Being a bug is a tough deal. Someone looks at your world with a microscope and tries to find all of your species. You don’t know, what he’s up to. And this is why its time to show, how well you can hide. Neither legs or antennae shall peep outside of your shelter. Fortunately, there’s always lots of rocks, under which these insects can hide. You have to help them. Will you find a place for everyone?
We got Busy Bugs puzzle in English, although there is a Czech version of it by now as well. Original publisher is SMART GAMES and author Raf Peeters is the one, who sent us this review copy. This conundrum was formed in 2011 and it was decorated with illustrations of Hans Bloemmen.
Busy Bugs is another in a series of magnetic puzzles, we have had the opportunity to test. And as such, it is tiny and easy to carry. It’s actually a kind of two-blade book, but inside hides a lot of fun. Its offer is now buried along with ants, millipedes and other bugs, that are waiting for us until the very moment, when we open game sheet booklet.
It is safely switched to play mode. All it takes is to open it. But you can do this only after unclicking a stud and see the game, split in two halves (pages). While the right side offers game board and four stone pieces of different colors, there are spiral bindings attached to the left, holding firmly two booklets with tasks. First green-yellow base 24 contains simpler puzzles, whereas with the other two dozen, difficulty already stiffens, as indicated by the colors used (red and blue). Good old division from Junior to Master is still there as you can see.
Along with the booklet, a small slip of paper with the rules can be found within as well. But there is really a few lines, which are enough for explaining everything necessary for us to start deciphering puzzles made for us. Let’s look back to the other side, where we have four different nests filled with insects.
These different parts are covered with already mentioned stones. They always have a maximum of three times three squares dimensions, but there are always various openings decayed in them. Now those windows serve for critters peeping out. These are prying to show themselves under the microscope. You can think of them as exhibicionists.
Each task numbered from one up shows exact number of animals, that must remain visible to the eyes, when seing all four nests from the top. Players can freely rotate magnetic plates representing the rocks and try to cover bugs correctly. When you see only animals matching the setting and in correct number, your assignment is correct, you have successfully complete puzzle and can advance to the next task.
Busy Bugs serves as training for shapes perception and ability to imagine, which bugs will be visible after moving. Puzzles are cleverly designed and difficulty of their design together with rotation of plates is really increasing. The first tasks are quite visible at hand and adults will find them quickly. But this magnetic puzzle is designed especially for children aged seven years up, who will train their logical thinking as well. Theme is interesting for kids and pictures are hilarious.
Rest of the processing of the game is also very precise. Magnetic pieces and tasks connected to the spiral binding ensures, that Busy Bugs can be played anywhere without any problems. It will delight not only children, but also their parents, who can take puzzle with them somewhere, where their descendant needs to sit and wait for a long period of time (for example to doctor or into the train).
The main complaint is directed towards the fact, that all solutions are part of the same ring binding and the missions. Although they are always located as last papers, they still represent an unnecessary temptation for young solvers. Unfortunately there is no way to put the cards away and hide them, without damaging them or the game.
Busy Bugs are a nice magnetic puzzle, which brings a new theme to covering up simple images on the board. Known mechanism still works and kids enjoy it again, when deciphering and rescuing bug babies step by step.
+ precise processing
+ great for travelling
+ nice thoughtful puzzle
+ practicing various skills in children
- easily accessible solutions
- already known mechanism