On the packaging for a typical Madzzle set, there’s mention of the use of Zero Gap Technology, which to this day remains a mystery to me. Perhaps it has to do with packing so much play potential into an enclosed tube that absolutely zero space is wasted. In the case of MadRat Games‘ cylinder-shaped Madzzle game packages, I’d believe it. I got to play test the Bermuda Triangle edition, which includes a 54-piece jigsaw puzzle depicting a scene of wreckage at the bottom of the ocean. Putting it together should provide kids within the recommended age range of 7 to 11 years with a sufficient challenge—for a time, at least.
However, the completion of the puzzle doesn’t represent the end of fun, but merely the beginning, as kids can play two different games utilizing both the finished scene and the enclosed deck of Mystery Cards. There’s Object Hunt, which involves looking in the puzzle for whatever object—e.g., a sailor’s watch, a pirate sword—happens to be on the card. The set comes with a pair of magnifying glasses to help kids with their search. The second game is Data Duel, which involves playing cards based on the attributes of the featured objects; specifically, how high up in or to the right side of the completed puzzle image they are. In addition, each Madzzle set comes with a soft, roll-out mat to lay the puzzle flat on, as well as a small bag for holding the pieces.
As I mentioned earlier, the point seems to be fitting as much intellectual stimulation into one container as possible, which explains both the overlapping games and the compact packaging. For the Bermuda Triangle edition of Madzzle, even the cap to the tube-within-the-tube flips over to reveal a separate, whimsical activity: Marigold seeds, along with a message to plant them to help replenish the world’s paper supply. The bottom line: Madzzle offers compelling, well-designed play products in packages designed for convenient storage or transportation. If thoughtfulness is what MadRat Games is trying to gain a reputation for, it’s on (and in) a roll so far.