Kids and adults love to play with toys that allow them to strategize and use their cognitive abilities to solve a variety of problems. While certain toys like Rubik’s cube are essentially easy to master once you have learned and mastered the patterns of solving any type of problem, there are gadgets that simply puzzle the mind with each move. For many individuals, playing with such toys is an exercise in futility while others really do thrive on the challenge that it provides. One such toy that has been creating a huge impact in the playing behaviors of many individuals is the Perplexus. As the name suggests, Perplexus is a baffling game where focus, motor skill, and strategy all come in one perfect blend to solve the mysterious challenge. Unfortunately, just when you think you have it all figured out, there comes another twist to the game.
An Overview of Perplexus
The Perplexus Original is a game sphere that is composed of many labyrinthine mazes complete with obstacles or challenges that simply will bewilder the mind. Technically, the Perplexus game sphere only measures about 7 inches in diameter yet the actual length of the maze, when removed from the sphere and laid out in a straight line, can actually stretch for an amazing 22 feet. This is almost similar to the small intestines in the human abdomen. When stretched out in a straight line, the small intestines can range from 20 to 23 feet long. Yet, the entire small intestines can be placed right inside the abdomen together with the other internal organs of the abdominal cavity.
Designed for children who are at least 6 years of age, the Perplexus Original game sphere is a ready to play toy that will not require any form of preparation. Best of all, it is a great way to get everyone in the family to be involved in the game play which actually consists of flipping, twisting, and spinning the Perplexus game sphere to move the ball from the starting line to the checkered flag. It’s an F1 meets NASCAR meets Rubik’s kind of game but with 100 or so different obstacles or challenges that you have to go through. One wrong flip, twist, turn, or spin can send the ball bouncing off its numbered track and you’d have to head back to the starting line all over again.
The Perplexus Original game sphere boasts of a swing arm, a tight rope, and a super spiral which form 3 superbly ingenious puzzles as well as more than 100 obstacles or challenging barriers that all players must learn to overcome. The same framework provides the platform for greater discovery and opportunities for problem solving.
The Perplexus Challenge
The whole idea of playing the Perplexus Original game sphere is to advance a tiny ball from the starting line down its designated numbered track, through more than a hundred obstacles or challenges that take the ball through a variety of passageways, until the small ball reaches the finish line in the shortest amount of time possible. The whole game play may sound so simple but the complexity of the different passageways amidst a sea of colorful tracks and constantly evolving obstacles can really make someone go mad out of frustration. It is relatively easy to play. However, moving the ball around across and through the different passageways, obstacles, and challenges is an entirely different thing.
Spatial reasoning is an absolute must when playing the Perplexus Original game sphere as you will need a very objective understanding and appreciation of the relationship between the ball and the space upon which it is currently in. Deciding when to flip or twist the game sphere is a matter of cognitive reasoning where tactics and strategies will often take a backseat as you will need to make a split-second decision on where to flip or twist the Perplexus Original game sphere next. Just as you are moving the ball on the yellow track, you will then have to decide on how many degrees you need to flip the sphere to move the ball onto an orange track and over an orange ramp. One wrong estimate of the degree of rotation of the sphere can send the silver ball falling off its tracks; then, you’d have to start all over again.
Moving the ball is accomplished by allowing gravity to work to your advantage. Unfortunately, this can only be accomplished by twisting, flipping, turning, spinning, or simply changing the orientation of the Perplexus game sphere so that the tracks will naturally be on a downward slope to facilitate ball movement. And this is where most players have difficulty since one misstep in the angle of the sphere’s orientation can abruptly halt the ball’s progress. Compensating for such a misstep can sometimes lead to the ball dropping from it tracks altogether. This is especially frustrating for players who are nearing the finish line.
While the Perplexus is a solitary game you can nonetheless, race with your friends to see who can get the ball from start to finish in the fastest time. If you can get a hold of several Perplexus game spheres, then the race can be truly an exciting one.
Benefits to Kids and the Whole Family
Obviously, the Perplexus Original game sphere can provide a host of benefits especially for children. Its design is inherently tied to how well the brain can process the various challenges that are presented with each movement performed on the sphere. The following are some of the benefits of playing the Perplexus Original game sphere.
Enhances fine motor control – Excellent control of the muscles of the hands is an absolute must if you want to play the Perplexus. If you experience slight shaking of the hands or if you really cannot keep your hands steady, then you will find playing the Perplexus to be particularly difficult. It is also for this reason that it is essentially beneficial in enhancing fine motor control by letting kids to be very mindful of small, minute movements of their hands.
Strengthens divergent problem solving skills – While the Perplexus is essentially a puzzle which means it is more attuned to the development of convergent problem solving abilities, the mere fact that there’s way too many possibilities that could occur with each move on the game sphere. This makes it ideal for training the mind into using divergent problem solving. This is an essential requirement to logical reasoning and critical thinking as it explores the many different possibilities of addressing a particular problem. Convergent thinking occurs on a 1:1 problem to solution ratio whereas divergent thinking operates on a 1:x ratio where the “x” corresponds to the infinite number of possible solutions to a single problem.
If the placement of the ball and its relationship to its surroundings especially when in contact with an obstacle or challenge. This is still pretty much within the cognitive domain but it works especially well with fine motor control.
Refines critical thinking processes – As was already pointed, playing the Perplexus Original game sphere can lay the foundation for the development of divergent problem solving abilities. More importantly however, is the fact that it can help in the development of children’s critical thinking abilities. It helps them make lightning-quick decisions related to the twisting, flipping, and spinning movements on the game sphere. This can have a tremendous impact on your kid’s success when he or she grows.
Develops healthier self-esteem – Being able to move the steely ball from the start right to the finish line without ever falling off its tracks and in the fastest time possible can really provide kids with an exceptional sense of achievement. This helps build confidence, enabling kids to feel good about themselves. It also helps facilitate the development of more positive self-concept and self-esteem. This paves the way to the establishment of healthier social relationships.
Fosters healthier social relationships – When played with friends or even the whole family, the Perplexus Original game sphere can provide the necessary training for children on how to build lasting social relationships. This also helps in the development of their language and communication skills, both of which are essential requirements for the establishment of healthier social relationships. Kids learn to wait for their turns playing with the Perplexus. They are also taught how to accept defeat in a more gracious manner.
- Easy To Play
- Provides a variety of cognitive stimulation
- Portable and lightweight
- Great for families and social circles
- Difficult To Master
- Ball may be too small for players with visual problems
- Not ideal for players with musculoskeletal problems of the hands
The Bottom Line
The Perplexus Original game sphere is a fabulous way to help train the brain while also providing an excellent platform to share fun and laughter with the rest of the family or even with close friends.