Icosoku Junior

Posted on Oct 23, 2018 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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Sometime ago I reviewed one the best puzzles by Recent Toys, the Brain Dice. Today, I'm going to talk about another nice puzzle from them, but this time from 2011. The puzzle is called IcoSoKu Junior and it was designed by the same person, Andrea Mainini.

The name can be confused with the widely popular Sudoku game, but it's not even remotely similar. The only thing the two games have in common is they both use numbers, but that's it. If you've played with Brain Dice, then the concept is somewhat similar, since you also have to match the dots on the tiles with the numbers on the puzzle.

This is the easier version of the IcoSoKu puzzle. On this one, the numbers are only 1 to 4, but on the original version it's from 1 to 12. Both puzzles are the same size, though, and are quite big, which is great for a puzzle like this.

The idea of the puzzle is to remove the tiles from the puzzle and the numbers. Then, you mix all pieces and put them back in the puzzle so that the sum of black dots on the tiles match the numbers 1/4 on the puzzle. Each number has three pieces scattered around the puzzle, and each number is surrounded by five tiles. The puzzle is solved when all numbers match the sum of all tiles surrounding them. A great thing about this puzzle is that all configurations have at least one solution.

In terms of difficulty, this puzzle is a little easier than the Brain Dice. There are some tiles that don't have any black dots so it becomes easier to place all tiles in the puzzle. This one is good to practice for the more challenging 12-number IcoSoKu.

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Closing Comments:

IcoSoKu is a puzzle that you won't want to put down. The replay value on this puzzle is huge with endless configurations and solutions, so you always have a different challenge to solve. Andrea Mainini is definitely a puzzle designer you should pay more attention.

Availability: You can get a copy of IcoSoku Junior at PuzzleMaster for just $25.99 CAD. Check out other puzzles by Recent Toys.

Svetnashki Family

Posted on Oct 9, 2018 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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I finally have the whole Svetnashki family together! The Svetnashki 6x4 was the last one to be added to my collection, and it's a beauty.

This one is slightly larger than the smallest 4x4 Svetnashki, obviously because of its larger shape. It's small enough to carry around with you, and you couldn't ask for a better companion for those dull moments.

If you don't know what a Svetnashki is or does, check out my other reviews on the different versions. In short, a Svetnashki plays with light by polarizing the tiles from a clear color to a dark color and vice-versa. This is not a novelty concept, but utilizing it for a puzzle is a stroke of genius.

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By having the tiles polarized or not, you'll create patterns, which in turn make the main goal of the puzzle: have all tiles polarized (dark) or transparent. All other combinations in between create a myriad of patterns that will make any puzzle enthusiast thrilled. In particular, the Svetnashki 6x4 can create more rectangular patterns, as opposed to its square brethren, due to its shape. This is great if you want to create letter-shaped patterns, for example.

Ever since I got my first Svetnashki back in 2010, I was fascinated by its simple and yet beautiful design. I was always a sucker for pattern puzzles, and you can see this by my various reviews on this subject. Making patterns is a way to get your creative mind going, to imagine something in your mind and achieving it with a series of movements, which you can manipulate and control, is my ultimate definition of fun. That's why the Svetnashki puzzles remain as one of my all-time favorite puzzles.

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Closing Comments:

If you still don't have a Svetnashki in your collection, do yourself a favor and get one. It's that good. Whether you're a casual or seasoned puzzler, this is a must-have for curious and creative minds.

Availability: You can get the Svetnashki 6x4 at PuzzleMaster for just $27.99 CAD. Check out the other Svetnashki versions.

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