Posted on by Gabriel | 0 comments
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Recently, I've been reviewing SmartGames' puzzles and I'm really loving them. They all have these clever concepts and designs that can put your skills to the test. Bend-It is yet another one of SmartGames' great examples of how to introduce new ideas into their puzzles and make them a joy to play. As with most of their catalog, the Bend-It puzzle was designed by Raf Peeters, who doesn't seem to run out of great ideas anytime soon.

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The puzzle itself is very well built with a practical design. The board has a clear plastic lid to avoid losing the pieces when traveling. The pieces have this heavy and strong structure which indicates they will withstand almost anything. I very much like the color palette chosen for the puzzle. The green of the board combined with the black and white pieces plus the transparent lid give the puzzle this sophisticated and stylish look that's very welcoming, considering the high number of colors SmartGames usually chooses.

Bend-it, like its name suggests, uses a clever mechanism that allows you to bend each of its six pieces into different arrangements. Each piece can be bent at two different points. Those points are on different places on some pieces, so there will be distinct arrangements even when bending two pieces with the same angles, as shown in the photo below. The number of black and white balls on each piece (6 balls per piece) also varies, which can be 4/2 or 3/3.

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When all the pieces are packed into the board it's almost impossible to know where each piece starts or ends. This is how the challenges are made: you're provided with a picture of all the pieces packed in the 6x6 board with just the color pattern visible. Your task is to find out, by bending each piece accordingly, how to create the pattern you see on the challenge booklet with the same six pieces.

The booklet comes with 60 challenges divided into 5 different levels of difficulty, from 'Starter' to 'Wizard'. Some of these are pretty easy, and there's also some cases where you don't even have to bend all the pieces, although I'm not gonna say which ones do that. The 'Wizard' challenges are quite tough and do require some heavy thinking, but for someone already experienced in packing puzzles, I'm sure this won't be a problem.

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Closing Comments:

The Bend-It puzzles are very carefully thought out and provide a progressively harder challenge, but in the end they're very rewarding and satisfying. It gets addictive as soon as you understand the game's mechanics which won't be that difficult. No matter what your packing puzzle skills are, you're guaranteed to have great time and fun with Bend-It.

Availability: You can get the Bend-It puzzle at Sloyd.fi in Finland for €19.50.


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