Weekend Solver

The work week isn’t always five days long and it can stretch on for days, rolling into an ungodly amount of time spent at the grindstone. For me, it’s been a busy past couple of months. Endless hours of toil and stress bearing down day after day. The work never fails to show up and it doesn’t ever seem to quit. Between huge chunks of time at the office and at-home exhaustion recovery, my weekend solving has been hit hard.

Thank God, for now that’s all behind me.

Finally, I can settle down into some well deserved puzzling. I’m ready to shirk off all of the weeks worth of working cruft… it’s time to solve.

Topple Magazine #5.

Topple Magazine #5. Image: Topple Magazine.

I’ve been planning my Friday night for a while, when I’ll be finishing off the fifth issue of Topple Magazine. About a month ago, its editor Gregory Gray reached out to me and sent a copy my way for a review.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been cracking away at the puzzles, little bits at a time as I’ve been able. Getting in a puzzle here and there in between the dreary tasks of the day job. I’m about two-thirds and with a full weekend ahead of me, I’m aiming to get this thing polished off Friday night.

So far, what I’ve found is that Topple a nice variety magazine that I’m pretty happy with. Gray writes the word and trivia puzzles, and a recently added contributor Prasanna Seshadri supplies the logic puzzles. I’ve been a fan of Seshadri’s work, he usually brings some interesting stuff the table.

Topple is only $1, so it’s definitely not going to break the bank. I’m enjoying it up to this point and looking forward to sharing my thoughts once I’ve wrapped it up.

Framed 2 at $0.99 after only a month after being released? Ya dang right I picked it up.

That’s what I’ll be rocking Saturday night.

The premise behind the game is pretty simple, players are given panels for a comic book page and have to place them in order. After the panels are set, the story unfolds as the panels laid out. If successful the story continues, but if not things tend to wind up rather poorly for the main character.

In spite of the number two in the title, Framed 2 is touted as a prequel by the developer. It’s sporting what seems to be a new female lead and has some Chinatown action going on.

I’m eager to get into this thing and see what’s going on.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but so far I have six of them. Yeah, six kids, ranging from four-months to 16-years-old. As far as I’m and anyone else is concerned, that’s a friggin’ lot of rugrats, and some how I love them all.

I love spending time with my gaggle of children.

What’s even better is finding things that all of us enjoy doing together. Thank God, they love puzzles… I mean a lot. It’s starting to get to the point where my 10-year old leaves her piles of Sudoku books all over her bed and floor…

On Sunday, the kids and I are going to be breaking out Circuit Maze from Thinkfun. It’s a neat little game that puts electricity into puzzles. Players are trying to turn on a light bulb by completing a circuit by placing pre-selected pieces onto the puzzle board. The whole set-up is drawn out on Thinkfun’s trademarked puzzles-on-cards, solution on the back. It’s a pretty slick design they’ve got going on.

One of the things that Thinkfun is good for is teaching during play and Circuit Maze delivers on that end. It goes into the basics of how electricity works, positive and negative charges, throwing in polarity and other topics.

I’m really charged up to get into this with the kiddos.

Disclosure: Puzzle Pile received a free copy of Topple Magazine #5 for review.

About Bran McMillin

Bran McMillin is the founder and senior editor for the puzzle news site Puzzle Pile. From 2007 - 2010, he served as editor for the magazine Panopticon: Puzzles & Games. He is the inventor of the Itachi and Hairetsu puzzle forms and has created hundreds of puzzles. Disclosure: Bran is a member of the National Puzzlers' League.

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