Thursday, 28 November 2019

Mecanigma: the big puzzle box

Maybe you've seen somewhere else the name of this puzzle associated with the company (NKD) which produces it?

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

Saturday, 23 November 2019

TOAR Designs Coordinate Burr Puzzle

A new puzzle maker and a new metal puzzle? YES and YES !!!

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:
Yes, they're all identical! So now how to proceed? Wel l it's not that obvious because the structure is not so stable until you put the last piece. So it's a bit of dexterity but definitely you need to think before :)

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 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

Belt Cube 3

Guess what, Pelikan made it again! Well this is a preview because they have not officially released the puzzle. But then it gives you a tast of what to expect. And there will be 2 Osanori's packing puzzles: Belt Cube 3 and W-Windows.

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!! 

Solution here!

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

New campaign for puzzles !!!!

OK I have a bit of delay (sorry you cannot get the early bid now), but there is plenty of time to put some money to get these nice little puzzles!

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 :-)