Redesigning a table-top game to promote spatial thinking
The game I chose to redesign was Unhinged, a folding pattern puzzle made by ThinkFun
In the game Unhinged, a single player tries to recreate a pattern on a challenge card by flipping and folding a puzzle composed of 10 hexagonal pieces joined by one way hinges. The puzzle itself is small and sturdy, and I found that players often held the piece in the air and played around with it until the desired pattern was achieved, without much consideration for the steps they were taking
I wanted to make players' actions more deliberate, so that they were aware of symmetry, patterns and other spatial properties to promote spatial thinking. To do this, I made the piece larger and heavier so it couldn't just be picked up, but had to be placed flat on a surface. I made it of an apparently more delicate material, so that players would be hesitatnt to move too fast or to play too roughly with it. Finally, I changed the gameplay to a 2 person competitive set up (with each player picking up a different challenge card and trying to create their pattern first, while taking turns), so that the number of moves the player could make are not indefinite and a player would have to plan ahead.