Circular Bean Tower

Posted on Mar 4, 2015 by Gabriel | 9 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
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.

(Click to Enlarge)

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
Closing Comments:

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.

Availability: The Circular Bean Tower is available at PuzzleMaster for $11 CAD.


jaap said...

I have this puzzle too, and it is as bad or worse as yours.

Gabriel said...

Thanks for your feedback, Jaap! I'm sorry to hear yours is faulty too. I guess it's not just a fluke of a bad sample but more like the nature of the puzzle, which is just the product of bad manufacturing choices. It's a shame, really, because the premise of the puzzle was quite interesting.

George said...

Someone needs to create an improved version and call it "Bean Silo". The perfect name!

Gabriel said...

Haha, indeed! I would definitely buy an improved version.

Unknown said...

What is the mame of the puzzle that is on right side of the babilon tower?

Gabriel said...

Hi, it's called Ten Billion Barrel.

Happy Puzzling!

Tina Su - Think Simple Now said...

OMG! What is the name of the puzzle on the far left? The tower with balls inside. I've been looking all over online for it. And yours is the only one with that picture! lol.

I remember spending hours as a child playing with it. I'm trying to find one now for myself and my kids.

Thanks Gabriel!

Tina Su - Think Simple Now said...

Nevermind. Found it! Thank you for your blog!!! I love it!

Gabriel said...

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you found it. The Babylon Tower, it's a great puzzle.

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