Friday, 3 September 2021

Quick news regarding puzzle makers

 Quick news regarding some famous puzzle makers, that will impact the price of their puzzles


Trevor Wood is dead some time ago

He is famous for crafting exquisite wooden puzzles with quality wood species and accurate precision.




Rocky Chiaro won't be making anymore (nor selling) puzzles

His website is shut down

He is famous for his brass trick bolts. All are well made and pretty tricky. 

Even if trick bolts are usually not difficult, his are the most difficult ones


Stephen Chin won't be making anymore puzzles

He is famous for his handmade wooden puzzles made in small batch. They usually have a twist in them. 


Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Solitaire chess

Solitaire chess is a very interesting concept: it gathers the goal of the solitaire game and adds the chess rules.


As for the solitaire; the goal is to have only one piece left at the end.

As for the chess rules: well you have the pawn, knight, tower, king, queen and fool. The pieces move in the same way as the chess game. Some exceptions: "check" does not exist, so the king can be close to the queen. The pawn does not convert in any piece if they reach an edge of the tray. And last rule: each time you move a pice you have to eat another piece. So you cannot move a piece without eating.

Of course if you end with more than one piece in the tray you did not perform well the steps :)



I love chess game so I can only like this game !

There are 60 challenges from easy to very difficult. I have almost finished all the challenges, but for the moment I am a bit stucked. So expect to spend hours and hours with Solitaire Chess :)


The solutions step-by-step are not included, but there are tips like: which piece has to move first, which piece has to be eaten first and which piece should be the remaining piece on the tray.


I truly recommend Solitaire Chess, you won't (and cannot) be disappointed.


You can buy it from Puzzle Master webshop !!


Monday, 30 August 2021

C & U

Sounds like a hidden message? Well not at all, just the shortname of a pretty big metal puzzle designed by the genius Jean-Claude Constantin, a French guy who is living in Germany.

From the shape of the pieces, you can now understand the name of the puzzle, right?

So the goal is easy, just separate the 2 pieces. The solving process is a bit harder than what it looks at a first glance ! The quality is perfect as usually with JCC puzzles. You cannot go wrong with his metal puzzles !


I was playing a bit for some time and it solved by itself (not completely but still). It is harder to reassemble than to solve because you usually get lost with these kind of puzzles.

Basically you need to use a little bit of force, those who solved it know what I am taling about. I think this is normal, you won't beak the puzzle !!

In my opinion, this is a nice puzzles among the disentanglement puzzle. It's not super super easy, but it's far from being hard. You can easily let your friends play with it and enjoy how they struggle to reassemble (one of my friends solved it but could not reassemble it...).


For the metal lovers and for the JCC puzzle collectors, this is a must-have in your collection !


You can find the puzzle on Puzzle Master webshop

And you can also find there the solution !


Friday, 20 August 2021

N-5

Not sure why this name, but I am sure this is a puzzle !!

Made in wood and designed directly from the devilish head of Jean-Claude Constantin, this nice little puzzle should puzzle you :)

The goal of N-5 is to free a small beall bearing and to be able to do so, you need to move the 4 sliders so that at the end the 2 holes match.

Of course, when you maneuver a slider sometimes it's restricted to few moves, sometimes it just does not move because of the position of other sliders. So you need to plan how to move other sliders before moving one slider.

It did not take me that long to solve, and it should not take you so long before solving it I am sure. It's just a question of analysis. So this puzzle is approcheable by non seasoned puzzlers as well and it's like a nice starter to introduce puzzles to your friends and family.

I do advise it if you like nice looking puzzles and wood puzzles, and of course if you like JCC puzzles in general. 

If you're only into super hard puzzles, this may not be your cup of tea then... :)


You can buy the puzzles at Puzzle Master webshop.

And find there the solution as well !

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Screw burr puzzle

I must admit I am not a fan of burr puzzle, but some puzzles that are called "burr" are not really burr, and this puzzle is the perfect example of a non-burr puzzle :)


Let me introduce you the screw burr puzzle designed by the famous Oskar van Deventer !!!!!


The puzzle is composed of 6 sticks to disassemble (easy) and reassemble (less easy) made out of 3D printers. Trust me: the quality is very good and does not look fragile at all. The colors are also bright, so they won't fade soon!

