| Frequently Asked Questions|
What are "gamepuzzles"?|
Gamepuzzles are our own original creations that can be played both as competitive games for two or more people, and as puzzles for one player alone. The word "gamepuzzles" is a trademark of Kadon.
How do they work?
The sets usually consist of a number of pieces, either geometrically shaped tiles or chess-like counters. The players get to figure out how to arrange the tiles in many different ways to form a large variety of patterns and designs, with many different objectives and different degrees of difficulty. We have whatever level of challenge you may want! The figures are illustrated in each set's handbook. The games with counters have various goals and require strategy for how you place or move the pieces around on the board to achieve a winning position. The games are easy to learn but you can keep improving your strategic skill each time you play.
Do you make them yourselves?
Yes, we do, from scratch, from unique ideas that we develop and design, then produce in our own craft workshop.
How are they made?
Once we finalize the design, the pieces are cut out of acrylic sheets with our laser, using a computer program to guide the table. The most intricate patterns can thus be programmed for cutting. We then intermix colors and do handfinishing as needed. The woodworking is done with handtools by our resident master craftsman. Some wood parts are also cut by laser. Our beautiful wood gameboards are laser-engraved.
Do they go together only one way?
No, the beauty and magic of our gamepuzzles is their great versatility and artistry. The numbers of tiles in a set may vary from 4 to 369, and the numbers of ways you can fit them together in different designs may be in the thousands or even millions. It's the unique nature of the way we design them that it's a new adventure every time you play with them.
What do players get out of using your gamepuzzles?
Well, we've heard more than one player remark, "They make you feel smart." There is the pleasure of purposeful activity, of your mind engaged in a challenge that leaves it stretched and sharpened, refreshed and relaxed; of finding that brilliant move or splendid new pattern. There are the sensory pleasures of touching and seeing a beautiful, well-made game or puzzle. There is the nice time you have, playing with friends and family. There is the appreciation of value ... of playthings that are so versatile and multi-purpose that any one set is like a gameroom in a box, with something to appeal to most ages and skill levels, that you can play with a child or with your most avid strategist. There is ...the joy of thinking.
How long have you been doing this?
Kadon was officially incorporated in 1980. The first steps of going into production with our very first product, Quintillions, we took seriously in 1979. The development of this game started in 1976, when Kate first read about pentominoes in Arthur C. Clarke's sci-fi novel, Imperial Earth.
What if I lose a piece?
Good news. We guarantee life-time replacement parts at a nominal cost for all our products! We can make this guarantee because we never discontinue or close out a product of our own. Just tell us what game, what piece, what color you need replaced, and for a small sum, usually between $2 and $5, we'll send you what you need.
We never, ever lend, rent, sell or even show our mailing list or any information about any of our customers to anyone. We use your name and address to mail you postcards, never more than twice a year; an annual newsletter by email, and to let you know when we have a show in your area. In brief, your information is a sacred trust which we protect fiercely. We consider you part of the family. You are not for sale.
Is your online ordering "secure"?
Yes, we use the services of a secure "shopping cart" program. When you go to enter your personal information, you will see the little key icon become joined, or the little padlock closed. Those indicate the secure status.Your computer may also notify you that "you have requested a secure transmission." Just click on the "Continue" button.
Can I order special colors?
Yes, within the range of materials we have available. Please see our color palettes for opaque, transparent, and frosted mirror colors. We'll do our darndest to find you other colors, if they are made at all. Prices for special orders will vary.
Do you ship overseas?
Yes, we'll ship to anywhere in the world. Shipping charges are $6 minimum or 15% of order total for U.S., $10 or 20% for Canada. For all other parts of the globe, 25% of order or actual shipping cost, with a minimum of $25, regardless of size of order. Kadon has customers in 46 countries. These shipping charges include handling, postage and insurance.
Do you ship gift orders?
Yes, we'll gladly ship your gift orders anywhere in the world and include your gift card. For Christmas we also offer giftwrapping for a modest fee.
Can I buy gift certificates?
Yes, we offer them in multiples of $25. See the Gift Certificates page.
