Trick Lock #1 is the first in a series of five puzzle locks by Puzzle Master. They recently sent me all but #2 to review (which was out of stock). Thanks Puzzle Master!
This is a hefty lock and also fairly large, which I liked. They warn on the package that you shouldn't use it to lock up your valuables, but it does feel fairly sturdy! Of course, it probably isn't made of the same hardened construction as an actual lock, but it could deter folks somewhat.
Each comes with two keys that are on a string that goes around the shackle. This is handy, since the keys are not interchangeable. The string is long enough to reach the key into the lock, which was convenient. The quality of the string is a bit shoddy, however, so I may consider replacing it with a chain of some sort if I decide to leave these out for guests to play with.
Since the keys for the different locks are not interchangeable, you could add slightly to the difficulty by keeping all the keys on the same keyring and having the puzzler figure out which is needed for which lock. This wouldn't really be any harder than just going through each key to see which fit, but it adds an extra step.
The quality of the finish is a bit poor, with various gouges, rough edges, and other imperfections. Also, they had a bit of grime left on them from the manufacturing process, but that should wear off quickly or if I get around to rubbing them down with a paper towel or something. Given the price point ($30 each), I don't find the quality to be unacceptable, considering the complexity in producing these puzzles, but it does detract from the experience somewhat.
I found Trick Lock #1 to be the simplest of the series. It only took me a minute or so to solve, but it has a satisfying mechanism. Some folks who aren't as familiar with this type of puzzle may get caught up for a while, but if they stick with it for a bit should be able to figure it out within a reasonable amount of time. I had a non-puzzler play around with these locks tonight, and she thought this one was a bit too simple, and I'm inclined to agree.
Stay tuned, the next few posts will be about the other three locks in the series!
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