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Great Minds Darwin's Dinosaur Egg Puzzle Review

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This wooden puzzle from Professor Puzzle is part of the Great Minds collection and is named after Charles Darwin that comes in the form of a dinosaur egg that would be categorised as an assembly/disassembly puzzle. The link between the puzzle and Charles Darwin is evolution symbolised by the egg as Darwin is renowned for his theory on the subject that is still to this day fundamental to science and was an English naturalist from the Victorian era.

The puzzle itself is made up of 8 separate wooden pieces that interconnect in a specific way to form the one compact egg shape. The individual pieces have triangular pieces cut out of them that allows them to fit together that make them look like cracked eggshells and some of the pieces are of different lengths which should give you a clue as to where they go. Of the 9 individual pieces that the puzzle comprises there are 4 that are identical short pieces, another 2 slightly different identical shorter pieces, two long identical pieces and one unique piece which is the only one with no triangular pieces cut out of it.

The aim of the challenge is to take the egg apart so that all the pieces are separate and this would be the easier part of the challenge as once you have removed one or two pieces the whole puzzle should come apart all at once but if you can you should take your time taking it apart ideally one piece at a time to try to remember as much as you can how they fit together as it will make the next part of the task much easier. Then what is the tougher and more difficult part is to then reassemble it again as you will have to remember how the parts fit together again as there is only one final solution unless you want to deliberately give yourself the most difficult challenge possible and try to put it together without knowing the solution at all and if you manage to accomplish this it will show that you have truly understood how the puzzle works and fits together. The shape of the individual pieces is obviously the biggest clue as to how to solve the challenge both in terms of how they connect together and remembering it is egg-shaped and also the fact that a lot of the pieces are identical and one is not is another big clue.

The wood that the puzzle is made from is tough and durable and this means it can take the stress, without it snapping or breaking, from the way you are supposed to play with and solve it. This also applies to when the egg is taken apart as these smaller pieces are quite thick so should not snap easily but like most wood puzzles it needs to be looked after as it could easily be chipped or the exterior damaged.

Like most of the Great Minds range this will fit in the palm of your hand and when separated has smaller parts that are not really safe for very small children. The egg is easy to grab a hold of when fully assembled with its many bumps on the exterior of the egg so that it shouldn't slip out of your hand when operating it and when taken apart the smaller pieces are shaped in a way that makes them easy to grab a hold of. The pieces fit together snuggly so they will stay fixed together when fully assembled but when taken apart they don't jam up because of the way the parts are shaped and they do come apart very quickly due to the fact that the pieces are smooth from the way they have been cut and the finish applied to them so it won't need force to manoeuvre the pieces when taking it apart and putting it back together and therefore there shouldn't be any big risk of the puzzle being broken even with repeated use. The puzzle is light to pick up so you can hold multiple pieces of the puzzle up in the air without straining yourself. If there is one issue you could encounter using it is that it can be tricky to hold the pieces in place whilst putting it together but once you have put together 5 or 6 of the parts they do eventually hold in place.

The puzzles exterior in terms of the nicely bumpy patterned egg design and the smooth rich brown colour of the wood makes the appearance very nice and unique for a wooden puzzle that is when it is all put together and means that it will look great when displayed on a shelf or desk whilst not taking up that much room due to its quite small size which is the case for most of the puzzles in the Great Minds collection as they are all of a similar smallish size whilst designed to be appealing on the eye and to be unique so ideal display puzzles.

The puzzle can easily be transported especially when pieced altogether as it is light in weight and small in size which means it may even fit in your pocket but when separated or played with it will need a fairly large clear surface area to keep track of all the pieces so they are not lost so it is not one you can play on the go. Losing the pieces I would say is the biggest potential issue with this puzzle and when finished playing with it one should either make sure it is put together and is solved or put the separate pieces in a closed and secure container.

The puzzle is designed as an individual challenge but could easily be played in tandem with a partner who could be a friend or family member which could be done either in competition to see who can do it in the fastest time or solve it first but also done jointly by helping each other to solve the puzzle as two minds can often be better than one.

The puzzle has quite a bit of replayability as it will take you a few attempts at completing it before you have fully comprehended in your mind how it all fits together and memorised all the moves it took to do so and if you want additional challenges once you have solved it then trying to put it together in the fastest time possible, which should be possible to do in well under a minute, with no incorrect moves should give you plenty and then you can say you have fully mastered it.

The difficulty level of the challenge will depend on your ability as it will be quite easy for some especially for experienced puzzle solvers who should do this in no time. This is because they will probably have experience of doing similar challenges and even if they haven't when the parts are all separated there are some big clues as to how they fit together in terms of their size and shape and there are not that many pieces to put together only 9 in total. For somebody who is new to these sorts of challenges then it is ideal as it is a puzzle that could be done by trial and error so most people should eventually solve this. It will also for beginners teach them what kind of clues to look for in assembly challenges and what approaches are necessary to make solving the puzzle easier but I would note this challenge is a bit trickier than it initially appears.

In conclusion, the design of this brain teaser is what grabs the attention which gives it a cool and different look from other similar wooden assembly challenges. It is ideal for someone who likes assembly or memory puzzles as this fits both categories with it being more suitable for beginners than experienced puzzlers as the challenge does feel very familiar but it is a thought-provoking challenge and is impressive in the way all the pieces fit together.




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