Tag Archives: Chocolate Fix

Get your Chocolate Fix to go!

At long last – I’m THRILLED to see my all-time favorite game available as an app! After months of fine-tuning, we’re finally ready to share our Chocolate Fix app with the world!

ipad chocolatefix 300x270 Get your Chocolate Fix to go!There’s a free version with 30 puzzles to spark your appetite, and the full version features 400 ALL NEW puzzles which – if you’re anything like me – will keep you completely immersed for hours at a time!  This is coming with me on my flight out to the TEDActive Conference next week icon smile Get your Chocolate Fix to go!

Here’s the press release announcing this exciting launch – I hope you’ll give the app a try and let me know what you think!  Please share any comments or feedback below.

ThinkFun’s Chocolate Fix App Available Now on iTunes
Serious Brain Candy that’s Addictively Fun to Play

ThinkFun® Inc., the leading developer of addictively fun brain games that stretch and sharpen your mind, is pleased to announce that its award-winning Chocolate Fix game is now available in the Apple App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

The Chocolate Fix app expands on the innovative board game of the same name, offering 400 new challenges and four levels of play from Easy to Expert. A charming and clever logic game set in a Chocolate Shop, Chocolate Fix is a fun and satisfying way for players of all ages to sharpen their logical deduction skills.
CFscreenshot1 200x300 Get your Chocolate Fix to go!
* Quick to Learn *

Similar to Sudoku, Chocolate Fix requires you to examine and combine clues carefully to unlock the solution and move on to the next challenge. Players must use the clues provided, including shapes, colors, and orientation, to get each chocolate in the correct place in the chocolate box. Every perfect solution moves the player forward to the next challenge.

* A Sweet Deductive Reasoning Game – Great for All Ages! *

Don’t be fooled by the colorful candy graphics – this seemingly sweet puzzle can become diabolically tricky! Challenges range from Easy to Expert, so players of all ages and abilities – kids to adults – begin at an appropriate level and build confidence as they work their way up.

* A New Way to Play at Home and On-The-Go *

“For years, Chocolate Fix fans have come to us requesting ‘more please!’” said Bill Ritchie, co-founder and CEO of ThinkFun. “With this new app, we’re thrilled to expand the Chocolate Fix play experience. For those who love the feel of hands-on play, the 400 new challenges can be played with the board game. For those looking for a brain workout on the go, it’s all there on your mobile device!”

Chocolate Fix joins ThinkFun’s current line of successful mobile apps – including their classic app Rush Hour and last year’s Solitaire Chess. Each of these apps is designed to push your brain in different ways and continually sharpen your thinking.

CFscreenshot4 200x300 Get your Chocolate Fix to go!

400 Challenges from Easy to Expert!

* Availability *

Chocolate Fix is available in a free version, with 30 challenges, from Easy to Expert. The full Chocolate Fix app contains 400 challenges from Easy to Expert and is available for $2.99 from the App Store. The app can be downloaded by clicking here or going to http://www.itunes.com/appstore.

The Chocolate Fix board game is currently available from major retailers for $19.99.

About ThinkFun

ThinkFun is the world’s leader in addictively fun games that challenge your mind and inspire creative thinking. Over 25 years ago, ThinkFun was founded with a dream to change the world through play. It continues to expand on that dream every day with games, mobile apps and global education programs. To learn more about ThinkFun, go to http://www.thinkfun.com.

ThinkFun, the ThinkFun logo, and Chocolate Fix are trademarks or registered trademarks of ThinkFun Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2012 ThinkFun, Inc. All rights reserved.

New Technology Brings Chocolate into the Classroom!

The following guest post is by Jaime Lassman, Director of Technology Integration and Curriculum at The Lexington School in Lexington, KY.  I connected with Jaime after my presentation on Chocolate Fix at TEDxLex last month, and since then he and his colleagues have run with the idea and used creative technology to bring this great logic game to the classroom!

Choco 1530 HiResSpill 300x300 New Technology Brings Chocolate into the Classroom!

Technology Integration rarely means bringing chocolate into the classroom, but in this case, it worked.  After seeing Chocolate Fix at TEDxLex in Lexington, Kentucky, I knew it would be a great fit in our math classrooms at The Lexington School.

The Lexington School is an independent Preschool through 8th grade focused on providing an academic program of the highest quality.  My job is to find technology and make it work with our curriculum and in our classrooms.

