Craig’s Corner – How playing games helped people survive lockdown

by | Feb 15, 2021

Welcome back to Craig’s Corner where we catch up with Craig Woolf, Wolfpack’s founder, to get to know him a bit better. If you have any questions for Craig, please post a reply to this blog!

How playing games helped people survive lockdown.

For nearly 8 months last year, Wolfpack Games was unable to enter shopping centres or open our doors in Ashburton. Like many businesses, this was a very difficult time for us but at the same time, we saw a substantial uptake on our online business. Clearly being stuck at home meant people began to shop online more, but the fact they were buying our games at a time when there was concern over where the next dollar would come from was encouraging for us.

In hindsight, it seems a natural leap that when people are stuck at home together they will naturally look for things to do other than T.V or Netflix. Families needed a way to stay sane at home and engage their minds. Games and Puzzles are the perfect answer.

So, how did our games really help during lockdown?


  1. Family time – Many of our games are multiplayer and can be played by all ages, (such as Chinese Checkers or 3D Noughts and Crosses) so they helped bring the family together.
  2. Exercising the Mind – Solving puzzles stretches the mind and we offer a range of difficulty levels from Beginner  (Lost Marble) to Genius (Basketball String or Soma Cube) perfect for those who are new to puzzles to get started or when needing to push even the brightest spark (of any age)
  3. Multiple Challenges – Most of our puzzles are not one off so you can return to them over and over again. Many come with either cards showing many different challenges (such as Octagon which has 100 challenges, 50 Two Dimensional and 50 Three Dimensional) or like 8 Piece Puzzle, every time you try to solve it, it is effectively a fresh challenge.
  4. Endorphins – Lockdown was hard, even depressing, but when you do solve a puzzle, the joy you feel and the release of endorphins, helped take away the gloom even for a few moments. This benefit can not be undervalued.
  5. Tactile play – In an electronic age, having a physical puzzle to solve is enticing. Being made from beautiful quality sustainable wood means our games are very nice to look at and hold, making them a joy to play so made for a perfect distraction from lockdown.
  6. Screen Free – While it would have been easy to sit on a screen and binge watch Outlander, many of us found the need to switch off (or we forced our children to switch off!
  7. The joy of giving – Sending a quality gift to a friend or family member in need is, in itself, a wonderful thing, but sending a gift which challenges the mind is a thing of wonder! The little notes, challenging a friend to solve a puzzle that often went with the gift was a nice touch and all helped us survive lockdown.
  8. Unique – Finding that unique gift you know a friend doesn’t have. People were trawling the internet looking for just that something different. Many found it on our site. Imagine sending a Bottle of Wine (boring huh) now send it locked in a puzzle (Don’t Break the Bottle – Wine) – we sold more of these than all the rest combined! Why? Because when you are stuck at home, and really need a drink, you are going to damn well solve that puzzle!

We all struggled over the past year to feel useful, fulfilled, energised and focussed, but with a little help from Wolfpack Games, for many, lockdown was made just that little bit less of a struggle.


Boredom Busters (Counting Down Our Top 10)

In this article we look at the top 10 puzzles and games for breaking out of the doldrums and keeping kids off their screens. The criteria here was simple enough – will it keep kids entertained (so puzzles that can be solved only once were excluded) and challenge their thinking at the same time (so more complex games were chosen ahead of easy ones).

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