Can I get a discount if I buy more than one?
Afraid not. We never discount the prices, because we never inflate them in the first place. However, if you check our show schedule and see that we'll be in your area, you can reserve a product in advance for us to bring along and save you the shipping cost.
My brother-in-law has invented a game. Would you be interested in making it?
Hardly a week goes by that we don't have such a proposal in our mail or email box. Because we have a soft spot in our hearts (and heads) for budding game inventors, we'll usually take a look at it and give gentle feedback about why it's not right for us and who else might be interested. Sometimes we'll get all excited about something and go for it ourselves. For that to happen, a game must meet these criteria:
Why don't you sell them through stores?
We craft our games in good quality materials and sell them at our lowest possible prices. A middleman such as a store needs to make a profit, too, so the store would need to increase our prices greatly, making them too expensive.
Do you ever exhibit at teachers' conventions or do workshops with your games?
Yes, a few times a year we either set up an exhibit or send a supply of our catalogs to conventions and conferences. See our Shows schedule for dates and places. Our favorite events are the annual math meetings, Gifted and Talented conferences in various states, the Montessori Society's annual conference, and certain HomeSchooling conventions. We also turn up at some science fiction and gaming conventions.
Are you a mathematician?
No, we are "self-taught amateurs" who do this for the fun of it. No special math training is required for such recreational uses. We do have a high admiration for the beauty of mathematics, and a high regard for mathematicians. After all, they toil in the vineyards while we only sip the wine.
I'm opening a game store and would like to carry your products. What are your terms?
We are not able to discount our prices from those shown. You are welcome to order at our prices and then mark them up as you wish. We require payment with the order. And you have our best wishes for the success of your venture.
Did you ever consider selling your games to a big game company?
Once upon a time, long long ago, we looked into that scene. Felt too much like giving our child up for adoption, at the mercies of a fickle marketplace where it could be here today, gone tomorrow. The big game companies also showed a startling trend of buying each other up. So we decided to become an independent game company ourselves. Indie is the new trend. However, starting in 2013, we have licensed two of our puzzles for mass-production by a wonderful company, Brainwright, who sell primarily through bookstores. That does not stop us from selling our own versions as before.
Your gamepuzzles are a very nice quality, but I don't really care about quality. Don't you have a cheaper version?
Matter of fact, for several of them we do offer a deluxe and a softpack (travel version). And we have larger and smaller versions of a few sets. Early on we tried cheapo editions of a couple of our tiling puzzles, and they were just not as pleasing. Of course, you're welcome to buy those; we still have some. (See the price list linked from the Index.)
Half the pleasure of play, though, is in the quality; and because we put so much into the research and playworthiness of our products, something that people will want to have and enjoy for many years, we decided not to compromise on quality. It's what we're known for Kadon gamepuzzles are synonymous with quality, beauty and fascinating fun.
"Kadon's goal is to make and sell good and true and beautiful things at decent prices. ... The products should bring pleasure to the widest range of individuals, from child to adult, from beginner to expert. The style and concept of the products should be universal and timeless, each idea presented in its purest form. Each product must be worthy of the customer's time and money."Kate puts it this way:
"The human mind is such a marvelous instrument, with its unique capacity to perceive, observe, learn, understand, discover, create, invent, solve and reason. I want to give it the undiluted essence of each idea, captured in a form that you can hold in your hand and eye and mind, and move about at will. Each gamepuzzle set contains a bit of cosmic truth, nourishing the mind's need to recognize system and structure. It is in symmetry and order that the mind finds its truest expression, its fullest sense of its own efficacy and of beauty."All that and playfulness, too.
One of the themes implicit in Kadon gamepuzzles is that harmony can be achieved from diversity... that, with some ingenuity and patience, you can fit many all-different pieces into one beautiful composition, where the uniqueness of each individual piece assures and enhances the balance of the whole. There's a great sense of freedom in knowing there's more than one right answer and in having many options.
Research has shown that minds that exercise regularly with puzzles stay sharp longer, and play helps reduce the stresses of life. Play on!
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