Thursday, 8 June 2017

Slide packing

This puzzle was awarded a prize at IPP competition in last summer (2016) and it seems many people like it.
At a first glance you can wonder why it received a prize as it looks a pretty "basic puzzle". Well, it's not!

Ok, so nice presentation (like usually with Japanese products) and easy-to-understand goal: just put the wooden pieces in the box and close it.

You're provided with 3 identical pieces and a weird one. Putting the identical pieces in the box and closing it is super easy. Putting all the pieces is far from being easy. Yes, this is a packing puzzle, but in my humble opinion, one of the most original packing puzzles out there. It's not only about putting pieces in a box, it has something more, which gives this puzzle all its originality and that may be the reason why it was also awarded!

About the crafting: this is super well crafted, the box is wonderful, no friction between pieces. A very very good job! And the wood is very nice too.

What about the solving process? This is very pleasant and force you to think. With packing puzzle, honestly you just put pieces here and there. You cannot really think. Here you can. While it will not take you hours and hours to solve it, I think the difficulty is nice: not too low, not too hard, so that you will not be reluctuant to solve it many times. Did I tell you that closing the box is also very pleasant: smooth? Now you know :-)
I swear that all the 4 pieces are inside the box. Puzzle solved!!

To conclude, definitely a nice puzzle you really should own. And the Japanese post is the best in the world! I received my package in less than one week! Just amazing!!!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Revomaze V1 aqua

Easiest one of the revo series, but one of the latest revo to be released, this one offers a nice introduction to the revomaze world.

Many people ask with which revo they should start their journey,, and honestly I can only recommand to start with the easiest. Because it will give you the basics and you will learn how to map the mazes and traps. And then your second challenge is also to be as fast as possible!

Nice color!

What about the maze itself? This is a static maze (meaning no small parts move inside) and the maze is pretty straight forward. Several walls will prevent a beginner to fall. But of course you will fall many times before drawing a proper map of the maze.

There is no tricks nor dexterity involved. "Just" a maze.

I know that many puzzle who experiences harder mazes but find this one easy, but well I am sure that a revo collector will stil buy it to play and collect it. And a beginner will have a nice one to start as well. I think it's suitable for everybody then.

It did not take me long time to solve as you can imagine. I bought a revo mapper that a guy on the revo forum made with 3D printers and I must admit this worked perfectly. Many people have difficulties to map or don't know how to construct a tool to map the revo. 2 guys (and surprisingly, not the most seasoned! why did the most experienced guy did not do anything??!!) made revo mapper. You can have a look on the revo forum and contact them. The design is different, you can buy both to see which one you prefer. I really advise these mappers.

New revo should be released soon. Stay tunned!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The captive coin

Why captive? Just because you have to free it!

As you can notice, if you're a bit aware of this kind of material, this puzzle is made out of corian, which is not a natural material. It looks like stone.

The goal is easy, how to achieve it is a bit more complicated, especially because you cannot really see the mechanism. However, you can still have an idea of it.

What can you hear? Thing(s) ratling inside.
What can you do? You can depress the lid!

Now you understand that you need to depress it enough so that the coin reaches the same "level" as the hole to free it.

If you have ever played with this puzzle, I am sure you have managed to solve it several times, but not always on the first attempts. The hidden mechanism (simple, if I am right) is the roots of that.

A unique design, crafted by Frank Chambers, this puzzle is also pretty scarce.
The difficulty is not high but solving it is pleasant, and remember that usually with Frank Chambers' puzzles, don't expect to spend hours and hours on a single puzzle.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A-mazing drawer

As the name suggests this puzzle is amazing and is...a maze with a drawer to open!

Designed and crafted by Simon Nightingale, this unconventional maze is not for the faint of heart, this is a very difficult puzzle!!

The goal is to open the drawer, the puzzle is solved when you've done that, you cannot remove completely the drawer and thus, you cannot see the mechanism, unfortunately...

Immediately after handling it, you will hear something ratling inside, like a marble, and you will assume (and you sould be right to do so) that you will have to carry the marble to a certain place where, by pushing the drawer, it should be released.

The biggest difficulty is that you have no idea of the design of the maze, nor really where you are, especially because the puzzle has some tricks (no banging by the way) that I cannot tell without spoiling. I manage ot solve it....without really understanding the puzzle and I fear you cannot really understand it without seeing the mechanism. Hence, in my opinion, this is not an easy puzzle to repeat.

Amazing by its difficulty and mechanism, I think this puzzle is a nice addition to your collection provided that you're ready to be frustrated :-)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Exchange bottle

Exchanged by Wil Strijbos, this puzzle have some uncommon features.

First, it differs from Wil's usual bottle that are in glass. Secondly this one has 2 goals. And finally, guess what? The bottle is normally used for pee tests....!!

