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Ever dreamed of building brick walls? - Me neither, but ThinkFun's Brick by Brick promises to make that task quite fun indeed. First introduced in 1990, when ThinkFun was known as Binary Arts, this game was relaunched in 2007 along with other classics.
The puzzle is comprised of only five different pieces, but the possibilities are endless. Included with the game are 60 challenge cards, each with a different symmetrical shape you must assemble from the five pieces. The game was likely inspired by another classic, the Tangram, where you also had to build shapes using the same seven pieces.
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The design of the puzzle is as simple as you can get, but true to its name. The pieces are made from plastic with a deep red tone, closely resembling the actual color of bricks. This is basically a 2D puzzle, but you can try to solve the challenges in a vertical position, as if you were building a real brick wall.
I love puzzles like these, not just ThinkFun's but from other brands as well, like Popular Playthings or Smart Games. The main reason is because you get to play with them much longer than any other regular puzzle. They always include dozens of challenges, which depending on your free time, can take quite a while to tackle them all. Some of the puzzles, however, even with lots of challenges and different levels of difficulty, are still pretty easy for the more experienced puzzler. My opinion, though, even if they're easy to solve, is that they're always extremely fun to play with, and that's what really matters.
Brick by Brick, like it or not, falls into the category of those easy puzzles. Unlike others in the ThinkFun range, the included 60 challenges aren't divided into difficulty levels. From my experience, this meant that trying to solve one of the later challenges wasn't harder than the first ones. They're just different shapes, and once you get the hang of it, doesn't matter which one you end up choosing to solve, because they're pretty much the same level. You can find the solution to each puzzle on the back of its corresponding card, but I reckon you won't be needing them that often.
I didn't solve all the challenges yet, but the ones I've solved (about a third) were mixed, some earlier ones along with later ones as well. The average solving time for each challenge was about a minute, others even less. For someone reading, one might think that it's not even fun solving these easy challenges and not having your skills put to the test, but I really think that if you like puzzles it doesn't matter if they're easy or hard, as long as you're having fun...
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Brick by Brick may not be your ultimate challenge, but I guarantee you, no matter how skilled you are at solving puzzles, you'll most certainly have a good time with it. The 60 challenges will sure keep you busy for a while.
Availability: You can find the Brick by Brick game at Sloyd.fi for about €18. Other similar games are also available, such as the Block by Block, Shape by Shape or the Square by Square.