|(Click to Enlarge)|
Before there were any Revomazes or Dael 'O Rings, there was the Blind Labyrinth, developed in 1983 by Lauri Kaira. That was exactly 30 years ago. Only a limited number of these puzzles were manufactured at the time, 2000 copies to be more precise. Some of these puzzles are still available to buy from Sloyd.fi. However, there are only two difficulty levels left, A and C, A being the easiest.
The puzzle is extremely light, as it's made in aluminum and the shaft is hollow. It's also quite small compared with other puzzles in the same category, with dimensions of 3.5cm x 9cm (1.4" x 3.5"). The design is simple, but still visually appealing. The movement is not very smooth due to the friction between the pin and the shaft, but I didn't experience any kind of jamming while I was playing with it.
|(Click to Enlarge)|
The Blind Labyrinth 1A, the one I have here, is a Hidden Maze puzzle, even though I'm not exactly sure if it should be classified as such. The difference is that with other Hidden Maze type puzzles you only see the maze after you've solved it. This is very important in the way you approach it, because you have no way of knowing how the maze looks like. It's different with the Blind Labyrinth, though, since the puzzle comes packaged with the two pieces taken apart and you can clearly see the maze. You have all the time you want to study the maze and its dead ends before attempting to solve it.
The solving process is also backwards from the other popular Hidden Maze puzzles. You start by inserting the cylinder in the shaft and use the pin to guide you through the maze until the cylinder meets the bottom of the shaft. The solving process in between is the same though. After you insert the cylinder, you can no longer see the maze and have to rely solely on your sense of touch.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Almost There!|
In terms of difficulty, and since the one I got is the easiest from the two available, it's not very hard to solve. After solving it, I'm glad I chose the A over the C one, because it had the right amount of difficulty. I didn't find it extremely easy in a disappointing way nor too much challenging. From the three Dael 'O Rings I currently own I'd say the difficulty is about the same as the middle one, the Simple Orange, with solving times between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the time you took to analyze the maze before actually solving it. Honestly, I must've taken a minute or so looking at the maze, because I didn't want to learn it by heart. I found it much more rewarding and fun solving it by knowing very little how the maze looked like.
There's not an easy way to reset the puzzle like the Revomaze and Dael 'O Ring both have. If you want to solve it again by inserting the cylinder and guide it through the shaft to the bottom, you need to solve it by going through the maze backwards and remove it.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Solved|
I first knew about Hidden Maze puzzles through the Revomaze. They deserve recognition for popularizing this otherwise overlooked category of puzzles. As for the Blind Labyrinth, even though I'm not certain they were the pioneers in this type of puzzles, I liked it very much and can easily recommend it to any puzzle fan. It's simple and fun to solve, and also not very complex.