OK so one goal is to free the ball. The second goal is to put the metal ring that is inside same as in the right picture. Indeed at the beginning does not "cover" the shackle of the lock but only goes through.
The bottom of the bottle has a hole and maybe this can be useful. Ah...and I forgot to mention, don't even try to open the bottle: this has been glued!! What did you expect??
Like another of Wil's bottles, the keys are outside. Surely they will be useful in some ways.

So despite its original look and its "must-have" value for a collector, what about the solving process?
Tying to not spoil, I would say that this is a dificult puzzle. Of course, you have to get clever ideas in the right moments, but even if you have these ideas, the puzzles requires dexterity, I would even say a pretty hard dexterity, especially for one goal.
And you have also to pay attention to not use brute force and be careful to avoid damaging the plexi. This is not a strong plexi, so be careful. Not to put in every hands...

What do I think about this puzzle? I like it a lot...but I would have liked even more with less dexterity (and why not more steps) and in a thicker bottle.
In Wil's flickr you can see some other bottles. A strange one has even a lot of things inside...would be worth the case to make some more! :-)

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Twisty & magnetic puzzle

I recently received 2 puzzles: a magnetic puzzle and a twisty cube 3x3.

About the magnetic puzzle, it comes from CubeZZ
The puzzle comes in a small rounded box and sealed. It is composed of many magnetic balls, the goal is to make a cube, but of course you can experiment making any kind of shapes.
The color is bright and attractive. The good point with this magnetic puzzle is that it's suitable for anybody including children as the magnetic force is not too strong, so that it's not possible that the balls pinch your fingers.
I am still trying to figure out how to make a cube, if anybody knows please let me know :-)

The second puzzle is a twisty cube coming from SpeedCubeShop.
It's a Gan air 356 that you can see here:

I have already reviewed a cube in the same series. This one is as good as the previous one: very smooth, easy to make corner-cutting, very enjoyable!
The difference is that here you're provided with a tensioning plastic tool, and for my previous review there was a metal tensioning tool with additional nuts.
But unless you're a super top level of high speed cubing, you won't touch to the screws of the cube. But maybe you still want to experiment different smoothness.
A very good cube again!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Haleslock #2

Why #2? Why obviously because another one was released before :)

I already published a review of the haleslock#1 here, so time to speak quickly about this one.

Shane Hales, designer and crafter of this haleslock series learnt about his mistakes and released more of this lock. Guess what: it was sold out super fast, and maybe even faster than what he thought.

What are the differences and common points between this puzzle and the other one.
First, both are not crafted from scratch but are modified locks that can be bought in the market.
Then, both require several steps to open even if this one require fewer steps though.
Both are very niceley designed and are quality locks that a serious metal collector and/or serious trick locks collector should have in his collection.

 Like the previous lock in the series, the keys (here 2 and not only one as for haleslock #1) are attached to the lock. However here the keys can be used directly inside the lock because the chain is long enough, which was not the case for the preceding lock.

In my opinion, this trick lock is closer to a trick lock (ie: more a trick than a sequence of moves to solve) than to a real sequencial discovery trick lock.
Indeed it does not have a lock of steps. The hardest being the first one and after that it's pretty straight forward. If you have ever played with haleslock #1 you will notice that the difficulty is less high. The price also is less high.

I wish the puzzle was a bit more difficult but I like the effort put in this lock and I think Shane Hales is definitely a genius. I hope some more in the series are in the mind of Shane.
If you have a look at his website, several puzzles include locks or keys, like his imitation locks and the puzzle called "turn the plug" which I hope he could craft some more.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Time to fold....astonishing foldings!!!

Below you will find some foldings I folded recently. Only one sheet of paper. No glue, no scotch tape used!
For some I put the 2 sides and when the folding is backlit. For other (like 3D foldings), as they are not suitable to be backlit, I put only 2 pictures. They are super time-consuming, but the result is worth the effort I feel :-)

Hope you will enjoy them. And as usual they can be sold!




Thursday, 6 April 2017

Haleslock #1

A newscommer (well, not really new now!) in the beautiful world of puzzles came, and guess what: he crafts very nice puzzles!
His name: Shane Hales!

His puzzles are pretty rare because made in very small quantities, so don't expect to play with one! Just enjoy the nice looks, and that's it. Yes, I know it's frustrating and I am definitely the first person to be furstrated to see that I won't be able to own his beautiful wooden puzzles.

Pretty recently (some months ago) he released some sequencial discovery trick locks. Being good with locks, offering services related to protection and lock, he naturally made lock puzzles. Logical way :-)

If you see some comments on blogs about his puzzles, you notice that the guy does not show off and modestly says that he produces puzzles that are far from being perfect and won't be able to achieve as good quality as compared to other craftmen. Come one! This is false, totally false. Even if I cannot judge about his wooden puzzles, in my mind the Haleslock #1 is a very nice first steps into trick lock puzzles. Sure, this is not a popplock, but who cares?!

So what about the lock itself? This is a modified lock obviously with a stange thing on a side under Shanes' signature and a key attached with kind of a key ring.
Sure, the key will be useful, but how to free it? This will be the first step of your journey. I am sure, for those who played with this puzzle, they may have had some difficulties with this steps. But you will definitely smile with an "ah-ha" moment when you solve this first part of the puzzle.
Then you will have to perform several steps to solve the lock.

