The National Parenting Center


Holiday 2021

Puzzling Places

Have you been introduced to the world of Virtual Reality? Have your friends put an Oculus on your head yet? If not, may we heartily recommend that you do so ASAP? It will rock your world. Once in the space, you will find a dizzying array of games and experiences to load your device with. A considerable number of titles are of the rhythm, shooter, and sports game genre. Those games are terrific for getting your adrenaline pumping. They will undoubtedly boost your heart rate, which is one great part of the VR experience. Still, when you need to slow down the pace and relax, there isn’t as much content that you would categorize as calming yet still engaging and interactive. Enter Puzzling Places. From the moment you enter the space, you are immersed in a calm, soothing environment that is truly mesmerizing. The play-at-your-own-pace experience involves solving what is a cross between a 3D puzzle and a model. You can choose between 25 to 400 pieces to tailor the difficulty level to your liking. This makes it suitable for everyone, from young children to adults. The puzzle pieces are beautiful, highly textured. They are accompanied by stunning portraits of the scene you are working on from different angles, should you need some help figuring out where the pieces go. The most satisfying part of the game might very well be the sounds, which add a fabulous layer of immersion. The clicking sound when the pieces connect is so very satisfying. A truly unique aspect of doing a puzzle in VR is that you can choose to remain seated and select/summon pieces from afar, stand for greater maneuverability, or physically walk up to pieces on the backboard and grab them naturally. No more mess on the living room table, puzzle pieces chewed up by the dog, or lost pieces. For less than the price of a conventional puzzle, you get so much more, and the experience is so much more enjoyable than the one you get from a puzzle app on a regular device. There are a limited number of puzzles available now, but this is a new release, and we’re confident that there are many more puzzles on the way. Parents felt that this was a fantastic way to work on cognitive skills, relax, and a reasonable expenditure of just $20.

Recommended Age: 5 and up
Price: $ 19.99

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A Seal of Approval review involves a multi-step process conducted over an eight-week period.

Parents and children, experience and review submitted products and services either already released or coming to market.

Participants fill out questionnaires for each product or service they test. They score based on 13 levels of criteria including quality, appeal, design, price, packaging, directions, desirability, stimulation, replay factor and more. Results are based on both statistical averaging and comments received by testers.

There are three testing periods each year:

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FALL ‘22


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