There is something special with this puzzle: the shape of the pieces. Unlike many puzzles of this kind, this one cannot fall apart because you need to unscrew the first piece to disassemble the others pieces (and some other need to be unscrewed and not just simply pushed/pulled).

So you won't disassemble it if you don't want to disassemble it :-)

I find very enjoyable the solved process with unscrewing pieces, it's something unusual and relaxing in a way. Reassembling the puzzle is not something super complicated if you remember which pieces go where. So for a bigger challenge, disassemble it and come back a bit later to reassemble the puzzle.

In my opinion, this is a very nice puzzle to display and for sure it will attract the attention of your visitors!! 


For the solution you can see the video here. Ok it does not show step-by-step, but just pause the video and try to follow :)


 

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Doug Factory fund raising campaign - The Donjon is coming !!!

You know that I love the puzzles from Doug Factory, the French company which designs many puzzle mazes, all 100% made in France, rare enough to be mentioned!

They designed many puzzles, like the novice cube series, the legend series, the phantom series and the new campaign's goal is to raise funds for the Donjon puzzle.


  

Doug Factory also designed CARAPACES, which is a DIY kit to make some geometrical shapes. A mix between puzzles and origami

 

 

So the this new project sounds really exciting because it uses the same maze principle, but with some new features like the way to free the marble in an easier way!

Do you think a dragon is hidden inside??? Only if you believe in dragons ;)

100 % IN * FOR REAL! Bioplastic


If you want to participate in this fund raising campaign, just click HERE


You support will help them a lot, and I am sure that you like their products.

In case you're new, I advise to buy the easiest cubes first to get used to how to read the maze maps and so on. And then trackle biggest challenges! Don't burn steps! :)


Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Some nice wooden puzzles

I recently discovered a French webshop selling wooden puzzles called Jeux Efcé.


They are selling a lot of puzzles, like mazes or packing puzzles made out of medium. I have choosen 2 puzzles to review.


First one is called Porte-Bille which goal is to make the small ball fit inside the 2 wooden parts assembled. It's supposed to be an easy puzzle, but trust me it took me more time than expected. I tried and tried so many times but I could not figure out how to solve it (my friends either).

For me it just looked impossible to solve !!

I still did have an idea about how to solve it but I was not sure if it was the intended way. Luckily it was. It can be solved super quickly once you know the solution. But let your friends play with it, and I am sure you will laugh for a long time.

In my opinion, this is a nice conversation item!













The second puzzle is called Tout ça pour 10 centimes, which translates as "all of that for only 10 cents".

This is sequential movement puzzle and the goal is to move the 10 cents coin to its "hole" in the right corner at the bottom of the tray. 



The nice thing with this puzzle is that the tray indicates where the pieces must be at the starting position. 

As of now, I have not yet managed to solve the puzzle. Let me tell you that this puzzle is considered as their most difficult puzzles, and I can testify it's hard. No matter how I move the pieces (and I tried many different posibilities), I still end up with the same result: puzzle not solved !

I am even wondering if there are rotations to make (I am pretty sure not, but who knows). 

I don't know the number of moves required, but I think it must be a high number. Once I have the infomation, I will update this post.


update: no rotations involved. But a lot of moves !!


The guys who crafted these nice puzzles made many other and I think it's worth checking!

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Don't be jealous if you're not a smart puzzle solver :)

 Hi all, hope you're enjoying the current nice weather that seems to occur all around the world :)


I have just seen a review of the famous youtuber Chris Ramsay solving a packing puzzle by Bozo:



Don't look at it if you don't want to get the solution!!!

Some people seems smarter than other, clearly I struggled way more!


To remind you Bozo still have them to sell through his website. And I do encourage you to buy them as they are super clever (and very challenging !!) puzzles.


To buy the 8cat puzzle with a reduction in price, click HERE


Have a nice day :)


Friday, 12 March 2021

NKD fund raising campaign: Architecto puzzle box is coming !!!!!

Dear puzzle friends, I wanted to let you know about new fund raising campaign by NKD puzzle company!

And this time, it's on kickstarter to attract of broader audience !!


The previous time the goal was to make the Mecanigma Kit available for everyone and this time it's about Architecto puzzle box, their most challenging box so far, it really looks amazing!!


