Using your higher order thinking skills, such as logical reasoning and hypothesising, to work out the solution abstractly is the most challenging way to solve the game and results in the highest score.
In this method, you use all the problem-solving skills at your disposal to work out the solution to the puzzle before entering it.
Once you get fairly good at performing a means-end analysis, you’ll probably find you start to learn to do it in your head. Holding all the information in your head, rather than clicking the buttons as you go along, is a much more challenging brain workout and is rewarded in the scoring system. In the early stages of the game where the puzzles are easy it’s quite straightforward to work out the answers abstractly.
As the puzzles become increasingly complex, it gets much harder to use abstract reasoning and most of us will resort to a means-end analysis or even trial-and-error behaviour, least for some part of the puzzle analysis.
One of the most practical ways to solve a Ravioli puzzle is by using a means-end analysis.
You’ll probably start to use a means-end analysis once your brain gets familiar with how the game works. This involves examining the differences between the current state (the pattern you’re making) and the goal state (the pattern you’re copying), in effect working out the puzzle as you go along.
Each time you add a stencil, the current pattern builds nearer to the goal pattern until the two patterns match and your goal is achieved. This process requires continual internal feedback. You can work forwards and backwards until the problem is solved.
Ravioli’s gameplay facilitates means-end analysis as a problem-solving strategy.
In the beginning you start by clicking and seeing what happens. You get loads of wrong answers and it doesn’t seem to make sense.
You use trial-and-error behaviour to try to make sense of what you’re seeing and eventually you ‘get it’. Once your brain makes sense of what it’s being asked to do, you ditch the trial-and-error behaviour in favour of a more sophisticated problem-solving strategy.
In fact, a systematic trial-and-error search is a very effective way to find the answers to the puzzles if you’re writing a computer program to solve the puzzles. There are millions of permutations that can be created from each stencil set for each puzzle, but a computer can generate these permutations and identify matches in seconds. A computer can complete the game in seconds, achieving 100% time bonuses but 0% accuracy bonuses, using a systematic trial-and-error strategy.