FIELDS SEPARATION is a variation of another great Japanese puzzle game called SHIKAKU or RECTANGLES. In Shikaku the aim is to divide a zone into rectangles of a given area using the clues provided.
In FIELDS SEPARATION you do this by building fences around houses so that each house sits in a rectangular property made up of the number of small squares shown on the house roof. Give it a go, you'll get the hang of it!
Now, let's think a little about the maths involved.
How did you start the challenge? What did you look for? What strategies did you find helpful?
What mathematical skills did you use when solving the puzzle? What maths ideas might be worth practising if you wanted to become a grand champion at Shikaku?
In my last game one house was on a property made up of 15 smaller squares and another was on a property made up of 16 squares. Which do you think was easier to solve? Why?
What do you notice about the small odd numbered properties? How are they different than the even numbers? Can you use this information to help you with future games?
What if a house was on a property made up of 24 smaller squares? What could the dimensions be? Do some numbers create more possibilities? Why?
To succeed at Shikaku you need a whole range of maths, logic and visualisation skills. Think carefully about your approach in your next game and you'll master it in no time.
Good luck - I hope you enjoy playing as much as I do.
Note: If you'd like printed copies of this type of puzzle to take on a road trip or share with your teacher or classmates, try this website.