|(Click to Enlarge)|
ThinkFun always seems to surprise us with their imaginative and creative designs. In a puzzle market filled with so many different concepts it's becoming ever more difficult coming up with fresh ideas. For ThinkFun, at least for now, that's not a problem. The game was developed by Mark Engelberg (game rules) and Serhiy Grabarchuk Jr. (game challenges).
Chocolate Fix is unlike any other logic game. It's not as easy to understand at first, but once you get to know it it'll become extremely addicting. The idea behind the game is reminiscent of Sudoku, since you use the same logical deduction to solve each puzzle, and as you place more objects in the game grid it gets progressively easier.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Example of an Intermediate challenge solved|
Chocolate Fix is also a bit different from other logic games. To solve each puzzle you have study many clues and figure out where to place all nine chocolate pieces. You need to be constantly looking to the challenge card, unlike many other games where you set the puzzle using a challenge card and concentrate only on the tray afterwards. It's much more demanding, but also much more interesting. I guess part of the reason I liked this game so much is because I used to be hooked on Sudoku puzzles and see a correlation between the two.
So what does the game consist of? You are given nine distinct chocolate pieces in three different colors and shapes. The game grid is 3x3 and all spots need to occupied for a puzzle to be solved. Unlike Sudoku, the idea doesn't have anything to do with avoiding repetition. You can have identical colors or shapes adjacent to each other or on the same column or row. The goal is just to find the correct pattern as given by the clues. The clues will vary depending on the difficulty level. They could point to a color, a shape, both, or even part of the grid, which usually doesn't tell you exactly where it is.
There are a total of 40 challenges divided in four different levels of difficulty. The beginner challenges are quite easy to get you started, but the fun starts where you reach the intermediate level, and by the time you get to expert you'll see they're as tough as any challenging Sudoku puzzle. On the later challenges, I sometimes had to take a chance and see if it some pattern worked like I thought, because the clues didn't seem enough to have a concrete answer. If I was wrong, then it should be the other way around. It's a great feeling when you're finally able to complete a tough challenge.
(Click to Enlarge) - Examples of and Advanced and Expert challenges solved
Chocolate Fix is not an ordinary game. Using a different kind of logic to solve the puzzles it provides a different exercise for the brain, unlike all the others in the ThinkFun range. It's a great game for everyone, puzzler or not. Good luck holding out on your "chocolate fix" after playing with this one...