Noah’s Ark

The story behind the creation of Noahs Ark

Raf Peeters, January 2012

Noah’s Ark is a simple puzzle game with 48 challenges I designed for SmartGames in 2012, in the category of magnetic travel games. So for everyone who is religious or likes animals, boats, “the end as the world as we know it” or just a simple and cheap puzzle game, this one is for you ;-)


The object of the game is to place the 10 puzzle pieces with animals inside the Ark. The feet of all animals should be facing the bottom side. What makes this puzzle special is that the theme of this game fits with one important game rule: puzzle pieces with the same kind of animal should be adjacent. The combination of the different shapes of puzzle pieces together with this rule, gives you enough information to place all magnetic tiles correctly, because there is for every challenge just one solution.


In a way, this puzzle shares an idea with another puzzle I developed last year, Penguins on Ice. Noah’s Ark has 10 puzzle pieces, but they can also be considered as 5 puzzle pieces made of 2 parts. The difference is that the parts in the Penguins game are physically connected and that in Noah’s Ark the parts are “attached to each other” by a game rule.

Although the number of possible shapes that can be made with these pairs of puzzle pieces is much higher than the pentomino shapes of Penguins, the challenges are much easier. First of all because you get more information in the challenge (the position of one or more puzzle pieces) and secondly because you are not allowed to rotate any pieces. This limits the number of possibilities enormously. That’s why this game can already be played by children of age 5 and up. In case the world ends in 2012, it doesn’t harm to exercise already a few animal saving skills.


So the world fortunately didn’t end in 2012 after all… It’s still a nice game though.

top left: example of a difficult challenge of Noah’s Ark, with 2 puzzle pieces on a specific place.

top right: unique solution of this challenge: puzzle pieces with the same color/ animal are adjacent


1) Choose a challenge from the game guide and place the puzzle piece(s) as shown.

2) Place all other puzzle pieces on the grid inside the ark:

• Puzzle pieces with the same color/animal should be placed with at least one side touching each other.

• You cannot rotate the puzzle pieces. All animals should be placed with their feet on the ground.

3) There is only 1 solution to each challenge. Solutions to all 48 challenges can be found in the back of the booklets.

Website ©2012 Raf Peeters

Products and images: © Smart