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Quality Wooden Puzzles 

These puzzles are not cheap but as with most quality items you do pay a premium for the finish. Certainly these puzzles while playable by children are probably more suitable for adults as the logic required requires study and thought.

Here I am looking at two items sold in the UK by Coiledspring Games and in a few weeks two further offerings from them.

Mini Pylos

Rumix from Coiledspring games

This consists of a 17cm square wooden board with 16 indentations (four x four) in the central portion and a gulley running around the four sides a cloth bag containing fifteen cherry red balls and fifteen creamy/yellow balls, finally two sides of a forty eight page multi language rule book that are in English.

To start all the balls are placed into the gulley around the edge of the board. The object of the game is to be one to place the last ball on the board and this will be the top of the pyramid. Sixteen balls on the bottom layer, nine on the second layer, four on the third and just the one on the top.

It is not always the player who plays second who wins as moving balls on the board is an option and not just taking one from the gulley. This is a game described as being from age 8-99 and while I suspect that eight year olds would not win that often I also think that maybe the average ninety nine year old would lose more than they one.

However there is a simple version ignoring one of the rules about a square in one players colour (four indentations) that is pivotal to the 'adult' game. A game for two players who are of the same standard and while the rules are really only four paragraphs I can assume you that you need to read them several times to grasp the possibilities. The average game length is stated to be fifteen minutes but I found they were often longer.    

There is also a larger version of the game but the mini version that I was sent was challenging and enjoyable.

Rumis

Again stated as '8 and up' and again I feel the complexity would be lost on most eight year olds. I used a couple of teenagers who needed several tries before they got to grips with it.

Rumis in Quechua (Inca language) means stones and the playing pieces are wooden bricks of various sizes in red green blue and yellow. There are a total of six boards where different types of building are created.

The size and shape of the building created are dictated by the board being played on. This game can be played by two three or four players and each player has all the bricks of a single colour. The size of the playing area of any board is dependant on the number of players.

The game ends when no more bricks can be placed in the shape determined on the board being played. Then the number of visible bricks of that colour (viewed from the top) are counted and points given, each brick remaining of that colour loses points.

Again a lot of thought in how and where the bricks are placed on the board within the rules (four sides). However there is a variant where two players have two colours of bricks each thus simulating a four player game. There is also a solitaire version and trying to build a 5x5x5 cube using all the stones is not at all easy sticking to the rules.

http://www.coiledspring.co.uk/rumis.php this is sold on their site at £22.99.

Both the games above can be purchased from www.coiledspring.co.uk or you can ring them on 0870 446 1515. The cost of mini Pylos is £14

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