ThinkFun Gravity Maze Review: Marble Run Logic Game
Boosts logic and problem solving skills
A STEM toy with educational value
Boosts creativity in spatial reasoning
High quality and durable components
Genuine and visually appealing design
Recognized and multiple times awarded toy
The pieces sometimes pop out unexpectedly
How it works
Marbles are fascinating little balls that managed to captivate the world with its sensual and smooth movement on any surface. They are easily incorporated in various games that explore the power of gravity and play with the laws of physics.
It is quite understandable why toy makers refuse to leave this invention in the past and constantly rethink and come up with new educational and entertaining ways of bringing the joy of marble runs to the younger generations.
There are multiple outcomes of sliding a marble down a tower or a track and it is almost impossible to get bored with finding the most desirable path. Therefore, ThinkFun, the world’s leading company in puzzles and mind-sharpening kits, created the Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game. It is a single player game designed to bring a little science in your home but in a fun and seemingly effortless way.
Invented as a STEM game, this product requires using logic and problem-solving skills, while building blocks and experimenting with the movement of the shiny little marbles. It would be a great challenge during the winter break since children want to forget about school assignments however it would be highly beneficial if they still get to train their brains in an unconventional way.
Andrea Barthello and Bill Ritchie both shared a passion for problem solving challenges and creative logic development. You might say they were born puzzlers and no strangers to complex challenges. They were inspired to create their own company since all the toy companies in the 80’s just stopped delivering genuine ideas. Manufacturers were struggling to come up with new games and both retailers and consumers started to get bored with the Rubik’s Cube and the brainteasers.
Thus ThinkFun was born! The originally named Binary Arts, was developed in Bill and Andrea’s basement which was used as a production line and distribution center, as well as a humble home office. Their first product was called the Hexadecimal Puzzle and it immediately caused curiosity amongst the gaming public.
Their noble mission was simply defined as a quest to make uncomplicated toys inspired by the visionary designs of the most brilliants minds who worked in the scientific, engineering, and mathematics field so children from any nation and background can easily comprehend the educational content and even find if amusing. Their fight to bring children ingenious products that would spark 21st century thinking and boost learning and creativity is still present with their mind-bending toys.
ThinkFun has been recognized, awarded and represented in approximately 60 countries around the world. Their products have been translated into more than 20 languages. The global company greatly evolved by creating puzzle apps, virtual games, educational toys and STEM problem solving puzzles. They truly found a way to put the fun in fundamental learning.
The grid looks simple and shiny, in a dark grey color and its quite convenient that has a special spot in the corner for the marble to be placed while you are building the maze. Since marbles are tiny, they are easily lost, so it is an effective solution to organizing your components. It is also very helpful that there are two spares that could be used if you want to experiment with multiple runs or replace a lost marble.
The building towers come in green, magenta, blue and orange, there are also 2 grey single story towers and one red target tower. They are made in different heights with different orientations which would ultimately leave you with multiple playing scenarios. The translucent look not only makes them seem very futuristic and eye pleasing, but it also allows for children to follow the path of each marble and observe the smooth course.
The cards offer around 60 challenges which are presented as graphical designs of the original grid with the starting and ending point included. In addition, they come with instructions which you have to follow in order to score a point. In addition, by showing different building options in the bottom you will know which blocks you are allowed to use in order to create an adequate run for the marble. The signs also indicate whether the towers should be placed horizontally or vertically on the marble grid. It is a very 3-dimensional world which offers multiple possibilities with the same outcome, which is to bring the marble to the finishing point.
The traditional schooling systems are beginning to experiment with different approaches to learning so children can be constantly motivated in exploring more complex issues that concern the future of our planet and mankind. STEM toys are proven to be as more effective and mind sharpening rather than conventional homework tasks or regular playtime activity.
Even though Gravity Maze sounds intimidating for younger children, it is designed to be a calming educating experience rather than a frustrating science project. Children love building LEGO towers and sliding marbles so this intelligently crafted toy allows them to have the best of both worlds while simultaneously enriching their minds. It is safe to say that stealth learning and spatial reasoning are now disguised as a fun single player gaming adventure.
It might sound complex but the instructions are so clear that it allows for players to start the process of gaming almost immediately. All you need to do is set up the board as it is indicated on the card and make sure you place the towers by following the tiny black dots on each side as shown on the map. Build a tower where you’re going to drop the ball from the start and try to hit the ending point. One of the rules is that the marbles can drop one level at a time, so there are no shortcuts in hitting the final point.
This way children will have to use their logic and spatial reasoning in order to create a perfectly uninterrupted track for the marble. It will unleash their inner genius while they are struggling with the more difficult levels and boost their creativity in problem solving tasks. It really helps that the struggle is very colorful and entertaining so they will focus on finishing the quest rather than give up and be frustrated during the educational journey.
If you are looking for a way to distract your little ones from the cartoon binge watching or video gaming, Gravity Maze might come in hand, and since it’s a single player game, they will have a lot of fun even when they are all by themselves in the comfort of your home. This is also an excellent game for children with no siblings whose parents are busy working since it creates a safe space for having an adventure without depending on anyone.
Even though it requires following the rules on the cards, the maze is actually very versatile and it provides limitless outcomes. It is almost impossible to get bored with it if you give it a chance and proper introduction. It’s both a marble run and a logic puzzle, yet if you get bored with being challenged by following the cards, you can always be creative and just build and construct interesting pathways for the marble to find its way. The learning experience involves experimenting by using orientation and visual skills, which would greatly impact anyone who gets the chance to try it out. Soon enough you might find yourself getting a clearer picture of the impact gravity has in everyday life and you might realize that science is not so complex and boring after all.
It is important to take note that this product would greatly entertain adults as well. We’ve seen a lot of products that are primarily intended for children, such as coloring books, get their own adult versions which relieve stress and enhance cognitive abilities. The advanced levels allow parents to entertain themselves and feel intrigued by all the possible outcomes. It’s no wonder the Gravity Maze Marble Run won the Parents Choice Gold Award and many more. Grownups are starting to realize that there are multiple enchanting ways to spend their free time while still getting in touch with the child in themselves.
The fact that it offers 3 different levels of difficulty means that your child can literally use it for years and will most likely grow with it, forming an emotional bond towards board games and scientific endeavors. It is also enjoyed by adults as well, so you can borrow it for your own entertainment and challenge your problem solving skills. It seems very affordable when you take into consideration that this truly is a gift for the whole family and it offers a more futuristic approach to the nostalgic marble games from the past.
The Gravity Maze Marble Run is an addictive learning experience which would have your child occupied with STEM activities for hours. Its undeniable charm lies in making the players architects, scientists, mathematicians, logic solvers but most importantly independent single gamers who tackle the powers of gravity and physics. It is quite unfair that physics has gained a notorious reputation as being boring and frustrating amongst the younger generations. Toys like this truly make the approach towards these fields seems like an enjoyable and unforgettable journey.