Kanoodle Fusion from Educational Insights is a move in the light direction for puzzles!
Educational Insights focuses on educational toys and games, and the new Kanoodle Fusion Puzzle is no exception. The latest item in the ongoing Kanoodle line, this puzzle game features a light-up board and translucent pieces made up of circle shapes in different colors: red, blue, yellow, orange, green, and purple. There are 50 puzzles for players ages 7 and up to solve, with the goal of matching the pattern on the board to the picture in the instruction booklet.
Each reference picture in the booklet shows a different arrangement of the pieces, which players are challenged to match. The board is backlit to make the colors of the translucent pieces easier to see. You can mix colors by stacking pieces on top of each other (laying a red piece over a yellow piece will give you orange in that spot, for example), but you can only stack a max of two layers.
The setup is pretty straightforward: The board needs a couple of AAA batteries and a screwdriver to get the back panel open (neither included) so it will light up. Though the lights aren’t strictly necessary to play with the puzzle, particularly in a well-lit room, the backlight really enhances the fun of the color mixing.
The hexagonal board is built into a hinged case that can close up for easy storage and travel. I really liked this feature, as I could see myself bringing it to a get-together with friends or even on a road trip (if care is taken to not lose any of the pieces in the car). The instruction book fits nicely in the top of the puzzle board, where kids can easily reference the puzzle they are working on.
Once the board is lit up and ready to go, kids can jump right into puzzle-solving. The puzzles start easy and get more and more challenging as you flip through the pages of the challenge booklet. The first puzzle is simple enough for kids to solve right away. The last puzzle, however, could keep them occupied for quite a while.
The recommended age group for this toy is 7 year olds to 107 year olds, as the box cheekily states. It’s not wrong about being for adults as well. The first few puzzles were simple for me and went noticeably quick, but when I skipped to the end I started having more trouble solving them, and admittedly had to let one or two go without finding the solution. The back of the instructions has the solutions if you get frustratingly stumped, but I am refusing to look until I’ve figured it out.
The puzzles are good for a reminder of how color mixing works, though many 7 year olds are likely to have a decent handle on that already. Though it’s still fun to see the layering of the different mixed colors, the educational value of this toy really lies in the puzzle-solving element.
Overall, the Kanoodle Fusion is an enjoyable puzzling time. It’s a great toy for a relaxed afternoon or for keeping busy on the go, and parents will have fun helping kids solve the puzzles (or even sneaking their own puzzle time after the kids go to bed!). So, get ready to puzzle it out with the new Kanoodle Fusion!