Some pictures below:






Look at the wondeful details ! It looks promising !! Full of mechanisms and gears, you cannot ask for more. Sounds they planned the perfect puzzle box ever ???


And what a wonderful box that protects the puzzle. I wonder the goal of the compass and the paper....humm I am sure it must be useful at some point. 

Maybe it can give clues on how to solve Architecto? Honestly I have no idea at all, just a quick guess...


You want to be part of this amazing campaign? Then don't wait and bid HERE !!


Friday, 18 December 2020

Quick teaser: C-Maze puzzle

 Quick teaser to announce you a new puzzle that should be released soon: the C-maze


Currently it's on a fundraising campaign, see HERE

 


 From my point of view, it looks a super interesting puzzle for several reasons:

-> it can be carried with you as it's not a super big puzzle

-> it looks challenging

-> you can change the pannels and create more and more difficult mazes, for hours and hours of fun !


Bid on the campaign to get your puzzle before everyone else !! :)


And there is also a website, see HERE

It still needs improvements, but should be up and runing soon.


Enjoy the rest of the year and stay safe !!



Thursday, 10 December 2020

My top 10 puzzles for 2020

2020 has been a bad year for many reasons but luckily the designers are still very mean for the puzzlers' mind and thus several nice puzzles have been released.

Of course I will only speak about puzzles that I have or have played with.

So I may disregard some very great puzzles, sorry !


It's always difficult to rank puzzles, so I will just put randomly the puzzles among my list.

The link of my reviews will be written as well as where to find the puzzles if these informations are available/ applicable.


I am aware that 2020 is not yet finished, but I do think that if you want to get yourself a nice present for X-mas or want something before the end of the year, then it's time to choose and that would be a pitty that I tell you at the very end of the year.

 

1/ Snow Block by Philip Black

The best 3D-printed puzzle so far and above all one of the best sequencial discovery puzzles!

1kg that will challenge you!

Definitely a must-have in any serious collection. 

My review of the puzzle: HERE

Availability: still available: HERE



 2/ Her Key To The Treasure Lock by Sashko

A very great lock with several steps and several solutions for a final goal: open the lock!

Sashko designed and crafted another brilliant lock: Titan lock. 

Don't miss any of these 2 great locks!

My review of the puzzle: HERE

Availability: still available: HERE

 



 

3/ Ugly4 by Bozo

A very challenging packing puzzle with a twist designed and crafted by Bozo.

My review of the puzzle: HERE

Availability: still available (don't forget to use the coupon code written in my review): HERE


 

 

 4/ Popplock T12 by Rainer Popp

A masterpiece by the famous lock designer: Rainer Popp. A heavy puzzle and a challenging one as well!

Availability: sold out

Not yet reviewed




5/ Packing 4P by MINE

A super clever packing puzzle with 2 challenges (one in both side of the puzzle). In both you have to put the 4 "P" pieces inside the frame.

Availability: I don't know

Not yet reviewed



6/ Legal Packing by MINE

Another brilliant packing puzzle. Very challenging! With a lot of satisfaying moves.

Availability: I don't know

Not yet reviewed




7/ Free Me 8 by Joseph Turner

A nice addition to the Free Me series, and this time this is a big box, with of course a coin (well 2 coins actually) to free. And many moves before during your puzzle journey.

Availability: sold out

Not yet reviewed




8/ Cast Love by Hanayama

A level 1/6 puzzle which is very beautiful and took me more time than expected. Among my favourite level 1 cast puzzle!

Availability: still available on puzzle webshops or games stores

My review of the puzzle: HERE

9/ 8cat by Bozo

Another brilliant puzzle from Bozo, but this one has more than only one challenge!

Availability: still available (don't forget to use the coupon code written in my post): HERE

Not yet reviewed, but quick post about it: HERE





10/ Puzzle boxes by Transylvany Art

Very beautiful puzzle boxes with several moves handmade in Europe. Several moves to open the box. Definitely a nice puzzle to have or to offer. A small compartment inside to put small things

My review: HERE

Availability: still available: HERE

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Quick teaser: 8cat

Bozo has come up with a new design !!

