest: a massive snowpocalypse followed by an ice age. Inclement weather and dangerous driving conditions lead to two weeks of school closure, and my kiddo spent at least half of those days sledding, making snowmen, snow forts. The other half of those days, I was thankful to have new board games on hand to entertain him: Cat Crimes, Gravity Maze, and Laser Maze. These are logic games designed for single player, you can definitely solve the harder puzzles with another player.


Cat Crimes: Who’s To Blame Logic Game

I like to say there are no bad cats, only enabling situations, but that’s a lie I tell myself whenever I’m dealing with consequences of feline misbehavior. In Cat Crimes, you must figure out which of the six kitties in the game has committed misdeeds such as knocking over a flower pot or attacking the bird cage. 

The game is super simple to set up. There are six cat tokens, six crime tokens, a game board and a deck of challenge cards. Draw a challenge card to see what crime has been committed by looking at the top right corner. Take the corresponding crime token and place it on the game board. Now you have your crime scene. Your task is to figure out which cat committed the crime by placing the cats on the game board as described by the challenge card. The cats’ locations plus clues on the game board will help you get there.

My cat-obsessed kiddo loves Cat Crimes. The feline suspects all come with unique profiles in the instruction book, and the character art is very cute. The mysteries are sufficiently challenging, because there are four levels of difficulties to choose from. One downside is that the simple design of the game board limits the type of mysteries to solve, and some of the mysteries do repeat at each difficulty. Still, the added challenges as kids advance in their logic skills make the game fun to play.


Gravity Maze & Laser Maze

Like Cat Crimes, Gravity Maze and Laser Maze are both logic games, but with an added component of  spacial relationship. They’re also made by the same company as Cat Crimes, ThinkFun. With both games, challenge cards give you a starting point, and you solve the puzzle by adding specified color and number of tokens.

The tactile nature of Gravity Maze and Laser Maze are really fun. With Gravity Maze in particular, it’s like making a Rube Goldberg machine. When you solve a puzzle, you get to watch pinballs travel from start to finish through increasingly complex paths, vertical and horizontal. My kiddo has fun making his own maze too. Both Gravity Maze and Laser Maze will get your kiddo thinking in terms of space and direction. The easy trial-and-error nature of the games make them approachable too, because the pieces are easy to rearrange. 

Kudos to the folks at ThinkFun for creating games that are fun and educational. I’m looking forward to trying out some more of their games.

 

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