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For any true puzzle enthusiast, Vinco is synonymous for outstanding workmanship. Václav Obšivač, a Czech puzzle designer and craftsman makes extraordinary complex puzzles and sells them at a very affordable price. Most notable for his coordinate-motion puzzles, the Square AC2, however, is part of his line of assembly/packing puzzles.
If you check the blog regularly, you probably read my previous review of his other similar puzzle, the mini AC3. Both puzzles have the same type of pieces, which are a combination of two sizes of triangular prisms in various configurations. There are 10 pieces, all dissimilar and when packed, they fill a square frame.
(Click to Enlarge) - The 10 Pieces
The puzzle is all manufactured in plain wood and some pieces have different color tones, which give a nice colored effect. The frame measures 9.5 x 9.5 x 2cm (3.7" x 3.7" x 0.8"). Curiously, this one's smaller than the measurements in the PuzzleMaster's website, but still bigger than their smaller version of the same puzzle. A nice feature of the tray is that in the bottom there's another frame with the same dimensions, but with a smaller height, which is more practical to solve the puzzle and looks nicer for displaying it, as it shows more of the pieces.
If you know Vinco's puzzles, then you know that he adds numbers to their names. This is basically to tell them apart, as he often releases several versions of the same puzzle, but with slight differences in the piece configuration, number of pieces or even the outer appearance. For example, the Square AC3 looks very similar, but it has 13 pieces instead of 10. You can probably guess which one is more difficult to solve...
If you have the mini AC3 and thought it was extremely difficult with just six pieces, then what to say about this Square AC2. PuzzleMaster rates this as the hardest level, a 10/10, and I certainly agree. Well, an 11 would be more fitting, really. By the tone of the writing, you might be guessing by now that I haven't solved it yet. You are correct... After several unsuccessful attempts, the best I could do was to pack all but one piece. And the old strategy of removing just a few pieces and repack them at different positions hasn't been working either. I guess I still have plenty more work to do until I finally solve it.
(Click to Enlarge)
While I wasn't able to solve the Square AC2 (yet), I still liked the puzzle very much. On top of looking great, Vinco's puzzles always provide a tough challenge capable of frustrating even the best of puzzle solvers. If you like non-intuitive thinking, then give this one a try.
Availability: The Square AC2 can be found at PuzzleMaster for about $19CAD. There's also a smaller version of the same puzzle for less than half the price. If you like this type of puzzles, take a look at these other similar designs by Vinco: Eight Houses, Cube 3, Minibox C2, Minibox Q1.5, Three Wedges, Triangle 9x3, Triangle AC2, HCP1, HCP2, HCP3, Hexagon AC, Rectangle AC2, Sandwich, mini AC3 and Square AC3.