It’s hard to know which one-player games are worth playing, isn’t it? Games kids can play alone are a great way to foster independence and critical thinking in your homeschool, but how do you sort through all the games designed for solo play and pick out the best ones?
I tend to navigate towards single-player logic puzzle games, as they’re a great exercise in thinking skills. Puzzle games require careful thought, planning, and thinking outside the box. And if you have a particularly rigid-thinking child like I do, logic puzzles are a good way to practice the flexibility and creativity needed to solve problems.
[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary Walls & Warriors game from Timberdoodle in exchange for writing and publishing this post. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]
[Aveline’s sweatshirt is courtesy of Primary, our favorite place to buy sensory-friendly clothes for kids. Any links to Primary are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from Primary, I’ll receive a small commission.]
Walls & Warriors is a one-player logic game from the European company Smart Games.
If Smart Games sounds familiar, it’s because the Belgium-based studio also produced
- Asteroid Escape,
- Color Catch,
- Zig-Zag Puzzler, and
- other popular puzzle games.
In fact, Timberdoodle says Smart Games were the most wished-for gifts last Christmas!
Here is a curated list of the best Smart Games, including Walls & Warriors
Walls & Warriors is a simple but challenging game for solo play.
Walls & Warriors is a redesigned version of Troy, an older discontinued Smart Games game. The objective of the game is simple: without moving the knights at all, enclose the blue knights safely inside the castle walls, ensuring they — and the blue castle tower — are safe from the marauding red knights. As the player progresses through the provided challenge cards, the puzzles increase in difficulty.
Walls & Warriors is a sturdy plastic game.
Inside the game box (which doubles as storage) you’ll find —
- a baseplate,
- four different curved wall pieces,
- three blue knights and four red knights,
- a tower piece, and
- a small square spiral-bound challenge book.
Although the challenge book is small, the games pieces are large, so they are super easy to grab and move around. And each of the four wall pieces is a different shape, which increases the complexity of the puzzle as well.
Another bonus? All the pieces are plastic, so if you find yourself with extensive time away from home this year — in medical settings, for example — the plastic is easy to wipe down and disinfect.
Walls & Warriors comes with 80 different logic puzzle challenges, ensuring long gameplay.
For any given challenge, the player must first set up the knights and tower on the game base according to the specific layout indicated on the challenge card. Then, the challenge begins.
Using the four curved wall pieces, the player has to determine how to correctly arrange the wall. If the player can place the pieces in such a way that the blue knights and the tower are safe inside the castle walls — and the red knights are outside — then the puzzle challenge is has been completed!
The challenges are divided into 5 different categories:
- master, and
for a total of 80 unique puzzles.
At the starter level (puzzles 1-16), you’re provided with one hint — the location of one wall piece — to get you started. But in the majority of the levels (puzzles 17-80), you’re only given the location of the knights and the tower, and you have to solve all the wall locations.
“The first level out of the eighty is really easy — it takes maybe a minute and a half — but as the challenges go on, they get harder and harder, and take longer and longer to solve. By challenge number eleven [still in the lowest/easiest starter level], the puzzle got really hard to crack, and took me ten minutes!”
Walls & Warriors appeals to a wide range of ages, kids through adults.
At age 9, Aveline is old enough to enjoy working through the challenges herself, but my husband also enjoys collaborating with her to solve the puzzles as well. I can definitely see this being a hit with kids as young as third grade, as well as with high schoolers and adults.
Smart Games recommends Walls & Warriors for ages 8+; Timberdoodle includes it in Timberdoodle’s 12th Curriculum Grade Kit.
Walls & Warriors can be replayed.
There’s a significant amount of gameplay here.
A member of The Oaxacaborn Homeschool Community asked a good question about the possibility of replay for this game: once you’ve played through all the challenges, can you go back to the beginning and play again?
I would say that really depends on a couple of factors: how long has it been since you played the game? How good is your memory? Unless you have literally memorized the solutions, it seems gameplay would still be engaging and fun the second time around.
Walls & Warriors is a great STEM addition for a Middle Ages study!
This year, our virtual co-op is spending an entire year studying medieval history around the world. It’s really fun to have this game on hand at home while we learn about the Middle Ages. (Plus, there’s no mess. I’m all about easy clean-up.)
Whether you have a whole range of ages at home, or if you’re educating a single student this year, Walls & Warriors would make a great addition to your homeschool.
Add Walls & Warriors (and other Smart Games) to your Christmas list!
And don’t miss my other STEM / game reviews:
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