We have a lot of games made by Smart Games. This is our newest one we got from Timberdoodle called Pirate Crossfire. It is another one player game meant for ages 7 and up. There are 4 modes and 4 difficulties to each one. All the modes are played with the same set of rules which I really like because then you only have to remember one set of rules. So, far we have played 2 of the modes; peace (in which no ship is fired at) and pirates win (in which the pirates shoot down the navy). The other 2 modes are navy wins (where the navy shoot down the pirates) and everyone loses (where both the navy and pirates are shot down). The rules are very simple you place the rocks and they can not be moved, the challenges will give hints as to where to place the ships but not tell the orientation for them to be placed, ships may only fire from the sides where the cannons are, ships cant shoot up to 5 spaces and shoot 2 ships at once and all the ships must be places.
Another thing that I like about this game is that there can only be one solutions for each challenge. We did find this game to be quite challenging. Even I found the harder problems to be difficult at times. Since our daughter was having a hard time with this game I told her I would place one of the ships, any one she wanted. This helped her out and if she still struggled then I would place another ship. I did not have to place more than 2 ships to help her. Since this game is so challenging I would suggest it for older kids. It will definitely work those critical thinking skills. It will also help with directions and fine motor skills. What I really like about items made by Smart Games is that they keep our daughter's interest for quite awhile. I am able to get some housework done while she is having fun but also learning.
One thing that is amazing about Pirate Crossfire is that the pieces are a good size and they are well made. It is not some flimsy game that will break if you drop it. This is always a plus for our family because both me and my two daughters are clumsy. It is not a game that I would take with us to keep kids busy while waiting at the doctor because it is to big. I would definitely recommend any Smart Game game that we have tried. They maybe challenging at times but that is also part of the fun. Pirate Crossfire comes with Timberdoodle's 6th Grade Kit which maybe why it was such a challenge at first for my daughter. She is only 6. What critical thinking games do you have for your kids? Which ones are challenging but at the same time fun to play? Even better if they are educational.