Topola

Posted on by Gabriel | 0 comments
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Topola is a new version of the Quarks puzzle, developed by Fourier Idea.

The puzzle uses the same sliding shell mechanism of the Quarks, so if you're familiar with it, Topola would be easier to understand. Just like Quarks, Topola is also hollow inside and you have eight holes to help you twist the puzzle.

The goal is a bit different from the Quarks. The puzzle uses the concept of topology to "play" with its design patterns. Depicted in the design is a globe with a large continent, four islands, each with a different icon, a big ocean and a lake and some wildlife living in perfect harmony, away from potentially predators. Your first challenge is to sail away with your boat and "capture" a whale that's living away in the ocean. On the opposite side of where the boat is located, you have a compass to "help" you in your journey. You'll see that, when you finally return home with a captured whale, the topology of your globe was changed in the process and the natural balance between the species has been disrupted. Your compass might be "broken", some animals may have been placed dangerously, closer to their predators, such as the wolf near the goat, the bird near the butterfly, or the snake near the bird. Your second challenge is now to "bring" peace to all lands, by returning the whale to its natural habitat, separate the animals in such a way, that they won't have to worry about being eaten and "repair" your compass. Be careful not to "break" or "sink" your sailboat on your journey...

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Regarding the difficulty of Topola, this is as hard as a 2x2 puzzle can get and much harder than the Quarks. You won't have any colors to guide you through the solving process, or arrows, like the Quarks, to indicate the orientation, either. As you twist the puzzle, some islands might be aggregated into the continents, or the ocean might become smaller, giving place to some lakes. Bottom line is that, you always have to be concentrated on the changing topology of the puzzle, as you "twist" your way around the globe and try to take one step at a time, without changing your surrounding environment in the process.

The concept and idea behind Topola is brilliant! While taking the simple 2x2 concept and turning it into a wonderful solving experience, with the globe and topology changing design, it's a very clever use of the Quarks mechanism and leaves you wanting more designs like these.

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Closing Comments:

After being pleasantly surprised by the Quarks puzzle, it could prove to be difficult to be amazed by any "sticker variation", although the images were printed on the puzzle instead of using stickers (nice touch, by the way). You couldn't be wronger... By serving us with such an original and new idea, the inventors of Topola have created a totally different puzzle. The story used to create the challenges is very ingenious. From the way how you must capture the whale with your boat, how everything turns into chaos with your journey, to the way how you must return nature to its perfect balance again, is so well thought, that this is surely, a fantastic puzzle. I personally prefer this one over the Quarks, for its stunning visual appearance. Bravo!

The Topola is available for purchase at the Fourier Idea website.


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