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Over a year ago, I reviewed the plastic version of the Revomaze, called Obsession by Chris Pitt (please, refer to that review for more info on the Obsession series). At that time, I also reviewed what was supposed to be the next design version of the Obsession series, but apparently the design was never commercially available. Even though they didn't use the new look, they still took a few of its design features for the V2. They still use the rubber bubble badges, which I think gives a very stylish and polished look.
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For the newcomers, the Revomaze is a Hidden Sleeve-on-Cylinder Maze Puzzle, where you navigate through an internal labyrinth and the goal is to remove the white shaft from the black sleeve. Not recommended if you easily loose your patience with puzzles, though... Right now, the V1 versions of the Obsession series are discontinued and no longer available, and the only ones you can choose from are the Blue V2, the Blue Pro V2 and the Black V2.
The first new feature, which is quite useful, is that they flattened part of the bottom sleeve, to avoid rolling on a flat surface. In comparison to the older version, now most of the sleeve surface is smooth instead of straight groove lines across it. The edges of the sleeve were rounded, making it more slick and elegant, but on the contrary, the changes in the shaft are worse. The older version had a rough surface on the shaft, which was much better to get a grip, but now the new shaft was smoothed and it's more difficult to hold it, especially if you sweat from your hands... And believe me, after a while of playing with it, you'll probably understand what I'm saying.
(Click to Enlarge) - Bottom View w/ Flattened Surface
Another new feature, and this one is the best, is that finally the shaft comes out. With the older version, when you solved the maze and didn't see the actual shaft coming out, it seemed that the challenge wasn't complete and it was a bit of a let down. Now the solving experience is much more rewarding.
Given the fact that I already owned a Blue Revomaze, I decided to go for the Black one (difficulty: 65/100), even though the new Blue Pro V2 version was available and was six times longer (difficulty: 70/100). The Black was apparently a good choice, although after more than two weeks, I'm still nowhere near the end of the maze.
It took me about 8 hours to open the first Blue Revomaze, but the Black one has been a whole different beast. I've made some progress in the first few days, but after that it's been really difficult to keep going. It seems I always end up in a dead-end. Although I don't see the actual mazes, there seems to be a major difference between the blue and black versions.
In most of the times, the blue was easy to navigate through the maze. It was like going leaning to a wall and follow a path, but with the black, a good analogy is like walking most of the time on top of a bridge, with no protection from the sides and if you deviate just a little off-path, you fall down. That's exactly my feeling whenever I hear that damned clicking sound announcing my failure once again. I'm guessing it will take, at least a few more weeks until I finally solve it.
Note: In one of my "failures", I noticed that the shaft almost came close to the end. It didn't came out, but it was sufficient to see the tiny hole holding the paper with the serial number (this was how you'd know you had solved the puzzle in the V1 and the serial number was proof that you had indeed solved it). If it wasn't for the new feature of getting the shaft to come out, I could say that the puzzle was solved, but no... Design flaw? - Honestly, I don't know what to think of it, but I'm assuming it wasn't supposed for you to get access to the serial number before solving the puzzle. You can see a photo of this below.
(Click to Enlarge) - No, not solved?!
Overall, I have mixed feelings about the new V2 Obsession series. I love most of the new features, but compared to the Extreme versions, it's a shame there are no more different levels. I understand that the Extreme Revomaze is the flagship of the company, but if they want to reach a broader audience instead of only the "elite club", they need to come up with more captivating and affordable options. That means more different Obsession levels.
Honestly, I still find very hard giving more money for a puzzle, just because it's made from metal. The whole experience of having and solving a metal version might be better, but in the end, the concept of the puzzle is the same, and to me, that's what really matters.
If having the same mazes on the Obsession, just like the Extreme, would probably "steal" a portion of the market from the more expensive ones, why not more plastic versions, but with completely different mazes. That way, the Obsession market is pleased, but there might be a chance to also captivate the interest of collectors and solvers, who will probably buy every different challenge available. Food for thought...
The Revomaze Obsession V2 can be bought directly from the Revomaze website, with prices starting from £20.