Magna Cube

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 by Gabriel | 1 comments
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The Magna Cube was another great surprise for me, also from Puzzle Guru. The other one was the Houdini Dead Lock, reviewed last week. It is also part of the IQ Collection from the Family Games America, together with the Mosaic and the Labyrinth 4D, both seem very interesting as well.

This puzzle is like a Soma Cube with a "Twist". The added difficulty comes from the twenty four strategically placed magnets into the eight wooden pieces that form a 3x3 cube. Each piece can have either two, three or four magnets scattered around, although only one has two and another one four, leaving all the other six pieces with three magnets each. The tricky part is that each magnet will either repel or attract with another piece, thus making the puzzle much more difficult to solve.

Since 1933, we've seen many puzzle variations inspired by Piet Hein's seven piece Soma Cube, although some of them stand out more than others. One of the most popular is the Bedlam Cube with its thirteen pieces, but the Magna Cube is also a very nice change from the old formula and can be considered one of the best so far.

The puzzle is beautifully presented with a harder tone wooden stand, to better displayed it when solved. I say solved, because there's no way you can keep it in the stand, unless it's all tight packed correctly, otherwise you're gonna have falling pieces.

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After you take the cube apart and shuffle the pieces, you have a serious challenge on your hands. Although it's not as hard as a Bedlam Cube, it does take a little patience to see some progress. One of the requirements to solve it right is that no magnet can be visible outside of the cube. It seems only logic, but there's going to be countless times when you think you're in the right path, to only notice one or two magnets seen on the outer side.

Another requirement to keep in mind is that each magnet has to be connected to another one. In other words, you can't have two magnets of a particular piece connected and leave another one loose without a counterpart on another piece. Once more, this will give to the puzzle an added level of complexity, making sure to leave you with a small headache.

One thing that it does make the puzzle a bit more easy, is that the cube only has three types of pieces (graphical representations can be done with a small 'v', an 'L' and a 'T'): 5 v's, 2 L's and a T. Knowing this, it simplifies when you need a 'v', for example, but the magnet configuration doesn't fit with the rest of the placed pieces. Then, you just need to replace that piece with the one that has the magnets in the right position.

Looking at the puzzle like this, knowing the two main requirements and taking advantage of the fact that it only has three types of pieces, you only need some experimentation with a couple of pieces and work your way up to form the cube. I'm not sure of the exact number of solutions, but I reckon it must be a very small number, given the restrictions and requirements needed to solve it.

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Closing Comments:

Having played with several other Soma related puzzles, I can honestly say that this one is among my favorites, alongside the Bedlam Cube. Not only for its great presentation with the stand, but also for the challenge and the novelty of seeing something different with magnets. It can be a little time consuming though, depending on your puzzle solving skills, but then again, you'll have your money's worth.

The Magna Cube can be purchased at Puzzle Guru, as well as the others in the IQ Collection: The Mosaic and the Labyrinth 4D.


Anonymous said...

can you please post a solution?

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