 

Bozo's new design is called 8cat: you have to put the 16 pieces inside the frame

You can buy the puzzle: HERE

And don't forget to use my coupon code for this puzzle to get a price reduction: 5DXM55NF5M9A 



I need to solve it first, but I can tell you that it will hold a devilish secret like the ugly4 jigsaw.

So if you like the previous one, then I am sure you will like this one as well !

 

Just as a reminder, Bozo still have ugly4 jigsaw to sell: HERE


See my review of it: HERE

The puzzle is still available and you can still use my coupon code to get a 10% discount: RPW7ZMDYF6XZ



Just for you to know how to use the coupon code: when you put the puzzle in your cart you then need to click on "check out" and then on the next page you can enter the discount coupon to get the reduction !


Thursday, 12 November 2020

To prepare yourself for winter, you can play with a snow block !

A new puzzle designer emerged and guess what he will puzzle you for some time!

His name: Philip Black

He designs and make 3D printed puzzles. But wait, these are not basic puzzles, these are sequencial discovery puzzles and are very cleverly made.

For this review I will speak about his Snow Block puzzle, which is a massive 915g of 3D printed elements, with a size of  175mm x 155mm x 75mm.

So yes it's a massive puzzle. Don't drop it on your feet!

 

Before seeing the puzzle you will have a look at a paper, in which some steps are written. And no, this is not the solution, but the steps to perform before playing with the puzzle in case things moved during the delivery, which is likely to happen. And then you can start playing with the puzzle.

 

At a first sight, the puzzles is well made, there are the letters "S" and "B", with also a play on words with "now lock". There is a "cross" hole, intriguing!


....and some arrow on some sides of the puzzle.... what I may be useful for? I know but I keep that for myself :)



As I mentioned to you, this is a SD puzzle, with many tools (and pretty weird ones!) that you will have to find and to use in a proper way.

No force is needed of any kind (so spining is not required nor useful) and no banging. This would damage the puzzle and won't be useful to solve the puzzle. You have to follow Philip's rules: no force and keep the puzzle flat on the table with the SB letter in front of you.

Personally I don't like to have to bang to solve a puzzle and so Philip's rules are perfectly fine for me :)

The puzzle is not straight forward and personally I did not find the tools in the proper order (as I should have), so at some point I was blocked and wonder what to do to make some progress. Trust me, there are several "ha-ah" moments in this puzzle journey !! The tools are used in a very clever way, no doubt the designer is a genius :)

And the puzzle makes sounds (no electronics inside though). Despite you cannot see the internals of the puzzle, you can still imagine a bit and find your way to make progress. And it's a rewarding puzzle: you get tools and you can see where they could be useful (that does not give you clues on how to precisely use them though).

I remained blocked for some time, then found a "tool" which teased me. I cannot reveal, because this was fun (for me) and telling you too much would spoil the fun as well. But it did not teased me for long and I finally solve the puzzle with a nice reward: a snowflake.


I love the puzzle. For me it embodies the perfect SD puzzle: good quality, tools and nice sequences of moves. The design is wonderful, Philip did a very very good job with this first puzzle.

Trust me, you won't be disappointed. I can only encourage you to buy it while it's possible (it's a limited edition puzzle) and trust me one more time, this will be on your top favourite puzzles in your collection.

That would be nice to have it made with metal, but I assume the price would be way too high and it would be super heavy, so I am very pleased with the current material used. It's not a fragile puzzle as long as you're not a brute (shall you be one, then you won't be a puzzle collector/player hahaha).

 

The conclusion in one word: Brilliant !


You can buy the puzzle on Philip's website: HERE

 

 

Friday, 30 October 2020

Spread the love with a cast puzzle !!

 Well...you can also spread love without puzzles :-)

As you may (or not) have understood from the title, this post will be about a Hanayama cast puzzle, a new one called Cast Love.


It's been designed by Scott Elliott, famous for several cast puzzles using nice sequences of moves.


This cast puzzle is a level 1, which is super easy on the Hanayama's difficulty scale. But don't get fooled by the rating: this is a more challenging puzzle than you may expect.

I now tend to be careful before judging a difficulty and I don't usually trust Hanayama's rating and I was sure that it would take me more than few seconds to solve it. Actually it took me way more than expected (not days however, and luckily for me !).


The quality is nice, the display as well: I really like that the 2 halves of the heart are disassembled. Personally, selling the puzzle assembled would ruin the puzzling fun !!


