Funzzle - Kappa (Noncsi)

Posted on by Gabriel | 3 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
Funzzle is a collection of interlocking puzzles made of bamboo and designed by Y. Gong. Each puzzle is regarded as extremely challenging, but you should half expect this for most of interlocking puzzles...At least, that's what I've been experiencing for years.

In fairness, Mr Y.Gong didn't come up with the Kappa design. The original (Noncsi) is made by Tamás Vanyó, as Mr Gong only made a couple of modifications to avoid it being an exact copy of Tamás' design. It's not a very honest practice, in my opinion, but I hope the original designer is ok with it.

Bamboo puzzles have a completely different feel from their hardwood counterparts. For one, they are much lighter in weight, since bamboo is less dense, but their appearance is a little different as well, due to the lighter color shades of bamboo. It all comes down to preference, or as I'd like to call it, diversity in one's collection. I like to have a mixed bag of different materials in my collection.

(Click to Enlarge) - Partially Taken Apart
Any good interlocking puzzle has it's internal mechanism cleverly hidden and even the first piece is tricky to remove or to find out which piece really is the first one to remove. It should be a nice balance between clever design and difficulty. Well, such is not the case in this Kappa puzzle. The first piece to be removed is clearly visible miles away and it can be removed in one simple move. For reference, the original design by Tamás needs two moves to release the first piece.

What does this mean in terms of difficulty, you might be wondering? A lot, since it makes the puzzle much less challenging than it should be. The eight pieces slide along a square frame, in sequence, and they can only be removed one at a time. As you remove piece by piece, you must constantly slide the pieces back and forth to make room for the next piece in line to be released. The reassembly didn't much time or was it that challenging, but only because I didn't shuffle the pieces and had them placed in the correct sequence out of the frame. If you like a real challenge you can mix the pieces once removed from the frame and try to figure out which pieces should go first and which ones should go last.

(Click to Enlarge) - Taken Apart
Closing Comments:

I ended up with mixed feelings about the Kappa puzzle. On the outside, it looks great with an unusual design for an interlocking puzzle, but the execution of the idea leaves a lot to be desired, since it's a cheap copy of the original and it doesn't even work as it was meant to be. I still have a couple of the Funzzle puzzles to review, but judging by the quality of the first one, I don't expect much from the others.

Availability: The Kappa puzzle and all the others in the Funzzle series can be purchased at PuzzleMaster.


Michel said...

Hello Gabriel, to be honest I think you should have consulted Tamás whether he was okay with this before you put up a review of this puzzle. It seems there is a range of puzzles slightly altered by Y. Gong just to avoid copyrights. If your not certain (or the original designer hasn't approved) you should refrain from publishing and especially endorsing a seller...

Gabriel said...

Michel, what makes you think that I'm endorsing this puzzle or this designer or this company? Where in the review do I praise such practices as copyright infringement or blatant copying of the original? The fact that you say matter-of-factly that I should've consulted Tamás implies you already knew that I didn't, which means you talked to him about it before contacting me. So, why are you talking on his behalf when it should be him talking with me? Why should I refrain from publishing anything just because I'm told to? In my honest opinion, I'm doing a public service by alerting puzzlers that this is a cheap copy. That's what I do, I write about puzzles, original, copies, anything, and it's up to the reader to decide what he/she should do with the information I provide. I think it's better than doing nothing, thus allowing these companies to continue to thrive thanks to lots of uninformed people.

Michel said...

Hi Gabriel,
I seem to have been a little to harsh on you, sorry for that. I do believe however reviews of puzzles are in essence endorsements. No I didn't contact Tamás, but if you had, I would have expected to see his comment on this copyright infringement in your review :-). I think I do remember he wasn't very pleased reading his comments elsewhere (facebook?). All the best & let's keep puzzling, Michel

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