Thursday, 25 June 2015

Gopher Holes

Time to review a wooden puzzle, so here we are with the Gopher Holes, made in Thailand.

It is a packing puzzle and as usually with packing puzzles, the goal is to put all the pieces inside the tray, so that it's flat.
You are provided with 6 pieces and a grid which has to be on the top and remain flat. Each piece has holes or wooden marbles and their 2 sides are not the same.

I think this is a pretty difficult puzzle because there are many possibilities in which way you can put the pieces. But it's very enjoyable and the quality is very good!!
Moreover, if you're lost or give up (I believe you won't), they provide the solutions in their website.

They sell many other puzzles, but mainly in wood.

HERE you can find the puzzle I have reviewed and there are other interesting things to buy for reasonable prices!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Zobrist cube(s)

Al Zobrist launched his project on kickstarter, the famous crowdfunding website.
And that was a success!

He managed to get the funds to start the production of this game which you will likely be addicted!!


The puzzle is shipped in a nice box that closes with some magnets. After opening the box, you see:

..... 5 colorful cubes and a booklet.

The booklet is a code booklet in which thousands of codes are written: the plastic pieces needed are mentioned to create a 3*3 or a 4*4 cube. All the pieces are designed by a letter written on each. So it's easy to find (however a bit long, due to the large amount of pieces) the pieces you need to use.
There is also a small piece of paper included that says for each color the pieces that are from such or such color.

The level of difficulty is written, so you immediately know that you are to try a difficult cube or an easy one: the more possibilities you have for a challenge, the easier it will be.

And believe me, even for the easiest cubes, it's not so obvious because you can start in a wrong way...

Ok now, you can wonder: I already have a Soma cube and some cubes, so why should I buy this puzzle?

Well, first, it's not expensive and the quality is good! Then you will spend hours and hours, trying all the codes !!! So I like this game. That's not a "one-shot" game that you will store after having played for few minutes and gave up.
You can even try to write some solutions (they are not included, otherwise it would be a really really heavy booklet....) and also play with a friend: you chose a challenge for him and he chooses a challenge for you, and see who's the first to complete one's cube ;-)
You can also pick up some pieces and try to see if there are any solutions. Perhaps you will come to an impossible cube, who knows?...
Finally the pieces are sturdy and colorful, that's not a "cheap-looking" puzzle for sure!!

I wonder if there is a cube that has only one solution...

HERE you can buy yours. Enjoy :-)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Slide a SLIDA

This is a new puzzle in the market called Slida, designed by Gianni Lavermicocca, an Australian guy.
The puzzle is made out of plastic and the goal is, you can imagine, taking it apart and then reassemble it.

Taking it apart is easy and straight-forward because you just follow the order the pieces need to be moved. Reassemble the puzzle is much more difficult. If you have the Slida with different color panels, then you should take pictures when you solve the puzzle, to remember how to put the pieces together.
You can buy a Slida with a single color: this is less beautiful in my opinion, but much more difficult.

Note that the first piece is, in a way, locked in place (small hole on the right of the below picture) so you need to apply a little bit of force, so take care when it slides out, it could fly like a rocket :-)

The puzzle is well made and the outside view of it is pretty handsome, well it has an unusual look, no?

The company which produced the Slida puzzle participate in charity: for each Slida they sell to you, one is given to children in developing countries.

To conclude, 2 advantages to buy a Slida puzzle: you can solve a new kind of puzzles and you make a good deed. And there are not too expensive, so why not one for you, one for your friend and one for your cat? :-)

HERE you can buy them, enjoy !

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Cast spiral

This puzzle belongs to the cast series of Hanayama's puzzles and is ranked as 5/6.
This puzzle isquite original because there are many pieces, not 2, not 3 but 5! And the pieces look all identical...

The goal is the separate the different pieces, but when you try to take off one piece, it is blocked. When you try with another piece, it is blocked again by the other pieces. And this is the same thing for all pieces! The puzzle is pleasant to handle due to its shape and is very strong. You cannot damage it easily, luckily.
I can say the same thing as for cast news about the difficulty: here we are supposed to have a difficult puzzle, this is the case. But again, when you know how to solve it, it takes less than 10 seconds. So that's true that the solution is not easy to find. But once you know it, the puzzle is easy to be repeatedly solved.

So many pieces...
Cast spiral is quite tricky and I don't think any of the other Hanayama's cast puzzles have the same mechanism.
To conclude, this puzzle is a must-have in your puzzle collection.