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The Babylon Tower, the Missing Link, the Whip-It...What do they all have in common? Why, they were all released in the same year, of course, in 1981 - The golden age of the Rubik's Cube. Ever since then, countless variations were made, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some of them were pretty good, others, should've never seen the light of day... Unfortunately, the Circular Bean Tower by Muzi (a.k.a Capuzle), belongs in the latter group, but keep reading to find out why.
The design of the Circular Bean Tower is nothing short of ambitious: comprised by twelve columns and five rotating discs, for a whopping 60 beans total, you can be sure to have a huge challenge on your hands. To get an idea of the sheer size of the Capuzle, the original Babylon Tower had six columns with six rows, which added up to a total of only 36 balls. In theory, the difficulty is about twice as hard, but add the fact of the poor movement of the puzzle and that adds up to an infinite amount of frustration.
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The goal of the puzzle is similar to any cylindrical sliding puzzle: remove the purple bean with a star and with the empty space you'll be able to mix the puzzle by rotating any of the five discs back and forth, and moving the beans up or down the columns. When you feel the puzzle is well mixed, try to get each column with a single color.
The problem with this puzzle is its movement, which is very stiff. The rotating discs move relatively easy, but trying to get the beans up or down the columns is a major headache. Some beans can move effortlessly, but most of them get stuck and you need to apply a generous dose of force. Now, clearly the puzzle was not very well though-out, or the quality of the materials is subpar, or both. I can still give it the benefit of the doubt, as my copy could've been a faulty sample, but I'm sure there's more copies out there like mine and if so, let me know your experiences with this puzzle. As you can expect, I didn't spend much time playing with this puzzle, because it's basically impossible to find the patience and work around a stiff mechanism.
|(Click to Enlarge) - The Cylindrical Slide Puzzle Family|
I really wanted to like the Capuzle, because the design is very interesting and ambitious, but the poor mechanism eliminates all the fun out of it. Had the mechanism been functioning 100%, it could've been one of my favorite sliding puzzles. As for now, it will just be another puzzle taking up shelf space.