Posted on Oct 29, 2019 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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Slideways is part of the recently successful Indiegogo project, which had some beautifully-made anodized metal puzzles, each one with a different shiny color. These puzzles are now available at PuzzleMaster for anyone to purchase.

Designed by Ray Stanton, the Slideways, as the name suggests, will have a slightly different solution than your average burr puzzle. Discovering the secret move and mastering the solution will surely require some creative thinking, and some dexterity as well...

The puzzle is very well made with a stunning purple color. It's small, measuring only 6cm (2.4"), but still handles quite well. Since the pieces can slide quite well, it can happen that the puzzle will fall apart by accident if handled in a certain way. Nevertheless, taking it apart is the easy part. You will have your hands full trying to find out how to put it back together.

This is rated as a level 6/10, but by no means don't underestimate it. Taking it apart is as easy as a level 5, but reassembling it is more like a level 7, so maybe the 6 is the average between the two parts. If you're familiar with the concept of coordinated motion, then it might be easier to visualize the solution and subsequently its reassembly. In coordinated motion, all pieces must come together in a single and symmetrical sliding move, so it takes some planning and careful study of how the pieces fit together.

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Closing Comments:

The Slideways was a very interesting puzzle to play with. It has a clever solution and a great design on top of that. I did find the solution more enjoyable than a regular burr puzzle, so I definitely recommend this one. And with this beautiful color it can certainly be used as a cool decorative object.

Availability: The Slideways is available at PuzzleMaster for just $19.99. Check out other interesting metal puzzles also worth your time and money.

Anodized Aluminum Puzzles - Indiegogo Project

Posted on Oct 3, 2019 by Gabriel | 5 comments
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As a puzzle collector and enthusiast, it's not hard for me to feel excited about new puzzles, especially when it's an entire new design. To puzzle fans, a pretty puzzle just won't be enough, it has to offer a good challenge as well, or else it will be deemed a decorative object.

This is what the PuzzleMaster's Indiegogo project wants to achieve - To offer enthusiasts around the world a new set of fascinating puzzles that not only look stunning, but also will give you the challenge you're looking for. Read on to see how you can make this project a success.

Indiegogo is a crowdfunding website where you can get support to launch all kinds of new and innovative products. If your project gets enough backers or supporters and reaches a predetermined goal, you'll have enough funds to create your vision.

PuzzleMaster's vision is to launch a new set of anodized aluminum puzzles from world-renowned designers that will surely put your best solving skills to the test and will also enrich your collection. For backers, there will be different sets to choose from depending on the puzzles that you want. Check out the official project page for more info. Below, I will make a brief introduction about each puzzle, and at a later date will also write a full review, so stay tuned.

The Main 3 Puzzles

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These are the three puzzles the Indiegogo project is based on: the Slideways, the Lattice and the Dirty Dozen. They all look and feel amazing. You can see that these are high quality puzzles.

Slideways - Level 6

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This is designed by Ray Stanton, who has designed some great coordinated motion puzzles before. The Slideways uses this concept to join together three pieces that, when solved, will be interlocked. With a gorgeous purple color, the Slideways is a bit different from the traditional three-piece burrs where no coordinated motion is used, but a set of sequential moves instead. Here, you will need to find out how the pieces come apart, which is not that difficult, but the main challenge is figuring out how to put it back together, since you have to do it simultaneously for all three pieces. It's a really interesting concept that I've had the pleasure to play with many times before.

Lattice - Level 10

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This one is a stunner and in my favorite color, no less. Both the Lattice and Dirty Dozen, below, are designed by Jerry Loo. It's comprised of eight metal plates and they interlock in such a way that you can fiddle with it without breaking them apart. That is, until you remove the first piece. It's incredible how the pieces interact with each other in a way that seems impossible to take them apart. The pieces can move back and forth and distort the original shape, but finding that first move and subsequent moves to take them all out is the real challenge.

Dirty Dozen - Level 9

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If the Lattice looks scary, this one takes it a step further with twelve metal plates. Or maybe it's just its deceiving appearance, since the Lattice is a level 10 and the Dirty Dozen is a level 9. Will have to solve try and confirm it later to see which one is actually harder. The Dirty Dozen also has a gorgeous bright orange color, and as you can see from the color choices of my blog, I definitely approve. The Dirty Dozen has the same feel of the Lattice, so it's a good combo if you like this type of puzzles.

