Friday, 27 December 2019
So far I have solved 2 (ribbon and tulip 1) but I will talk about ribbon in this post. In my opinion, ribbon is the easiest (easiest, not easy haha). Tulip 1 was pretty hard and eggplant is still unsolved even if I have the shape (hopefully I am right) outside of the cage (which is a puzzle in itself!).
So ribbon is a packing puzzle composed of a cage (with a weird shape!) and 3 pieces. As for most Osanori, there are only 3 pieces, but the challenge is still there, trust me!
Two out of the 3 pieces are bigger and thus have bigger constraints to be filled inside the box. So it's easy to guess how they should be put inside the cage. Knowing that then you need to see how these 2 big pieces can be put and there are not a lot of ways to do so. You can deduce how to put the remaining piece.
It did not take me long to figure out the assembly outside the box. Putting them inside was way more difficult. Still it did not take me super long, let's say less than one hour for sure.
The shape of the cage makes it more difficult to "predict" the assembly/disassembly, because you can think that such or such piece can be slided in such a way, but then after careful observation you realize that it's not possible. And indeed it's pretty unusual I would say. Very different from many of his "cube-caged" packing puzzle.
I finally ended up with putting all the pieces inside. But I have surprised myself with some moves I did not predict. You know it's when you put the pieces inside that some moves appear possible while you did not think so few minutes ago! :)
I do advise this puzzle as well as the other packing puzzles currently on Pelikan webshop.
Grab them while you can, you won't be disappointed !
The quality is nice, the wood well choosen, the fit perfect (and it has to be, you know how I do care about the fit!) and of course the design is very clever!
I guess none of these are a real surprise.... :)
EDIT: eggplant solved now. So all 3 packing puzzles solved!! :) (egg plant is fun!)
Friday, 20 December 2019
But see below a nice one that I discovered recently made by Ivan Kochkin
It's composed of several dodecahedrons "trapped" in one another, all in metal and assumely made in only one block of metal.
Usually impossible puzzle/items are made with a trick like an invisible cut or using heat/water to soften the material for example. But in this case (despite not knowing precisely how it was made), no tricks are involved, just a lot of skills!!!
Honestly how is that possible to craft with such precision so many geometrical shapes??....Very intriguing and very pleasant to play with it.
Definitely a work of art and a nice addition to a puzzle collection :)
You can find them: ebay
Ivan has also a youtube channel
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
All you need to do it a cutter blade to take out the pieces and some patience :)
This puzzle is called minipunk and is basically a piggy bank. Building it is very pleasant with all the parts and gears (I love gears!) and is suitable even for children. Solving it is not very difficult and take 5 moves. But there is a lovely sequence of moves that I am sure you will like!
You can fill in some coins from the top of the box and then let your friend manage to get them :)
Some may wonder: am I spoiled the solution when crafting the puzzle? I would say: yes and no!
Well obviously you will see all the parts of the puzzle and you may get an idea how they interact with one another. But first the sequence of moves is not correlated to how you craft the puzzle. I mean you will assemble pieces first that are not for the first move for example. And then also when you're focussed on crafting a puzzle, you're not focussed on how to solve it. So the challenge will still be there. And you know, crating the puzzle is already in a way a puzzle in itself. Solving it is just the next logical puzzle :)
For the price, I am sure you will have fun to build it and solve it. NKD has other do-it-yourself puzles to craft but I would recommend starting with this one as it is the easiest to built.
You can find the kit HERE
Thursday, 28 November 2019
Anyway we'll talk about this puzzle in this review :)
The mecanigma is a totally hand-produced puzzle (and so, 100% made in France) by the 2 owners of NKD company Julien Vigouroux and Christophe Laronde.
It's a big wooden cube with several challenges to solve to open the box in a spirit of an adventure of kind of sequencial discovery puzzle (even if you don't get tools to use them).
At a first glance you immediately notice the huge work on it: the puzzle is vernish on all side and there are so many details on the box that finding them is somewhat an adventure by itself :)
Many parts are 3D printed and so many pieces have been added on each side of the puzzle that it's not only a puzzle box, but also a real art piece.
Each box take an enormous amount of time to make, all are carefully assembled by hand. The price is worth the effort!
So the quality is definitely here, but what about the solving experience?
