Smart Farmer, by Smart Toys and Games, is a single player puzzle game with 60 challenges ranging from “easy” to “expert” in difficulty, for players five and older. The game takes the form of a plastic “meadow”, with plastic fences, animals, and water troughs that can be arranged in many different ways. The rules are fairly simple: set the pieces as shown in the challenge cards, and then divide the field into separate meadows using fences to satisfy the given constraints. Solutions are provided for each of the challenges if a player gets stuck. There is only one solution to each challenge and the more difficult challenges introduce an additional criterion that must be met (for example where each separate meadow must have a water trough). Setting up the board for each challenge is quick and easy, allowing more time for problem solving!
Players must plan ahead and place the fences strategically in pursuit of a solution. More often than not, a move or solution goes wrong, and the children have to become problem solvers, analyze where the problem occurs, and improve on their solution while staying within the constraints of the rules. The children will be able to notice patterns while improving their spatial reasoning skills, creative thinking, and with enough perseverance the challenges will allow the user to practice their problem solving techniques in a fun puzzle format. Overall, Smart Farmer is a super enjoyable game, providing a plethora of challenges and quite a few hours of playtime.