Saturday, 26 February 2022

The aMAZEing Lego PuzzleBox

....and I will explain you why it's amazing!


This puzzle is made entirely out of lego bricks, designed and made by QuizBrix

According to the description, it's a level 7 sequencial discovery puzzlebox. I am very curious as this is my first lego puzzle box.

 




It's a general trend in the puzzle world that puzzles are made out of different meterials than metal and wood. More and more puzzles are made with 3D printers and same comment regarding lego bricks.

I was pretty intrigued how you could make a puzzle with lego, espacially a sequencial discovery one, and even more that it's not fragile!

My fear was that you could disassembled pieces that should come together and then messed up the puzzle...

But this puzzle did not disappoint me !!


First of all, the design is nice and looks simple. It's not massive and seems to have several kind of bricks. I noticed many transparent one. Probably to help you?....


As for the puzzling aspect, it's really wonderful. You have several tools that you will have to use and I found one tool that I could not use properly to progress on my puzzle journey. I was even not sure if it was a tool or a red hearing, and I won't say more in order not to spoil you :)

Honestly the satisfaying sequence of moves, the tool and the reward are worth the small price of this puzzlebox.

Trust me: it's a CLEVER sequencial discovery puzzle !! 

And the good point: if you cannot move a piece; either it's blocked by another piece (and you should figure out that soon!) or you're just not allowed to move that piece. So it's nealry impossible that you break the puzzle....unless you use a hammer.... !!


I wish QuizBrix make some other puzzle in the same spirit.

The level 7 (I assume on a scale of 10) is the appropriate one: it's a challenging puzzle, but not at all impossible. It should puzzle you for some time and when you know how to progresse you should have some "ah-ha" moments !

The name of the puzzle should make you think that you will solve a maze. But it's not the case, there is no real maze. Of course you will have to find your way with some tools, but trust me: no maze to solve!


And the good thing is that you don't really navigate blindly.

You're not completely lost and the puzzle is made so that you cannot lose any tool inside it ! So you really can try all the things that you want as you will always be able to get easily your tools.

Your prize is a QR code with a golden bar. The QR code congrats you and give the steps to resset the puzzle. But you can resset by yourself. You cannot block the puzzle, no worries!


You can buy this wonderful puzzle on QuizBrix webshop


Saturday, 19 February 2022

JP Lock Bronze

JP Lock Bronze is a trick lock designed and made by Jean-Claude Constantin made of plexi, wood (MDF probably) and metal pins.

The funny thing about this puzzle is that you clearly see what you're doing when solving it. There are very few puzzle locks that are transparent. This one and the "open lock" by Gary Foshee are the only 2 that I know. But maybe there are others?

It requires several steps to open, mainly sliding the pieces while trying to not be blocked by the ball bearings.

Honestly this is a way too easy puzzle. It took me few seconds to open and a non experienced puzzler should be able to solve it under a minute or so.  So it may be more suitable for children in my opinion.

Don't get me wrong: this puzzle is nicely crafted, great quality and is pleasant to solve!

But I expect a bit more difficulty. Of course, there are versions of it that are not transparent and I strongly advise not transparent versions for a better challenge, even if I am not super found of navigating blindly during a puzzle journey...

 

You can buy the puzzle on Puzzle Master webshop !


Saturday, 12 February 2022

This time you can play with food !

 ....why?

Because the puzzle I am going to review is called Bacon Pancake :)

It's a packing puzzle made with 3D printers and the goal is just to pack all the bacon pieces, easy? No !!!

 

First points to notice: the quality is awsome and the colors are (in my opinion) well chosen.

 


Now what about the puzzling aspect of the puzzle? Basically there is not real trickery in this puzzle, you just need to arrange the pieces in the proper way and with the right orientation so that you don't need any force to solve the puzzle.

I played with it during long time and I could not find the solution...so I cheated! What's wrong with that? 

Sometimes, you need to admit defeat! And the solution is challenging to find, I could not have thought about it...

Ok so I am a bad solver, but wait for the end!

One day (this is pure truth, no invention of any kind) I was watching something on the internet and I played with the puzzle because I feel the pieces are pleasant to touch :)

And guess what I solved the puzzle!!!! But not with the "official" solution. My solution does not need any force and is less complicated.