Chocolate Fix fit the bill in terms of being a challenging addition to our math resources, and it filled an immediate need from our Geometry teacher to help our students begin to build logical, systematic proofs.  In middle school geometry, students struggle to understand that they are charged with applying rules or theorems to logically explain their thinking.  Chocolate Fix would provide a perfect platform for the type of thinking our geometry teacher was looking for.

My only problem was that it was just plastic.  I’m used to a certain amount of plastic in my job, but I’m used to plastic that surrounds microchips, batteries, or USB connections.  This was just plastic!

iPad CF screenshot 300x225 New Technology Brings Chocolate into the Classroom!I first found the ThinkFun website on Chocolate Fix and looked for an online version of the game to play.  When I couldn’t find anything online, I searched for an app for our iPads.  I was happy to find the iPad app and immediately shared it with our Geometry teacher.  He loved it, and the two of us started playing in his room and immediately seeing the connection between the thinking needed to solve the game and the thinking needed to solve a proof.  What we needed was a way to introduce the game to the whole class before handing out the iPads.

Next I started working to create an interactive whiteboard file of the game.  I figured it would be simple.  I just needed some shapes, a three-by-three grid, and some chocolate.  After trying in vain to find some suitable chocolate images from the ThinkFun website, I contacted Charlotte to request some images for my SMART Notebook version of the game.  She returned something better.  She provided me with three, professionally made versions of the game in a format that we could use immediately on our SMART Boards.

(*Note: If you’d like these files to use with your SMART Board, just send me an email! cfixler@thinkfun.com)

The next piece I needed was already online.  I was directed to ThinkFun’s BrainLab (originally developed for the 2011-2012 MATHCOUNTS program) with daily resources for Chocolate Fix .  That was the last piece of the puzzle for me.  I had the iPad version for individual play, the real version for students who needed the tactile (real) interface, and the interactive whiteboard version for large groups.  Each had instructions, puzzles, and solutions.

At The Lexington School, in only a few short weeks, we have already played Chocolate Fix in third grade (a whole-group activity on the SMART Board with kids coming up and moving the larger than life pieces on their own), in sixth grade (a fun hands-on puzzle during free time), and in eighth grade geometry using the iPad version to support the building of logical reasoning.  Each group of kids fell in love with the simplicity and with the challenge, and I got Chocolate Fix into the classrooms with a few microchips and USB connections as well.

Brain Candy Abounds at TEDxLex!

On Friday, I had the great privilege to speak at TEDxLex, an independently organized TED event in Lexington Kentucky.  The theme for the day was Playful Innovation, and a fantastic range of speakers focused on the message that while not all ideas have to change the world, they can have real power simply by engaging and challenging those they immediately touch.

DSCN2015 300x225 Brain Candy Abounds at TEDxLex!

TEDxLex organizers brought together an amazing lineup of speakers and videos, all who drove home this  message through their work in diverse disciplines.  Playful innovation rang out loud and clear with inspired talks and performances, from the irrigation company exec with a dream to feed the children of Haiti to the hip hop dance crew who reminded the crowd, “Don’t quit your daydream!”

DSCN2014 300x225 Brain Candy Abounds at TEDxLex!

In my talk, I showed how – with a little creativity and some thoughtful tweaks – a plastic game can be transformed into a brain-building tool, strengthening creative reasoning and logical problem solving skills our kids need to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.  I shared the exciting work we’re doing with our Chocolate Fix game, and enjoyed an “Oprah Moment” when all attendees found out they were getting a Chocolate Fix to take home!

DSCN2012 300x225 Brain Candy Abounds at TEDxLex!

During breaks between sessions, I had a blast playing games with the attendees.  Unsurprisingly, the game table was a particularly big hit with a group of elementary students who regularly watch TED Talks in class and were over the moon to be part of this live event.  I can’t say I ever signed a game box before meeting these kiddos, and I enjoyed my rock star status as “Game Lady” for the afternoon!

DSCN2018 225x300 Brain Candy Abounds at TEDxLex!

A highlight for me came after the event, when several speakers and attendees gathered to take on Chocolate Fix, determined to persevere through challenge #40 as a team!  A true testament to the playful spirit of the day, these players challenged themselves to solve the puzzle in record-setting time (note the stopwatch!).

DSCN2021 300x225 Brain Candy Abounds at TEDxLex!

This brainy bunch worked together to communicate ideas and emerge victorious in under 8 minutes!  To all you Chocolate Fix fans out there – consider this Challenge Extended – what is your best time!?

