Akio Kamei through eBay. It was brand new in-box for somewhat less than the Karakuri Club price, so I was pleased. It arrived a few days ago and I had a good time with it.
It looks like a die, with a number of spots on each side: one through six. I really had no idea how this one worked when I bought it, so I was eager to figure it out.
It became apparent that this was a hidden-mechanism type box rather than a sliding panel box, since nothing appeared to move at first. I fiddled with it for a little while, listening to the various sounds of the mechanism inside and did not make much progress. I set it aside for a while before returning to it.
During this second attempt an idea for how the mechanism might work occurred to me, based on some clues that I had uncovered. I tried testing out this idea a few different ways, and after a few attempts it opened! Woo hoo!
I think it took me about 15-20 minutes in total: this one is quite a bit tricker than most of the other Karakuri Club boxes I have tried so far. I got a bit lucky in my moment of inspiration: it could have taken quite a bit longer if that idea didn't occur to me.
The finish on this box is quite nice, though mine has a bit of a defect: one of the panels overhangs the edge slightly more than it should. Oh well! I got it for a good price. The fit of the panels is also quite good with a nice smooth action.
Overall, I thought this was a clever design, though there was one aspect that irked me a bit. I didn't like how even if you performed the correct sequence of actions, it might not open. It isn't random, but I can't really go into it any more than that without hinting at the solution. Still, I think this is definitely a neat puzzle!
At this year's International Puzzle Party, Akio Kamei is conducting a workshop where participants get to build this particular puzzle! I've signed up for it and I am interested to see how the mechanism actually works, since it isn't visible even when you open the box. I'm really looking forward to meeting him!
Wil's Queen's Day Puzzle Party
1 day ago