National Geographic™ Puzzle Explorer®

National Geographic™ Puzzle Explorer® is an official National Geographic-licensed product designed and developed by YETi to teach kids game design and help them build cognitive skills such as creativity, problem solving, planning, rapid prototyping, sequencing, strategy, memory, and logic.

Game Design comes to life with National Geographic™ Puzzle Explorer®!

National Geographic Puzzle Explorer was developed to be a mobile interactive toy that evolves the digital game experience much like physical toys evolved 30 years ago.

Fundamentally, National Geographic Puzzle Explorer gives players a set of user-friendly tools that are easy to learn and use, fun to play with, and provide unlimited play by creating and mastering maze puzzle games. Players are given a variety of simple game blocks. The player uses and places the game blocks on the gameboard to form a puzzle game with each game block performing a different function. Some are static obstacles, while others animate to increase the challenge of the puzzle. For example, players can place blocks that become blockers: iguanas will chase the player, quicksand must be avoided but isn’t easy to see, players acquire keys that unlock obstructing gates. There are also blocks that facilitate navigation of the game. For example, a giant snowball can be rolled over water to become a snowy bridge, boats can be used to navigate water and avoid alligators, and a torch to light their way in the dark. In total, there are 42 game blocks that can be used.

One of the highlights of this application is its ability to introduce players to game design. Its step-by-step introduction to how to use each puzzle block as a game design element takes an easy-to-understand Game Design 101 approach. Players walk through the function of a game block, learn how to use it when designing their game, and how to integrate it into game mechanics and strategies.

The simplicity of the game’s design combined with its immediate puzzle completion makes it accessible to a wide audience. National Geographic Puzzle Explorers are as young as 3, while the game is fun for all ages.  

National Geographic Puzzle Explorer can also be used to teach children how to learn. The science of brain building has provided evidence that mazes increase learning capacity. National Geographic Puzzle Explorer builds cognitive skills such as creativity, problem solving, planning, rapid prototyping, sequencing, strategy, memory, and logic. These basic cognitive skills are the foundations of computer science and a path toward learning to use technology as a toolset for connecting with the world around them.



National Geographic Puzzle Explorer makes it easy to design your own game. And while you’re designing your game, you travel the globe with National Geographic! Each new game location unlocks National Geographic photographs and facts, additional step-by-step instructions, and exciting new puzzle blocks to try!



Practice your game design skills!

Each location has a simple set of game piece building blocks and multimedia step-by-step instructions to teach you how to quickly and easily create complex and fun interactions.The more you practice, the more you’ll improve.



Build your own puzzles!

Players create puzzles in Build Mode limited only by their imagination and the blocks available. Simply drag and drop different combinations of blocks onto the board to build new puzzles!



Unlock new blocks and locations!

Rapid iteration is the key to successful design so jump into Play Mode to try your puzzles before sharing! If your puzzle cannot be completed, you can use some of the creative problem solving skills you’ve picked up along the way!



Share your amazing puzzles with your family and friends! Innovative, unique share feature uses deep links to share your puzzles across iOS and Android devices. Just complete a puzzle you made, click the “share” icon in the top right, and a deep link to your puzzle is automatically saved to your clipboard. Paste it into an SMS, an email, or on social media. Your friends can even play puzzles in locations that you’ve purchased but they have not yet purchased.


  • Easy to follow multimedia step-by-step puzzle game design instructions.

  • Multiple locations across the globe including Antarctica, Yucatan Peninsula, the Himalayas, Nile River Valley, and the Australian Outback! More locations are on the way!

  • Multiple unique game blocks can be mixed and matched to create thousands of puzzle designs!

  • Share your puzzles with friends!

  • Collect all 48 fascinating photo facts from National Geographic from five locations.

  • Available in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish!

  • FREE Instructors Tool Kit (for general population P-5 and special education instructions), Parents Tool Kit, and Game Design Instructors Tool Kit at

Kids ages 3+. Fun for all ages.



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Puzzle Explorer is available on the iOS App Store and Google Play.

Puzzle Explorer is an official National Geographic licensed product and is published by Fingerprint Play.