It was a thrill to be part of this event and spend the day surround by amazing innovators and big dreamers – serious brain candy!  To see a complete list of speakers, click here.

TEDxLex talks should be posted on YouTube shortly, and I’ll be sure to share a link once they are up!

 

A Chocolate Fix for the brain and belly!

While there is much to love about each and every game we make here at ThinkFun, I must admit I do play favorites (literally… I play them again and again and again!), and for quite some time my heart has belonged to Chocolate Fix.  Lately PathWords has crept into a close second (see how to play video and read more about my brush with crossword royalty here!), but Chocolate Fix is still my hands-down pick for a (sugar-free) brain boost.

Choco 1530 hires 300x300 A Chocolate Fix for the brain and belly!One of the most common reactions from both kids and adults when I share this game is, “This is fun – but wouldn’t it be awesome if you could actually eat them?!”  While the chocoholic in me can’t help but agree, my inner puzzler knows that a few nibbles would mean the end of my favorite game… I’d steer players to a side of M&Ms while they feed their brain playing!

But the appeal of an edible Chocolate Fix is undeniable, and for this reason we recently worked with a chocolatier to craft a few custom “games” as gifts for the game’s manufacturers in China!  The custom Chocolate Fix trays were a huge hit, pretty sweet huh?!

photo 11 224x300 A Chocolate Fix for the brain and belly!

photo 51 224x300 A Chocolate Fix for the brain and belly!

I’m very excited to say we’re super close to the release of a brand-new app for Chocolate Fix, which will feature hundreds of brand new game challenges!  Stay tuned for the latest news on the ThinkFun Facebook page!

Celebrate Halloween with a Brain-Building Chocolate Fix!

Teachers, in honor of this week’s sweet-filled celebrations, why not treat your students to a chocolate-themed challenge that builds problem solving skills?!

CF solvers top view 300x222 Celebrate Halloween with a Brain Building Chocolate Fix!

A sugar-free way to boost brainpower!

Teachers love the way playing Chocolate Fix helps students articulate their thinking process and describe their problem solving steps. To introduce the game, visit the Chocolate Fix page for a game tutorial and four challenges to play with your students!

For more inspiration, check out this incredible story from a Geometry teacher who uses Chocolate Fix to teach mathematical proofs!

fix 005 300x199 Celebrate Halloween with a Brain Building Chocolate Fix!

Chocolate Fix teaches the fundamentals of making a geometric proof!

Did you know we offer classroom versions of several ThinkFun favorites at special low prices?  These games are packaged in bags and feature cards on rings for easy clean up and storage.

 

Have you used Chocolate Fix in your teaching?  Please share your creative ideas by commenting here!

Playing Games with Problem Solving!

The following post is by Dawn Morris, whose blog Moms Inspire Learning focuses on resources and strategies to inspire lifelong learning, reading, and leading.  A former CPA, Dawn changed careers and earned an M.A. in Childhood Education and now shares her passion for teaching kids to embrace a lifelong love of learning!

The following is an excerpt from Dawn’s recent post on problem solving games.  Read her complete article here!

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Sometimes, it amazes me how much out-of-the-box thinking can be packaged inside one game box.

Even if you just have a deck of cards, there are probably millions of different games which can be played – not to mention ones you think up on your own. It doesn’t matter which one you play, as long as you do take time out to play it!  Just as my daughter started to cook on her own, children will eventually start to play games on their own as well.

We love to play all kinds of board and card games together.  And we’ve done that ever since they were toddlers, really. There are games out there for all ages. It doesn’t matter what kind of game it is, as long as it’s unplugged. Video games can be educational too, but we have to limit them like any other form of screen time.

As my sister-in-law is a very busy mom of three, I’m always on the lookout for toys, games, and books which will make her life a little easier.  So, wanting similar gifts for my 8 year old twin nephews, I ended up purchasing  Chocolate Fix Playing Games with Problem Solving! and Rush Hour Playing Games with Problem Solving!. They’re geared to children over the age of 8, but people of all ages will love the challenge of them, as there are 4 levels of play.

Before I tell you just a little bit about each of these games, let me just tell you I love most about them: they can be played independently, or with a partner, AND they’re portable and can be played anywhere – even in the car! What a great, unplugged way to keep children (and even teens) entertained and busy while you do something else.

