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Siebenstein-Spiele is mostly known for their beautiful and colorful packing puzzles, but that doesn't mean that's all they do. A nice and interesting interlocking puzzle, Six Pieces of Eight demonstrates the ability of designer Jürgen Reiche to make any type of puzzle he puts his heart into.
Made with laser-cut wood and surprisingly quite small for an interlocking puzzle, Six Pieces of Eight is Jürgen's take on a type of puzzles filled with prestigious designs and craftsmen. Does he succeed in creating a true worthy addition to this category or is he better off with his packing puzzles? Read on to find out...
When I first saw this puzzle I was very impressed with its design, which is quite uncommon to see in interlocking puzzles. Usually, the designs in this category are made with solid pieces of wood, but Jürgen decided to make a bolder design with holes in all six pieces that resemble the shape of an eight.
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The size is a bit small to my taste for a puzzle like this (5.5cm (2.2") in diameter), but I understand why it had to be this way. The reason has to be because of the material chosen to make the puzzle, which is laser-cut wood. In my opinion, this wasn't a very good idea, because it's a very fragile material, especially given the fact that you will apply some force to the pieces and you could very easily break one. It's different with packing puzzles, though, because there's no need to apply any kind of force on them, but with interlocking puzzles...It's just a bad choice.
Forgetting for a moment the materials, let's focus on the puzzle itself. Comprised by six pieces, as the name suggests, the first goal of the puzzle is to take it apart, one piece at a time. This is moderately difficult, perhaps a level 7/10, but the real challenge is to put it back together. Here, the difficulty level is rated as an 8/10, and I completely agree - it's rather tough to find the right way to reassemble it, but it could've been worse.
The reason lies in the colors used for the puzzle, as the pieces are separated in three pairs, each with a different color, which facilitates the reassembly process. Had the pieces all been made in one single color it would've been even harder to get it back to its original position. Even so, I had to cheat a little and photograph the puzzle in its half-disassembled state to check how the pieces were interacting with each other. It was still difficult this way, so this is definitely not a puzzle for beginners.
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Solution: If you need help with the solution, you can download it here.
I was somewhat disappointed on the overall quality of the puzzle. For an interlocking puzzle, it's not recommended to use laser-cut wood, but if you're willing to overlook this fact, it's still a great and challenging puzzle.
Availability: I got the Six Pieces of Eight from PuzzleMaster, where you can also find lots of other great puzzles by Siebenstein-Spiele.