September 12, 2011

Cast Reef

Cast Reef is the fifth puzzle in the Hanayama Cast Puzzle Marine series by Akio Yamamoto. Puzzle Master was kind enough to send me this puzzle to review. Thanks!

As with the other puzzles in this series, this one is made out of contrasting gold and silver anodized metal. The gold piece looks like two fish that form a closed loop, and they are caught on the silver piece that looks like a piece of coral. It has a good weight and feels quite sturdy, despite the somewhat thin pieces.

I was interested to see the mechanics of this one, because by looking at it I couldn't quite tell how it was going to work. The solution path is a number of steps long, the beginning of which is pretty easy. There's one part in the middle that slightly tricky, but after that it is smooth sailing. I think it took me 3-4 minutes.

This one has a difficulty rating of 3 out of 6 from Hanayama, which seems about right, though maybe it is a bit easier than that. Most folks that I gave this one to were able to solve it without too much difficulty. It is perhaps slightly easier than Cast Starfish, but harder than Cast Seabream, Cast Shark, and Cast Claw.

Overall, I liked this one, but it was not one of my favorites of the series because the solution path was not quite as interesting as some of the others. Still a good one though!

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