Rafter HD, by Emantras, has gone gold. It now has a new avatar and additional levels of play. Rafter is a deceptively simple, physics-based puzzle game. You need to draw your shape and plan your timing to hit your target. You also need to think, concentrate, attend, and eventually learn to deal with some frustration as the game is difficult to stop playing. We handed our iPads to some high school students and they didn't come up for air for an hour! Our research lends itself to a feeling that there is learning going on here, just in a subtle way. Puzzles have a history going back civilizations and the intrigue surrounding them never dies.
Sam Loyd living in the in the 1800's, believed that puzzles are "…a school for cleverness and ingenuity." Accordingly, he states, "I have always treated and considered puzzles from an educational standpoint, for the reason that they constitute a species of mental gymnastics which sharpen the wits and train the mind to reason along straight lines." …a school for cleverness and ingenuity." "Puzzle solving sharpens critical thinking and problem-solving ability and offers a higher potential to develop many of the multifaceted thinking skills. Summer is a great time do some playing with your brain, stir up that gray matter.