Super Brain Spinner Puzzle Review

The Basics:

  • For ages 7 and up
  • For 1 player
  • Variable time to complete

Geek Skills:

  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Hand/Eye Coordination & Dexterity
  • Memorization & Pattern/Color Matching
  • Visuospatial Skills
  • Emotional Coping Skills

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • None

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

Twist and turn and then twist again to solve this hand-held puzzle that will keep you thinking and guessing from start to finish. Twist it one way and all the balls on top will move. Twist it another way, and all the balls will only move on one side of the puzzle. If you’ve played Rubik’s Cube and thought it was “easy”, get ready to tackle Super Bran Spinner that is sure to challenge even the best of puzzle solvers.

Super Brain Spinner is comprised of two puzzle sections, containing 10 balls each for a total of 20 balls. In total there are 4 different colored balls, 5 of each color. On the outside of each puzzle section are two knobs, for a total of 4 knobs. These knobs spin the balls left or right. Each knob is a different color and is used to spin the balls but also serves as a visual reference to where the balls of the same color must be located to solve the puzzle.

In the middle of each section is a rotating axis point that twists and rotates the two sections 360 degrees at 90 degree intervals.

Playing & Winning the Game

Using the four knobs and the rotating axis point, the player attempts to separate the 20 balls into group of 5 (all in the same color) and placing these groups under the knob that matches the balls’ color. Further complicating the puzzle is the extent of the rotation of the balls. Through trial and error, time, and a lot of patience, the player will eventually be able to rotate and group the balls under their knob that matches the color and solve the puzzle.

An individual posted an excellent example video of play that demonstrates how the puzzles works.

More information can be found at the official product web site.

Prediction

I grew up with a Rubik’s Cube which I tried to solve off and on for a number of years. No other toy I grew up with, with the exception of Milton Bradly Simon, was a source of so much frustration and elation. There were many times I overhand threw the cube across the room only to go retrieve in after cooling down. While I do not want my little geeks to act the same manner I did (throwing toys in the house is a big “no-no”), I do want them to experience the challenge, the defeat, and the little victories that come from a puzzle game such as Super Brain Spinner. I believe such experiences build character, strengthen the little geek’s emotional coping skills, and improves their problem solving abilities.

This puzzle game is also portable which allows the player to work on the puzzle when they want to and time permits. This is especially appealing to me as I have to sit through many meetings on the phone on any given work day. Having a small hand-held puzzle to work through while I listen to my co-workers drone on about things that are not of any value to me will suddenly become “quality time” as I work to solve the puzzle.

When I showed Super Brain Spinner to my 4-year-old, he turned his nose up to it and didn’t care to play with it. Clearly, not a toy he is interested in. My 2-year-old just used it as a rattle. My 7-year-old was a different story. He really liked how the balls moved and the challenge of getting all the balls in order. When I showed him how the puzzle worked, he had the following to say.

“So I just need to turn this around until I get all the balls right? Easy! I’ll have it done by this weekend.” ~ Liam (age 7)

You got to love his enthusiasm and moxie, but I do believe he is in for a very harsh reality check.

Final Word

As expected, Super Brain Spinner proved to be a challenge for my 7-year-old who has not yet solved the puzzle. I do not dare bring up his earlier boast that he would solve the puzzle in a few days. I think that would be rather mean-spirited, as he really is trying to solve the puzzle. Instead, I award and praise him when he completes a side. This keeps him interested and engaged. We also work on it together, making it a cooperative team experience.

This is my oldest little geek’s first hand-held puzzle game and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Puzzle games like Super Brain Spinner can be exceedingly maddening for both little geeks and big geeks alike. I am no exception. I have spent countless hours trying to solve my Rubik’s Cube. A feat I have yet to complete, I am ashamed to say. I might complete it one day, but to be perfectly honest, there are more worthwhile activities to pursue in my life.

Is the puzzle worthwhile? It is challenging and engaging, to be certain. It had me focused and confused which means the puzzle did its job and did it well. My only disappointment with the puzzle is how the puzzle parts move. The knobs spin the balls and the entire puzzle acts like gears. And like gears, they sometimes get jammed. This is especially true when you rotate the center axis as it will sometimes not let you spin any knob until it is in a very specific spot. The more we played with the puzzle, the looser it got and the longer it took to align the puzzle parts. This was the most frustrating aspect of the puzzle and quickly reduced its level of fun. We found ourselves spending too much time just fiddling to get the balls to spin versus working on the puzzle. Now, if this was part of the puzzle itself, brilliant, but I don’t believe that this is the case.

But it is still fun. Work past the disadvantages of how the puzzle rotates and you have a very interesting puzzle to solve. Interesting enough to where my 7-year-old and I keep coming back to the puzzle and working on it as a team, each fiddling and searching for a solution, all the while sharing possible tricks and tips with each other. It’s been an entertaining time, but I doubt we’ll ever solve this puzzle!

My oldest little geek enjoying the puzzle while he waits for his school bus

Gamer Geeks, I won’t even pretend that this is something you’ll be interested in from a “gamers” perspective. It’s a puzzle game like Rubik’s Cube. Like Rubik’s? Then try this puzzle.

Parent Geeks, this has been an excellent toy to have in the car when our family goes on long car trips and a useful tool to focus our children’s attention when we think they need some quiet time. The twisting and turning parts keep the mind and hands busy, but do expect an elevated level of frustration, as any puzzle game would create. We highly suggest you play the puzzle game with your little geeks and make it a family activity. Take turns working on the puzzle, or do as we do, and leave the puzzle on the table for anyone to pick up and play with when time allows.

Child Geeks, this is a very colorful and fun puzzle to play with. By twisting the knobs and rotating the puzzle axis, you’ll have to think and be creative in how you want to move the balls to the right location. A solution to the puzzle won’t happen over night, but if it does, please use your super powers only for good.

Super Brain Spinner is a super puzzle and difficult. It has some mechanical issues, but it is easy enough to look past these and accept them as just part of the puzzle’s difficulty. It works and works well as a puzzle game and will certainly keep you scratching your head. I have been told by a number of people that the puzzle is solvable and this keeps me hopeful. For the time being, my oldest little geek and I will continue to bang away at it and rejoice in our small victories.

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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