December 31, 2010

Cast Marble

I actually got Hanayama's Cast Marble about a year ago and forgot to write my review of it. Oh well! Better late than never!

It was designed by Bram Cohen and Oskar van Deventer. It has a very interesting appearance, with a silver marble embedded in an obsidian-colored block. The marble protrudes from both sides slightly, and both pieces have unusually shaped cuts in them.

Despite the fact that I had a pretty good idea of how this one should work, I think it took me a good 10 minutes to actually get it to come apart. I think most will find this to be quite challenging, so the 4/6 difficulty rating seems appropriate. It is difficult because there is some movement that is not related to the solution and the actual solution is an unusual movement. Also, things need to be positioned precisely, which makes it difficult too.

Some folks on the Puzzle Master reviews report difficulty putting it back together, particularly if you didn't see and understand how it came apart. This wasn't a problem for me, but I could definitely see it tripping folks up.

The puzzle has a great weight since it is solid metal. The only downside I think is that the black coating they used picks up finger prints like nobody's business. Not a huge problem of course, but it is the only thing I noticed. Overall, it is a great puzzle that'd recommend trying out.

Well, that's the last post of 2010: I hope everybody has a happy new year! Stay tuned in 2011 for lots more reviews, including the 2010 Karakuri Club Christmas presents and a new box by Robert Yarger!

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