 Playing Games with Problem Solving! Chocolate Fix comes with 9 “chocolates,” a little notebook of different patterns to solve (kind of like Sudoku, but with colors and shapes), a game tray, and a bag to store it all in. As long as there aren’t any toddlers around, who might actually try to eat the chocolates, it’s a great game to leave out on the coffee table or in your car. Whenever a family member has a spare ten minutes, like when a child is waiting for you to finish something, what a great way to sneak a little fun and problem solving in there!

The same goes for the award winning Rush Hour, only there are individual cards instead of a notebook, and there are 16 cars and trucks, instead of chocolates. This game is a little different, though, in that you arrange the trucks on the game board according to the cards (from beginner to expert). Then, you have to find a way to get the red car out of traffic. It’s literally stuck between the other cars, and you have to move them around (forward and backward only) to clear a path. What a great way to keep children busy while you’re stuck in traffic!  ThinkFun Rush Hour Jr. Playing Games with Problem Solving! is available for even younger children.

 Playing Games with Problem Solving!Recently, ThinkFun was kind enough to send me their newest game, ThinkFun Solitaire Chess Playing Games with Problem Solving!, for review. If you’re thinking about teaching your child to how to play chess, this is the game for you!  It’s also a one player game, and you have to know how each piece moves. If you don’t already know how, it’s great practice.

Like Rush Hour and Chocolate Fix, Solitaire Chess is all about the problem solving. As a matter of fact, when we first opened up the box, it was a challenge just to figure out how to get the mats out of the game tray! They were in there snugly.

The game tray is set up like a mini Chess board, and each mat has a different combination of pieces for you to set up. The object is to capture pieces until you’re left with just one. Which one you choose to move first makes all the difference. Whether you use the “guess and check” method and just start moving pieces, or you move the pieces around in your mind before you actually move one, it’s a great exercise in spatial perception, critical thinking, and logic.

I really enjoyed playing all three of these games, as did other members of our family. They’re perfect for busy families, and can challenge people of every age. Whether you leave one out on your coffee table, or in the car, you can set it up and play within seconds.

So, the next time your child says, “Are we there yet?” or “There’s nothing to do” and you need a few more minutes of alone time, one of these games might just solve your problem.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

See the Mathletes in Action!

Back in May, ThinkFun provided specially designed Chocolate Fix challenges for the Ontario Mathematics Olympiad.  Check out this description of the event by Contest Committee Chair Jeff Irwin.

The Chocolate Fix activity challenged teams to examine clues, then work together to determine where to place each unique chocolate piece… exercising both logical deduction and communication skills!  Here are some photos we just received of the mathletes taking on the challenge!

Chocolate Fix was a huge hit with this year’s participants, and we’re so pleased to support this incredible event celebration young mathematicians!  Learn more about the Ontario Mathematics Olympiad.

Meet Max

One of the perks of working at ThinkFun is hearing about how our games affect the lives of the children that play them. Just had to share Max’s story, emailed to ThinkFun CEO Andrea Barthello by his mother Aileen… stories like this are what keep us going!

Max 300x200 Meet Max

Meet Max, a ThinkFun fan through and through!

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I felt that it was important for you to hear from “just another Mom” about how terrific your products really are. My six-year old Max literally is addicted to the “Chocolate Fix” and the “Rush Hour Jr.” and my 3 year old Sophie loves Zingo which has become her special game that she plays with her Pop Pop (he’s 73 and loves the games just as much!). To watch the two of them fight over BUG or both grab for a FOOT as they scream the word is really a sight to see.

For kids like Max, finding independent games that are fun, challenging, mind-opening and clever are few and far between….. but you seem to really have a handle on this niche. Today when I took a turn at “Chocolate Fix” he made a comment like “Hurry Mommy, customers are waiting!”

If you do ever need game tester, he’d be the first to line up. He’s a true gamer….. and finds games with strategy the most interesting. He’s as competitive with himself as he is with others. And, he just loves the “purity” of your themes (the ice cream truck, chocolates in a box.) He actually finds joy in that. I have caught him making up a story about the truck and how it has to pass the sports car, fire truck, etc. to get to the kids waiting for the ice cream.

That is another element of your product that really appeals to me as a parent. The conceptual relation and problem solving strategies increase in difficulty and can become quite complex — yet you have not lost sight of the fact that the ones playing the games ARE kids. Think Fun certainly serves up unique, tickle your brain challenges but the context for the games seem to be simple, pure and fun.”

