Craniatics is a set of 10, stunningly graphic logic puzzles. The pieces are die-cut into magnetic strips, and punching them out provides its own sensual satisfaction. Because of the magnetic backs, all the puzzles (and, yes, games) can be played on the open lid of the box. Each of the five, two-sided boards is attached by magnetic discs to the lid. The lid is kept from falling back by two ribbons, giving a quaint feel to the whole set, like that of an old writing desk. The magnetic pieces slide easily around on the board, adding nicely to the efficiency and elegance of the puzzle experience.

Some of the puzzles are extremely challenging, others, only slightly less extreme. The instructions for each puzzle are printed on the corresponding board, the clarity and easy availability of the instructions again adding to the pleasure and sense of completeness of the experience. The puzzles themselves exercise both mind and eye; the eye, thanks to the the visual appeal of the strong colors and shading of the puzzle pieces, being at least as intrigued as the mind.

There are three logic games. Two of them have solitaire versions. All of them give you the opportunity to share the wonders of your Craniatic collection (without having to lose possession).

If you are intending this purchase for a child (8 years and up), you should be sure that the intended child is one who appreciates the subtle joys of keeping cherished things organized and neat. That’s all we’re saying.

There is a solutions booklet. We highly recommend that you give the booklet to a friend or close family member whom you can grill mercilessly, and will be able to dispence with the subtlest of clues while maintaining the stoic detachment necessary to give you every opportunity to arrive at the solutions yourself. On the other hand, said clue-provider should be able to maintain a loose enough hold on the booklet should there come the inevitable time when you will need to take possession.

One suggestion: there are a lot of pieces to punch out. You might strongly consider availing yourself of nine small baggies (baggies not included) to store each set separately. Ultimately you will find their crinkly presence only adding further to the sensual appeal of the entire Craniatic experience.

Though it is suitable for some select children, equally select adults will find Craniatics an entertaining and cherished possession – perfect for extended bed-rest and long, quiet periods on your favorite rocking chair.

Craniatics comes to us from FatBrain Toys. All the puzzles were designed by Ivan Moscovich.


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