|(Click to Enlarge)|
Flabber Floovers - Now that's a name you don't see everyday. This is a collection of 12 rope puzzles released by Family Games that will push your patience to the limit. If you dread any kind of rope puzzles stay away from these, very, very far away...
These puzzles are very well crafted with high quality and polished hard wood, giving it a sleek and elegant appearance, despite their low asking price. Each design is unique and quite intimidating actually. They come in four different levels of difficulty, but in my opinion, they're all pretty tough to solve, even the easier ones. You've been warned.
The first of these Flabber Floovers I have for review is the Shackle, and the name couldn't be more appropriate. This one's supposed to be a difficulty level 2/4 in the manufacturers scale, but it was a pain to solve. Now, after solving it multiple times, I find it easier than the first time, but I would still classify it as a level 3.
What makes the puzzle harder than it looks is its many parts, and each one plays an important part - no pun intended - in the solving process: the top, which has a hole and a knot passing through it; two rings with rope passing through them; a block attached to the end of the rope; a slotted bar which is the part you should remove from the puzzle and a bead that prevents the bar from getting easily freed. With so many things to worry about, what could possibly go wrong here? Featuring an exceptionally long rope, you've got yourself a recipe for disaster.
Before attempting to solve the puzzle, take a moment to study all the features of the puzzle and how the rope can be disentangled to free the bar. The first thing you need to tackle is the knot from the top part. When you solve that problem the puzzle is half solved. Now, you only need to figure out how to get past the rings and the rest of the rope, but believe me, that part is the easiest. I found it a little more challenging to reset the puzzle, and again, the hardest part was to make the top knot again. I recommend taking a picture of the puzzle in its original state to check how the knot is done.
|(Click to Enlarge)|
I don't know why I put myself in these situations. I find rope puzzles extremely difficult and yet, time and time again, I end up with a few of them in my hands to review. There's an upside to this though. Solving these puzzles is highly rewarding, because you know you tackled something you thought was far beyond your limits. Yes, you may be out of patience for a while to try another one, but I tell you it's totally worth it.
Availability: The Flabber Floovers - Shackle came from PuzzlesdeIngenio.com, an online Spanish puzzle store. Worldwide shipping available.