For sure, it's good! It's very good. I mean there is no luck, no dexterity no hidden things. This puzzle is the perfect exemple of what a good puzzle is: you see everything (or almost) and you can deduce how to solve it by analyzing the parts. This does not mean it's super easy, but it really means that there is a progression in the solving and you can notice it!
I did not find the solving process to be so hard, except for the last part where I had not found the right idea (even if mine could have been used!) but I finally managed to open the box and it's very rewarding. A good puzzle is not a puzzle that is frustratingly difficult to solve, but it's a puzzle where you see a progression in your solving experience and a puzzle that you can analyzed and predict what the expected result should be to proceed to a next step. Honestly this mecanigma embodies perfectly these concepts.
What's more the clicking sounds and moving of gears and all these stuff make the solving experience very pleasant and add something very exciting to the puzzle.
Even if this puzzle can be played by anybody even if by unexperienced puzzlers, I still advise you monitor them solving because no force has to be used. If you force things, then you may solve some steps (that are not intended to be solved this way), but more important you will damage the puzzle and the mecanisms. And it would be a real pitty.....!!
If you have money and a bit of patience you definitely should consider buying it. For those who have less money they also sell some puzzle boxes: do-it-yourself kits that are cheaper or luxury versions that are more more beautiful and cost more (as they require lot of work!)
|No the puzzle is not yet solved!!!|
You can find the mecanigma HERE
And the other creations HERE
Saturday, 23 November 2019
The TOAR Designs Coordinate Burr Puzzle is a co-motion metal puzzle designed and made by Neal Swinney. To be a bit more accurate, the name of the designer is not known but Neal modified the outter shape, manufactured the puzzle design and the finish of it.
The puzzle consists of 6 anodized metal pieces that need to be assembled together. The puzzle is not big and can be taken with you on a travel trip. Usually hand-made puzzles are not big because of the manufacturing costs that are usually pretty high. But who cares about the size as long as the puzzle looks nice and has a beautiful finish, which is the case with this puzzle!
The assembled structure is solid, but you should not have too many difficulties to takes the pieces apart. When you disassemble the puzzle you should get something like that:
I tried something that usually works with co-motion puzzle (I'm not telling you to avoid spoiling) but it did not work....pitty because it was not a bad idea :-(
But at some point I thought there was another way to do so and it proved I was right. The method to solve it is less complicated than the method I thought I found, but nevertheless it's a method that works and...it is the solution!
The puzzle is shipped assembled but if you want to change the color configuration then you can because all the pieces are the same. So you can experiment which look you prefer the most.
Note that these puzzles are in limited edition....when they are sold out....they are sold out for good...!!
Friday, 15 November 2019
I will speak about Belt Cube 3 as this is the only one of these 2 I have solved so far.
It's composed of a frame and 3 pieces like many Osanori's packing, but this time it gave me hard time to solve it!!
My usual technique is to make the shape outside of the box and then trying to mimic it inside. But due to the shape of pieces if was pretty hard to do so. Because first it's not that easy to keep in mind all the restrictions of the box, especially when this time you have 2 big openings! And moreover some pieces could be put pretty stable inside the box but totally unstable outside...
At one point I thought: I got it. I even thought I found a devilish solution implying rotations. This is not a secret (as you can find this information online): this puzzle does not require any rotations. But the "solution" with the rotation was pretty satisfaying except that....the past piece was impossible to pack and packing it with another was resulting in a missing cube, so the puzzles was not 100% solved!
Still, I was happy to see we could still perform a rotation inside :)
I needed to think again on another possibility and finally I ended up finding a pretty interesting "structure". So the difficult part started. I tried to perform the moves outside of the box but it's not that easy as you have to remember all the moves....and the first piece is removed after 10 moves!!! When I say "not that easy" I mean it !!
I still sorted that out and managed to put the first 2 pieces inside the box and then making 10 other moves and the puzzle was solved!
At the beginning when I saw the cage I though the structure inside would not stand well. But I can tell you that I was wrong! It cannot crumble by itself, it's very stable.
This is the 4th Osanori's packing puzzle I have tried so far and in my opinion this is the most challenging. But I may change my mind after playing with W-Windows :)
In my opinion, this is a very good puzzle. Not that easy, pretty challenging, but not overly frustrating.
I definitely advise it !!
It's not clear with the picture but there is a great wood contrast between the pieces and the frame. Pelikan will even offer 2 choices of wood color for each of these 2 packing puzzles.
