Ye Olde Gamery

Ye Olde Gamery posters    

The 2020 season of the Maryland Renaissance Festival was closed due to the Covid-19 virus. Many virtual events and presentations offered a small consolation. The newly created MDRF (Maryland Renaissance Festival) Marketplace on Facebook became a permanent virtual site to provide round-the-clock postings by artists and visitors, giving customers access to the artisans' beautiful images of products and websites for those longed-for purchases and souvenirs. We show below the posters we contributed periodically as news and nostalgia.



July 29, 2020—Some scenes at Ye Olde Gamery
Greetings, m'lords and m'ladies, and welcome to Ye Olde Gamery in the virtual realm. We're one of the oldest shops in Revel Grove, since 1984. Our turreted pavilion is just across from the Market Stage, up the hill from the joust field, and next door to the first aid station. Here are some photos to get you nostalgic for all the gaming fun you remember from previous visits and assuredly anticipate in future visits.

It's a special treat when visitors get to play the Royal Game of the Goose with the King and his companions. Visitors also learn the strategies of beautiful, handcrafted, award-winning gameboards and challenge our game masters.




July 30, 2020—Our hottest sellers
Here are some close-up views of a few of our most popular gamepuzzles, beloved for our 36 seasons at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. See their full descriptions in our website's Hottest Sellers gallery. Safe and easy to order there, and you get FREE SHIPPING while our shows are closed!




Aug. 4, 2020—For youngest players
Ye Olde Gamery welcomes you to a virtual visit. We'll be posting news and pictures of our large collection of gamepuzzles offerings, designed and made since 1979. This post celebrates our youngest players—how we miss the lively scene with eager young solvers crowding our booth, and their radiant smiles when they succeed. We make puzzles suitable for ages 3 to PhD. See a few in the picture, then check the section titled For Youngest Players. Find something irresistible for the young minds in your stay-at-home life; these puzzles will surely challenge you, too.




Aug. 9, 2020—Historical games
In a real world, the Festival would begin its 9-weekend run the end of August. Time travel to the 16th century may take you to some historically ancient games. Here are a few that we make, either in historic themes or genuine reproductions of games dating back thousands of years. While I'm on a historical ride, did you know that Ye Olde Gamery has a 44-page catalog of all our gamepuzzles described in Shakespearean verse? See it here: Shakespearean catalog.




Aug. 10, 2020—The hardest ones
During our 36 years with the Md. Renaissance Festival, we developed many new gamepuzzles and had their world premieres at Ye Olde Gamery, giving us a good feel for how hard or easy any puzzle was for our always bright visitors. Today, by popular demand, I show you some of our hardest ones. Here's a brief description of each set, counterclockwise from upper left:

  • Ochominoes: 24 unique octagon dominoes with 0 to 6 squares attached. Addictive, huge variety of designs to explore.
  • Iamond Hex: the 12 unique tiles of 6 equilateral triangles joined. Color separation for figure shown is unique. Other figures have several solutions.
  • Instant Insanity: Decades-old notoriously hard puzzle, 4 multicolor cubes are to form a row with 4 colors on each side. We have the last supply from the original inventor, Frank Armbruster, while they last.
  • Proteus: award-winning, rule-changing strategy game for 2 players, a classic in handcrafted wood.
  • Super Roundominoes: 43 curvy tiles fill 10x10 grid in thousands of tricky ways, play 6 games.
  • Sextillions: 35 unique tiles of 6 squares each plus a spare, the classic hexominoes. Hundreds of puzzles, four strategy games.
  • Tan Tricks I and II combo: tiles made of 1 to 5 half-squares joined, all different and fiercely difficult.
  • Rhombiominoes: the 20 unique shapes of rhombic pentominoes. Allegedly has 4 million solutions, but find even one.