Thank you for sharing, Aileen!

Mathletes Take on Chocolate Fix at the Ontario Mathematics Olympiad

The Ontario Mathematics Olympiad, (OMO) is an annual mathematics competition featuring teams of the best grade 7 and 8 math students from across Ontario. This year’s Olympiad featured 124 students (31 teams of 4) who completed 4 contests, one of which included a logical thinking challenge featuring specially designed Chocolate Fix puzzles!

The following guest post is by Jeff Irwin, Contest Committee Chair for the OMO 2010 Venncouver Olympics

For the Ontario Math Olympics, contests are created to challenge teams of 4 students. These teams are the regional champions from all of Ontario. It was our hope to create a series of contests that both challenged the Mathlete and were fun to complete.

As part of a Basketball challenge, Chocolate Fix provided the ideal logical thinking exercise. The Basketball event consisted of 4 quarters (challenges) that were completed as a team. The four quarters were 1. a manipulative logic puzzle, *Chocolate Fix, 2. a graph match challenge using TI-84’s and a CBR unit, 3. a design challenge using cube-a-links, and 4. an optimization problem.

OMO bball rules 294x300 Mathletes Take on Chocolate Fix at the Ontario Mathematics Olympiad

Rules for the OMO Basketball Challenge

The fact that Chocolate Fix is as logic puzzle that uses physical manipulatives instead of pencil and paper appealed to the Contest Committee. The team saw the challenge sheet, then had to communicate amongst themselves to place each chocolate piece in the correct position. As the students rotated through the four quarters of the Basketball event, you could hear the excitement as they completed each Chocolate Fix challenge!

OMO Chocolate Fix Challenge 243x300 Mathletes Take on Chocolate Fix at the Ontario Mathematics Olympiad

A sample OMO team challenge

All teams enjoyed the Chocolate Fix activity and when there was extra time at the end of the contest rotation, the teams often tackled the regular challenges. Throughout lunch and during breaks students could be overheard discussing how much they enjoyed this event!

As a side note, my enthusiasm for ThinkFun games convinced other organizing committee members to purchase and distribute 20 ThinkFun games as thank-you gifts to our high school cabin counselors. It was their role to help students from across the province bond as cabin mates and ensure that teams arrived at the correct contest on time… so now 20 more families will have the opportunity to enjoy ThinkFun products!

A full set of contests is available on the OMO website which can be accessed by following the links on www.oame.on.ca. Thank you once again for all your support in this endeavor!

Singapore Teachers Arrive Home Bearing Gifts!

I had to share part of this fantastic email that made my day yesterday!

One of the amazing teachers from Singapore who was part of last week’s delegation visit to ThinkFun sent me some great photos of her son sorting through the bounty of new games that returned home with his mom!

Dominique writes:

This learning journey of mine has been most memorable – not just in terms of how much we have learned from your expertise in educational toys, but your generosity and kindness are what made the trip most memorable.  I remembered a quote “You may not remember what people have done for you, but you will remember how they made you feel.”

You must visit us in Singapore so we can return your kindness. I would love you to see how excited the whole school is during our MBA (Mass Brain Activities) days!  You certainly have given us insight the clearer direction where our MBA programme should be headed and how we could promote to the ‘next level’.  I know our pupils will benefit from the trip of ours.

If the we were not restricted by the size of the package and our conscience, we would really have grabbed everything off your shelves on the last day!  I have attached pictures of my 5 year old son, Matteo,The first picture showed how excited he was to see the toys.  Like most children, he was attracted by the colours and the items he could identify with. He liked Chocolate Fix design most, followed by River Crossing – but he could play S’Match best.  I refused to let him open the rest, so the night ended with him fuming away!

Dominiques Son in bag 300x225 Singapore Teachers Arrive Home Bearing Gifts!

The next picture shows him playing with the box in which we packed our games – he played in it the longest – we converted to a car and he drew passengers  in them and drove them around.  That’s how easily a child can be satisfied!

Dominiques Son in box 300x225 Singapore Teachers Arrive Home Bearing Gifts!

I love this message – and the way Dominique’s son shows that you simply can’t engineer play!  Despite the oodles and oodles of shiny new toys surrounding him, what most captured his imagination was the cardboard box in which they arrived… this is great!

We are so looking forward to continuing this wonderful relationship with our new friends in Singapore – they are doing really exciting work that we’re eager to support and learn from!