The story behind the creation of Deducktion

Raf Peeters, January 2016

Deducktion is a new SmartGame I designed that started with stupid word play from my side. In the past I created many puzzles, but most games are either sequential movement puzzles, shape matching puzzles or fill up the grid puzzles. But I haven’t really tried to make a deduction puzzle where the position of each puzzle piece is not restricted by it’s shape but only by the rules and hints in the challenge.


The word “deduction” inspired me to do something with “ducks”. Little duckings follow their mother when they go swimming, I kind of liked that image. I tried to avoid making something similar to Metaforms. So I didn’t want to give information about every single duck in the challenge. The solution was to give them numbers and to make it a rule that ducks from the same color family should form a chain with the numbers in the right order. Although the challenge might only include information about duck number 3, you know that on one adjacent square there will be duck number 2. This way, you can often deduct the position from the other ducks on the game board, without using trail and error. The first version had a 4x4 grid and 4 duck families. But because the concept was intended for a small magnetic travel game, 16 ducks were a little bit too much too easily handle. So we changed it to a 3x4 grid. This still works, but is of course easier to solve. If this game is any success, maybe we should introduce a bigger version in the future. One of the earlier versions also had the rule that mother ducks (numbers 1) could not swim adjacent to each other. That’s why they are also made bigger. But children found this rule fa little confusing. So we left this rule out in the final version because the rule was not really needed to make interesting challenges. Although you can’t solve all challenges with pure deduction, you can solve many of them. But because of the limited number of shapes the different duck families can make, trail and error is sometimes still a faster strategy to solve the challenges. In a way this game is related to Bend-it. You could see each family of ducks as 1 big “bendable” puzzle piece. The tail of each duck is slightly curved. This looks nice, but also helps in lifting up the magnetic puzzle pieces. Just push on their tail. Deducktion is a good game for kids age 6 to 12 and a nice introduction to logic and deduction. Adults might like it too, but real puzzlers will probably find it too easy. Just like all other magnetic SmartGames it has a handy, compact format.

example of a Starter challenge/solution

example of a Expert challenge/solution

example of a Master challenge/solution


1) Choose a challenge.

2) Place all ducks on the game board according to following rules:

A) Each challenge gives specific hints about the location of some ducks:

• A square with only a color indicates that you must place a duck there with that specific color. It can have any number.

• A square with only a number indicates that you must place a duck there with that specific number. It can have any color.

• A square with both a color and number indicates that the specific duck with that color and number must be placed there.

B) Ducks of the same color family must form a chain by being placed adjacent to each other (horizontally or vertically). Number 1 needs to be adjacent to number 2 of the same color, number 2 needs to be adjacent to numbers 1 and 3 of the same color, and so on. This chain can be straight but does not have to be, as long as the corresponding numbers are adjacent (solutions will feature chains of many different shapes).

There is only 1 solution, which can be found at the end of the booklet.

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