Friday, 22 December 2017

Nice games

I wanted to speak about a new puzzle shop I discovered on the internet and their puzzles/games they are selling.
It's always good to see more and more shops created as it means more ways to get some games and/or puzzles. The name: Art of Play.

Several things are here: a disentanglement puzzle, a deck of cards, a metal puzzle and a ball of whacks.

The disentanglement puzzle is nice, not easy for a beginner like me but I managed to solve it. Unfortunately I cannot put it in the original state, but I will still try.

The metal coil with the ring to free is a famous puzzle. Very easy and can be solved super fast when you know how to. I will let try totally beginner to play with and see if they can find the trick. Despite being an easy puzzle, the quality is very good, so it's pleasant to solve it again and again. For me it would be more like a stress ball :-)

Now, what about the "ball of whacks"? It's a magnetic toy made out of plastic. The goal is to use your own creativity to create shapes and to try to achieve the challenges (that consit of making such or such shapes with some hidden pieces) written in the book.
I like a lot this concept because you can do what you want (well you're still restricted by the number of pieces) and for someone like me who likes geometry, it's interesting! And the big plus is that it's suitable even for children. Indeed the pieces are not sharp and despite the magnetic attraction that works perfectly (the pieces snap fast and easily with each other), it's not possible to pinch your fingers, which may happen when magnets are too strong. Good point so!

Finally if you look carefully in the first picture, you can notice a deck of cards. What's special about it? Well it's pretty original and looks very nice in my mind. I think some puzzle collectors collect also cards, so it may be worth to get the deck :-)

Have a look at what they offer, maybe you will be able to find things you did not find in other online shops!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Genie bottle

Designed, made and exchanged by Stephen Chin at IPP 2017 in Paris, this wooden puzzle has something similar that you can see in other Chin's puzzles: the wooden circles and the wood turning that he is famous for.

The goal is to open the puzzle and get your reward.

The puzzle has several steps, not unique mechanisms but all the steps are well implemented.

From the picture above there is one wooden ring with something special, maybe this is useful to solve it? (false question, I already know the answer!)

As all Chin's are very difficult to get (especially because he does not make a lot, and does not run a puzzle business), I am very please to have it. Not difficult but nice puzzle.

On the top of the puzzle is something special. Do you think using it will make the genie appear from its bottle? I am sure you will need to use the reward after ;-)

Friday, 8 December 2017

Wunder puzzle take apart

This series of 3 puzzles was crafted in 2011. The original designer is unknown but Eric managed to get an original copy and made some variations of increasing difficulty.

Each dovetail has different mechanism: the first is easy and you should not have any difficulty with it, the other 2 have some tricky mechanism that will challenge you a bit more.

Each dovetail has 2 wooden parts and the devetail joints have a strange shape, well that not the usual shape for these kind of puzzles. And the trick is also, when you have unlocked the mechanism, to slide the 2 parts in the correct way, which needs a bit of practise. No force required!

The craftmanship is very good and very precise. Well, precision is the key for dovetails.

After some time and pain in he hands I managed to open all the dovetails. I liked all of them and there is a real progression from one to the other puzzle. I think this is nice to have made a series of 3 puzzles and not just one puzzle: more puzzling fun! I also like that Eric does not produce a lot of dovetails so, it changes a bit and this is very appreciated.

I won't comment on the precise mechanism, I will just tell you that it's not super complex inside, but well implemented and very efficient.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Plate box by Strijbos

This puzzles was the exchanged puzzle by Wil Strijbos and crafted by Griffoen long long time ago and seems to be pretty rare as it has never popped up at any auctions nor nowhere contrary to supposely rare puzzles that always appear at auction...
Rare means rare, right?...Anyway...

The name of the puzzle suggest that it's composed of plates and we can easily notice that you will have a total of 12 plates to assemble (2 per side of the cube) in an interlocking way.

The box is pretty big but very light. In fact, the material used seems to be not hard woods, but more likely a composite.

If you were to try this puzzle, it would be a more challenging puzzles if it disassemble. Indeed when assembled, it's easy to solve and the first plate is freed after only one move. Then you try to push and puzzle the remaining pieces and at the end: solved!!

Starting with the pieces like below is a way more difficult challenge!

In my opinion, this is an interesting puzzle, I like 2D shapes that make 3D solid at the end. And this puzzle, despite not being made by Strijbos, is associated to him. So in a way, a complete collection of Strijbos' puzzles is nice to have this puzzle.

I am sure that you know Wil's current face. OK. And I am sure you want to see how he looked before. Well, click on the below spoiler button :)