The Nightmare

Posted on Oct 25, 2013 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
Prepare for your worst nightmare, as this new puzzle from the German manufacturer Siebenstein-Spiele promises to deliver you some sleepless nights. The Nightmare, designed by Jürgen Reiche, is a very well crafted slide puzzle with an interesting concept, but above all it's a rather challenging puzzle.

Siebenstein-Spiele is rapidly growing as one of the most prolific puzzle manufacturers right now, since I can no longer keep up with so many new designs, each one better looking than its predecessor. The Nightmare couldn't be more fitting for the description, because it's now one of my favorite puzzles from them, after the Safe, of course. So, does it play as good as it looks? Not quite, but nothing worrying either.

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The puzzle is built from two types of wood, the board is a dark tone and the pieces are of a contrasting lighter color. The top is covered by a sheet of transparent acrylic glass and the metal screws, that keep the pieces in the sliding paths, give the puzzle this extra shiny and elegant look.

The challenge consists of eight sliding pieces, two of them being just blockers and the rest are numbered from 1 through 6. You start by removing the acrylic tile in the middle, leaving you with enough space for two pieces and a bit more. The puzzle comes already with the correct starting positions for all the pieces. In other words, they're sort of scrambled, but not too much, since each number is already in its layer. Your task is - you guessed - to reorder the numbers, as seen below.

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If you look closely at each of the numbered tiles, you'll see that they all have these entrances that perfectly fit the ends of the central path. The twist is that three of them have their entrance pointing towards the left and the other three have it pointing towards the right. You'll have to plan ahead each movement and play with the little space you have available in order to slide each piece to its corresponding slot. You'll have to "rent" slots along the way for other tiles that don't belong there, since you won't be able to put them all in their slots right away.

The movement of the tiles is not entirely smooth, due to the fact that some paths (where each tile goes) are tighter than others. This problem might fade away as you keep playing with the puzzle and the paths will widen a little. It doesn't happen so often that will hinder your experience, and may actually vary from puzzle to puzzle, but it can be annoying sometimes.

Difficulty-wise, The Nightmare is rated as very hard, with a difficulty level of 7/7 in the manufacturers scale. With this in mind, I was a little apprehensive to solve it, thinking it could take hours to solve. Much to my surprise, I was able to solve it in about 10 minutes, and it certainly wasn't any luck involved. I just didn't find it as challenging as it makes you believe. You just have to think about where each tile needs to go and how to get there. Yes, it's elemental, but believe me, it's not that hard actually, or I may just be very used to slide puzzles...

Closing Comments:

It's getting harder and harder to find enough adjectives to describe how good Siebenstein puzzles really are. Built with high quality materials and designed to be visually pleasing, giving any collector a sudden urge to own them, these puzzles are certainly a puzzler's dream. The Nightmare is just another beautiful example of the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into any Siebenstein puzzle. It's hard to resist, very, very hard...

Availability: The Nightmare is available at Sloyd, in Finland, for €23.50.


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