The puzzle is to choose the right puzzle. And we've got the solution.
Never bought a puzzle before?
Buying a puzzle for someone else?
The puzzle is to choose the right puzzle. And we've got the solution.
READ ON FOR SOME HANDY TIPS
When buying a puzzle from someone some of the things you should consider are:
- The type of puzzle to choose Degree of difficulty of the puzzle
- The price range you want to buy in
- The age of the person you're buying the puzzle for
- If the person is a 'one time' puzzler or a collector
- A gift for a special occasion
- Unique designs not available elsewhere
Degree of difficulty of the puzzle
We make some of the most difficult puzzles in the world. If you've given puzzles before and the person has always been able to do them quickly then you may wish to give them puzzles rated between 8 and 10. Whilst it is important to present the person with a challenge you don't want to discourage them by buying a puzzle they have no chance of ever doing. So, if you're buying a person's first puzzle it may be wise to begin at a puzzle rated 5 to 7 rather than going for a 10 first up. Of course, sometimes the most fun can be had with the easiest puzzles. Puzzlers always get a lot of enjoyment from sharing a seemingly simple puzzle amongst friends; the one's that you know you should be able to do but often take a little longer than expected (it always seems a lot longer when someone else is watching).
To explain how we rate puzzles:
- Difficulty rating 1 are the easier puzzles to do and memorise.
- Difficulty rating 10 is the most difficult to do and memorise.
- Puzzles rated 1, 2 or 3 may not take hours to do but there will always be some challenge involved.
- Don't write off these puzzles as too easy for adults.
- For a puzzle to be rated a 9 or 10 it must be VERY difficult to complete the puzzle, and VERY difficult to memorise the puzzle's solution.
- For example, a puzzle rated 7 could take an average person a couple of hours to do and then memorise.
- A puzzle rated a 9 we expect that most people - say 80 % or so - will NEVER be able to master the puzzle without assistance from the solution.
How we present some of our puzzles will also have a bearing on the rating we give them. Some of our Interlocking puzzles are sold apart which adds the challenge of having to put the puzzle together without having first taken it apart.
The type of puzzle to choose
Puzzles are generally divided into either Mechanical Puzzles or Jigsaw Puzzles. Mechanical puzzles can generally be described as objects that may have any number of part which involve a problem for one person to solve by manipulation using logic, reasoning, insight, luck and/or dexterity. A jigsaw puzzle is a tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of a number of interlocking pieces. Each piece has a small part of a picture on it; when complete, a jigsaw puzzle produces a complete picture.
Mechanical puzzles can generally categorised as:
- Put Together - Interlocking: Assembly and/or disassembly is required to solve the puzzle. The pieces interlock and generally make a three dimensional object. Includes Burr puzzles and other 3D brainteasers
- Put Together - not Interlocking: Putting the object together is the puzzle. The pieces form a shape, either two or three dimensional, but do not interlock around each other
- Disentanglement: The puzzle is to disentangle and re-entangle the part of the puzzle. Often puzzles consist of multiple pieces of metal interlocked. Or puzzles using string or rope the need to be untangled
- Sequential Move: The puzzle is to move parts of the object to a goal. This includes twisty puzzles like Rubik's Cube and other puzzles where you rotate move after move to come to the solution.
- There's also puzzle books, puzzle boxes and so many more.....
Choose one of these from the Category Page "Puzzles by Type".
The price range you wish to buy in
It is important to note that the most expensive puzzle is not necessarily the most difficult.
Use the search filter to narrow down your price range. Great for Secret Santa or Kris Kringle ideas.
The age of the person you're buying the puzzle for
Puzzles are for people of all ages. They exercise the mind and encourage us to think of a range of possible solutions for a given problem. If you're buying a puzzle for a child it's important to develop their interest not discourage them by giving them puzzles that are too difficult for them to understand. They may not be able to do the puzzle very quickly but if they can understand the goal and enjoy playing with the puzzle then it's the right choice. (Young and old like to succeed)
We've created a special "Kids Puzzles" category to assist choosing puzzles suitable for young kids. Many of these puzzles are equally suitable for adults who may still find them a challenge.
Puzzles also make great school awards, dux of the class, sports trophy, and more. Look at the category for "Themed Puzzles" for some ideas.
If the person is a 'one time' puzzler or a collector
While puzzles are made to be played with there is no doubt that many of them form beautiful objects of art in their own right. For the 'one time' puzzler it can often be best to go for a puzzle that is not so difficult but where the object is easily communicated. These puzzles are great to put on a bar or coffee table and used as an ongoing source of fun with others. Disentanglement puzzles and Put Together puzzles (not Interlocking) usually cover this requirement well. Although sequential move puzzles often have a high difficulty rating they are very 'playable' and so can also be great for first time puzzlers. Collectors will generally be looking for puzzle that are new, rare and/or very difficult. Put Together Interlocking puzzles often have a very high degree of difficulty and many will be made using very unusual woods which make them great to display.
A gift for a special occassion
Puzzles make Perfect Presents
And the obvious choices are Dad's birthday, Father's Day, Uncle's Christmas, Son's graduation, and Mother's Day. But what about a heart puzzle for Valentines's Day.
Or a Wedding Anniversary? The traditional gift for a 5th Wedding Anniversary is wood. It is said that the strength of your marriage bond is represented by the traditional gift of wood. Wood is strong and long-lasting. A wooden puzzle can provide fun and stimulating entertainment or an artistic and interesting wooden sculpture.
And a puzzle box makes a great way to give a gift. Extend the anticipation; make them work for it: what fun! There's lots of different sizes, shapes, degrees of difficulty so check out the Puzzle Box category.
Puzzles make Perfect Secret Santa Gifts.
Buying by price? There's plenty of puzzles under $10. Use the search by price function to narrow down the range.
Puzzles also make Perfect Tophies.
Sports Trophy Best and Fairest Player. Dux of the Class. Thanks Teacher. and more ...... check out our Themed Puzzles category for some unusual gift ideas.
Unique designs not available elsewhere
Puzzles specifically designed for the International Puzzle Party event called the IPP Exchange must not be commercially available prior to presentation at the IPP Puzzle Exchange event. These puzzles are scrutinised prior to the event and must meet strict criteria covering 1. innovative design 2. well made 3. well presented and 4. fun to solve. Unless the person you intend this puzzle for was at any of these events they are unlikely to have one of the puzzles in this range. See all the different designs we currently have available in the category Exclusive IPP Puzzles.
To read more about Mechanical Puzzles in general try Wikepedia