They will be found HERE. I advise to check out the website often if you don't want to miss them as they have a lot of success and I don't think there will be stock left soon after the release....
EDIT: Pelikan has released the 2 packing puzzles by Osanori. You should be fast to get them. I solved W-window and I was right, it's even harder than belt cube 3. A challenge that is very satisfaying. I will review it later but I advised to get it as well while you can!!
Tuesday, 5 November 2019
The goal is to navigate the maze with a ball avoiding traps.
Each game has its own story and difficulty
11 days left, so hurry up :-)
PARTICIPATE IN THIS CAMPAIGN !!
Thursday, 31 October 2019
I think you already noticed that but I feel this has to be mentioned: in my opinion Brian is the guy who crafts puzzles with the most beautiful wood species. His woods are wonderful and he don't use the same wood again and again as some other wood puzzle craftmen do...
So if you want beautiful puzzle this is the man you have to buy puzzles from !!
OK let's go back to the puzzle. It was awarded with a prize at past puzzle competition and when playing with it then it becomes obvious why.
The puzzle is composed of a cage and 6 "L-shaped" pieces to pack. I am pretty reluctuant to play with puzzles when your finger moves are restricted because it makes it very difficult to manipulate the pieces. But with this one, this is very fine and you should not have these kind of difficulties.
As you may asume, if it got a prize and if it's a Laszlo's, then you imagine that this puzzle has something extra and well it has. It not just a basic packing puzzle. If you're aware of Laszlo's puzzle, then you know which twists it must have :)
I always repeat my technique with packing puzzles: solve the puzzle outside of the box and then see if you can make it inside. It always works! I ended up with several ways of making the shape to pack. For several that was an impossible shape because you could not have extracted any pieces from the cage. But I ended up with one possible shape. Hard to not spoil.....but I won't spoil, no worries :)
Some pieces were easy to pack (and thus to remove) but I was stuck with how you could pack some. It gave me pain and all of sudden I managed to pack them. Then the remaining pieces were a piece of cake! I was curious about how I packed those pieces and tried to remove them from the box to understand better. And guess what: I could not! Well at one point I could and I took care to take pictures of all the solving process.
|Wonderful contrast with corners, cage and pieces!|
This is a puzzle with a big "ah-ha" moment and I am sure you will like it a lot.
Definitely a nice and challenging puzzle you should get !!
Saturday, 26 October 2019
Obvisouly blind people won't look at my blog but if you know any blind people around you, this is the opportunity to get them this puzzle!
So here we are with the looly IQ puzzle designed by Patrick Chan, a Hongkonger who claims that he is always inspired by young people.
For the previous review of the IQ puzzle see HERE
The puzzle is similar compared to the other IQ puzzle: you can push and pull the central rod and well as turning it. Of course the easter eggs are still here as well :)
The puzzle is very smooth, there are no issues with it. Sometimes when a puzzle is 3D-printed you can expect to have frictions (which is usually the case and happened for some other puzzles that I have) or moves that are made difficult. Trust me: with this puzzle nothing of that !
Like the rubix's cube there are algorithms to solve the puzzle depending on where the pieces are, but even if you don't know them (don't worry, they are provided by Patrick) it's very pleasant to play with this puzzle.
And even if you're not blind, you can play with the puzzle. You just have to learn the numbers from 1 to 5 to check if you have solved the puzzle or no, which adds another challenge.
Patrick made a nice website to explain the moves with a video and the features of the puzzle, you should check it out: HERE
For the moment I don't have his speed ;)
To get it or the normal version you can contact Patrick and you can choose the color of the puzzle!
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
Here we are with a new Vesa's design which obviously has been produced by Hanayama company.
I think you can only agree that msot Vesa's puzzles have a difficulty of around 3-4 but are way more difficult than what you should expect, all are good and devilish and all are very rewarding when you finally solve them :)
Cast Slider is composed of 3 parts, 2 being identical. OK easy? Well not that much. When you play with it you will soon notice there is an obstacle, which is easy to identify: it's the protubing part of the middle piece. Without it, it wuld be quick to solve that puzzle. But the genius of Vesa is to have added that part, which will stump you I am sure!
