Remember the kids’ game called Perfection? That, in a very far-fetched way, is Pajaggle. Only not.
Pajaggle is far more fetching. And it’s not just for kids. It is a precision made, laser-cut, acrylic puzzle/game. The pieces look a little like gears – very fine-toothed gears, some round-toothed, some very, very pointy. Some larger, some smaller, some with other pieces inside. There are a total of 61 pieces, no two of which are alike. The challenge – fit the pieces into their corresponding sockets. Which reminds you, correctly but vaguely, of that round-peg, square-hole thing.
Eventually, of course, almost anybody can solve a Pajaggle. It’s not that kind of puzzle. It’s the kind of puzzle you time yourself solving. Which explains the precision electronic timer included in every set. The more you Pajaggle, the less time it takes. It’s an oddly informative fun to watch yourself improve – not that it means anything about you or your skills at anything (unless you work on an assembly line) – but that you can actually see yourself learn and experience yourself having fun doing it. And when you Pajaggle with others (a few others, even one other), you can learn how much better you can do, and how much fun it can be to Pajaggle together.
Pajaggle is “museum priced” [deservedly so: all that beautifully hand-made, laser-cut acrylic; the added niceties like the timer, the “Pajaggle Throw,” the backpackable bag for the board, the bag for the pieces; the “Pajiggler” rod for dislodging Pajiggles, and, of course, all those games].
“Pajaggle Throw?” you ask, wonderingly. Part of the art of Pajaggling requires that you begin with an empty board. To empty the board, without losing any of the pieces, is somewhat of an art in itself. You take your Pajaggle Throw, wrap the board in it, turn the board upside down so as to rest it on the drop cloth, lift the board, and behold, the majority of the pieces are now perfectly dislodged. For the few that aren’t, there’s your handy dePajaggling rod (Pajiggler) which fits in the conveniently provided holes in each of the sockets – also handy for removing Pajiggles (incorrectly placed Pajaggles).
There’s only one way to solve Pajaggle. But there are apparently endless ways to play with it. You can time yourself. You can time you and someone else or maybe two or three someone else’s all playing together. You can compete, giving each player an equal amount of pieces and seeing who can get rid of theirs first. All with only one Pajaggle board.
Which makes it as fun as a solitaire game as a family game as a party game.
Ultimately, however, you’re going to have to accept the truth that the more boards you have, the more games you can play or invent, and the more people you can involve. Reverse Chaos, for example, can be played with teams of maybe two or three players playing on maybe two or three or four boards, all at the same time. You put the boards in the center of the table, and the pieces in front of each team. Anybody can put any piece wherever it fits, despite what board it fits into. The object is to be the first team to use up all your pieces. You can get very competitive, or you can forget the competition all together and go for a new world record.
Designed by the Pajaggle Team, the puzzle/game is as lovely to display as it is to fun to play. When you’re finished playing, put a solved Pajaggle on your coffee table, with the timer nearby, and watch, smugly, as your guests get sucked in to some seriously shared delight.
Re. the Pajaggle/Perfection comparison, Pajaggle Team member Bill Witt comments: “Perfection, that’s a game of failure. Pajaggle is a game of success. Moreover, perfection is one game. Pajaggle is an endless array of games.” Excellent and most relevant distinctions. The very reason why Pajaggle received the Major Fun award.
After two months of extensive Pajaggling, after managing to shave actual minutes off our combined Pajaggle-solving time (which reminds me, we discovered that Pajaggling is as much fun when we solve it together as when by ourselves – another way of playing with a puzzle that seems to be unique to Pajaggle), after loaning a Pajaggle out to each of our Tasters (and asking them again and again to give the Pajaggles back) Pajaggle becomes the first puzzle game to receive the Major Fun Keeper award.