January 20, 2010

Bronze Revomaze

I was able to give the Bronze Revomaze a try thanks to John Devost's puzzle library over at RenegadePuzzlers.ca. This is the third puzzle in a series of five. Check out my blog entry about the Blue Revomaze for more information about this series of puzzles. I also have a review of my experience with the Green Revomaze.

This one turned out to be a real beast, as I expected (and hoped!) The folks on the Revomaze forum say that this puzzle takes the concept to a whole different level, and they were right. I spent probably close to 10 hours working on this one, which is more than double what the previous two took.

At first, I was going along at a fairly good clip and exploring the various paths at the beginning of the puzzle. The first thing that struck me is that this one is the first in the series that isn't simple to reset. There is a trap near the beginning that is a bit of a challenge to get out of. After a while, I understood that tricky area fairly well, but couldn't figure out how to proceed. It seemed like every possible avenue had been explored, and I was just coming up with dead ends.

After being stuck for a few hours, I perused the Revomaze forums a bit and saw that people who were having trouble were told to look for a hint hidden on the website. Since I was stuck for a while, I decided to see if I could find the hint. I was able to find it without too much trouble and I was quite delighted by what it implied: the Bronze really is a tricky puzzle!

With this hint in hand, I was able to figure out how to proceed, but almost immediately afterwards I got stuck again! Everything I tried ended in a trap, so I gave up for the night and went to bed.

The next morning, I was able to find the way forward (it is quite sneaky!) and progressed quite a bit further. After making some more progress, I again got stuck at a very tricky spot near the end and needed to take a break for a while. Later that day, I worked on it again and was finally able to figure out what was going on and solve the damn thing.

Phew! As far as puzzles go, this one is a real marathon: I felt completely exhausted and satisfied when I finally finished it. The first two are very hard, but are possible with enough effort. This one I think many people will find too difficult and quit. I am a bit concerned/intimidated as to how difficult the Silver and Gold will be! I have heard that people are spending 50+ hours on the Silver one, so it is sure to be an incredible challenge.

In conclusion, I'd say that the Bronze is my favorite of the bunch so far. It is more clever and less frustrating than Green. Even though it is probably too difficult for many people, it is quite ingenious and well designed. Definitely try one of the earlier ones before you tackle this, or you'll end up chucking it through a window.

I love how these puzzles really play on your assumptions and make you think outside the box to come up with a solution. That, and they transport your focus into this unseen world within the Revomaze where you gradually develop an understanding of how the puzzle is laid out. I still haven't written down any maps for these: I find that I end up travelling through the maze so many times that I develop a pretty clear mental picture of it. It is quite an experience!

A big thanks to John Devost for making this series of reviews possible!

To read another review of the Bronze Revomaze, check out Oli's blog entry here.

5 comments:

  1. Great job, sounds brutal!! Do you think, a year from now, that you will be able to easily solve it? Or will you have to start over? Maybe hard to say, you may just have to let a year go by. But I've noticed that with certain puzzles, the solution seems to vanish quickly from my memory! For others I can easily recall it.

    What do you mean by "difficult to reset"? I thought that if you "fell off the path" the puzzle automatically reset?

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  2. Thanks, George! It is a tough one but it makes for all the more satisfaction when you finally solve it! I think a year from now I would have a much easier time since I will still remember the tricks that I encountered, even though I won't remember the specific path. I'd bet that I could solve it in under an hour if I hadn't tried it in a year. When it is 'fresh' it still can take several attempts since they are dexterity puzzles as well..one wrong move and you could have to start over!

    Well, the reset mechanism is a series of interconnected deeper cuts in the maze that you fall into. In the Blue and Green these cuts lead right back to the beginning fairly easily, but in the Bronze this is not the case.

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  3. Wow, that is truly an accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself as a 'bona fide' Puzzle Solver! I just opened the 'Blue' thanks to your encouragement and I'm very weary of attempting the 'Green' so this 'Bronze' just may never happen :)

    Congrats!!!

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  4. 10 hours is still a damn good time and i agree the bronze is currently my favorite, even over the silver. Are you on the forums, whats your user name?

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  5. Thanks! I have checked out the Revomaze forums on occasion but haven't actually created an account because I haven't had anything to post :)

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Please don't post spoilers! Thanks for commenting!

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