In the same way that a good crossword puzzle gets easier as you fill in the answers, a block puzzle gets harder as you clear more space for new blocks. The trick to playing these games is to get rid of the simpler blocks first so that more complicated ones can be dealt with later.
You should definitely play around with these games. They are simple but are tricky. They have more complex dynamics than you might guess.
Here are some tips for playing block puzzles:
Avoid pushing the pieces directly together
The pieces snap together. If you want to push two pieces together, but there’s a small gap between them, don’t try to push the pieces directly together. Push one of them over so it lines up with the other one, then they’ll snap together. This is hard to do by accident, so try this if you’re having trouble getting the pieces to fit together.
Avoid taking too long
Don’t take too long. This is a great game for playing while eating cereal in the morning or waiting for something else to happen on your computer, but it’s not a good game for spending hours at a time on. The puzzles get hard fast.
Utilize the undo option if you get stuck
If you get stuck and can’t see what else to do, try using Undo (the “z” key) once or twice. You may have missed something obvious.
As you continue to play, you’ll unlock more types of blocks. You are going to want to clear them as soon as possible. They can often land in unfortunate locations that make it difficult for you to clear them or reach other blocks.
If you’re playing on a mobile device, use your finger to maneuver the shapes. It’s easier than fighting with the touchpad.
Take advantage of the bottom-center location
When in doubt, it’s best to put the shape in the bottom-center location. It makes it much easier for you to see what’s happening and where each of the blocks will land.
This is a game about planning ahead and being strategic about what you’re doing. Take your time, explore your options, and ensure that each piece you drop is exactly where it needs to be.
The more planning and strategy you do before your move, the better off you’ll be when the time comes to actually drop a block into the matrix.
Features of Block Puzzles
Block puzzles have a lot of things going for them. They have:
- Good physics
- Simple rules
- Simple initial state
- A reasonable way to determine whether you’ve won.
Block puzzles are also good because they require thought, reflexes, and planning but no language or long-term memory.
Young gamers with autism struggling with communication can often play these games for hours at a time without becoming bored or frustrated. Besides, elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia love the block puzzles. That’s because they tend to enjoy activities that involve repetition and routine (like fitting blocks together).