Posted on by Gabriel | 1 comments
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The Quarks puzzle was developed by the company Fourier Idea and released in 2009.

The design of the puzzle, which was inspired by the subatomic particles named quarks, is very original. The puzzle is formed by six colored quarks (representing its six types of flavors), with eight holes that have three different colors around them, "swirling" as if they were being swallowed by a Black Hole. Each quark is divided by four equal parts with an arrow, to help identifying its orientation. Another great design feature is that the puzzle doesn't have a core like its twisty cousins. It's completely hollow. The pieces are held together by a patented sliding shell mechanism, developed by Fourier Idea.

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The goal of the puzzle is very similar to a 2x2 cube, but the similarities stop there. You scramble the puzzle to any color configuration, by twisting it in any of the three possible directions and then, you must return it to the original configuration. You can use the holes for your fingers to help you twist the puzzle, although I would advise against it, if you have small fingers, as you may have one caught and could be hard to release it...

Now, as difficulty goes, it's not that hard, if you know how to solve a 2x2 cube. It may be a bit more difficult to solve it, because the puzzle is a sphere and could be harder to visualize the patterns, due to its coloring scheme. For any 3x3 cube solver, it's a breeze though, because you'll probably need just a couple of algorithms borrowed from the 3x3 cube. If you still get stuck at solving it, you can always take the puzzle apart and assemble it back to the solved state.

Turning quality is ok, although it's not recommended for any kind of speedsolving. The pieces have to be perfectly aligned to rotate, but overall, it could be improved with a bit of lubrication.

Closing Comments:

I was very pleased with the design features of the Quarks. When I first saw pictures of it, I didn't realize that it was hollow inside (this was one of the first pictures I saw of the puzzle). The colors and shapes used are visually, very pleasant to the eye. While it's not a hard challenge for an experienced puzzler, it's certainly fun and enjoyable to solve and definitely a great gift for any Rubik's Cube fan or a puzzle collector.

The Quarks is available for purchase, directly from the Fourier Idea website and you can also make a wholesale order with a nice discount.

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George said...

I dislike this puzzle because my copy is very difficult to get aligned properly. It looks really nice and is a great idea, but is so hard to make many turns in a row it is aggravating.

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