Solving the puzzle was not super hard but very pleasant and I can say that this is a nice lock for anyone who likes this kind of puzzles. In my mind Shane did a very great job and the feeling about this lock is shared among the puzzlers: a nice lock to have, to play with or both!

The puzzle had a lot of success and demand was way higher than offer. Hence, Shane, for his other lock design, chose to make more puzzles.....but again demand was higher than offer. I will talk a bit about his other lock in another post later.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Twisties, again?

A quick review about 2 new twisties: a pyramix by DaYan and a 2x2 rubik's by MoYu.

I find the it's nice to have a 2x2 cube this one is a good one: it turns smoothly and you can even use corner cutting, but I don't think this will be really useful though.
I am still trying to look for a good and easy to understand method to solve it. Not sure if there is a method to make the first step which is to make a side of one color (usually white). I did it randomly and must admit that it took me a bit of time.

Then is a stickerless pyramid. I have not yet tried to solve it, but I can say that it turns again smoothly and the pieces don't pop-up

I will need to scramble it and solve it now!

All what I can say is that the quality is very good to satisfy you and make your solving process a joy rather than a pain! ;-)

These twisties come from this online shop. They have plenty of choices!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Euro falle 05

5th puzzle in the series designed by Jurgen Reiche and produced by Siebenstein-Spiele, this one maybe be the easiest one  and the smallest one as well!

The goal is to free the coin that is trapped by the plexi, the coin on the backside is glued, so don't try to free it!

The precision is very good as it was cut by laser cutters, and the funny thing with laser cutters is that it's still smell burnt wood even after some time! Overall a nice looking puzzle.

About the difficulty, while a completely new puzzle may have some troubles, I do think that everybody will solve this puzzle very fast (maybe too fast in my mind). I wish it was a bit more difficult. Maybe it was to balance with the previous ones? I cannot comment because I have never played with them, so maybe they were very hard and this time the designer wanted to make something a bit easier? Just assumptions.

Anyway, I am sure you don't like not having all the puzzles in the same series, right?
This puzzle was bought at Brilliant puzzles webshop. They have great choice of puzzle, have a look!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Amazing cubes

Here is a new kind of puzzles I saw in the market: you have a wooden cube with 2 holes, you have something like a metal key, and the goal is just to put the metal key inside the cube and to free it after.

As you see the "holes" are designed in such a way that you cannot just put the key and that's it. You have to fist find the good hole, then put the first part of the key in the right position and then make some moves with the key to put it completely inside.

It did not take long time before solving each cube, so I would not say that it's as challenging as they  mention (they are rated as 4/5) but they are pleasant to solve.

I do think this is a very great idea, it's like a one piece packing puzzle. I wish some more puzzles like these can be designed.

These puzzles are from this webshop, they have several interesting puzzles. Have a look!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Gan 356 air

A new quick review of a twisty puzzle: the Gan 356 air.

The Gan series is among the best twisties you can have in terms of quality: this is very suitable for speed cubing because the moves are smooths, the corners don't pop-up and corner cutting is very easy to apply.

The first thing you notice is that the stickers are not all squares, some are a bit rounded and the central sticker is even a round. In my mind, this is a cool design because it changes from the basic square you see too often.

The colors are bright and the stickers see to be a nice quality, let's see with time how it's going. ON the white side of the cube is the brandname of the cube, I do think they put the logo on this side as this is usually the side to be completed first and that you look at first :-)

The cube comes along a took and some extra pieces. You just need to open the central piece of the cube, unscrew with the tool. Each plastic piece make your cube smoother, or with more steadiness. It depends the way you like to play with your cube. A good balance should be chosen, but you can experiment. You are also provided with a paper sheet explaining how to solve the cube and how to change the GES (the small plastic things).

About playability, honestly this is super good. This is super quality and the price is not that expensive. If you're looking for a stickered cube, this is the one you should consider buying.

Mine is from this shop that I strongly advise. They have many quality products.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Origami: time to put them into frames!!!

Some pictures of "new" creations below. And as usual if you're interested to buy, PM me!

I folded this tessellation in 4 colors some time ago and bought recently a big red sheet to put it as a background color. I also bought a nice black frame with glass (this is not plexi). I can be hanged.
I feel that the contrast of colors is very nice.

At the beginning I had a red sheet of 35cm x 35 cm side but I did not find any frame of that size. So I needed to buy a bigger sheet and cut it. Hence, this is also not the same red color.

Maybe I will also buy a frame for the below folding. This will be a big bigger (but a rectangle and not a square):

I will try to fold other kind of "flat origami" soon, that can be put in frames.

Last is an old folding, but I bought a nice plexi display stand for it. First it makes it even more beautiful. Then it's design. Finally it protects well the folding, maintain it perfectly and you can put a light source under to see the patterns of the folding.

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