Cast Snow

Posted on May 26, 2020 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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It's been a while since I reviewed one of my all time favorite puzzle series, the Hanayama Cast Puzzles. Taking the spotlight this time is the Cast Snow, designed by Kyoo Wong, who also designed the Cast U&U and Cast Rotor.

If you ever saw the shape of a snowflake, you know how unique and beautiful they can be. For that, the design of the Cast Snow alone is reason enough to get it. The Snow comes as a two-piece maze-type puzzle, where you need to navigate through multiple routes in order to separate the pieces.

This puzzle is simple enough to understand and despite being a level 2/6, considered pretty easy in terms of difficulty, I actually find it quite challenging. At first inspection, the holes at the extremities seem identical, but they can't be, because you need to separate the pieces through these holes. You'll find that each piece has a hole slightly larger in diameter than the others, but the trick is combining the only two larger holes with each other at the same time to solve it. Not so easy...

Surprisingly, I truly enjoyed solving this, as I was expecting a very easy challenge. It's not as frustrating as the higher difficulty Cast Puzzles, but you'll find it just as satisfying. It's one of those puzzles that even after you solve it, you can still do it multiple times, because it's not that easy to memorize the correct path. Just fidgeting with it is quite enjoyable.

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Closing Comments:

The Cast Snow is a really delightful puzzle. One of my favorites in recent years. Great design, nice challenge, smooth movement, very well built, just as we've come to expect from Hanayama. Highly recommended.

Availability: The Cast Snow is available at PuzzleMaster for $15.99 CAD. Also, check out many other interesting puzzle in the Cast family.


Posted on May 12, 2020 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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The anodized metal puzzle family has a new member, and this time it's a VIP (Very Interesting Puzzle). Designed by Yavuz Demirhan from Turkey and produced by PuzzleMaster, the Chiasma has everything that makes a great puzzle, and some more. It's not a puzzle for novices, so be prepared for a serious challenge.

Surprisingly, the Chiasma is made from four identical pieces, which you might not notice until you disassemble it. It's made from a textured surface, which apparently is more is more resistant to markings and scratches, and from what I've seen, it is indeed much better in that department. The texture does feel more comfortable to the touch, so that's a welcome feature for future puzzles in this line.

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In its assembled state, the puzzle has this stylish and exquisite shape further enhanced by the contrasting metal pieces, which by the way come in five different color combinations that you can choose before adding it to your cart. It's indeed a beautiful design.

Given the unique design and shape of the pieces, the puzzle only allows for one solution, said to be 26 moves (16 for the first piece, 4 for the second and 6 to separate the final two pieces). I probably made way more than 26 moves to separate all the pieces, which indicate the high number of useless moves or wrong ones on my part. It's a really satisfying feeling to disassemble the puzzle, because of how the pieces move and the different moves, sometimes needing rotations. It's not just an elegant puzzle in appearance; the solution is nothing short of amazing and rewarding.

Still, any interlocking puzzle needs to be returned to its original shape, and that's when the level 10/10 comes kicking. At this stage, I always feel like those kids that have a knack to disassemble everything but then can't, for the life of them, return them to their former glory. It will take much more than 26 moves to put this back together...

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Closing Comments: 

Chiasma is a gorgeous puzzle, even more distinguished by its unique solution and overall feel of the puzzle. The different colored metal versions make justice to the original wooden version. And whichever color version you choose, you'll definitely find it very worth it of your time and money spent on it.

Availability: The Chiasma metal puzzle is available exclusively on PuzzleMaster.

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