Did you ever take the stickers off your Rubik’s Cube and rearrange them so it looked like you solved the puzzle? That was one frustrating little time waster from the 80’s wasn’t it? Well, I recently had the opportunity to play with a puzzle game that fit int he palm of my hand, was challenging but I could actually solve it. No sticker rearrangement needed. That puzzle was the Orbo from Popular Playthings.

The Orbo is a ball that has a number of colored balls within it. Those colored balls are within colored rings. There is one open space the size of a small colored ball with a blank ring around it. The object is to mix up the colored balls on the Orbo so that they no longer correspond to their colored ring spots. Only one ball can be moved at a time. The challenge is to put all the balls back in their respective colored ring areas. At first this may seem like a daunting task but you learn quickly that it is not impossible. It certainly remains a challenge but it is easy enough for kids to completely solve the puzzle and actually feel a sense of accomplishment rather than be frustrated.

Eva is four and the Orbo is a lot of fun for her… to mix up and give to me. She isn’t that thrilled to try and complete the puzzle on her own. Not yet at least. She just delights in having me fix up her mixed up Orbo.

Overall this is an enjoyable toy. I’ve spent some time rearranging the colors and solving the puzzle over and over. I think this is great for your 5 and up kids.

The Orbo is also the Summer 2011 PTPA Award winner.

Recommended age: 3+
Retail price: Approx $10.00
Manufacturer: Popular Playthings

Disclosure: I received this toy for review purposes. The opinions about it are 100% my own. And of course I asked Eva what she thought and she always tells it like it is.

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