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Our Common Goal is yet another interesting puzzle from the German manufacturer Philos, designed by Logan Kleinwaks. I'm a sucker for pattern puzzles and this one captured my attention right away because of its high contrast of light and dark shades made by hevea and samena woods.
The puzzle features 16 identically shaped pieces, although there are seven different patterns of light/dark parts glued together. The goal of the puzzle was somewhat confusing to me at first. I thought the pieces had various ways to be put together in various patterns (7 to be exact), but it turns out that there's only one pattern you're supposed to do, which is the one that is already shown in the picture on the package, and it actually comes packaged in its solved state - shame really, because the explanation makes you think that there is 7 different patterns to build, but they're referring to the patterns on the pieces.
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So, the goal is to remove the pieces from the tray, mix them, and then try to make the requested pattern. Don't be fooled by the fact that the puzzle comes in its solved state, because it will be quite challenging to return it to the original pattern. It is rated as a level 8/10, and I reckon it's pretty accurate, given the unusual shape of the pieces and how they must be packed in the tray. On top of that, you have to keep in mind which pieces to use at a certain time to make the original pattern.
The puzzle is more or less a 2-in-1 puzzle, as it's first and foremost a packing puzzle. Even though the pieces are identically shaped it's still challenging to pack them all in the tray. Try to do that by just packing the pieces and not minding the pattern. You'll see that it's not that easy. Now, try to pack them, this time carefully selecting the right pieces for each spot.
After solving the main - and only - challenge, I tried to make other patterns that made sense geometrically, but all I could come up with were random configurations. I still believe that with lots of patience and a careful analysis of the pieces it's possible to make other symmetrical - or at least less chaotic - patterns. If you put your mind to that, you might have a serious challenge in your hands. Are you up for that task?
|(Click to Enlarge) - Some Random Pattern|
Our Common Goal by Philos was a bit less than I was expecting, but still was quite a challenge. It is really well made, something already to be expected from the German manufacturer, and it could be used as a nice center piece to decorate a coffee table or a shelf.
Availability: You can get a copy of Our Common Goal at PuzzleMaster for $28.99 CAD. Check out other designs by Philos if you like their puzzles.