Mini-Guide: Puzzle Craft 2

LQ: 9.4


Brain grade: 9.0
Fun score: 9.8

Puzzle Craft 2
Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , , , LWK Recommended Age: 6+ Thinking Skills Used: ,

Android  |  iTunes  |  PC

Puzzle Craft 2 has elements of match-3, farming, and town-building games. It takes the original Puzzle Craft and expands it into something more active, engaging, and larger. The player begins with a settlement on the shore of the ocean. Using match-3 linking, the player collects crops and other materials. When they have enough, they can research other crops, build more buildings, and hire more villagers. Eventually, the settlement is big enough to move on and start again. Once at a new location, they maintain access to the first settlement and its resources. The goal is to make the kingdom as strong as possible. Puzzle Craft 2 has in-app purchases and ads. The game got an E for Everyone rating. While a younger child may be able to handle the game mechanics, the thinking skills required to advance in the game means LW4K recommends this for ages 6 and up.

Puzzle Craft 2 helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Puzzle Craft 2Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

Puzzle Craft 2 practices both short- and long-term planning skills. The short-term planning skill comes into use whenever the player chooses to gather materials. Whether they are in the fields or the mines, they need to be thinking about the overall number of moves they have (usually twelve or less), the material they need to collect most, and the best way to collect that material. This means they are making a short-term plan consisting of one or two moves at a time. Without this micro planning, they may complete a level and find they didn't actually get enough of what they needed.

The long-term planning happens as the player is figuring out which goals to attempt and which buildings to build. These items usually require the player to collect materials over the course of multiple levels. This means the player has to make and remember a plan through several trips to the fields or mines. They may even have to remember that plan over the course of hours and days. If they don't have a plan, they will still (most likely) get enough materials to finish the quests eventually, but it will take much, much longer and their settlement will fail to grow properly.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

The heavy reliance on material gathering and building "recipes" means that the player must be able to follow and remember directions. If, for example, the player is hoping to beat the "build a settlement" quest, they will need to remember they need 4 haystacks, 6 planks, 20 loaves of bread, 6 nests of eggs, and 2 soups. Then they will need to keep these numbers in mind while they are in the fields collecting materials to make sure they collect the right materials. They also need to be able to remember the recipes (or directions) for the individual items. Soup, for example, requires the player to collect 10 carrots. In order to collect any carrots, however, the player will first need to collect 8 blocks of wheat. If the player can't follow directions, or doesn't work to improve their forgetfulness, they will be unable to complete recipes and build their settlements and kingdoms up.

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