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Madzzles from Mad Rat Games

Madzzles from Mad Rat Games

PE Issue - 25 - Jul - Aug '15 661‘Madzzles’ are theme based games played using jigsaw puzzles as boards. There are three themes – Mysteries of the Amazon, Bermuda Triangle and WorldoPedia. The last one has three versions, with megastructures, animals and one that incorporates both of these and also flags and ‘famous things’.

All five game-puzzles come in interesting packaging; cylinders instead of the rectangular boxes that we are used to. Each set contains puzzle pieces, a mat, thematic cards and a rulebook. In addition, there are ‘specials’; a magnifying glass in the Bermuda Triangle game-puzzle, an illusion decoder in the Worldopedia one and a glow-in-the-dark feature in the mat in the Amazon-themed kit.

The child has to put together the jigsaw first. He then has the option of playing two games of varying complexity. The first is a relatively simple hunt of objects featured on the deck of cards. In the second game, the players engage in a ‘data duel’, using the attributes of the objects/creatures (for example, weight or population) on their playing cards. Up to three players can play these games.

Buyers’ Voices

“I bought this for my five-year-old daughter after seeing it online. I like the fact that the finished puzzle can be rolled like a mat; I have not seen this anywhere else. The puzzle can be used for a game; I like it that there are multiple uses for one thing. The packaging is beautiful and sturdy; the usual cardboard boxes that games come in break easily.”
– Akriti Bhartia, Mumbai

“My six-year-old son and three-year-old daugher play together. The magnifying glass in the Bermuda puzzle is my son’s favourite. There is a lot of information given on the cards which my son likes. While the finished puzzle rolls up and stays intact thanks to the magnetic strip, I do not agree with the company’s claim that there are zero gaps between the pieces in the puzzle.”
– Smidha Parackal, Cochin

“I like Madzzle Puzzles (we have three of them) because they are educational, fun and highly involving for my six-year-old son. A lot of thought has gone into these puzzle/games; one aspect that comes to my mind is the use of letters and numbers vertically and horizontally. This makes assembly of the puzzle and referencing objects in the puzzle easy.”
– Manjunath Bharadwaj, Bangalore

“My seven-year-old boy enjoys playing the games with me after assembling the puzzle. The games are fun and educational. It is good that the puzzle can be rolled up; otherwise it would be a pain to reassemble the puzzle to play the games each time. The pricing is correct. In fact, it can be higher if
small improvements can be made such as the increasing the quality of the magnifying lens.”
– Abhishek Srivastava, Ghaziabad

“We have 10-15 jigsaws at home and none of them come close to the Madzzle jigsaw in terms of quality. I like the concept – knowledge with fun. My five-year-old does not play the second level game (Data Duel) but I guess he is too young for that. One suggestion I have is that they can have an India-based game that imparts knowledge about various aspects of our own country.”
– Kushalraj Chilodiya, Bangalore

“My eight-year-old nephew was engrossed with the Worldopedia puzzle for 2-3 days; this is the first time that a product that is not sports or gadget related has been able to do that! My nine-year-old daughter also found it fascinating. All of us loved the packaging; however, my nephew could not roll the finished puzzle without an adult’s help.”
– Keeba Raman Bagga, Faridabad

Manufacturer’s Claims examined

PE Issue - 25 - Jul - Aug '15 672“World’s first roll up puzzle” We can vouch for the fact that the puzzle can indeed be rolled up; whether it is the first one to have this outstanding feature, is something we do not know.

“Zero gap puzzle” The pieces in the jigsaw definitely fit better and the finished scene looks more
seamless than other jigsaws in the market.

Age Band
Except for the Bermuda Triangle theme (7-11 years), all the other packages specify the age criterion as 8 -12 years. We feel that five-year-olds who are comfortable with jigsaws can comfortably play the first game after assembling the puzzle. So we would say that the Madzzles are relevant for a broad age group, 5 -12 years.

The packaging states that Worldopedia is priced at Rs. 1000, Worldopedia Megastructures, Worldopedia Animal Kingdom and Mysteries of the Amazon are at Rs. 750 and Bermuda Triangle is for Rs. 500. Our opinion is that all are value for money, given the innovative features in the products.

What we like
• Colourful and engaging design
• Easy storing of the puzzle in a roll; a boon when the child has to leave the puzzle half finished, or a game mid way
• Trivia and quick facts on a range of themes, presented in an interesting way
• Small attractions such as the magnifying glass, glow-in-the-dark mat, illusion decoder
• A small pack of seeds given to encourage the child to plant; a good gesture to compensate for the paper
used in the product

What we don’t like
www.madratgames.com, flipkart.com and amazon.in all show slightly different prices for the Madzzles.

What you should be prepared for
If your child is 8-10 years old, he may need your help to roll up the puzzle, at least initially. Also, while  rolling the finished or semi-finished puzzle, the pieces do shift a little (the puzzle is not completely undisturbed). But we have to say that it is still easier than reassembling the puzzle from scratch.

Last Word
The packaging says “Proudly Made in India”. This is also another reason we recommend that you try one of the Madzzles for your child. In this gadget-dominated world, our children need hands-on games and puzzles. They will no doubt enjoy MadRat Games’ Madzzles that come in an ‘out-of-the-box’ format, with ‘cool’ features.

– Ramya Gopalakrishnan