From the image of the packaging of the puzzle, you know how the puzzle should look like when it's solved. But that does not help much...

I am sure you will fiddle a bit trying again and again to solve the puzzle when suddently with a move you did not want to make intentionnaly you will finally solve the puzzle...unintentionnaly :)

The solving is very pleasant and normally you should remember quite well to solve the puzzle again and again (for the fun: with cast loop, I could not solve the puzzle immediately after solving it several times....I am bad I know lol)

I highly recommend the puzzle if you're a metal puzzle collector and if you like the cast puzzle series. It's a nice puzzle, great quality and a nice little challenge as well.

Maybe one of my favourite level 1 cast puzzles ! Honestly (yes, yes!) :)

Hurry up to buy it :)

 

Solution here!

 





Friday, 2 October 2020

A new devilish packing puzzle: finally solved !!!

 Some time ago I told you about a packing puzzle designed and made by Bozo.


See here: CLICK


And finally I solved it !!!!!!!


I won't show you the solved state as it would completely spoil you, but I can tell that the puzzle is very difficult. No doubt why the designer rates it with a 10/10, and I completely agree with that.

You will soon realize that it has some common points with the Yuu's packing puzzles, but I would even say that this one is more difficult. One of the reasons why is that some pieces can go with many pieces.

So you don't have only one piece that matches with only another one piece. This is not spoiling because you will clearly see that soon.


Ok so after some puzzling time I came to the picture below.

There were 4 ugly pices left (hence the name of the puzzle)


How the hell could they fit inside the tray ??!! 3 pieces could fit together and the remaing one...could not fit.

I really throught there were some mistakes in the crafting of the puzzle. Normally when you solve the puzzle (and see: each piece fit well in the tray, no harm was made to the pieces haha) you should not have this configuration at the end...

After some time spent on that weird situation I decide to contact the designer. Of course he laughed at my nose saying that many people spent hours and hours on that situation and he even explained that no trickery was involved. Fine, fine... then why it's not solved ??????

I suggest you to not look too carefully at my picture and get the same situation as me. I don't want to be the only one who was blocked for hours on it hahah :-)


Having confirmation from the designer that the puzzle is "solvable" (well...I am saved !) I decided to have another (well other tried is better) try at the puzzle. In fact I did not solve it in one go and it took me several attempts. The main reason why is because pieces can go with many pieces as I said before.

Guess what! I even got pressure from the designer to solve the puzzle!!! Sorry I am not a machine lol. 

But after several days I finally solved it !!!!

To be honest: until the almost end of my puzzling journey I thought I did not put the pieces correctly because it seemed that I could not put my remaining pieces....

My "ah-ha" moment came at the very end. And at that moment I really thought that the designer is a mean creature. This is not nice to design such a puzzle !!!!

 The very interesting point of the puzzle, which makes it unique, is that you can think you solved the puzzle until you got 4 pieces left which don't seem to fit inside the tray (or do they? will they?) and then you have to think again to come to the real solution, contrary to a "regular" jigsaw puzzle where normally when 2 pieces fit together you're on the right way. Here, not at all :-)

A maybe little bit too difficult (for my mind actually), but a fun puzzle that will challenge you to your limits. And I still like to get some challenges!

Definitely a nice addition to the special packing puzzle to own in your collection.


You can still buy the puzzle: HERE

  

Use a code to get 10% discount !!!   : RPW7ZMDYF6XZ

 

 

Thursday, 17 September 2020

A new devilish packing puzzle

You all know the famous packing puzzles by Yuu Asaka and why there are famous?

You all love them like me, right?


Then let me quickly introduce you with another packing puzzle made by Bozo (ok shortname of the designer but he seems that he liked to be called like that haha)



So far I have not solved the puzzle but I wanted to share a good news with you:

The puzzle can be bought here:

https://jigsawholic.com/products/jigsaw-ugly4


Use a code to get 10% discount !!!   : RPW7ZMDYF6XZ


Quick words about the puzzle:

-> very well made, with precise cut

-> I like the plexi used: it does not show your fingerprints on the pieces !

-> super difficult!!!

-> definitely a puzzle to buy !

You will see why the puzzle is special when you have 4 pieces left....I want to see your face at that point....You would not have wanted to see mine...