Aug. 24, 2020—Wood and mazes
"Wood" you like to see something a-mazing? Ye Olde Gamery has old and new, beautifully handcrafted wood games and puzzles. Not too long ago, we thought it would be cool to design a puzzle on the theme of the Black Plague in Europe, especially London, around the 14th to 16th centuries. The 16 wood squares with paths let you build a maze-like escape through the wall, styled with a little coffin-shaped storage box. Many solutions exist; one is shown. Escape any plague. Here's a brief description of the four games shown, counterclockwise from upper left:

  • Royal Game of the Goose (yes, His Majesty, Henry VIII, enjoys sitting and playing it with us). Traced to 1478, this ancestor of most of today's games uses dice rolls to move pawns on a spiral path from start to goal. Win by pure luck. Back of board has 3,500-year-old Labyrinth game, luck plus strategy. Fascinating mythology. Up to 8 players.
  • Octiles. 18 tiles with paths form roads to move your 5 runners to other side. Roads change on every turn. Up to 4 players.
  • Quintillions. The 12 solid maple blocks of 5 cubes each form zillions of 2D and 3D figures, play 5 games for 2-4 players.
  • Escape the Plague. Form the 16 square tiles with paths into a single continuous route to outside.




Aug. 27, 2020—Collage for Lane Albums
The MDRF Marketplace has added a feature showing where all the artisan booths are located within the physical festival site! Close-ups of each exhibitor's booth and work with contact information makes it easier to find all your favorite booths. Nice maps of each region let you find everyone quickly. We're in the King's Field.




Sept. 2, 2020—Edgematching Puzzles
Dear visitors, welcome to the virtual edition of Ye Olde Gamery. One of the heartwarming aspects of the Maryland Renaissance Festival is the wonderful camaraderie of the participants, the love that holds us all together even when every individual is a unique person with different talents and skills. To celebrate this unique synthesis of joining all different parts and people in a joyous partnership, I show you here a collection of our gamepuzzles that demonstrate this compatible differentness with puzzle sets that form beautiful designs where every piece is uniquely different, in color or shape: our edgematching collection. Here's a brief description of the gamepuzzles shown, counterclockwise from upper left:

  • Trifolia—24 unique curvy-edged triangles solve a book full of figures, play 3 games, 2-4 players. For age 12-adult. Colors vary.
  • Multimatch IV—24 unique hand-inlaid triangles, match and non-match plus beautiful symmetry patterns. 1 or 2 players, age 8-adult.
  • Multimatch I—24 unique square tiles inlaid with 3 colors, hundreds of matching challenges, based on 100-year-old design by British mathematician Maj. Percy MacMahon. For 1 or 2 players, age 8-adult.
  • Cookie Jar—13 uniquely shaped tiles form hundreds of figures, splendid symmetries. Play 2 games. 1-3 players, age 10-adult.
  • Leaves—13 unique leaf-shaped tiles, tricky challenges mixing the autumn colors. A work of art with display stand, for 1 or 2 players, age 10-adult. 11" tray.
  • MemorIQ ("Memory Cue")—24 unique hexagon tiles inlaid with 4 colors. hundreds of patterns to solve. Display stand included. 11" round tray. 1 or more players, age 12-adult.
  • MiniMatch I—Award winner! 9 unique inlaid squares match 4 colors, many themes. For 1 or 2 players, age 6-adult.
  • Hexmozaix Jr.—24 unique hexagons inlaid with 4 colors, create many designs in and out of 7.5" tray, for 1 to 4 players, age 6-adult.
  • Kaliko—85 unique wood hexagons with paths match colors to build long loops. Exquisite puzzle shapes. For 1 to 4 players, age 8-adult.
All game names are trademarks of Kadon Enterprises, Inc.




Oct. 15, 2020—Polyform Puzzles
Greetings, friends and visitors, today I'd like to tell you about a special category of our puzzles: polyforms. They're like a family, from smallest to largest member. Here are the sets made of squares, equilateral triangles, hexagons, and right triangles (half-squares). Each has a booklet of challenges and game rules. You'll never run out of variations to explore with them. See them close up on our website, Essential Polyforms and Polyominoes and Polycubes. Meet the kid-size, teen, and very grown-up advanced levels. In the U.S., we offer FREE SHIPPING while shows are closed. We miss seeing you in person at our booth and hope you'll enjoy our well-packed website almost as much as an actual visit to Ye Olde Gamery. Ordering is easy and will provide much enjoyment now and for years to come. Here's a brief description of the puzzles shown, counterclockwise from top left:

  • Poly-5—21 tiles joining squares, from size 1 through 5 ("polyominoes"). Each size has its own color. 52-page booklet with hundreds of shape to build, 6 games to play for 2-4 players, age 8 to adult. Yes, this is the original set that inspired Blockus!
  • Iamond Ring—46 tiles joining equilateral triangles from size 1 to 7 ("polyiamonds"), each size with its own color. Large book of puzzle challenges and 5 games, for 1-6 players, ages 8-adult.
  • Hexnut—34 tiles joining hexagons from size 1 through 5 ("polyhexes"), eah size its own color. Hundreds of puzzles, 3 games for 1-4 players, age 10-adult.
  • Tan Tricks I, II, III—160 tiles of 1 to 6 half-squares ("polytans") are some of the hardest puzzles we make. Start with sets I and II, sizes 1 to 5, with 53 tiles, each size its own color. Combine them all, or fill two trays. Hundreds of tricky puzzles, plus a game for 2-6 players, age 10-adult. Set III is for only the hardiest solvers. We warned you. See
All product names are proprietary trademarks of Kadon Enterprises, Inc.

View a slide show narrated by Kate Jones, A Periodic Table of Polyform Puzzles, with music and in rhyme.



Oct. 30, 2020—Multi-polyform Puzzles
Dear visitors, welcome to this new installment of our virtual edition of Ye Olde Gamery. The general theme of this group is explained on the poster itself. Here's a brief description of the individual gamepuzzles shown, counterclockwise from upper left:

  • Starhex-I—17 hexagon/triangle combo tiles, exquisite multi-patterns.
  • Rombix—4 single rhombs, 12 twins, thousands of solutions.
  • ChooChooLoops—26 tiles (12 shapes of joined quarter-arcs) loop around islands in endless ways.
  • Super Roundominoes—43 polyrounds in 4 sizes, as difficult as it's beautiful.
  • Hex-Pave—15 uniquely proportioned hexagons with triangle helpers.
  • Hopscotch—24 polyhops sizes 1 to 4 in marbled hues.
  • Eric Friedman's Partridge Puzzles (set of 5)—tile shapes match tray shapes in descending sizes.
  • Roundominoes—28 polyrounds sizes 1 to 3 rounds and bridges.
  • Rombix Jr.—4 groups of 4 polyrhombs, great for kids, too.
Product names (except Partridge Puzzles) are trademarks of Kadon Enterprises, Inc.




Nov. 18, 2020—Pocket Puzzles
One of the goodies we offer at Ye Olde Gamery (King's Field, across from Market Stage) is our collection of "Pocket Puzzles"—small, easily portable, take-anywhere puzzles and games in drawstring pouches. These make terrific stocking stuffers for all members of the family. Check them out on our website's thumbnail gallery of Pocket Puzzles and order online or by phone, easily and safely. And this year, get free shipping within the USA. They're great entertainment for those long days at home, and easy to take along in pocket, purse, and backpack on the road. Shown in the poster as numbered:

1. Pocket Star | 2. Pocket Rhombs | 3. Bowties | 4. Instant Insanity | 5. Pocket Vees | 6. Fox Blox | 7. Oskar's Disks | 8. Six Disks, art | 9. Six Disks, bears | 10. Shardinaires-9 | 11. Arc Angles |
12. Pocket Pentominoes | 13. A+D+D+D | 14. Throw A Fit | 15. Handy-Tans.
Start in a Christmas stocking, enjoy all year. And have safe, merry holidays and a better new year with warmest wishes from Ye Olde Gamery and Kadon.

All product names are trademarks of Kadon Enterprises, Inc.




Nov. 28, 2020—Pocket Puzzles—Part 2
Greetings, friends and Renaissance lovers and fans of Ye Olde Gamery at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. (Isn't it great that the virtual Faire is continuing all year?)

Here I show some more of our "Pocket Puzzles", small gamepuzzles in pouches, great for stocking stuffers and year-round take-along entertainment. They're small by size, tiny in price, and great big fun, endless variety of challenges to play with each. For full descriptions and easy ordering, please visit the Pocket Puzzles thumbnail gallery and index on our website (you are here), and click on your desired items. FREE SHIPPING within the USA till shows are back to normal. See also all of our unique and original gamepuzzles throughout our website. They are gifts for a lifetime.




Dec. 24, 2020—Limited editions, collectors' items, archival treasures...
Greetings, friends and collectors of vintage games. Ye Olde Gamery at the Maryland Renaissance Festival is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the last of our rare, limited editions, while they last. To order them and for brief descriptions, go to Limited Editions ordering page. Links given for individual items have extensive illustrated background stories and ordering links. FREE SHIPPING within the U.S.