I thought it would be not difficult to solve, but it still took me several minutes (honestly I did not time it, but for sure less than 1 hours). I analyzed it and still I could not figure out how to solve it, but with an unexpected unintentionally move (or maybe I did it on purpose without paying too much attention too it), I finally solve it. Very rewarding puzzle. I cannot solve more without spoiling, but maybe the reassembly process will be a little bit more difficult? Once you know how to solve it then it's quick and easy.
This is the perfect puzzle to bring with you as it can also be used as a fidget toy :)
And it will puzzle your friends as well.
|Yes, fidget toy!!! :)|
Challenging without being frustratingly difficult, this puzzles really embodies for me what a perfect cast puzzle is and should be. It's a level 3/6 but don't get fool by the rating, it will surprise you!
You can buy this puzzles at this puzzle webshop.
They even have other nice puzzles to sell as well as other things, check it out.
Sunday, 22 September 2019
Why the name of "Titan"? Easy: the brand is "Titan"....and maybe your challenge is huge?... :)
This nice lock is actually more a sequencial discovery trick lock as it requires several tools and steps to open. Your goal is to find the Titan's treasures (which is a white marble).
The Titan lock has been designed and crafted by Sashko, a Sweedish guy.
It comes with a small boocklet about the stroty of the Titan and your objectives with that lock. Also what you have is a broken key (one part is stuck on the booklet). Does it remind anyone of another lock?...but wait! This one is totally different!!
You will try what everyone try and see you're not going further....and maybe you find be trapped!
And trust me the trap is devilish. I knew what to do, but doins if way more difficult than saying. I am sure you feel with the pain :)
But what is a puzzle if it has no traps?....
Once you have mastered the trap you can continue your puzzle journey. But the journey is definitely not finished and you will have to use the tools in a clever way. Once you realize what you have to do, your "aha-ha" moment will come! It has stumped me for a while, this is not an easy task. Remember it's a Titan's task.
After many hours of puzzling I finally got the treasure. Ok so as I mentioned previously the treasure is a small marble. But in my opinion, it is too big and won't roll smoothly, and you may even have to ban a bit the lock to free it. Guess what I even broke it. I did not realize I had so much force. Not, I'm jocking. Basically what I did it that when reassembling the lock the shackle could not go as far as it should go because the marble did not go to the complete end of the hole and blocked the shackle. I had the great (finally not so great) idea to push the shackle firmly so that the marble could be pushed inside completely, but the result is that I applied too much force and of course the treasure want where it should have been but the shackle crushed it... :-(
What I did (and what you should do) is to find a smaller marble that can roll smoothly inside.
Reassembling the lock is not as difficult as solving it, but take care of the traps :)
Overall a very nice challenging lock that I am sure you will like.
You can find it on the designers' etsy shop: search " Titan's treasure puzzle lock" :)
Sunday, 14 July 2019
It's only my opinion based on the puzzles that I have played with. I cannot comment on the puzzles I have never played with and hence I may miss nice puzzles in the list.
The order of the puzzles does not mean that the first one is the best.
1. Angel box by Wil Strijbos
One of the best example of the sequencial discovery puzzle.
Many steps, many tools to free the angel. A challenging puzzle!
But take care not to loose tools (yes you can...)
2. Pachinko box by Wil Strijbos
In my mind the second best Strijbos puzzle. Many steps, and unexpected ones as well. You have to get the 2 coins to solve completely the puzzle.
3. Lotus by Wil Strijbos
The puzzle is solved when you understand the name of it... ;)
Tools can be lost. Tools can fly out. Take care!
4. First box by Strijbos
A pretty heavy box that has its secrets. Make the puzzle smile!
5. Big Ben by Brian Young
6. Houdini torture cell by Brian Young
7. Butterfly by Wil Strijbos
Big puzzle, but this time you will have to deal with a massive lock. Analyze the puzzle carefully or you will jam your puzzle and beg for help (and external tools) ;)
8. Packman by Gary Foshee
9. Gary's escape by Gary Foshee
Free the marble!
10. Open lock by Gary Foshee
Nice lock. Seeing the inside does not mean you will find right now the solution :)
Sunday, 30 June 2019
But I am sure I am right, so let's talk about a cast puzzle: cast oskar
This puzzle is old, not sure about the date, but just have a look at the package. There is no mention of Hanayama, the difficulty is not written, but the name beginning by "cast" is clearly shown.
