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Monday, September 27, 2010

Perplexus Review

This is the Perplexus Game Maze. Perplexus is made by PlaSmart Inc. and is available at mass market retailers and at Amazon.com. We have been playing with Perplexus for a couple of weeks now and I can honestly say that it is very entertaining toy, but a bit frustrating at the same time.

One of the big advantages to Perplexus is that it is self contained. The ball and entire maze are inside a plastic sphere that does not open. No losing pieces! Perplexus is a one person maze game where you attempt to maneuver a tiny ball throughout a complicated maze. My son Gabe is 6 years old and he really enjoys playing with Perplexus. Gabe is an only child. However he is the kind of only child who never wants to play by himself. This can be challenging for parents who don't want to let kids watch too much tv but at the same time cannot entertain their child constantly. Perplexus to the rescue! This is the first game that Gabe has played with by himself for more than 5 minutes before tossing it aside and asking someone to play with him. In fact, the very first day we had Perplexus Gabe played with it for almost an hour. Believe me when I say that is an eternity for him.

I appreciate that Perplexus is completely player powered as there are no batteries. Players just move the ball around the maze by shifting the ball around. This is more difficult than it sounds but is fun and challenging. It seems to be great for kids to strengthen hand~eye coordination.

Perplexus is recommended for ages 6 to 106 and I agree with this recommendation. Gabe is 6 and although he can move the ball well he has a long way to go before he will be able to complete the maze. My husband and I are a bit older than 6 and we enjoy Perplexus as much as Gabe does. I must admit though that I can get a bit frustrated with Perplexus. After playing Perplexus at least a dozen times I am stuck on a certain number.

I was disappointed with the directions for Perplexus...because essentially there were none. Fortunately the idea is simple, to move the ball around the numbers in order. It took me several attempts before I realized that there are 3 start points so if the ball falls midway you do not have to start from the beginning if you don't want to. One way to make Perplexus more user friendly would be to somehow make the numbers on the maze easier to see. The numbers should stick out better so the player knows which way they should attempt to go.

Overall I would definitely recommend Perplexus. I appreciate that it is self contained and that we will never have to worry about missing pieces. This also makes Perplexus very travel friendly. Perplexus is a maze game that is child friendly but difficult enough to challenge adults as well.

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