The Reward Puzzles

The following eight puzzles are currently available on PuzzleMaster, but they will get a discount when you choose one of the three puzzle sets on the Indiegogo project. They are also made from high quality materials, so you'll get a great set of puzzles at a discount.

Triad - Level 7

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This interesting triangular design is made with just three pieces that seem to be locked in a permanent state. You can move the pieces, but only up to a certain point. Even though it has the same number of pieces as the Slideways puzzle, it's not a coordinated motion puzzle. Instead, each piece will have to be separated one by one, although it's not as difficult to put together (as long as you know how you took it apart). I really like the design of this one. It reminds me of a Cast Puzzle, only slightly bigger and more colorful.

Victory - Level 7

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Seems like anodized metal looks stunning in whichever color you choose, and green is no exception. In this puzzle, four identical S-shaped pieces are interlocked to make a cube, but with squares protruding in four directions. Taking the pieces apart will require a sequential set of movements, just like most of the puzzles mentioned above, which is what you would expect in a burr puzzle like this. It's not that difficult, since it's a level 7, but still challenging and fun to solve.

Trick Lock #7 - Level 7

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Designed by Teddy Sakamoto, this is a gorgeously designed puzzle lock that will fascinate even the non-puzzle enthusiasts. The mechanism is quite intriguing since there is a pin in the middle with two keyholes. This pin rotates and you can move it up and down. The key can easily fit inside both keyholes, but how these pieces interact with each other is up to you to find out. The solution will certainly surprise you, and even though it has little replay value, you'll be able to see how your friends and relatives will struggle with it, which is also a fun experience in itself.

Phantom - Level 8

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Made by Mr. Gong from China, the Phantom is a beautifully-made red sphere consisting of three flat and round interlocked pieces. Each piece has different shapes cut inside them, which won't make much difference when you're taking them apart, but will surely confuse you once you're trying to put it back together and deciding where each piece fits. It's a simple puzzle, but don't underestimate it. Easy to disassemble, but a pain to reassemble.

#1 Puzzle - Level 8

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A similar concept to the Lattice and Dirty Dozen, but much less complex. The #1 puzzle features only four pieces, each quite different from the others, since the cuts are all unique in each piece. The pieces are interlocked to make an octothorpe shape and the principal is similar to the Phantom in that it's super easy to take apart, but quite a challenge to put together. Remember that these puzzles have two challenges, so it's not solved until you can reassemble it to its original shape.

SuperNova - Level 8

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If you've been puzzling long enough you've certainly seen a puzzle that looks like this. A spiked ball is trapped inside a cage and at first glance it seems impossible to remove it from its enclosure. It's perfectly possible, though, and solving it is quite relaxing, at least to me. This particular version is very well built, it's pocket-sized and I really like the contrast of silver and gold between the cage and the ball. It's a must have in any collection, and a great decorative item.

Fortress - Level 9

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Just like the Phantom, the Fortress is made by Mr. Gong. This one is quite different from the usual interlocking puzzles. It uses the coordinated motion principle, so if you've seen this in other puzzles, this one will be pretty simple as well, despite its level 9 rating. In coordinated motion puzzles the challenging part is figuring out that one move that will separate all the pieces simultaneously. Putting it back together requires a bit of dexterity, since it has three identical pieces and a small cylinder trapped inside.

Quad L - Level 9

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Yet another puzzle by Mr. Gong. The Quad L, as the name suggests has four L-shaped pieces that interlock inside a frame. What's interesting about this is that the puzzle has two sides, and when the pieces are all separated they actually look much more complex than just a simple L shape. The effect of the different colors is rather beautiful and it seems like a nice challenge, although the jury is still out on that level 9 rating. Will have more info on that when I write the full review soon.

Final Thoughts:

Whatever set you choose to get on the Indiegogo project, I'm sure you will be more than satisfied with the quality and diversity of challenges of these puzzles. The project is a fantastic idea to launch new and interesting puzzles and I'm rooting for its success. So, if you can, check out PuzzleMaster's Indiegogo project and help make this a reality.

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