Wednesday 29 September 2021

Play-Boy 2

If Fermat was my favourite from the latest Pelikan release, then Play-Boy 2 from Alexander Magyarics runs a pretty close second.

I really enjoy Osanori Yamamoto’s apparent cube puzzles - just how creative he’s managed to be with a simple box with some heavy restrictions on entry and a few pieces really blows my mind.

Play-Boy 2 is a wonderful riff on that theme from Alexander – not content with just coming up with a restricted entry box, he’s also taken the liberty of squashing the box from one corner to the other, resulting in some wonderfully delicious geometry that forces things to be handed… which is both really helpful and really unhelpful at the same time.

On the one hand, it really helps you to cut down the number of possibilities for the assembly – but on the other hand, if you were hoping to get a particular piece in a particular place in a particular orientation, you might just be disappointed!

It’s also great for really messing with your Euclidean headspace!

Given the really limiting entry-ways, you can derive some things right off the bat… which is always a nice way to start a puzzle solve. Armed with that it isn’t too difficult to come up with an assembly or two outside of the box – and from there you just need a little imagination to think through how those pieces need to dance around one another in order to get them in or out of the little box…

What makes me really like this design is that there are several features that work together to guide the solver toward the solution, as long as they take the time to Think (c) a little along the way.  (Either that or I got really lucky – but I’m going to blame it on good design!)

It's not super-tough, but it’s a fun solve and it really looks terrific on the shelf – a real stand-out from the Pelikan-folks - and they still have some available for sale over here. (You're welcome!)

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