Thursday, 30 October 2014

Inside Ze Cube

Hi cube lovers, this is ZE puzzle you should have!! 

Let me explain you a little bit this puzzle.
The name of this puzzle is a pun: "ze" is the French pronunciation of "the" in English. So from the name of the puzzle, you know that you will have to discover what is inside of the cubes and solve them, of course.
These puzzles are mazes but with the plans written on both side of the cube. The goal is to navigate through 7 levels from the beginning to the end. Once arrived at the end, other plans are written so that you can "easily" go back to the beginning by following the maps. There are dead ends, traps, sometimes you need to make the marble go to an uper level, so you need to turn upside down the cubes...Everything is done to trouble your mind.

These puzzles have been designed by French guys who created their firm thanks to crowdfunding, and they succeeded in obtaining all the funds (and even more) on time.
As this is quite new for them, so there may have been some small issues on puzzles which I pointed out to those guys. For example, you need to "push" quite strongly to make the marble leave its receptable for some cubes. For other the marble can leave its receptacle too easily. It was their 1st batch of cubes, so they will improve them for next batches.
And you know at the begginning no puzzle is perfect...

The pictures I took come from cubes with their first packaging (the packaging has changed).

It looks easy the way it works. Well always easier showing than doing...

Take a closer look, and you will see that the packaging provides the marble from leaving its receptacle during the shipping. Good point!

The cubes are in sturdy plastic and are ranked from easy to very difficult. There are 2 "easy" cubes (one transparent and one blue). The other cubes are "regular", "mean", "awful", "vicious" and "mortal".
The names are Easy0, Mean0.....Mortal0. So you may understand that for the next batch of cubes the names will be Easy1, Mean1...and so on.

What's good with the cubes is that you can open them, so that you can analyze the levels and if you are lost you can easily restart the puzzles. The levels are numbered so that you cannot be wrong when you put them in the box, and there is like a "safeguard" on each level so that you know in which position you have to put them. Everything is done to avoid errors. Good job !!

Difficult to see, but each level is numbered

However, you cannot do this for all the cubes. Here is one difficulty: for the vicious you can't open the cube, and for the mortal you can't open the cube and no plans are written. So when you're lost, good luck :-)
Another difficulty is how to read the maps. Believe me it's hard! First because you need to understand them. Second, you need to understand where the marble will go from one hole of one level to the other level(s) (sometimes it can fall from many levels at the same time...!).
Then you have to move the cube in the correct directions. As for me, I have difficulties to have a 3D representation of the maze in my mind, so it is all the more difficult...
7 levels are written. Read them from left to right

Here is the link to order your cubes. Sometimes they make reduced prices for some events, you need to check.

Hurry up, you need THE cube ;-)

When you have many cubes you can have fun and try to mix some levels from one cube with the levels of some other cubes to create a new cube. Well it can work...or not...

Here is the link of a brilliant French guy who developed like a software that allows you to see if your cube is solvable if you mix some levels (you need to get at least 100%, otherwise your cube won't be solvable), and it also allows you to help you navigate through the maze if you're lost:

As a conclusion, good puzzles to have, (very) hard to solve (even for the easiest one since you need to understand well how it works).

If you don't intend to buy all of them (but you may want to collect all of them), I strongly advise you (even if you're the best puzzle solver in the world...) to buy the cristal one (easy level) and another a little bit more difficult.
I started with the mean cube, and it was too difficult to start, so I bought the cristal easy one to better understand the maps...

Time your speed and try to beat the best challengers

Have cubing fun !!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Unknown name

I got this puzzle long time ago in a magazine dedicated to puzzles. I don't remember neither the name of this puzzle (if anyone can help me), nor the difficulty, nor the type of wood used...
The only thing I remember is that is was quite cheap.
The goal is to put together the several pieces of the puzzle to make a pyramid as you can see below:

The pieces of this puzzles are balls glued together to form different shapes.

As for the difficulty, I would say that it's not easy, but not very difficult; I would say medium. 
You need to fiddle around which piece you put first, and then try many combinations with your remaining pieces, put in a different way the pieces (they can move).
To conclude I would say that this a a fun puzzle to play with, and it is always funny to let it try to your friends and see that they have some difficulties to start this puzzle ;-)

Will you start like this...?

Or will you start like that...?

POST EDIT: the name is "The infernal pyramid" and the magazine was called "Classic Puzzles & Brainteasers". Unfortunately I did not keep it (I cannot find it...) ;-(

Sunday, 26 October 2014

To start

This blog intends to share my puzzling hobby with you guys.

I don't own all the puzzles I will review here. I have some of them, I played or borrowed others from friends or at some puzzle parties.

I will review some different kind of puzzles like metal puzzles, wooden puzzles, maze puzzles...from unknown designer to very known ones. That is not because some unknown designers make some puzzles that they are not good, and they may even be better since they are not mass-produced.

This is my first blog, so please be kind with me. You can share your points of view, leave some comments. No worries, this is also your blog :-)

Have puzzling fun !!