Trucky 3

The story behind the creation of Trucky 3

Raf Peeters, January 2011

Trucky 3 is a preshool puzzle game with 48 challenges that features 3 trucks and 10 colorful puzzle pieces.

Trucky 3 is one of the Smart Games I designed for 2011. The inspiration for this game was something from my daily life. Every time we go on holiday it’s my job to pack all luggage inside the trunk of our car. It’s like a real puzzle, because we always have more stuff with us than there is room for. So this made me thinking...


The game is named Trucky 3, not because there was a Trucky 1 and 2, but because it contains 3 small trucks (and 10 colorful blocks). Although you could think at first sight that this is a variation of SmartCar, it’s a completely different puzzle. SmartCar is a big car with 4 identical wooden blocks and 3D-challenges. Trucky 3 only looks 3D, but has in fact challenges where only 2 dimensions are really important. So it’s more like some kind of mini-tangram for little kids with the puzzle pieces placed vertically instead of horizontally. The third dimension makes it easy for them to pick up the blocks and to stack them on top of each other but is not really used in the challenge.


The object of the game is to fill up one ore more trucks with a specific set of puzzle pieces. But none of the puzzle pieces should stick out higher than the border of the container. So it is always very clear for a child if a challenge is solved right or wrong. The basis and cabins are made of wood, but the 10 different puzzle pieces are made of colorful ABS plastics. And the containers are made transparent, so you can see how the blocks are stacked inside. For the easy challenges you only need to fill up one truck with 2 or 3 puzzle pieces. But for the more difficult challenges you need to load the cargo in 2 or 3 trucks. The problem of course is that you don’t know which pieces will go in which truck.


What this game does have in common with other wooden SmartGames is that it is also a toy. If a child is still too young to solve the challenges (or just doesn’t want to puzzle) it can play with the trucks. They are small and light and fit perfectly in children's hands. And if you think that this is only a boys toy, think again. In Belgium this puzzle received in 2011 the “Fun Award” in the categorie “Girls”, although the jury (=kids) could also choose pink toys like a castle from Barbie.

As you might have read elsewhere on this website, I am not the most fanatic puzzler. I love creating puzzles more than solving them. My sons have the same genes and also prefer creative toys. But this game was the first one where my oldest son (and my wife) really wanted to solve ALL the challenges. And my youngest often tries to solve the challenges on his own. So this is without any doubt my favorite new SmartGame for kids ;-)

Review by The National Parenting Center, April 2012:

“This was certainly one of the most unique toys up for evaluation during this testing period. It is a dump truck complete with a sturdy base and wheels. But the similarities to anything Tonka ever made end there. Trucky is also a puzzle. Using any number of the assorted colorful shapes your child is presented with a logic puzzle where they have to find the right pieces to complete the challenge. What is so unique is that based on the age of the child there is fun to be had. Very young children just liked rolling any of the three trucks; preschoolers were able to complete some basic puzzles; while children 5 and older could really sink their teeth into much more complicated tests of logic and spatial reasoning. For us it was interesting watching parents and children come to Trucky with an expectation of a certain play pattern and leave having had a completely different experience. One that was challenging yet fun, surprising yet very rewarding. Very impressive, hats off to Smart.” 

example of a starter challenge/solution of Trucky 3

example of an expert challenge/solution of Trucky 3

Trucky 3, a puzzle game I designed for SmartGames that doubles as a toy


1) Choose a challenge. Select the truck and playing pieces indicated by your challenge card. You may need more than one truck for some challenges. Put the trucks and playing pieces you don’t need for the challenge to one side, out of the way.

2) Load up the cargo into the back of each truck in your challenge.

• Place the pieces in the cargo hold of each truck, all pieces need to fit so that none stick out over the edge of the cargo container.

• The cargo pieces can be orientated in any direction, so place them whichever way up helps you solve the challenge. 

• The cargo hold doesn’t have to be completely filled. Sometimes there will be empty space left.

• For STARTER and JUNIOR levels you only have to load up one truck. For the EXPERT and MASTER levels you have to load up two or three.

• When you have to load up several trucks, you have to figure out how the pieces fit into each cargo space, and you also need to decide how you will divide the playing pieces between the trucks in the challenge.

3) There is only one solution. You can check it on the flipside of each challenge page.


Trucky 3 evolves in step with your child’s skills. Toddlers initially play with the trucks, loading them up and emptying them, and driving them round like a toy car. Kids who are a bit older play the game, working through the 48 exciting challenges that are easy at first, then gradually get more and more difficult. If the challenges seem too hard, load up the trucks by looking at the solutions first.

Website ©2011 Raf Peeters

Products and images: © Smart