Here's a brief description of each of the items in this collection, counterclockwise from upper left:

  • Triangle Teaser — 72 triangles in 3 colors in 7" tray, create beautiful patterns, play with Pythagorean theorem.
  • Kite Delight — 64 kite-shaped tiles in 4 colors form artistic designs as your imagination allows.
  • Holey Rectangle — extremely difficult puzzle. Just match all the half-circles into round holes. The 16 V-shaped tiles have all different positions of the holes. 5x7" tray.
  • Tangled Triangles — 50 right triangles in four colors bring out ever-changing artistic patterns. Addictive.
  • D-Gram — Dissection puzzle of 7 reversible tiles solves many different challenges, stores in pouch.
  • The French Resolution — 18 confusingly proportioned tiles (15 triangles, 3 quads) model the French flag and other shapes. In drawstring pouch, ready to travel.
  • Let them eat cake — 5 pentominoes and 25 cake disks provide a variety of challenges based on Latin Squares and sudoku. Created for Paris puzzle party. Stores in pouch.
  • Sudo-Koala — 36 differently posed bears, each with a number, 1-6, present Latin Square and sudoku challenges and much more.
  • Pythagorean Pentominoes — Dissected pentominoes and other tiles fill three different regions in 8.5x11" tray, show Pythagorean theorem at work.
  • San Diego 2018 — 12 transparent aqua pentominoes solve arrangements on a printed grid. Stores rolled up in a clear tube. Created for San Diego puzzle party.
  • Maple Leaf Rag — 35-piece dissection of Canadian flag emblem, created for Canadian puzzle party, solves other figures, too. Stores in pouch.
  • Bearlin Variations — The famous Berlin coat of arms done with 16 different bear poses, combines Latin Square, sliding block and Sudoku themes. 3" handpainted wood shields, in black velour bags.

See also all of our unique and original gamepuzzles throughout our website. They are gifts for a lifetime, any time of year.




April 6, 2021—Golden ratio
Spring greetings, friends and fans of Ye Olde Gamery at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. May the returned sun brighten your days and your spirit.

Let us now take a closer look at a peculiar aspect of the Universe, namely the golden ratio. We've been exploring it through hands-on puzzles that mix math and art in fascinating ways. The four lasercut acrylic sets spotlighted here are well documented to tease you through a great variety of challenges. Once you contemplate infinity, your thinking will be expanded forever. Order now and catch that cosmic view. Order all four, get 10% discount. FREE SHIPPING within the USA till shows are back to normal. See also all of our other unique and original gamepuzzles throughout our website. They are gifts for a lifetime of pleasure.

Here's a brief description of these four, from left to right. Color mixes may vary. For full descriptions, click their names.

  • Deka-Mosaik—35 tiles are golden triangles and pentagons in 7" tray. Ages 8-adult.   $42
  • Deka-Star—40 tiles, 20 each thin and wide diamonds, show regular and non-periodic tilings named for Nobel winner Roger Penrose. Wonderful symmetries and patterns. 7" tray. Ages 6-adult.   $42
  • Kite-Mosaik—45 tiles in 4 shapes (kites, darts, golden triangles) also derive from Penrose research. Form kite shapes of every size and so much more. 7" tray. Ages 10-adult.   $42
  • Arc Angles—25 arc-shaped cousins of the kites connect paths, form rings and loops, play a domino-like strategy game. In drawstring pouch. Age 8-adult, 1-4 players.   $35




April 16, 2021—The black/white/red collection
Spring greetings, friends and fans of Ye Olde Gamery at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. May the returned sun brighten your days and your spirit. See now a showcase of boldly colored tiling sets, pleasing geometrics with surprising variety. Brief descriptions follow below.

FREE SHIPPING within the USA till shows are back to normal. See also all of our other unique and original gamepuzzles throughout our website. They make fine gifts for all occasions and provide a lifetime of pleasure for every mind.

Here's a brief description of these eleven sets, counterclockwise from upper left. For full descriptions and access to ordering, click their names.

