Dael 'O Ring (Easy Yellow)

Posted on by Gabriel | 8 comments

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Invented by Cor Vissers and Gert Santman, and on sale since September 2010, the Dael 'O Ring is a Hidden Maze puzzle with six different difficulties. From "Easy Yellow", the easiest and only version on the market right now, to "Terrible Black", the hardest. The objective of the puzzle is to guide the pin on the shaft through the hidden maze of the ring, so that you can separate both pieces.

The Dael 'O Ring is actually an improved version of the classic Dool 'O Rinth. First released fifteen years ago, also by Cor Vissers and Gert Santman, the Dool 'O Rinth had the lack of possibility to return the ring to its starting position, once it was separated from the stick. This prevented the puzzle to be easily reset in order to start over from the beginning (read this for more details about its history). I actually see a silver lining here, in that after you successfully separate the ring from the stick, you have another challenge in your hands, which is to solve the maze backwards to its starting position.

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Now, the Dael 'O Ring is presented to us with this new feature, a straight path across the maze that allows the ring to be clicked in placed to its starting position again, and a couple of nice finishing touches as well. If you own a Dool 'O Rinth, then you'll notice that the new version feels much heavier than its predecessors. The stick or shaft is now made of a single piece of hard plastic, which feels much better to hold, contrary to the hollow stick on the Dool 'O Rinth. Another cool design feature is the contrast color between the ring and the shaft, which is black in all six versions. Now, only the ring changes color according to its difficulty, emphasizing its nice glossy and shiny finish. Maybe it's just a matter of personal taste, but I actually prefer the contrasting colors, instead of a unique one for both pieces. Besides these minor tweaks in the presentation of the puzzle, its overall design remains unchanged.

With six different levels of difficulty, it's only natural to start with the easier one, to get used to the maze's features and to train for harder levels. On my first try with the "Easy Yellow", I took around 20 minutes to separate the ring from the shaft. It was more like a lucky solve, because I had encountered numerous dead-ends and after a while of going around the maze unsuccessfully, the ring was finally freed from the stick. I was far from having the maze memorized to do it in one flawless attempt, though in my second and third tries, I only needed  just a little more than 5 minutes. I have now solved the puzzle several times and although I can do it in just a minute or two, I'm yet to completely memorize the maze to solve it without running into a dead-end. The reason for this may be that you spend so little time opening it, that when you do, you're not sure of the exact path you took. This will probably change with harder levels, because you'll need more time to solve them, which allows you to get more accustomed to the right path, so by the time you succeed, you already know how you got there. It's actually great that after you complete the maze, you still have a replay value. You can solve it multiple times to try and beat your previous records, until you finally memorize it to do it in one go.

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The only version available right now is the yellow. The others are being released one at a time, with the orange being the next in line. It's understandable that the company chose not to release all versions at once, because it wouldn't be prudent after what happened with the original game fifteen years ago. They have to see if the product is widely accepted in the market first, to provide a safe release of harder levels and to create enough expectation, so that each new version can surpass its predecessors. The "Simple Orange" is just a few weeks away, and I'll be reviewing it here also once I have it, so check my Blog regularly for updates.

Closing Comments

I didn't have the opportunity to play with the original Dool 'O Rinth, but I can say that I was impressed by this new updated and improved version. To my knowledge, the Dael 'O Ring are the cheapest puzzles of the "Hidden Maze" category (by cheapest, I mean in price, as their quality is anything but cheap), and at €10 a piece you can enjoy this affordable addictive puzzle, that even a non-puzzler will find it intriguing enough to try his luck. It's the perfect puzzle for the masses, because it's the kind of puzzle that everyone knows exactly what they're supposed to do, so they'll keep trying until they manage to solve it.

UPDATE DEC./2011 - I have now a new review for the two new colors from the set (Simple Orange & Silly Green). Click here to read it.

Youtube Video

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Anonymous said...

Hi is this a collectors version and how difficult it is?

Doesn't look very difficult.

Gabriel said...

Hi, this is what you get when you purchase one. There are six versions, but right now only the yellow is available, which is the easiest one. It's not too difficult (around 20 min. or so to open in the first time), however it's a great way to train for later versions. Puzzle Regards

murat said...

Very good puzzle
This puzzle sale address:

Anonymous said...

It is not too difficult, depend upon a person who is solving it. But it is rather interesting. You will keep trying to solve it till it gets you 10 seconds every time. Orange is also interesting and not difficult.

Anonymous said...


Please help me. This may sound silly, but how can you put it back together!?


Gabriel said...

Hi, there's a straight path across the length of the ring. You just need to place the pin inside and push it into place - It's that simple. Happy Puzzling!

Unknown said...

Stupid question - did they produce more than the three colours (yellow, orange and green)? And is there a source to still pick them up? Their website is down, so I don't know where to get them (only have yellow so far)...

Gabriel said...

Hi, unfortunately they don't produce them anymore and stopped with the third color. Your best bet to still find them is eBay. If you can't find any right now, "save" a search with the right terms and you'll be notified when one comes up for auction. Sorry I can't help you more. Happy Puzzling!

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