Smart Games PenguinsSanta and his elves get all of the attention this time of year, but what about those cute little black-and-white flightless birds that bring so much adorableness into Christmas? That’s right, penguins! These Christmas cuties are featured front and center in Smart Toys & GamesPenguins on Ice, a shivering sweet logic game for kids ages 6 and up.

Players select one of 60 challenges from the included challenge booklet and then try to get every ice-shaped puzzle tile to fit on the game board AND get the position of the penguins to match the image in the selected challenge. Does that sound easy? It’s not.

To make things just a bit more difficult, the puzzle pieces shift! Each piece can change its shape, and players will need to take advantage of this feature in order to get the pieces and the penguins where they belong. There is only one solution for each challenge, so it will take some brainpower, a little eyebrow furrowing, and possibly a head scratch or two to complete each challenge. Challenge difficulty levels begin at the “starter” level, where the challenge image will show kids the outline of each puzzle shape so it’s easier for them to figure out where the pieces belong.

Additional levels include junior, expert, and master. At 23 years old, I got stuck on the first expert challenge. That said, I should probably also mention this game has what I call “magical time-crushing powers.” For example, I started playing with every intention of getting through one or two easy challenges, and suddenly, there went two hours of my workday!

The game helps kids develop logical thinking, strategic planning, and spatial perception skills. Though kids can play the game solo, it’s challenging enough that mom, dad, and older siblings can enjoy playing with younger kids. Perfect for long-term entertainment, it also includes an elastic strap to keep all of the pieces in place, making it easy to take along in long car rides to grandma’s house.

Kids and families can embrace the chilly season and get their penguin fill with this fun and affordable logic game, all while strengthening their brains!


About the author

Marissa Silva

Marissa Silva

Marissa Silva is editor-in-chief of the Pop Insider and the Toy Insider, the leading consumer holiday gift guide and toy review and news website. As a professional toy reviewer and an industry expert, she consistently reports on toy, entertainment, and pop culture trends and hot products. In addition to digital content management, Marissa contributes feature-length articles to the Pop Insider and leading toy industry trade magazine The Toy Book, providing retailers, manufacturers, and licensors with information on the latest in toy news. Marissa has been featured on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, ABC World News Now, MSNBC, CBS, NY1, WPIX, and more. A board game fanatic and professional toy reviewer, she spends most of her free time shopping for superhero T-shirts, crushing at Mario Kart, and anxiously awaiting her Hogwarts acceptance letter. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thattoygirl.