The story behind the creation of AquaBelle

Raf Peeters, January 2012

AquaBelle is a puzzle game with the same transparent puzzle pieces as Camouflage and Airport.

The object of the game is to lock the dark blue monster fish inside the bubbles which are printed on tiles. So the concept is very similar to Camouflage: you make the right combinations between the artwork on the puzzle tiles and the artwork on the challenge cards. The most visible difference is that the artwork of the animals is now on the challenge cards instead of on the puzzle pieces. But this does not really make a difference for the game play.

The story to explain the game rules is that the mermaids try to help their friends (the good fish) by locking up the monster fish inside bubbles. It's a little absurd, I know. But mermaids are not the most realistic creatures either. But except for the theme, the mermaids don't really play a role in solving the challenges.


There are 4 possible combinations that are right:

• bubble + monster fish

• bubble + no fish

• no bubble + no fish

• no bubble + good fish

And there are 2 combinations that are not allowed:

• no bubble + monster fish

• bubble + good fish


The reason to make another game with transparent puzzle pieces, is that people wanted to have a SmartGame that was really for girls. Personally, I think that all SmartGames are suitable for both girls and boys. But some people see this differently. 

Except for the pinkish box, my sons liked this game not any less than any other SmartGame, just like many girls liked Trucky 3 or other games that you could consider boys toys. Often young children think less in stereotypes than their (grand)parents or some shops. I adjusted the concept, picked and tested the challenges, but most credit for this game goes to my colleague Hans for making all the beautiful illustrations. Each of the 48 challenges has different background artwork. It looks great in combination with the colorful fish and the semi-transparent bubbles.

Update: In 2016 SmartGames will introduce a new, simplified version of this game, named “Ghost Hunters”.

example of a challenge card (left) and a solution (right) of AquaBelle


1) Choose a challenge card and put it on the game board, with the number of the challenge at the bottom.

2) Place all puzzle pieces on the game board, so that all the blue-gray monster fish are trapped inside bubbles, and all the “good” fish are outside the bubbles.

• all the puzzle pieces have to fit on the game board, even if you do not need them all to lock up the dangerous fish.

• the puzzle pieces have to be placed on the board with the bubbles facing up.

3) there is only one correct solution. 

Website ©2012 Raf Peeters

Products and images: © Smart