 

 

I need to think more! :)


Monday, 13 July 2020

Her Key To The Treasure

A new lock by the genius Sashko, designer and maker of the Titan Lock.


This time, it's still a lock to open and a new story:

Recently Titan found his previous treasure, but unfortunately his wife is still unable to find the key to her treasure. The last thing she remembers is that she put the key in her purse


So basically you have to open her purse, which is actually the lock :)



Same as before: no force, be gentle and everything should all be ok.

The lock is a bit bigger than the previous puzzle lock and has a nice shape. It's also a sequencial discovery puzzle that will puzzling you!

Ok so what do you have? Only a key? Ok so the key, something you can insert it, fully or not, sometimes not....What's going on??
Turning does not do anything...


I had a good idea (which appears latter that it's part of the solution, but still there are several official solution to open, some are nicer than others), but I did not know it was a great idea hahaha....I just try things. When you're blocked and puzzled, that is just the only thing you can do !


After a bit of time I opened the lock and found the key to her treasure ! A nice little key...hope Titan won't break it :)

What I like with this lock is the nice story, the lock and the solution for sure and also the nice display. It has to be mentioned because this is so rare to have a diplay for puzzle. This one is a 3D printed stand that you have to assemble (only 2 parts).

I also like the original shape of the lock and of the parts like the shape of the keys and tools.

It did not take me as long as the Titan Lock to open this one, it was less painful for my mind and fingers haha.

To be truly honest I prefer the Titan puzzle but don't get me wrong you always have a favourite puzzle among your favourite ones, that does not make the others bad. And I don't consider my personal tastes as a universal truth :)

So, do I advise this lock? Definitely !!!
Buy one while Sashko still makes them and don't forget to add the Titan Lock as well, you do need both, after all they belong to the same story.


To buy the lock, you can go to the Etsy page of the designer HERE




Saturday, 16 May 2020

Cast rotor

Up for the review is a toughie! A level-6 cast puzzle from hanayama called "the cast rotor".

It consists of 2 "rotors" that dance around each other during the solution process. Both rotor have a notch in the center on both side and have 3 holes. You will have to manipulate the rotors many times to solve the puzzle. Actually the solution indicates that it requires around 30 steps to solve....scary! ....but you're more prone to make way more moves (I am sure I did more than 100 haha).

Basically you have several possible moves: you can use the notch, you can rotate the rotors close to each other and in each other.


Honestly you cannot really solve the puzzle by thinking, you will solve the puzzles at some point.
In fact you cannot predict more than 30 moves. Then, you will proably get confused and do some moves and then few moves later be back to your starting point. This is why this is definitely a level 6!!

The words "rotor" written on both rotor will help you either to solve the puzzle using the solution or reassemble the puzzle with the solution (sorry, but yes I did reassemble the puzzle with the solution and I am not ashamed at all ! I want a proper starting point if I want to solve again the puzzle! and I really advise you to use the solution to reassemble the puzzle).

This is a cleverly designed puzzle but also nicely crafted as it requires precise tolerances. No force need. If it does not go through a notch, you should not force it. Be gentle !!

After spending hours and hours rotating the...rotors, I finally found an unsuspected move (that is needed to solve the puzzle). This was clearly my "ah-ha" moment. And in this moment you clearly notice that if the puzzle was badly manufactured, then this move could not have been made possible (with an impossible puzzle to solve at the end!).
Still, this move did not reall helped me to solve the puzzle, but I made some progress and at some point I solved the puzzle!

Finally !!

This is really a very cleverly designed puzzle and a tough one if you like challenges!

Even if I am pretty proud of having solved a hard cast puzzle, I am not super kind of these level 6 for several reasons: pretty hard to solve and mostly you will solve them with luck.
Secondly, you're not probably willing to have a second try to solve the puzzle once you've already solved it before. Personally I prefer trying to solve again some lower level of cast puzzle as I am sure that I will be able to reassemble them and I can show the solution quickly to friends (which is impossible for this puzzle hahaha).

One more time, I am sorry but I don't like the "new" packaging of the cast puzzles. The previous packing were way better to display the puzzle as you could see it....! I am sure they changed because it must have been too costly....


Do I advise this puzzle? Hell yes !!