ThinkFun - Everybody plays. Puzzles.COM River Crossing™ - The Perilous Plank Puzzle
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  Your job is to help the Hiker find a route across the critter-infested river. Luckily, tree stumps dot the crossing, and a few handy old planks are nearby. The Hiker must reach the planks, bridge the stumps, and avoid the hungry jaws in the water below just waiting for a false step.
  Set Up
  Start by placing a Challenge Card on the peg board (Figures 1 and 2).

Then place a stump into each hole (Figure 3) and a plank in each gray-shadowed plank position (Figure 4). Each plank fits snugly between two stumps where it's placed.

The Hiker starts on the shore nearest the card number (Figure 5).

Play River Crossing™ Applet

Magnetic Hiker  
The Hiker’s feet are magnetic and so are the centers of each plank. Use the Hiker to lift and reposition the planks.  

  Puzzle Play
  The Hiker moves by walking along a plank to get to the next stump. He can’t get from stump to stump by jumping - he must move planks to bridge the gaps between stumps. He can pick up and move one plank at a time, but he can only reach the plank or planks touching the stump where he is standing.

Plus, the planks must fit snugly between two stumps, so the Hiker can only move a plank to a space that fits. He can also pick up a plank and carry it along another plank as far as he’s able to go before putting it down again.

All this plank moving is made easier by the Hiker’s magnetic boots. It’s easy to lift planks with the Hiker, but it takes a little skill to “break” the magnetic pull. Once you have repositioned a plank between two stumps, gently slide the Hiker perpendicular to the plank, and the magnetic pull will break. Then you are ready for your next move.

Danger lies in stranding your Hiker on a stump midstream - with no place to the next plank or no plank within reach!

  • No jumping is allowed between stumps or planks or from a stump to shore.
• The Hiker can pick up and move or carry a plank if one end touches the stump where he is standing.
• The Hiker can only pick up or carry one plank at a time.
• Planks must be supported between stumps on both ends, and must be an exact fit.
• Planks can’t be placed diagonally, only north-south or east-west.
• Planks can’t support other planks.
• Planks can’t be stacked.
• Planks can’t cross over other stumps or planks in the way.
  • 1 Hiker - with magnetic feet
• 1 Peg Board Grid Frame
• 40 Beginner-to-Expert Challenge Cards
• 20 Tree Stumps
• 5 Magnetic Planks - 2 Short, 2 Medium, and 1 Long
• 1 Instruction/Solution Booklet
• 1 Universal Card - to play bonus challenges
• 1 Travel Bag

To see all this equipment in greater details go to the Game Components page.
  40 Challenge Cards
  Ages 8 to Adult. By developing a range of puzzles to play, young energetic hikers and seasoned trekkers will find a level that will challenge their river-crossing skills. Challenge levels are color coded as follows:

  The best way to learn River Crossing™ strategies is to play our sample On-Line Challenges. The following gives a strategy description in words.

As you help your Hiker across the Beginner challenges, you’ll start to notice some helpful strategic moves.

The simplest moves are just relays - like getting to the end of the first plank, picking it up, carrying it along the next plank, and putting the first plank down again to form your next bridge.

Sometimes your Hiker might have to get clever and leave a plank behind in a spot where it will come in handy later. Sometimes the Hiker will move a plank just to clear a path so it doesn’t block where he wants to go.

The strategies become more complex in the Intermediate and Advanced challenges, and downright brain boggling with the Expert cards.

The Hiker might park one plank to use later, move
another to clear a path, double back to pick up the parked plank, change directions entirely, and find himself at a dead end only to backtrack all over again.

Whatever works to get him across, as long as he follows the rules… and avoids the gators, snakes, and piranhas!

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Last Update January 10, 2007    Design by Art of Puzzle
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