Posted on Jan 26, 2012 by Gabriel | 2 comments

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K-Dron is an eleven-sided geometrical form, invented by the Polish Janusz Kapusta in 1985. He found many uses for this kind of shape and one of them was the K-Dron puzzle.

The K-Dron puzzle consists of eight pieces, four black and four white. They all have the same form, but when two are placed on top of each other, they form a cube. This cube, in turn, shows different arrangements in each of its six sides, that can be used to create thousands of possible patterns (38,416 to be exact), just by turning and flipping the cubes.

(Click to Enlarge) - K-Dron Pieces and the 6 Cube Arrangements 

The puzzle comes in a handy transparent case that can be used as a base to create your patterns. To make the puzzle more interesting and challenging, there's already included in the package, a leaflet with 72 challenges divided in three levels of difficulty. Many of the challenges in the harder level are quite challenging, as the patterns shown are viewed from a 45º, unlike the other two levels where the patterns are viewed as a regular square.

(Click to Enlarge) - Patterns as Viewed from the Harder  Level

A curious and cool thing I've noticed when I was playing with it, is that when you finish a pattern, you can see on the opposite side, the negative version of that particular pattern. To better view this result, just close the case and flip it. In the photo below, there's an example of a pattern and its negative version.

(Click to Enlarge) - Right Pic: Negative Pattern of the Left One Viewed From the Bottom

Before buying the K-Dron puzzle, I read several negative comments about it in a few websites and honestly, I couldn't disagree more with these people. Clearly, the comments came from someone that understands very little about puzzles and doesn't comprehend what they're supposed to do with it, besides making "pointless patterns". Sure, you make patterns with it, which by the way I love to do, but what could you expect from such a puzzle? - Well, if you do get bored with making patterns, there's another use you can give to it and it's called K-Chess. This simplified Chess version reflects the society we see today, and for that reason, you play it with only eight pieces, four assigned to each player. Check the photos below to know more about K-Chess.

(Click to Enlarge) - K-Chess Explanation

There's also an interactive version of the K-Dron puzzle on their website, which requires you to have the original set. By showing you a certain pattern, you try to recreate it with your blocks in the fastest time possible, in order to advance to the next level. Each time you play, there's 10 different challenges, so there's plenty to do before you get bored.

Note: For you to have an idea of what can be done, you can see here, the challenges that came with the puzzle's leaflet as some of its possible patterns.

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Closing Comments:

Despite the negative feedback I saw from some people, I decided to buy a K-Dron puzzle anyway, and I don't regret it, because I love Pattern Puzzles. Now, the quality of the puzzle isn't outstanding, as it's made of hollow plastic, but I think it serves its purpose and I can highly recommend it to anyone who understands puzzles...

I bought my copy of K-Dron at a Portuguese online store, but I think you can get one at Amazon. PuzzleMaster also sells it, but it's been out of stock for quite some time, so it's better to send them an e-mail first and ask.

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Roxanne Miller said...

When did this puzzle hit the market? I've had one for years, but it didn't come with a booklet....I wonder if they would send me a copy. But after all this time, other than the puzzle in hand, I couldn't prove that I bought it.

Gabriel said...

Hi Rox,
I honestly don't know. I've googled about it before writing the review, as I always like to mention dates, but all I could find is that he invented the shape in 1985, although from what I gathered, he designed the puzzle, later after that.

If you want, I can send you a scan of my booklet, though I know, it's not the same thing.

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