August 23, 2016

Circuit Maze~ Electric Current Logic Game from ThinkFun {Timberdoodle Product Review}

My boys have very engineering minded personalities. They love to build and design and are constantly working out new LEGO creations. They recently reviewed a product that gave us a great introduction to electrical circuits, which both of my boys LOVED. When I was offered the chance to review the Circuit Maze by ThinkFun through Timberdoodle Co., I accepted hoping that it would further my boys' interest in how circuits worked.

About Circuit Maze

Circuit Maze is a single player game created by the award winning educational game company ThinkFun. In the game your child can safely explore the world of electrical circuits, through series of circuit building logic puzzles. Your child will get to experience series circuits, parallel circuits, series and parallel circuits in combination, and parallel circuits in bypass--all concepts of simple and advanced circuitry! By mixing how electricity and electrical circuits work with reasoning and logic skills, Circuit Maze really is a delightful first look into electrical engineering.
Designed as a single player game for ages 8+, the Circuit Maze game includes:
* 1 Game Grid
* 60 Challenge Cards from Beginner to Expert with Solutions

* Instructions
* 21 Game pieces (1 Two-Part Power Source, 3 LED Beacons, 2 Straights, 2 Bridges, 2 Double Corners, 2 T-Shapes, 5 Corners, 1 Switch, and 3 Blockers).

Circuit Maze ($27.99) is a fun component in the Timberdoodle 3rd Grade Curriculum Kit, but is also available for purchase separately.

Our Thoughts on Circuit Maze

We have been blessed to review several other products that ThinkFun carries, so I had a feeling we were going to enjoy this game as well. When it came, I showed the boys the box and together we opened it to explore. They remember our previous experiences with ThinkFun's logic games, so were curious to see how this one worked. 

As a side note, I love that the packaging is more heavy duty, as all too often those game boxes get crushed easily. The ThinkFun packages hold up much better to heavy use. I also think their game pieces and cards are more heavy duty as well, something great when you have children using them.

I explained the rules of the game to Little Britches who got it quickly. He drew a card, pulled out all the pieces he would need and proceeded to attempt to solve the circuit. Because I had already added the required AA batteries, he was ready to get started. He quickly figured out how the game worked and that was that. I let him alone to do it and his brother watched him. 

From this point on, he would ask if he could play Circuit Maze for awhile about every other day. Some mornings, I would even get up out of bed, and he'd be in the living room at the coffee table working through the game. 
The goal on this card was to turn on the yellow light by adding the remaining pieces in the right spot.

Figuring out what kind of circuit works for this card
As time has gone on, he now likes to do two things: 
1. He puts together the solution without attempting to figure it out himself, so he can examine the circuit created.
Solutions to each puzzle card are on the back of the card
2. He likes to just create his own circuits with the pieces without using the playing cards.

I think that this game is one that we will be definitely keeping around for quite awhile, and I see us incorporating it into our science studies, especially when we eventually being our energy units. Whether he is playing it "right" or exploring it on his own, I know that the's learning from the experience, which is what the game is all about!

The only con we really have, is that sometimes the pieces don't stay tight enough in the game, which can mess up the circuit connections--especially when they need to light things up. So we have to hold them down to make them work. It's not a big deal, but it would be nice to have them in there nice and tight. 

I absolutely recommend this game to anyone with a child (or even adult) with a fondness for design or puzzles. It would make an excellent gift and one that I will be remembering as an option in the future for my friend's children. I think it is very cool that Timberdoodle has included this game into one of their curriculum kits. It shows how much "play" they include in their school packages!

It's another success from ThinkFun--a company our family now thinks makes the BEST games for engaging your brain while having a good time!

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