April 4, 2012

Way

I wrote briefly about the Way puzzle construction set by Volker Latussek back when I was reviewing all of the puzzles in the 2011 Puzzle Design Competition, and Volker was kind enough to send me a copy of my own so I could more fully evaluate it. Thanks Volker!

The puzzle is quite nicely crafted from beech wood, with a very smooth finish. The pieces are generously sized, which gives them a nice feel in your hands and makes it easier to manipulate them.

The goal of the puzzle is to create "free standing circuits".  Free standing in the sense that it won't topple over, and circuit in the sense that it is a closed loop. On the puzzle's website, there are almost 50 challenges, with more being added each week. Each challenge specifies what pieces are used, as well as the goal. Sometimes you're just building a circuit any way you can, other times the goal description hints at the position of a particular piece (e.g. an L-shaped piece is touching the table) or has other restrictions. This can either be a hint, or to restrict problems that would otherwise have multiple solutions.

The fun thing about this puzzle is that you can use logic to some extent to figure out how some pieces must be placed, due to the restriction that the puzzle must be free standing. For example, a C-shaped piece usually won't be able to rest vertically, since it would tip over. Sometimes other positions are only possible if there are other pieces in place to stabilize the structure.

There are no real downsides to this puzzle that I can think of. I really like puzzles with multiple challenges, since it gives you plenty of replay value. I personally prefer the challenges with fewer pieces, the ones with a lot of pieces are tough! Some of my friends saw this puzzle and were taking turns solving the different challenges, and had a really good time with it. I would think it would be enjoyable for children just to build with as well, trying to make interesting looking structures that don't tip over.

Overall, a solid puzzle that I'm glad to have had a chance to play around with more! If you're interested, you can purchase it by emailing Volker at the address listed at the bottom of his website. Also, check out Neil's review here, where he has posted lots of good photos and a video review as well.

2 comments:

  1. The selection of pieces set is interesting for this puzzle. I think it's possible to make an U or T with same concept. But instead of using more different pieces this puzzle prefer using same basic pieces. The producer or designer may be produce later an expansion set with new pieces and shapes.
    Erhan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice blog. If you like puzzles you might like to check out this series of posts I did on solving cryptic crosswords. I find them much more satisfying than ordinary crosswords. Solving Cryptic Crosswords

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