So my assumption is that this is the old Hanayama company which produced some puzzles and then they changed their name and expand. My assumption is even stronger when I look at the small paper inside which shows some famous cast puzzles: cast jey, S&S, nut, star, elk.
However this oskar key has never been made by the nowadays known as the Hanayama company, not sure why, contrary to the other puzzles in the series that are still produced.
The small paper is in Japanese so I cannot comment about it. I assume that the designer is Oskar (as regards to the name of the puzzle), but maybe I am wrong?
By analyzing carefully (that I did not not at the beginning) both key you should quickly understand how it should get out of the rectangular shape...or that's what I thought. I think I can spoil a bit as I am sure not a lot of people will be able to play with it. I thought a key should get free first and then the other key would follow. But at the end it appeared that both key got free at the same time while still "attached" to each other and when both keys were out of the rectangular block then you can separate them.
This nice cast puzzle is far from being simple as you need precise moves and many moves to solve it. But it's not overly difficult, so in my opinion it's clearly worth a 4/6 for the difficulty. It's a very nice concept and definitely collectible.
Monday, 10 June 2019
As with all Rex's puzzles you can unscrew the puzzle to see the internals, but I do advise to take pictures each and everytime you pull up a layer or remove pieces. Else that may be a nightmare to reassemble the puzzles...Luckily this puzzles does not have so many pieces.
This is a sequencial discovery puzzle! Yes!! Well obviously not a lot of steps/tools, but let's call a sequencial discovery puzzle a puzzle with at least a tool that has to be used :)
Apolaki is different from the other puzzles in the series as it incorporates something new...sorry cannot say more.....it's very hard to speak about puzzles trying to avoid spoiling it...
So what can I say more? Humm several steps, an "AHA-moment" that will happen sooner than expected...and I am sure you should pretty much guess the internals without needing to open the puzzle. Still I encourage you to open it and check if your assumptions were correct or not.
What about the difficulty? Honestly this is definitely not the most difficult puzzle in his coin series. So far the most challenging is kussing 25. This is also a puzzle that should not take long for you to solve. Despite that, first this is not the easiest in the series. Secondly this is a nice and very cleverly designed puzzle. So anyway I am sure you will like it a lot!!
Being the 6th puzzle by Rex, I am sure you can expect many more puzzles from him in the coming months (maybe years? hope so). And I am pretty sure Rex will try to experiment new things for his next puzzles. Personally I find it great that a designer comes with a new kind of puzzle. I mean coin puzzles existed before but not in a so widely spread dimension.
I do tell you to buy it before it's sold out. It's not a limited edition puzzle but I guess Rex won't make it when he created a new puzzle. Grab it while you can. If you need Rex's contact, just PM me using the contact form.
Friday, 29 March 2019
So only 4 pieces with some pins to pack inside a box. Remember the best packing puzzles almost always look easy and almost always have very few pieces :)
Soon you will realize that putting the 3rd piece is impossible or difficult if you try to pack in a "standard" way the pieces. Sliding pieces will be needed!
For such puzzles when it's not easy to put your fingers inside the box to move the pieces, I always try to make the shape with the pieces outside of the box. Think out of the box makes sense here.
Then I see if moving pieces can be done inside the box, and if not then I try to find another shape with the pieces.
Many more moves than expected will be needed to solve the puzzle, with big "hah-ha"
For me this puzzle really embodies the perfect packing puzzle: challenging but not frustrating with an unconventional way of solving it.
I am sure you will like it as much as I did. It appears in my top best packing puzzle.
Thursday, 14 March 2019
Some points good to mention before: the quality is still very good with a great contrast of colors between the color of the pieces and the color of the tray.
Also this time the pieces are not transparent, so less prone to fingerprints. And I like the smoothness of these pieces!
So let's start with the first: Wave 5
Like its brother you have some wave-shaped pieces to pack inside the tray.
How difficult can it be? Well it's hard, it's puzzling, it's fun!
I was wondering why Yuu seemed to make difficult puzzles and then easier after. Like for example he released jigsaw 29 and then jigsaw 19, and clearly 19 is easier than 29.
Some may think it's easier then. Well wave 7 was super hard. Wave 5 is maybe a little bit less hard, but it's still very challenging and not that way easier.
I cannot say more, but you will have your "aha-moment" for sure pretty soon in your puzzling journey ;)
It took me a lot of time, way more than I expected. I like it a lot.