  • Hexmozaix—12 tiles are hand-inlaid with rhombs and chevrons to look like cubes, join to form rivers of colors and score points in games. Ages 8-adult.   $65

  • Hexmozaix II—18 tiles, more intricate companion to Hexmozaix, go grand combining all 30 tiles. Ages 12-adult.   $95
  • Ten-Yen—10 tiles of sizes 1 through 5 squares can fill the 5.5" tray in 17,995 ways, only 34 of which have colors separated. Hundreds of other shapes and challenges to solve. Ages 6-adult.   $32
  • Pocket Vees—6 V-shaped tiles, 3 each white or black tops. Small but mighty for creating artistic designs, play a strange tic-tac-toe. In pouch. Age 6-adult, 1-2 players.   $12
  • Intarsia—32 trapezoid-shaped tiles, hand-inlaid with black diamonds or triangles, form billions and billions of patterns, play 5 original games in or out of 11" tray, with dsplay stand. For 1-2 players, ages 10-adult.   $95
  • Quintapaths—20 stick-shaped 1x5 tiles, each differently inlaid with 0 to 5 black squares, fill an 11" tray with thousands of patterns. Strategy games included. Ages 10-adult.   $95
  • Diamond Star—23 tiles in 5 shapes, hand-inlaid with diamonds to look like cubes, fill the 11" tray and many free-form figures. Can you see all 12 stars? With game for 2 or 3 players, pawns included. Ages 10-adult.   $95
  • Multimatch IV—24 all-different tiles, hand-inlaid with 3 kite-shaped segments each, fill the 9" tray and dozens 0f free-form shapes. Match colors or form symmetries. 1-2 players, ages 8-adult.   $65
  • Multimatch III—24 tiles are hand-inlaid with 3 triangles each, match colors to fill 9" tray and solve hundreds of other shapes. 1-2 players, ages 8-adult.   $65
  • Multimatch II—24 tiles are golden triangles and pentagons in 9" tray. 1-4 players, ages 8-adult.   $65
  • Multimatch I—24 tiles are golden triangles and pentagons in 9" tray. 1-2 players, ages 8-adult.   $65




May 1, 2021—Abstract wooden board games
Spring greetings, friends and fans of Ye Olde Gamery at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. May the returned sun brighten your days and your spirit as we look forward to the Festival's return in 2021.

FREE SHIPPING within the USA. See also all of our other unique and original, award-winning gamepuzzles on our website. They make fine gifts for all occasions and provide a lifetime of pleasure for every lively mind and every member of the human race.

Here's a brief description of these five games, counterclockwise from top left. For full descriptions, click on their names or links.

  • Proteus—a meta-game with changing rules. The rules are on the 9 tiles: 3 shapes in 3 colors tell how to move, how to trade tiles, and how to win. Rules change when a matching shape of disk enters a tile. A game lover's game, with deep strategy and intricate combinations. For 2 players, ages 12-adult.   Deluxe 16" wood board, $95; softpack, $75
  • Six by Six—A trilogy of game systems and solitaires, a rich and fascinating collection of over 100 themes, with two separate sets of playing pieces and three handbooks, a virtual game room in a tailored carrybag. Handcrafted 14" wood board is laser-engraved. For 1 to 4 players, ages 8-adult.   $149
  • Game of Y—Deep, subtle and beautiful, Y has the simplest rule: place one stone per turn, connect all three sides of the board with a toninuous string of your color. No draws! Defense is exquisitely important. Six other games plus solitaires included. 15" wood board, 80 glass stones, tailored velvet carrybag. Ages 10-adult.   Deluxe wood, $95; softpack, $49
  • Nine Men's Morris/Fox and Geese—A centuries-old game on a handsome, laser-engraved 11½" board. Ancestor of tic-tac-toe; slide pieces to get 3 in a row, remove one opponent piece when you do. Win when opponent has only 2 pieces remaining. On flip side, play Fox and Geese and jumping solitaires. Black and white stones, 18 each; felt slip case. Age 6-adult, 1-2 players.   $65
  • Void—The sculpted 4x4 grid serves for five progressively more complex game concepts and four puzzle themes—enduring play values. Handpainted wood pieces with single or double arrows point, respectively, one or two spaces away to direct playmate's moves or to block spaces. For 1 or 2 players, ages 8-adult.   Deluxe 8" wood board, $55; softpack, $35


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