It’s hard to imagine playing matchstick puzzles on a kindle, but not so hard to imagine reading them and being intrigued by them. The easier puzzles in Grabarchuk’s Matchstick Puzzles collection can be solved just by imagining how to move the sticks. For more difficult cases, carry spent matches, toothpicks, or pencil and paper.
Matchstick Puzzles doesn’t have the tactile delight of some of Grabarchuk’s earlier collections, but it does have lots of well-graded, interesting images and challenges. Sometimes the solution relies on seeing the trick in the phrasing of the question. Sometimes it’s a case of using and training your visualization skills. Sometimes the answer jumps from the page, letting the reader leap ahead with cries of triumph.
The puzzles are well-drawn, clear and easy to read even on an elderly black-and-white kindle. Moving the pointer to ask for hints, solutions, next puzzle etc. is easy and intuitive, and the hints are pleasingly clear. My only complaint comes from my kindle’s advancing age—the arrangement of buttons requires readers to move the fiveway pointer fairly frequently to the right and I found myself concerned the button might break. It didn’t, but a different arrangement for previous and next might have made me less nervous.
I like the ability to access more puzzles quickly from any point in the “book,” giving this a genuine feel of something to flip through and play with friends. Just get those matchsticks out on the plane, pull down the tray-table, and enjoy! This is definitely one I’ll keep on my kindle to share on long trips.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of these puzzles from the authors in exchange for my honest review.