PENGUINS PARADE - magnetic travel game

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION OF PENGUINS PARADE


Penguins Parade is a new magnetic travel game I designed for SmartGames this year. The object of the game is to place the 4 puzzle pieces on the game board, so that the 4 penguins are placed in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line.


GET THE PENGUINS IN LINE

The basic idea for this puzzle started (again) with my wish to make a puzzle with the minimum number of puzzle pieces. Especially with compact travel games, this is very useful, because despite the fact that the game board is magnetic, you still need to put your puzzle pieces temporary somewhere else when you are solving a challenge. And the more pieces you have, the smaller they get and the easier they got lost.


The main object of the game in almost all 2D packing puzzles I have created so far is to to fill up the grid with puzzle pieces. What makes each game different is the extra requirement that is unique to each game. In RoadBlock you need to make sure that the red car can’t escape. In Noah’s Ark you need to make sure that pairs of animals are placed next to each other. But of course there is no real reason why the main objective should always be to fill up the grid completely.


top: example of a Junior challenge (left) and solution (right) with the penguins lined up horizontally


The only object of the game in Penguins Parade is to place the 4 puzzle pieces on the game board, so that the penguins are lined up (in any direction) without any blanc spaces or puzzle pieces in between them. Penguins should always be placed with their feet below, which means you can’t rotate the puzzle pieces with the penguins. Each challenge is made different by using 2 empty puzzle pieces, that need to be placed on a specific location during set-up. You are not allowed to change the position of these empty puzzle pieces.


top: example of a Master challenge (left) and solution (right) with the penguins lined up diagonally


Although it looks like you have a lot of empty space on the game board, the challenges are not very hard. That’s why we have put ages 5 to 10 on the packaging. Especially the fact that you are not allowed to rotate the puzzle pieces with penguins, limits the number of possibilities quite a bit.  There are only 22 different ways to put the 4 puzzle pieces next to each other so that the penguins line up in a valid way. Of course some ways can be used on different places on the game board. This results in 113 possible end positions for the puzzle pieces with penguins, still plenty to choose 48 challenges that are different for this game.


The theme is a request from my bosses, who wanted to have another penguin game, after the success of Penguins on Ice. The theme also fits perfectly with the concept of the puzzle. In my imagination penguins often form a line when they walk over the ice towards the sea.


As a designer I always try to do more than what is really necessary for the game. So I made the puzzle pieces a little bit less square and flat. Although this is a completely different puzzle game than Penguins on Ice (it doesn’t have transformable puzzle pieces), both games are very clearly related. If you loved Penguins on Ice, you will probably also like Penguins Parade.





A MYSTERY WRAPPED IN A PUZZLE

My colleagues and I also redesigned 2 existing products for the magnetic travel games of SmartGames: Tangoes Animals and Tangoes Paradox.


Of course the idea behind Tangoes is not mine, but based on the ancient Chinese tangram puzzle. The original Tangoes brand was bought a few years ago by Smart, but so far we didn’t have the time to update this product. Tangoes Animals now finally features 48 challenges instead of 24. And all challenges are now in the right order from easy to hard and have a single solution, just like most other real SmartGames.


For the other new Tangoes product, my input was a little bigger. Paradox also has 48 challenges, but they come in pairs. The object is also to recreate the image shown in the challenge using the 7 tangram puzzle pieces. But once you have solved a challenge A, there is always a challenge B that is almost identical at first sight. The only difference is that it looks like a piece is missing, although you need to use the same 7 puzzle pieces than for challenges A. How is that possible? Can you solve the paradox?


top: example of a challenge A (left) and B (right) 


Puzzles with solutions that seem to be impossible are not new, but as far as I know, nobody made a complete multi-level puzzle game based on this concept. Some challenges have multiple solutions. It was already very hard to design 2 x 24 challenges with this concept. If I only allowed challenges with a unique solution, I needed to leave out a lot of nice and interesting ones.

 


<

Raf Peeters, January 2015

English/

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