GO GETTER - educational puzzle game

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION OF GOGETTER


GoGetter, the first smart puzzle I invented was the result of a misunderstanding. I had started playing with the idea of using cats and mice in a board game when one of my colleagues from Smart, asked me why we didn't do a puzzle with pathways. The result was completely different from what she’d had in mind – a nice example of serendipity (one of my favorite words): sometimes, when you are looking for one thing you find something completely different.


GoGetter is also the game that started the brand SmartGames, a collection of single player logic games with multiple challenges from easy to very hard. There is  a time line with the year of release of all SmartGames if you want to know more about that.


THE FIRST SMARTGAME

Before I started inventing games, I never puzzled much myself, probably because I found normal puzzles too limited. When I was working on GoGetter, I didn't know about other brain games with multiple challenges like Rush Hour yet. I wanted to make a puzzle that was different every time you played it, a puzzle that had some kind of changing maze. My first prototype even included short bedtime stories. Naïve as I was, I thought that once people had played a few challenges, they would be creative enough to make up more challenges on their own. The first (American) version had only 12 challenges, but the next version was expanded to 24 and the current one has 48 challenges. All are without stories, but luckily kids make up their own. When I was testing the game, I said to a child, ‘Now you have to connect the paths so the cat can go to the mice.’  The child answered, ‘But I don't want to, because then the cat is going to eat the mice.’


CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

GoGetter is different from most other SmartGames because the challenges have more than one solution. Kids sometimes find this confusing at the beginning, but a teacher once told me that she liked the game for that exact same reason. Most things you learn in school are either right or wrong, but out in the real world, things are much more complex. One GoGetter solution is not necessarily ‘more right’ than another, only different. By comparing each other’s solutions, children can learn that there are several paths to a destination and that whichever path you take, it’s seldom a straight line.


PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

As I worked on GoGetter, I made 3 versions of the game to demonstrate that the concept could be taken in different directions although I never intended to actually make 3 GoGetter games. But because the first version of GoGetter was developed by another company, many things were different from what I’d expected. They said that they would make a 3D version of the game, so I was quite disappointed when I saw the first sample and I found out that they had just translated my drawings into high relief. Although the effect was quite nice, it had not been applied very logically throughout. For example, the paths on the border of GoGetter - Prince & Dragon were in relief, but the pathways on the tiles were not. I learned from this experience that it is better to stay in control of the complete development of a game.




top: Old version of GoGetter from 2000 with relief and an unpractical storage drawer (12 or 24 challenges)




top:  New version of GoGetter from 2007 without relief and better storage drawer (48 challenges)


Luckily, we got it right eventually. Some people still prefer the old version with the relief, but I like the new version much more. In the current version, you can store the puzzle tiles and booklet in a decent way using only 2 instead of 4 parts. And you get 48 challenges instead of 12, for the same price, so players get much more play value for their money.


There are now 4 versions of the game. Each version uses the same principle, but has also something that makes it different:

• Cat & Mouse is the basic version.

• Land & Water has 2 kinds of paths.

• Prince & Dragon has pathways on the border of the game board and a figure on one of its tiles. This makes it much more difficult to avoid connections that are not allowed by the challenge.

  1. Mummy Mystery, the most recent version, adds secret doors to the maze.


 
 


top from left to right: Land & Water, Prince and Dragon and Mummy Mystery


In the past these games were also sold in the USA under the name “MazeWays”. There is also a special version made of this game for Russia, named Колобок-следопыт based on GoGetter cat & mouse. And there is a travel game with magnetic pieces that has almost the same challenges as Prince & Dragon: “Magic Forest”. You can play this puzzle game for free on smartgameslive.com


UPDATE

The 4 different GoGetters are no longer in production. The only version that is currently available is a magnetic travel game named “Magic Forrest”, which is similar to GoGetter Prince & Dragon (except with a different theme). If you are looking for a puzzle game with pathways I recommend Little Red Riding Hood for young children and Temple Connection for older children and adults.


AWARDS

• Belgian Toy Federation: Toy of the Year 2002 (Belgium)

• Dr Toy’s Best Vacation Product 2000 (USA)

• Parent’s Choice Recommended 2000 Award (USA)

• Toy of the Year - Parenting magazine (USA)

• Seal of Approval 2000 - National Parenting Center (USA)

  1. Educational Toy Star Award 2006 (China).jpg

  2. МОО "Экспертиза для детей ( IPO, "Examination for Children): Gold Award 2008 (Russia)

  3. ITSA Best Game Award 2008 (Australia)

  4. Best Puzzle Runner-Up 2009: GAMES Magazine (USA) for Cat & Mouse, Mummy Mystery

  5. Puzzle nominee 2011 (GAMES Magazine USA) for Prince & Dragon

 


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Raf Peeters, January 2001

2017

TEMPLE CONNECTION

SNOW WHITE

JUMP IN’

IQ-FOCUS


2016

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

PENGUINS POOL PARTY

PARKING PUZZLER

IQ-XOXO

DEDUCKTION

DINOSAURS MYSTIC ISLANDS

WALLS & WARRIORS

SMARTCAR 5x5

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES JR

HIDE & SEEK JUNGLE

NORTH POLE EXPEDITION

GHOST HUNTERS

ANTI-VIRUS MUTATION

2015

THREE LITTLE PIGGIES

BUTTERFLIES

IQ-BLOX

IQ-CANDY

PENGUINS PARADE


2014

QUADRILLION

BRAIN CHEESER

CITY MAZE

IQ-STEPS


2013

BUNNY BOO

VIKINGS BRAINSTORM

BACK 2 BACK

IQ-LINK

AB UNDER CONSTRUCTION

AB ON TOP


2012

TEMPLE TRAP

BILL & BETTY BRICKS

BEND-IT

IQ-FIT

NOAHS ARK

AQUABELLE


2011

PENGUINS ON ICE

TRUCKY 3

TROY

IQ-TWIST


2010

CHICKEN SHUFFLE

ANACONDA

CANNIBAL MONSTERS

SMARTCAR

SMARTPHONE


2009

TITANIC

DAY & NIGHT

2008

ROADBLOCK

METROVILLE

ALCATRAZ


2007

CAMELOT JR

CASTLE LOGIX

GOGETTER 4


2006

AIRPORT TRAFFIC CONTROL

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES

TOWER OF LOGIC INFERNO

DUOPUZZLE


2005

CAMOUFLAGE

HIDE & SEEK SAFARI


2001

GOGETTER 1, 2 AND 3