Thursday, 30 April 2015

Crazy chain

Here is another Lonpos puzzle, again with a small size, so very practical to play with everywhere.
This brainteaser is composed of 7 plastic and colorful pieces.
A booklet is provided (again with no solutions...) with the game and has 2 parts (2 ways of playing).

The first way of playing it to use all the pieces to arrange them into the game plate.
The red obstacle cannot be removed. You need first to choose a level, let's say 1. This level indicates that there are 75 ways of arranging the pieces. The 44th level says that there is ony one solution!
Then you put the pieces. I began with the 1st level and that's not easy at all even if there are many arranging ways of putting the pieces. I struggled quite a lot...!!

1st way of playing

The second way of playing (2nd part of the booklet) is the following: you have to put one piece on the game plate (as shown in the booklet), and then arrange the remaining pieces. And at least, you need to find out the level of the challenge and put the L piece (the level piece) on the  game plate. Again, this is difficult, even for the easiest challenges.

Ok I found that it corresponds to level 2 (which has a total of 64 solutions)

What I like is that, even if the goal remains the same (arranging the pieces), the rules are different as well as the shape of the pieces. There are a lot of challenges.
Again, I personnaly think that, even if it is for everybody, this is pretty difficult. If you like difficulty, go buy one!! :-)

If by chance, any of you guys has enough programming skills to be able to write a program that shows all the combinations for all the level, I think it could be very interesting.

You can buy this puzzle HERE

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bottle coke #1

Here we are with another Strijbos' puzzle. It is composed of a red stick (the first bottle coke#1 has not a red stick but a white one), a marble (that you have to get out of the bottle) and of course an empty bottle of coke. At the bottom of the red stick there is a screw maintained to the red stick by a nut.

The goal is obvious and what you have to do is obvious too. You have to unscrew the screw so that the red stick can be taken completely out of the bottle, which would free the marble. Easier said than done...!

This puzzle does not require a lot of steps to be solved but it's tricky, and you know that before you try this puzzle, just because it's a Strijbos' :-)
The first step is clever. The next step you will be tempted to act like as you did with the 1st step and you will notice that it does not work. It's normal, you just don't do the correct thing. Have a careful look at the red stick, perhaps that may help you. Anyway, you don't need any external tools.

Be gentle with the bottle, it's in glass and glass can break...

Solved finally!! With a lot of perseverance
Once you've solved the bottle and understood it, then you need to reassemble the bottle. It may require a bit of dexterity, but I managed to use a good method and thus it did not take me long time.

If you like bottle puzzles or if you intend to complete your collection of bottle puzzles, I advise you to buy it when Wil Strijbos has some to sell (they are pretty scarce because it seems that Wil does not make a lot of them). I keep hoping that Wil will make again some of the other bottle puzzles, my collection of them is not completed yet :-(

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Temple trap

In this brainteaser from SmartGames, you're Indiana Jones (the green pawn, a little imagination come on^^) and you have to find the exit while avoiding the crocodiles in the blue squares.

To do that you can taking up the stairs or going down, but to be on the green pieces, you have to take the stairs before. You can slide the pieces, but remember a rule: if you are on a piece you cannot move this one, so you have to leave this piece to be able to slide it.

As you can see (or perhaps not, because the picture is not very big), there are some marks (round, cross, etc.) on the pieces, so that you recognize them better and that helps to put in the correct way the pieces to start a challenge. So everything is well thought and the quality is good.

There are not a lot of challenges and I find them rather difficult. Sometimes you can win the challenge by making more moves than required, so sticking to the required moves are sometimes not so easy...Luckily the solutions are provided in the small booklet.

Honestly, this is a good game, but I prefer City Maze (I've already reviewed it).
However, I am sure you will have fun with it, especially if you like the brainteasers from SmartGames and if you like sliding puzzles.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Confetto box

You may wonder why I put the box and not the picture of the puzzle as a first picture...Well it's because the box is beautiful: I like the contrast of the colors and when you look at the box, you know that there will be a great puzzle inside. And you're right to think so!

This confetto box was designed by Iwahara (a famous craftman who belongs to the Karakuri Group) and produced as a X-mas present in 2008 for the members of the Karakuri Group.
Becoming a member of the Karakuri group allows you to get a book with all the pictures of the puzzles made by the craftmen (only when you're a new member), to get reductions in prices for the puzzles that are on sales and finally to get one X-mas present. If you want more X-mas presents, you have to pay more. The first year it is more expensive, especially because you receive the book (you receive it about 1-2 weeks after you've paid for the membership). The next years are less expensive.
The shipping is free for the presents, but perhaps you may have to pay custom fees if they don't declare the puzzles as gifts (they don't like to do that...). Because of that, it happens that I get caught by the customs...and for sure the price of puzzles increased a lot... :-(
What you have to know about the X-mas presents is also the fact that you don't know what you will get. It's the surprise!! So you may very happy or perhaps a bit disapointed...And you pay almost one year before getting your puzzles. You will have to be patient...but you're used to that because you're a puzzler :-)

If you don't know which craftman to choose, Iwahara is always a good value, and his puzzles are usually very good. This one is no exception: the quality is superb, the finish is very good, the panels move smoothly, the wood has an handsome red color. Nothing bad to say about that.

There are 2 secret "chambers" to discover.
I put below 2 pictures of the inside the puzzle, but it does not give any hint on how to open the puzzle, so don't worry it's not a spoiler at all. It is just for you to see the quality of the internals. That's a great job!!

The symbols (star and moon) are useful to remember which panel goes to which compartment.
The first compartment is easy to find, the second one is much more difficult because you need to learn some new moves. Note that only 2 panels can be removed, the other 4 cannot.

I love this puzzle and if you find one, don't hesitate and buy it, you won't regret it. In my opinion, it's one of the best Iwahara's (even if I have not tried all his puzzles). Moreover, the difficulty is good: not too easy as (too) many Karakuri's puzzles and not too difficult, so that you enjoy solving it not only once, but many times.
Iwahara also designed a confetto box 2 that I will make a review of it later on. I think that it's better to have played before with confetto box 1 to better understand confetto box 2.

This puzzle is very sought (like many old Iwahara's), so the price may be pretty high, and at least much more expensive than the price of one X-mas present. So when you buy X-mas presents, you make good investments (even if you don't intend to sell them)!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Push box

This little puzzle was designed by Simon Nightingale and was his exchange puzzle in 2014.

The puzzle is made from a kind of resin (if you know the material used, please say it in the comment section) which looks like stone.

When you move the puzzle, you can hear some things ratling inside but once solved you will not see what's inside because the drawer cannot completely get out of the box.

The name of the puzzle is a hint about how to solve the puzzle, and I am sure you can guess easily where to push :)

Nice color

The puzzle is not very difficult and it did not take me long time to understand how to solve it. It can be solved repeatedly (it can still take you some seconds).

Nothing inside...Humm

I wish it had been a bit more difficult but I like it though. Again, I feel a bit frustrated not to be able to see the internals nor to have a picture of them (if you have it, please send it to me)

Have you ever tried to put something inside the drawer?
A nice puzzle in any collection!