Recently, Jeff Chiou of MagicPuzzles.org was kind enough to loan me a few of his puzzles, one of which was M-Box by Hideaki Kawashima of the Karakuri Creation Group. Check out Jeff's review here.
The panels of this box are arranged in what I'll refer to as the Cubi-style that was developed originally by Akio Kamei (I think). They have a nice brick pattern that has been cut into the surface of each panel.
Sometimes it can be tough to find out what the first move is on a puzzle box, but in this box, every panel moves! The vexing part is that after you let go, the panels spring back into their original position. Pretty puzzling! First I tried one hypothesis about how to open it, and that didn't work out, but in the process I discovered something that led me to the correct solution. I think it probably took me about 5-10 minutes, but this one could easily have had me going around in circles for quite some time, had I not had that flash of inspiration.
The solution itself is quite good, I like how it is fairly logical if you spend a little while understanding the box. One neat thing about the mechanism is that the springing was implemented with a combination of springs and magnets. I can definitely hear a spring in there, but when I open it up, I see magnets causing the springing action for at least one of the panels. It is pretty neat how you can't feel the difference.
Some may not like the springing-back aspect, but I found it enjoyable. Just watch out that it doesn't spring out of your hands! Overall, I really enjoyed this one!
2 days ago