 

So 2 possibilities: either there are indeed 2 solutions (one being easier than the official one). Or there are some mistakes in the making of the puzzle allowing another solution. I don't know what the correct option is. But if you have the puzzle, I would be happy to know if you found 2 solutions and maybe you can try my solution with your puzzle?


But in any way, this is a nice puzzle that should keep you busy for long time, especially if you don't cheat :)


You can buy the puzzle on Puzzle Master webshop !

 

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Snowflakes

Time to review a nice plexi packing puzzle designed and made by Vladimir Krasnoukhov called Snowflakes, easy to guess why.

The goal is to manage to create the snowflake inside the tray, basically just put all the 3 pieces inside the tray :)

It is far from being easy (but perfectly doable) as I am sure you will have a configuration where you can put 2 pieces and the 3rd one cannot fit because of a too large edge.



I notice that designers who create packing puzzles, especially in plexi tend to have a nice displayed solution. I mean, of course the goal is to pack all the pieces, but the result is pretty often a nice shape.

This is why, my method was to find a symetrical shape and not just pieces randomly put. For sure, finding a symetrical shape is harder when the shape of the pieces are complex, which is the case here.


Still, it did not take me that long to solve the puzzle and I must admit I was pretty satisfied as I am not the best packing solver.

I advise this puzzle if you like packing puzzles, whether you're seasoned or not you will be challenged without frustration :)


You can buy it on Puzzle Master webshop !


Sunday, 6 February 2022

Kirigami Pop-ups

As you know I am a big fan of origami foldings, especially modular and geometrical origami. I like the shapes and I find that folding is a relaxing hobby, espite being somewhat a bit repetitive (when you have to fold hundreds of the same module, it starts to be a bit boring....).

I found by chance some very nice foldings made by Guy Petzall.

They are in the form of pop-ups, you know you fold in half and when you open, there is like a shape popping-up. Here it's the same, but with geometrical shapes.

Literally I fell in love with Guy's creations. They are very wonderful and trust me they must take very long time to fold ! And a lot of patience....

You can have a look at Guy's foldings: HERE

He put some models and videos where he explains the technique. Very useful !

 

And quick pictures that you can find on the link below:





Guy has created a starter kit (which is a very nice idea) for the beginners (I am, regarding this technique) with models of increasing difficulty. 

Basically the kit is composed of 12 models to fold, a book and black papers for the background. What you need is only your hands. Indeed, the models are already pre-creased.

It does not mean that it's easy to fold and I advise to start with the easier models first and when you feel ready then to go for the most difficult foldings.

 



I chose the easiest model first and I am pretty happy how it turned out:

When you have folded the mountain and valley folds, then you can flatten the models and voilà !


The main advantage of these foldings is that they can be carried out anywhere. You cannot carry easily a big 3D gemetrical origami....


Guy has published so far 5 differents books and he is working on volume 6 and 7. The models get increasingly complex and challenging to fold as the books progress. 

You can buy the books on amazon



Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Pill Box Puzzle - Nesting Mazes

I am not super found of hidden maze like the revomaze puzzles, as I like to see what I am doing and if I make progress or not...

However I wanted to try a 3D printed maze to see if hidden mazes can now be my friend or still not. And the reply is YES !

Nesting Mazes is actually 3 mazes in one box because once you solve the maze, then you get another one and a third one.

It's easy to navigate the maze, no issue with the 3D printed materials. It's smooth and enjoyable (really !). No force is needed, just nice and small moves.

 


Now you can say that you cannot see your progress? At the beginning it's true. But...

But first you should be able to use your brain and don't take a false path that you may have taken previously. Secondly, at some point you can see where you're expected to get to solve the maze and then you should see which is the best path to reach your goal.

And you can apply this method to solve all the 3 mazes.


Sure it won't take 1 minute, but it's perfectly doable without any pain in you hands and without any frustration. And when you don't have these 2 issues, then you should have a nice puzzling journey :)

 

As usually the nice puzzles that I review in my blog can be bought at Puzzle Master webshop